from part of a 9-foot painting by Stephen Lau
THE PILLAR OF HEALTHY LIVING
Healthy living maintains a healthy body and preserves a healthy mind.
Detoxification for Body Maintenance
For natural healing, you need a healthy lifestyle, which requires you to have a healthy body. Once you have a healthy body, all you need is good maintenance with good nutrition.
How do you have a healthy body? Or, rather, what is good health?
Good health is not simply an absence of disease. It encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. Good health engenders a healthy body free of toxins, which are often precursors of physical ailments and diseases.
According to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, the first principle of good health is to stop poisoning your body with toxins (autointoxification) -- Do no harm to your body.
What are toxins?
Toxins are biochemical substances and molecules that may poison your blood, spreading in your bloodstream through the circulatory system to the rest of your body.
Over the years, in spite of healthy living, your body may have accumulated toxins through absorption (e.g. chemicals from plastics, lawn fertilizers, and synthetic fabrics, etc.), inhalation (e.g. air pollutants, cigarette smoke, etc.), ingestion (e.g. chemicals in foods, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, etc.) and irradiation (e.g. cellular phones, computers, satellite transmissions, etc.).
Fortunately, your body is born with a system that will regenerate itself constantly and continuously through its billions of cells, blood, and bones. Unfortunately, such process of regeneration is often hampered by the presence of toxins.
Detoxification for healthy living
Detoxification is internal cleansing, which involves dislodging toxins and wastes from within and between cells and joints, and transporting them for removal from your body. Healthy living requires a detoxified body.
There are various ways of detoxification:
Fasting is healthy living.
Pure water fasting is the best and the simplest way for detoxification.
Begin with weekly one-day water fasting (no solid food; only pure water).
Fasting is NOT starvation, which is abstinence from food beyond your body’s nutrient reserves.
Initially, fast for one day. Then, extend your one-day fasting to three days, or even longer.
On the second day, hunger gradually begins to disappear. (If you can endure the pangs of hunger on the first day, you can do it -- the first day is usually the most challenging and difficult.)
Drink plenty of water while fasting.
Break your fast on fruits and vegetable juice. An apple is most appropriate.
Juice fasting is healthy living, too.
Fasting on freshly pressed vegetable juices is psychologically less severe and more tolerable to many individuals. You may want to experience juice fast first before embarking on pure water fast.
Juices from beets, celery, parsley, and wheat grass, flavored with carrots and apples are most ideal for detoxification.
However, juice fasting is not complete fasting, and, as such, not as effective as pure water fasting.
Foods for detoxification for healthy living
Alfalfa sprouts -- Sprout alfalfa seeds, or buy them from the supermarket. With concentrated phytochemicals, alfalfa sprouts have cleansing ability for detoxification. Sprinkle alfalfa sprouts in your salad or soup.
Beet -- Beet detoxifies your blood and liver; it is a very potent blood purifier for detoxification. Include it in your salad or vegetable juice for healthy living.
Burdock -- Burdock is an important ingredient in Essiac, a well-known anti-cancer tea. It helps your kidneys filter uric acid from your bloodstream. Eat it as a vegetable, just as the Japanese do in their daily diet.
Green barley -- Green barley is a green cereal grass rich in chlorophyll to break down carbon dioxide, thereby enabling the detoxification of anaerobic bacteria. For healthy living, drink a glass of green barley juice daily.
Brown rice -- Brown rice protein is essential to tissue detoxification. Brown rice is very versatile -- you can use it even to make dessert. For healthy living, eat brown rice everyday (not white rice!).
Herbs for detoxification for healthy living
Black walnut (oxygenating blood to kill parasites)
Cascara sagrada (laxative for bowels)
Cayenne (healing stomach and intestinal ulcers)
Dandelion (stimulating the liver)
Echinacea (enhancing immune response)
Fennel seed (improving overall digestion)
Indian rhubarb root (neutralizing acid due to indigestion)
Licorice root (treating kidney and liver ailments)
Milk thistle (protecting and strengthening the liver)
Psyllium husk (cleansing and lubricating colon and
Red clover (purifying blood and sedating the nervous system)
Slipper elm inner bark (dissolving mucous deposits in tissues, glands)
Yarrow (cleansing blood and rejuvenating the kidneys)
Yellow dock (stimulating elimination)
For healthy living, you can get information on all your everyday herbal needs from Herbs the Natural Alternative -- an encyclopedia on herbs.
Water detoxification for healthy living
Hydrotherapy involves alternating application of hot and cold water aimed at increasing blood flow to different tissues of your body. Eliminating wastes is achieved through: opening pores in your skin; promoting digestion by increased blood flow to your intestines; relaxing your chest and abdomen (filtering organs) by induced circulation; and stimulating nerves along your spinal cord.
Use hydrotherapy at least once a week for detoxification.
Detox Bath shows you how to use water for detoxification.
Exercise for detoxification
Exercise not only stimulates blood circulation and the movement of lymphatic fluids, but also promotes the reduction of fat reserves, thereby instrumental in facilitating the removal of toxins stored in your body. For healthy living, exercise regularly, if not daily.
Skin brushing for detoxification
Brush your entire body daily with a natural bristle dry-skin brush to remove dead skin cells and rid your body of toxins through its pores. Over time, you will overcome the initial discomfort of the abrasive effect of brushing. For healthy living, thoroughly brush your body before taking your daily bath.
Foot patches for detoxification
According to Chinese medical knowledge, the human body has more than 360 acupuncture points, many of which are located on the sole of the foot. Your feet, also known as the “second heart” in Chinese medicine, contain the reflective zones of your internal organs, where your body toxins accumulate and dissipate. For centuries, Chinese medical study has held the view that due to gravity, toxins tend to go downwards in your body during the day, accumulating from the tips of the toes to the ankles.
For healthy living, apply foot patches to your feet before going to bed, and remove them on waking up. The discoloration of the foot patches indicates the amount of toxins removed from your body. You will be surprised at the amount of toxins removed through your feet.
Master Cleanse Secrets is a complete detox program to rid your body of all internal toxins accumulated over the years.
Health Rejuvenation and Preservation
Once your body has been thoroughly cleansed through detoxification, the Oriental wisdom requires health rejuvenation and preservation of your health. Essentially, they require revaluation of your lifestyle, and changes in your eating habits for healthy living.
Do not be misled by popular fad diets (weight-loss plans touted to control your weight for optimum health), such as the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, among others. They simply don’t work over the long haul.
Do not be obsessed with weight loss. An Oriental healthy diet does not focus on weight loss.
Do not opt for controversial diets: a high-fat-low-carbohydrate diet, or a low-fat-high-carbohydrate diet. They all have their pros and cons, but they may not be conducive to your long-term optimum health.
Forget about any diet. Remember, all you need is healthy living -- not a diet to tell you what or what not to eat. Worse, do not take any pharmaceutical drug to control your diet or you body weight. Let Nature be in control, not a drug. Take Control of Your Health -- Doctors are dangerous, and so are their drugs!
Acid and alkaline level for healthy living
You body is made up of billions of cells, which generate and regenerate over your lifespan. Cells remain healthy only in a healthy environment.
One of the most important functions of cells is to balance the acid and alkaline level in your body, what is known as the pH level of your body. If your body is healthy, it should be slightly alkaline. Your pH level should be the best indicator of your health. At any local drug store, you can buy indicator paper strips to test the acidity of your body. You may want to test your first-morning urine from time to time, taking into consideration your present diet as well as the acidity of your last meal prior to the test. For healthy living, monitor your pH level regularly.
If your body is too acidic, disease may strike. All disease is acid-related.
Disease and symptoms are separate entities. However, Western medicine believes they are all the same. To many Western doctors, eradicating the symptoms is tantamount to curing the disease. Pharmaceutical drugs, often used as the frontline treatment, may suppress, but also, ironically, perpetuate, the symptoms. All pharmaceuticals are chemicals, and, as such, they are acidic by nature. Do not readily reach out for prescription or over-the-counter drugs as if they were coupons -- especially for minor ailments and disorders. Do not deprive your body the opportunity of natural healing.
Your body has the capability of bringing itself back into balance through nutrients from pure, whole foods. When you give your body a drug that replaces a substance your body is capable of making itself, your body then becomes weaker, and begins not only to manufacture less of that substance but also to become more dependent on the outside source, which is usually the drug. Remember, no drug can give you insight into the circumstances that created your problems in the first place. There are no miracle drugs, only wholesome natural healing.
In Chinese medicine, health is all about balance, and disease is imbalance. Disharmony is the root of all pathogens.
The Oriental health system is based on the philosophy of the yin and the yang, which balance and complement each other for harmony -- the foundation of Chinese natural healing.
Buddha once said, "There are nine causes for the premature, unexpected end to human life. The first five of these are related to one's diet; and the rest are related to one's improper conduct."
Buddha's profound wisdom on diet underscores the rejuvenation of the yin and the yang through a healthy lifestyle of balance, harmony, and moderation.
According to Buddha:
One should not eat what should not be eaten.
One should not overeat.
One should not eat contrary to custom.
One should not eat when one has not digested one’s previous meal.
One should not retain undigested food in one’s body.
The Chinese concept of yin and yang is essentially a balance of the acid and alkaline level in your body for natural healing and wholesome wellness.
The Acid Alkaline Diet provides excellent information on how to alkalize your diet. Many anti-aging experts believe that a balance of acidity and alkalinity in your body holds the key to good health and longevity.
Eat only quality natural foods. Avoid all foods loaded with chemicals, additives, colorings, emulsifiers, enhancers, and preservatives. Eat whole foods.
Also, it is important to go organic as much as possible to avoid chemicals and toxins in your foods.
To rejuvenate your health, you need natural vitamins and minerals.
Zen Wisdom for Mind Maintenance
Zen is one of the many paths to attaining wisdom. (Zen is the Oriental practice of emptying the mind through awareness and meditation in order to attain self-intuitive knowledge and wisdom.)
The wisdom of Zen is: Things are not as they seem, nor are they otherwise. In other words, everything is "objectification of the mind" -- or simply put, an illusion of the mind. Your daily problems may be caused by your delusional and dysfunctional mind. For more information on controlling your mind, go to my blog: Increase Mind Power.
Life is a continual process of discovery of the ultimate truth; it is an eternal journey of exploring and awakening. In order to be receptive to enlightenment, you must firstly "empty" your mind.
The empty-cup image of Zen stems from a famous story about the visit of a university professor to the Zen master. The professor, who wished to know more about Zen, spent more time talking than listening. Finally, the Zen master kept pouring tea into the professor's teacup even though it overflowed. Then the Zen master gently admonished the professor by saying that he was full of his own opinions and theories, such that it was impossible for him to learn unless he would empty his mind first. So, to receive Zen wisdom, one must empty the mind first.
Zen wisdom is everyday wisdom. You do not go out of your way to seek it: you simply acquire and assimilate it through everyday living. The only condition is that you have a self-intuitive mind that is pre-emptied to embrace whatever that life has to offer -- both the good as well as the bad experiences.
Everyday life is the path to Zen wisdom, and all you need to do is to "experience" and "embrace" life without choosing. That is, you learn from good experiences as well as the bad ones. To separate the good from the bad is to deprive yourself the opportunity of acquiring the true wisdom of living -- a disease of the contemporary mind.
The path to Zen wisdom requires you to regard yourself as both student and teacher at the same time. This concept of acquiring wisdom is implicit in the Chinese calligraphy for "teacher" -- literally, it means "previous in life" or "one who has gone before." On the path of life, you look to those who have gone before you for wisdom; and for those who come after you, you offer your life experience. Hence, you are both student and teacher simultaneously. Acquiring Zen wisdom is effortless. In fact, spontaneity is the essence of Zen.
With an open mind, there is much to learn from life through everyday experience, both good and bad. According to Zen, when your mind is in a state of readiness to learn, you will learn. That is, when the student is ready, the teacher "will appear." It is just that simple.
Wisdom is intuitive knowing through meditation. To find out more, go to The Pillar of Mind Power.
The way of Zen is happy and healthy living.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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