Classical Eastern Medicine Therapy
Eight Areas of Eastern Medicine Philosophy
The foundation of all modalities practiced at Ananda are viewed through the philosophies of Eastern Medicine, incorporating eight areas of study. These eight areas of medicine were developed thousands of years ago as a guide for humans to understand their responsibility pertaining to self-care and maintenance in order to guide the body, mind, spirit and emotions toward completely balanced health and wellness.
Acupuncture - gentle and precise insertion of very fine needles into specific points on the body in order to relieve pain and stimulate healing. The World Health Organization has recognized and considers acupuncture an effective treatment for over 300 medical conditions.
Herbal Medicine - categorized by flavor (salty, sweet, bitter, sour, pungent), which affects particular organs and energetic temperature (tangerines are a cool energy, grapes are a neutral energy, cherries are warm energy and ginger is hot energy), which refers to its capacity to generate particular sensations. Herbal formulas treat on multiple levels. They affect mind, body, spirit and emotion, relieving and balancing pain, stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. Formulas may be short term, or utilized for supplemental support, in order to maintain and nourish the body in specific ways. Herbal Medicine is a positive and highly beneficial accompaniment to acupuncture, as it supportively corrects the balancing of the individual diagnosis.
Mind (Shen) – Considered the most important factor to our health, is the Mind. Without mental health, it is exceedingly more difficult to accomplish all the other factors. When we are operating in stress, we tend not to practice self-care. When we are unhappy in life, we often engage in activities that are momentarily satisfying, yet generally have long-term harmful effects. Our thoughts determine our emotions. Chronic anxiety depletes the adrenals, anger taxes the heart, and grief depletes the kidneys. Humans have a strong desire to improve their health, but engage in self-sabotaging behaviors due to sub-conscious repetitive stories around failure, self-worth and self-esteem. Healing and cultivating the Mind, will allow the obstacles to health fall away, and will give a clear and empowered perspective to create and maintain our well-being.
Bodywork - Connecting with the body, mind, emotions and spirit through improving qi flow and assisting in resolving and draining of areas containing blockage, stagnation, trauma, and toxicity.
Nutrition – This is quite detailed, as it is similar to herbology. Molecular nutrition, vitamins, minerals and nutritional density are what creates food energetics. In addition to flavors and temperature (as with herbs), assist in the recommendation of foods to add, emphasize, remove or limit from a person’s diet. The energetic qualities of the food we eat become the energetic qualities of us. We literally are what we eat.
Exercise - regular physical activity is considered vital for wellbeing. Without movement, vital qi is blocked, creating stagnation, which accelerates and encourages diminishing of the life force. What happens? Aches and pains develop, the organ systems are affected, this can weaken the mind and cause psycho-emotional issues to strengthen. When we are highly stressed, we hold a lot of body, mind, emotional and spiritual tension. Active (gym workouts, sports, landscaping/gardening) to gentle (stretching, walking, yoga) exercise is based on person’s stress level, individual constitution, and season.
Seasonal Harmony - diet, activities, and goals should vary with the seasonal changes in the environment. For example, in Summer one would need to eat more fruit and participate in vigorous exercise. In winter, one would eat more roots, grains, soups and stews, along with focusing on meditation/mindfulness and restorative exercise. Spring is the time for seasonal vegetables, like spring pea and onion soup, along with the visioning of new ideas, while Fall is the time for utilizing increasingly energetically warmer foods, reflection and introspection. These practices align with nature’s dynamics and therefore, result in naturally balancing the harmonic cycle of life.
Feng Shui - considers the subconscious experience of how our environment has a subtle but profound effect on our interior environment and our overall vitality. It involves the arrangement and placement of objects in an environment (home, office, business, deck, car, etc.).