One of the most profound developments in health in the 21st century is the burgeoning realm of self-healing.  Yet, this is by far not a modern notion and appears novel to some only because the dictum of Western Medicine has for long established the doctor as the authority figure who holds the patient's complete health in their hands.  Thankfully, this perception is evolving.

Self-healing covers a tremendous area of subjects, from something as traditional as nutrition and exercise, to more exotic forms such as yoga,  Tai Chi, meditation and Qi Gong.  Ultimately, the deeper tenet at work here is that health is something we are foremost in control of and we must take responsibility of it so that we do not become victims of illness and other states of dis-ease which can overwhelm us if we're not aware.

It starts with the intention to take care of oneself and the later realization that after realizing the boon of managing one's own health, one can then become a resource to transmit healing wisdom to others.  This becomes especially relevant in the relationship of parent to child.  For the most part, we've grown up ignorant of just how much we can do to improve and maintain our health and our life-force.  This is how the modern system of health-care was set-up.  The goal now is to inform people about how easy it is to engage their health and how truly enriching it is for one's life to know and palpably feel a certain amount of control over our health.  

In Chinese Medicine, the tradition of self-healing emerged in its ancient origins.  I always marveled while living in China how each morning the city was teeming with people in parks going through the fluid forms of Tai Chi, stretching, and partaking in other forms of mind-body-spirit exercise.  It was inspiring and yet disappointing as I reflected back to the West and knew such sighs were a rarity indeed.

I encourage everyone to start to take responsibility for their health and for the vitality to which they exude in their life.  The Internet is a marvelous resource for this.  Nutrition is a great place to start.  One of the adages of Chinese Medicine is that the first attempt of healing is always done with food and it is only when nutrition fails that acupuncture and herbals are administered.  Food is the most abundant medicine we take, every day, three times a day.  Each meal has the potential to create or destroy our life-force.  It's a wonder that many of the degenerative diseases plaguing modern humanity with all its technological marvels are rooted in poor nutritional habits that begin when we're young.  However, simple changes in diet can have seemingly miraculous effects on how we feel day in and out.

Another important facet is exercise.  In the East, the focus however is not on high-energy physical activities that burn fat but on soft exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong which build energy slowly and enduringly.  Many people in the West forget that we have a limited supply of life-force and the key is not to deplete it but cultivate it so that it is constantly glowing with power and able to nourish us with lengthy life spans.  Obsessions with physicality and the bold determinism of individualistic societies often create people who wantonly exercise to the point of sheer exhaustion and then they burn out and wonder why.  Cultivation is key!

Finally, meditation is the long forgotten tonic for a healthy psyche.  A daily meditation practice helps us cure obsessive mind chattering, which is also depleting of our energy, even more so than physical exercise!  Meditation also gets us more in touch with our spiritual nature, giving the wisdom of eternity a chance to bubble forth and nourish us with guidance.  Meditation is essential for a sane life and helps us find a place of stillness where the relentless cycles of emotions and thought cease and we find inner-peace directly emanating from our most innermost reaches.   As spiritual teachers have taught for aeons, meditations gives us a way to understand the true nature of consciousness, which is really all that is!  This can be one of the most empowering experiences of one's life!

Self-healing does not mean we shrug off the guidance of authorities on health.  Health practitioners still are leaders in this realm because of their extensive training and experience.  Yet, by engaging one's health, we can open dialogues with them that make our experiences with them much more fulfilling.  No longer do we feel confronted by mystery and at the power of enigmatic forces of disease that force us to throw our power at the feet of a physician.  Now we can understand better what makes this marvelous life pulse and how to hone the beauty and power of its expression.  I often tell people that there's no better time to be sick because we in our societies we have such a convergence of healing traditions of both ancient and modern design.  Health workshops are constantly running in the city and I urge you to check out what some spaces offer.  Knowledge is power!  Ultimately, by empowering our own lives in such a fashion, we radiate wisdom and strength unto others and partake in a great sharing of love and compassion as we lift each other up and co-create vitality together.  What a beautiful way to live!