The essence of the response to this question states that in the days of old people practiced the Dao or “way”. Thus they developed and practiced ways to harmonise with the energetic shifts in the universe. They lived in accordance with the natural cycles and the seasons, eating a balanced diet at regular hours, retired and awoke in accordance with day and night and avoided overstressing mind and body.
The Passage continues to state that in this day and age (over 2000 years ago) people drink alcohol as if it were water, indulge in excesses and in turn leave themselves empty whilst constantly chasing momentary pleasure and gratification.
So we can see that an acupuncture text written some 2000 years ago is basically showing a reflection of our ‘modern’ society. The human condition and all that it encompasses in essence has not shifted that much in the last few thousand years and the ‘sages’ of times past observed what logically we can observe still to this day. This being that we are connected to our environment and its natural rhythms whether we accept it or not. Furthermore, they highlight some fundamental shifts we can make to live in accordance with these ‘natural cycles’ including retiring and sleeping at a reasonable/logical hour and awaking with the rising sun. Eating a balanced simple diet that follows the seasons as much as possible. Lastly take part in an activity that you find beneficial to your body and mind, whether it be dance, swimming, meditation, yoga, tai chi, walking or ideally a combination of meditation & a more dynamic activity.
In a day and age where we are forced fed the concept of “what is good for you” and you can even get it in a nice packaged box! I would encourage everyone to keep things simple, avoid gimmicks and fads and start with these three basic principles mentioned above (sleep, simple diet, activity). Once implemented evaluate how you are feeling in terms of energy levels, focus, happiness & any other parameter that you relate to feeling good. If something is working for you keep it, and if not, then let it go.
This concept of evaluating whether you feel a benefit or not is something I constantly encourage those I treat in the acupuncture clinic to do. At the end of the day it is your body and you are the best judge to gauge if an acupuncture treatment, lifestyle choice or anything else is truly benefiting you or not.
Giancarlo Nerini - Licensed Acupuncturist