Recently I was invited to present to a group of corporate professionals about Life-Balance and Health. While organizing, I had the opportunity to consider what I have learned about health over the years and coalesce some of the essential pieces into one narrative. The next series of Well Points will present pieces of this talk. I hope you enjoy them!
Approaching Health & Nature
To understand health and to be in our health, it is helpful to know the root of the word health means “to be whole.” So then, what is it to be whole? Is it having all our parts? And how is wholeness related to being healthy?
In answering these questions, it may help to know root of the word “stress” means “to narrow.” To be stressed then can be thought of as a narrowing of our wholeness, a compression of our health. For example, think of what happens when there is a narrowing of coronary arteries.
However, it is important to remember that stress has its place, especially at critical times. Our indwelling stress responses assist us in preserving life and values by narrowing our attention toward important issues. You need your stress response to narrow your awareness and help avoid being hit by the car that swerved too close. It is really chronic and unmitigated stress that can become a problem.
By contrasting health (wholeness) and a stress (narrowing), we can see the ebb and flow of the opening and closing of the human biologic system from repose and rest to critical response and action. In the language of Chinese philosophy, we are still talking about the Yin and Yang of health.
In my developed view, to be healthy and whole can more accurately be understood by thinking that they have to do with staying in a close working relationship with our Essential Nature. To me wholeness is being in our essential nature, which I think can be supported by…
- Living within the bounds of natural rhythms & attending to the physical self, including sleep, nutrition, physical activity.
- Cultivating an Inner-life with meaningful relationships, life purpose, and creative outlets of expression and play.
- Being aware of stress responses and knowing how to cope and reset them.
In the next few newsletters I will expand on this introduction. With each of these three areas, I will offer tangible ways to help you identify and improve your ability to respond to stress, cultivate your Inner-life and live with a greater wisdom in caring for your physical self.
Until then…. blessings of health and spirit on you and those you love,
Jeffrey Szilagyi L.Ac.