the human body -- an owner's manual

Today we ask that you learn to work intelligently with your mind and body.

Most mental and physical illness is triggered by states of energetic imbalance and depletion.  

Eastern medicine has a better understanding of these processes then Western medicine, on the whole.

All good medicine is about bringing the human body and mind into a state of balance, and fullness.

The main factors in this are diet, patterns of physical and mental activity, and patterns of physical and mental rest.  

To maintain health, it is essential to build up energy in the body, and not allow the body to remain in states of depletion.

It is therefore good to eat energy-building, nourishing food, like green vegetables and legumes.  It is good to engage in energy-building physical activity, like yoga or martial arts.  It is good to give the body adequate rest, in the form of restful sleep every night, and naps during the day.  It is good to rest and restore the mind, in meditation.  It is good not to deplete the nervous system through constant stimulation from computers, phones, and TV.

Most people these days are terribly depleted.  They are always overstimulated, and do not rest enough.  Drinking caffeine usually worsens the problem.  That is why so many people suffer from insomnia, anxiety, and depression.  That is why so many people suffer from weight problems and stress-related physical illnesses.  These are signs of severe energetic imbalance.  Unfortunately, western medicine usually prescribes medication that masks symptoms, instead of addressing the root of the problem.

Most people would feel healthier and more energetic if they ate well, avoiding sugar and processed foods, and eating an abundance of green vegetables and protein-filled legumes.  Most people would feel better if they watched less TV, and slept more.  Most people would feel better if they took a nap during the day.  Most people would feel better if they learned to meditate.  Most people would feel better if they engaged in an energy-building physical practice like yoga or martial arts, or simply went for a walk outdoors in the fresh air every day.

It is not “rocket science.”

Meditation is really the greatest key to health, because the biggest culprit behind poor health is a restless, overstimulated mind that cannot stop thinking, and therefore engages in compulsive behavior (like overeating, shopping, etc.)  To relax the body, you must learn to relax the mind.  And deep relaxation is the greatest cure for energy imbalance and depletion.  The body knows how to heal itself.  But healing occurs best in states of deep rest, and repose.

If humans were meant to be active and working all the time, sleep would not be necessary.  Historically, the only humans who were driven to work constantly were slaves; and they had very short lifespans.  

Some of you may resent the necessity of sleep, but this is a really very childish way of looking at things.  It is like thinking, “Why can’t I be perfectly healthy on diet of soda and cookies?”  It is very silly.

One of the most intelligent things you can do is learn to work with your body as it is, not as you wish it were.  

Learn what energizes you, and learn what depletes you.  Learn to build up your energy reserves.  That is the key to deep and lasting health.