By Vibrant Dot Staff
Our modern, sedentary lifestyle has placed us at an increased risk of chronic diseases. But can we control or even prevent their onset?
These questions and more were addressed at a health talk on chronic diseases organised by the Epoch Times (Chinese edition), which was held on 2 July 2016 at Furama City Centre Hotel.
We Are the Best Doctors for Ourselves
Renowned Chinese physician Dr Hu Naiwen was invited as the luminary speaker for the talk, which attracted over 400 attendees.
A traditional Chinese physician with over 30 years of clinical experience, Dr Hu currently practices at the Shanghai Tongde Chinese Medicine Hall in Taipei City, Taiwan.
This is Dr Hu’s fifth visit to Singapore, where he has accumulated a considerable fan base; many attendees came to the talk just to see him.
During Dr Hu’s talk, it was hard to believe that the sprightly and energetic physician was already 70. Having cured many diseases that were unknown to or incurable with Western medicine, he shared his vast knowledge and insightful comments with refreshing candour and good humour.
Dr Hu first briefed the audience about an unconventional approach to better health: “We are the best doctors for ourselves.” He added that we should follow the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and seek spiritual cultivation to improve health.
Dr Hu not only compared modern medical treatments and traditional Chinese medicine treatments for various diseases, but he also demonstrated some acupressure techniques to treat everyday ailments like stress and chronic pain.
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing method that involves massaging certain meridian points on the body to relieve pain. The human body has fourteen meridians that carry energy throughout the body.
In addition, Dr Hu also recommended 50 types of healthy foods, and suggested that one should look at beautiful pictures, listen to soothing music and enjoy heavenly theatrical performances such as Shen Yun Performing Arts.
To explain, Dr Hu cited the example of a famous experiment by Dr Masaru Emoto. Dr Emoto exposed water samples to various music genres such as classical music and rock music.
He found that when the water samples were exposed to positive human intentions or calming classical music, they formed beautiful crystals when frozen. In contrast, those exposed to negative human intentions and rock music formed distorted and ugly crystals.
Illness Is a Matter of Disharmony or Imbalance
Dr Hu believes that the ideas that guide today’s science are confined by its development and research in the material world, as a subject won’t be studied unless it is tangible and visible. He thinks that this scientific approach has imprisoned our perception of things, which is also reflected in the treatment of diseases.
According to modern science, diseases can be caused by pathogens like bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi, or a deficiency or excess of nutrients. However, what is referred to as an illness by Western medicine is considered by TCM to be a matter of disharmony or imbalance.
According to TCM, the human body is connected to the environment. To enjoy good health, one must live in harmony according to the laws of the universe and the natural environment. TCM views healthcare from a holistic standpoint and treats a patient by examining the underlying imbalances and disharmonies behind an illness, instead of simply treating the disease.
“If we use ancient Chinese medical philosophy, as long as there is a balance to everything, the body will be fine,” Dr Hu said, quoting the phrase “obey the principles of yin and yang, live in harmony with the universe (法于阴阳，和于术数)” from The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (黄帝内经).
According to TCM theory, balance is the name of the game. A balance of yin and yang is necessary for health. In addition, each organ corresponds to one of the five elements: fire, wood, earth, water, metal. Illness arises when these elements are out of balance.
Dr Hu also quoted a well-known saying in TCM: “When righteousness exists within, evil can do no harm (正氣存內，邪不可干).” In other words, when one is filled with good thoughts and positive energy, one will not be plagued by chronic illness.
“The ancient sages left a great wealth of wisdom and knowledge. In ancient times, Chinese physicians had no modern equipment to cure diseases, yet they could still cure diseases effectively using those ancient methods. In fact, our so-called scientific progress has limited us to a rigid way of thinking! My aim is to help revive what has been lost,” said Dr Hu.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (Huangdi Neijing 黄帝内经) was written in 240 B.C., and it is the oldest known Chinese medical text. Below is a dialogue between the Yellow Emperor and his acupuncturist, Qi Bo.
An excerpt from Chapter 1: The Universal Truth (上古天真论篇第一)
In ancient times, the Yellow Emperor was born a child prodigy. Sincere, wise, honest and compassionate, Huang Di was knowledgeable and had a keen interest in observing nature. He was born a natural leader and his people chose him as their emperor.
During his reign, the Yellow Emperor asked his ministers, “In ancient times, everyone could live to a hundred years old and still appear sprightly. But today, people are already old and weak by the time their fifty. Is this due to a change in the environment, or is it because people have forgotten the right way to live?”
Qi Bo replied, “In the past, people practiced the Way. They obeyed the principles of yin and yang, and followed the way of the universe. They ate a balanced diet at regular times. They woke up and retired at regular hours, making sure they did not overwork their bodies and minds. Therefore, they were able to maintain excellent physical and mental health even until their twilight years. It is no surprise that they lived to one hundred years old.”
“But people nowadays are different. They drink wine like water and indulge frequently. They go to bed drunk. They deplete their vital energy by seeking emotional excitement, and they let desires drain their lives. They do not know how to conserve vitality, nor do they nurture their spirit. They seek only what their heart desires, and abhor caring for their minds and bodies. They live an unhealthy lifestyle and sleep irregular hours. It is no wonder that they only live to fifty.”
The above is written with information from www.five-element.com/graphics/neijing.pdf.