What is the meaning of self-healing? Yang sheng (养生), or self-healing, is a fundamental principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine that emphasizes practices that promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This article presents some examples of yang sheng practices that can be integrated into daily life
Do not underestimate the syndromes manifesting behind your symptoms of sneezing or coughing. It is important to seek medical attention from a licensed health professional if you are experiencing any discomfort or illness. However, during days when you feel healthy, you can engage in self-healing practices to strengthen your immunity and promote a healthy mind and body.
For thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) In recent years, TCM has gained more recognition worldwide due to its philosophy that good health arises from the balance between the body and mind. This is consistent with the concept of “yang sheng” (养生) or “nourishing life,” which is widely recognized and practised.
The concept of yang sheng encompasses a range of lifestyle practices aimed at promoting good health and longevity by maintaining jing (life force), qi (vital energy), and shen (mental health or “spirit”). Many modern self-healing techniques, including acupressure, breathing exercises like Qigong, and mindful eating, have their origins in the principles of yang sheng.
Dive right in to discover some ways you can practise yang sheng at home.
Try Herbal Tea For Health Boost
A way to enhance self-healing and support jing, qi and shen is to consume the right nutrients. In addition to regular food, Chinese herbal decoctions and tisanes are often ingested to improve overall health. As TCM gains wider acceptance, common TCM herbs are now more readily available for purchase, be it in traditional markets or supermarkets. Moreover, making basic herbal tisanes is quite similar to brewing tea, so drinking them is an easy way to relax and assist your body in healing from the pressures of daily life.
How To Brew Herbal Tea
To make a herbal tea, you will require tea bags made of food-grade cotton (nylon bags are less preferable). The recommended size is 6×8 centimetres for 10 grams of herbs or 7×9 centimetres for up to 15 grams of herbs. After filling the bag with cleaned herbs, pour hot boiled water (between 200-350 millilitres) and steep for five minutes or more for optimal results. Unlike tea leaves, the herbs can be steeped for a longer period to get a more robust taste.
Here are some easy-to-make herbal tea combinations based on TCM that you can brew or steep at home. Enjoy them warm for an instant energy boost!
For eye health
A mixture of white chrysanthemum flowers (3 to 6 grams), goji berries (3 to 6 grams), and red jujubes (1 to 2 whole jujubes or around 4 to 8 grams) can be used to revive tired eyes after long hours of blue-screen exposure.
The combination of white chrysanthemum flowers (bai ju hua, 白菊花), goji berries (gou qi, 枸杞), and red jujubes(da zao, 大枣) can benefit tired eyes from long hours of blue-screen exposure. White chrysanthemum flowers clear Heat from the Liver, which is beneficial for the eyes, while goji berries strengthen the Kidneys to provide sufficient yin essence to nourish the eyes. In addition, red jujubes add sweetness to the tisane and have anti-inflammatory properties, making them rich in antioxidants that can boost your immunity.
To get rid of Wind-Heat
If you’re looking for another TCM-based tisane blend, consider brewing a mixture of peppermint (bo he, 薄荷) and unprocessed Chinese liquorice (sheng gan cao, 生甘草). This blend is believed to be helpful in dispelling Wind-Heat, which can alleviate initial flu symptoms, sore throat, and headaches.
To prepare the peppermint and Chinese liquorice tisane, start by washing 9 grams of mint and 3 to 6 grams of Chinese liquorice to eliminate any dirt. Then, put the herbs in a pot with approximately 500 millilitres of boiling water and let it steep for 10 minutes. For those who prefer their tisanes sweet, sugar can be added to taste.
Peppermint can assist in the release of trapped Heat, which may lead to tension headaches, blocked nose, muscle pain, and eye strain. On the other hand, Chinese liquorice can aid in clearing Heat. However, it’s important to note that this herbal tea may promote sweating, so those who experience dry symptoms due to Yin Deficiency or excessive sweating should seek advice from a TCM physician before consuming it.
Drink Herbal Soup For Your Meals
Many people strive to maintain a balanced lifestyle, but sometimes their busy schedules prevent them from practicing self-healing techniques. During such times, a good option is to supplement your diet with herbal soups using herb mixtures made from traditional Chinese recipes, such as the Ning Shen Calming herbal soup (宁神靓汤). In addition to providing nourishment for the body, this soup contains herbs like lily bulbs (bai he, 百合) and Solomon’s seal (yu zhu, 玉竹), which can help to calm the Heart and relax the shen, making it an excellent choice for a holistic yang sheng experience.
Four-Pillar Plan to Fight Chronic Disease
Although yang sheng originated in ancient China, its holistic approach to healthy living is becoming increasingly popular in modern health practices. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s book, How to Make Disease Disappear, outlines a plan to prevent chronic diseases by focusing on four lifestyle aspects: relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and sleep. For example, you can practise meditation for self-healing, incorporate enough time to rest, eat a balanced diet, engage in moderate exercise, and get sufficient sleep. Through these changes to your lifestyle, you can optimize your body’s functions and let your body enjoy the self-healing process, which is the essence of yang sheng.
Below is a simple checklist you can practise regularly at home according to the Four-Pillar Plan:
|Practise meditation daily
|Normalise not adding sugar
|Do strength training exercises twice a week
|Create a bedtime routine
|Weekly screen-free Sabbath (break from gadgets)
|Eat within a 12-hour window
|Move often during the day when possible
|Spend at least 20 minutes outside every morning
|Keep a gratitude journal
|Avoid food products with more than 5 ingredients
|Walk 10,000 steps per day
|Enjoy your caffeine before noon
A practical way to incorporate the “relax” aspect of yang sheng into your daily routine is by practising a simple breathing exercise called the 3-4-5 technique. This involves inhaling for three seconds, holding your breath for four seconds, and then exhaling for five seconds. Additionally, to improve the “move” aspect, you can start by walking 3,000 steps daily for the first week and gradually increasing it to 4,000 steps and beyond as your stamina improves.
Keep track of how you balance the four aspects of self-healing lifestyle habits and fine-tune as you go.
Engaging in self-healing practices can provide a sense of calm and serve as a daily routine. However, it is important to acknowledge that there are situations where medical assistance may be necessary, particularly if discomfort impairs your ability to carry out daily activities. It is essential to stay attuned to your health, as taking care of your body can have numerous benefits.