When I was in TCM school, they often said, ‘If you don’t practice Tai Chi, you won’t be able to practice TCM’. What does that mean? Well, if you only have a didactic, theoretical knowledge of Chinese Medicine, you won’t be able to help anyone. And if you practice acupuncture, herbs, or massage without exercising in the right way yourself, your treatments won’t be that effective, and you won’t last long in this career.
That is one reason why Tai Chi was taught side by side with the other aspects of Chinese Medicine. Back then I was like others not seeing the value of slow motion solitary martial art. But now that I am older, I see how Tai Chi is more important than giving a treatment itself. If you don’t know how to stand, walk, move, breath, and control your balance, you won’t last very long as a wholistic health practitioner.
Not only the practitioner should be a practitioner of the physical arts, but so should everyone else if they knew what was good for them. Physical Arts like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qi Gong will keep you fit and able bodied your entire life. Most of these crippling diseases in the west are the end product of a disease process that started in the person’s youth.
So whether you want to be a wholistic medicine practitioner, or simply want a long, disability free lifespan, do more than dieting and learn a Physical Art.
When it comes to the whole fitness debacle, one must realize that a perfect diet is not everything and not even feasible or practical. If you lead an active lifestyle, eat mostly vegetables, and don’t spend too much money on food, you will be fine most of your life.
When you exercise rigorously, you will find several changes in your life. First of all, you wont have so much time to prepare food yourself unless you cook in batches on the weekend for the week ahead. Also, if you exercise regularly, your appetite will increase, especially for starch. Higher levels of activity and fitness require higher complex carbohydrates in the diet.
When you exercise a lot, your body warms up and a lot of toxins are purged through the sweat, heat, and breath. What I am trying to say is, even if you are health conscious, exercising more and worrying less about diet will help you.
Usually, when people are busy, exercise is the first thing to be neglected. Exercise, especially strength training, increases your metabolism by building the size and density of your muscles.
So if you really want to get and stay healthy, don’t over obsess about diet and do some regular exercise. Maybe find a sport you both enjoy and is age appropriate for you.
At the end of the day, the old saying, ‘less is more’ is the answer. Intense, regular exercise can burn away excess sugars and other toxins so you wont have to be perfectionist in diet.