April Crowell, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA CI & CP, CHN
The Eight Branches represent the areas of one’s life that should be taken into account for maintaining a holistic, preventative lifestyle. They are listed in an ideal hierarchy—literally, what should be practiced regularly to maintain health before moving into more invasive methods to moderate or regain well-being. Here’s a brief overview.
1–Meditation–By meditating we are able to connect with the deepest aspects of our being, and therefore be able to engage in our lives with greater purpose and direction. It provides the opportunity for deep introspection, creates connection with life and greater space within ourselves. Truly, this is the first step in finding out who you are, why you are here and what you can do. Regular meditation also has innumerable physical benefits such as lowering blood pressure and helping to manage emotions.
2–Exercise–Appropriate exercise is a key to maintaining body and mind health. Finding the correct exercise for the individual needs is a priority. A lack of exercise or over exercising is also detrimental to overall health. Yang (very active exercise) like vigorous martial arts, power yoga, marathon running and mountain biking, may be appropriate for a person with a strong constitution and physical strength. Yin (restorative and calming exercise) like restorative yoga, and gentle qi gong or t’ai qi are great for those needing to replenish, stretch, and deeply nourish. For the overall healthy individual you need a little a bit of both, but for someone recovering from serious illness, gentle yin activity is the start.
3–Nutrition and Tonic Herbs & Foods–How we nourish ourselves is a direct reflection of our state of conscious health. Choosing foods vibrant in Qi, that are mostly local, organic, sustainable and seasonally […]