One of the philosophies underlying Chinese medicine is that our health is not separate from nature. Nature’s constant motion – its flowing seasons and cycles – coincide with our body’s natural rhythms. When we engage in gardening, we strive to be in harmony with nature’s rhythms. This allows us to reap a bountiful harvest. Life flourishes when the elements of air, water, light and earth are balanced.
There are basic principles of gardening that you can apply to facilitating the health of your body:
Fertilize: Just like plants need fertilizers, we need food in order to re-energize our bodies. In general, a healthy, balanced diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables.
Water: Our bodies are made up of 70% water. We need its life-giving force to cleanse our bodies of toxins, to regulate body temperature and to aid digestion and circulation.
Sunshine: Just like plants, we also need sun’s energy to grow and thrive. Sun provides our bodies with Vitamin D, which promotes strong bones, supple muscles and a healthy immune system.
Weeding: Weeding your garden is vital to keeping the soil clean and properly oxygenated. Our body also needs cleansing. One of the easiest ways to cleanse our body is sweating through exercise as well as eating meals of fresh veggies and fruit.
Your goal is to learn how to cultivate and support your inner garden. My goal as a Chinese medicine practitioner and acupuncturist and is to help balance your inner ecosystem so that it can flourish—and you can enjoy health and harmony. Together, we garden and can identify and “weed out” any imbalances that could cause problems.
Dr. Gabrielle Steinberg