Our economy rapidly advances and we live more modem lives. At the same time, we encounter many new complex diseases. It is obvious that when there’s a gain, there’s also inevitable loss. Perhaps some of our concepts and practices should return to the older, more original states.
1. Adhering to our biological clock
Sunrise and sunset, ebb and flow; nature has distinct diurnal patterns that we should follow. Since the very beginning, our ancestors have lived regular lives of working during the day and resting after sunset. However, many of us live just the reverse nowadays.
Working hard, saving time and seizing opportunities may be beneficial to us, but persistent disruption of our biological clocks may lead to severe physiological consequences.
Following the rules of nature, and our biological clocks are pre-requisites to ‘bonding with nature’.
2. Living a settled life
The contemporary life may be vibrant and full of new things to explore. Living a life constantly up and about may be exciting, but not necessarily healthy to our physiology and flow of energy. It may be better to live a settled, stable and calm life.
3. Having a calm heart
Our urban lives may be full of competition, conflicts and struggles. These may be necessary for a rapidly developing society, but certainly not prerequisites to health. We should try to always maintain a calm and peaceful state of mind, and face our usual and unusual times with a positive attitude.
We should have an open and forgiving heart, and place less value in competition, fame and materialism. We should accept the hardships we encounter as normal happenings in life. We shall not forget to lend a hand to those in need. For those considerably cultured, these are the values we should strive for. For others, standing aloof from the hassles of life can keep us away from frustration.
4. Knowing your tolerance and avoiding overexertion
There’s an old Chinese saying – ‘a flowing river would not stench, and a frequently used door would not rot’, meaning things that are used frequently are less subject to decay. It is common knowledge that regular exercise promotes health. However, inappropriate exertion could do just the reverse.
Patients who are already in poor shape should not overly exert themselves with strenuous activities just for the sake of engaging in exercise. This would not only be useless for disease recovery, but would also further weaken the body. In this situation, it is important to know where the balance lies, and avoid tipping it. Patients with advanced malignancy should engage in activities that are appropriate for their tolerance. This could be in the form of Qigong or Taichi that are physically less demanding.