The norm today is to visit a doctor only when we are sick. We make dietary or lifestyle changes in response to illness, and we slow down only after we have burnt out. We invest time and money in our well-being only when it is threatened. What if we radically shifted our approach? In traditional Chinese medicine, one sees a doctor regularly to stay well… what a brilliant idea!
The Chinese doctor not only enquires after your physical well-being, but also about your relationships, your work, how you are eating and sleeping, your emotional temperament, etc. The doctor would then treat you with herbal remedies, acupuncture and qi gong.
Perhaps it is possible to embrace the essence of this approach and then use a range of ‘therapies’ that feel right for you. The essence is to make a decision to invest in your well-being while you are well. Look at all areas of life and constantly make incremental changes to grow, learn and find balance. Here are 10 ways to do this:
- Start every day with warm lemon water
- Grow your own herbs and drink one glass of fresh herbal tea a day (e.g. parsley, mint, rosemary or lemon grass)
- Ditch the extreme ‘one fits all’ diets for good! Rather experiment with what works for you. Eat for health and pleasure. (If you still knowingly choose unhealthy options or overeat, until you examine the underlying emotional reasons for this behaviour, it won’t ever truly change.)
- Include some form of creative expression in you life – be it a weekly dance or art class, listening to music or writing in a journal
- If you are struggling to make a decision about what to prioritise, ask the question “If I only had three months left on earth, what would I do?”
- Nurture and prioritise the relationships with the people you care about
- Respect your body by listening to what it’s telling you, rather than numbing the symptom with a tablet. Is that headache asking you to drink water, rest or go for a massage?
- Commit to a monthly investment in your health. Be it going for a massage, acupuncture or seeing a therapist
- Choose one or two charities you believe in, calculate how much 5% of your income is, and commit to supporting them every month. Find out more about the Five Plus Project
- You are the greatest masterpiece of your life, a constant work in progress. Experiment, explore, play, learn, create…