It’s necessary to know how to stay healthy
Health is surely one of the most popular topics of interest these days. As population aging is becoming more extreme, our average life expectancy is headed towards 100 years now. As people face longer years as seniors, the concern of how to grow old and stay healthy is not just a concern to be overheard but a real problem.
We’re lost in too many ‘How-to’s
There are a variety of professionally recommended ways to stay healthy. Some would suggest consuming certain types of food or vitamins and some would recommend doing certain types of workout regularly. As we’re more exposed to all this information from the media, we come to face a lot more difficult decisions on how to stay healthy.
Are we really healthier after all?
It’s already burdensome with so many things we’re recommended to do. But on top of that, there are conflicting opinions among different professionals that it’s even more confusing. To accommodate all opinions, doing everything well and eating well as much as allowed has become the trend. From the perspective of Korean Medicine, this is neither ideal nor recommended. As more things are added on to the list, there’s going to be a point where it all becomes too much and do more harm than good.
Too much of good can rather be harmful
In Korean Medicine, being in balance is the standard of being healthy. When one is too much or too little and breaking the balance is defined to be sick.
Unbalance caused by too little is called Deficiency and unbalance caused by too much is called Excess. In the past, there were more patients with Deficiency from not eating enough and not working out correctly or effectively. But recently there’s been significant growth in patients with Excess who have been sick due to overdoing things to stay healthy. Too much good, by nature, does more harm than good, and it’s often overlooked by many.
This generation needs to know when to say enough
A grandpa who was lethargic and exhausted ate two ginseng roots every day and came to the clinic with high blood pressure and constant bleeding in the bronchus. A woman who thought walking was the best way to stay healthy come in with knee inflammation from jogging too much. A man who drank energy drinks and worked out daily to be fit came in with frequent nose bleed and unbearable migraine. They all tried their best to be healthy, but they ended up losing their health. What our generation needs is not adding more but to know when it’s enough. These days, working harder, eating better, and pursuing more is looked upon as desirable and respected. On the contrary, taking a break or being satisfied is perceived to be lazy and frowned upon. This societal aspect always has us on our feet trying to find more things to do for ourselves. As a result, many are doing too much trying to make up for something they might be lacking.
The reason for working out can cause more problem
Our body is constructed so that doing more would not be better for it. Working out is tense physical labor that activates the sympathetic nervous system. Then it leads to higher blood flow towards the muscles and increases muscle efficiency. With more blood flowing towards the muscles there’s less blood flowing to essential life-supporting organs which lowers organs’ efficiency. When this continues for a time, organs cannot function properly and cause indigestion(stomach), heart palpitation(heart), insomnia (liver, heart), incontinence (bladder, kidney) and other diseases. Of course, there are remedies like herbal medicine which can suffice the lacking nutrients for those organs or acupuncture that turns the blood flow back towards the organs, but the most fundamental and simple treatment to such problems would be to take a break.
Take a break for a recovery
Parasympathetic nerve system enhances and speeds up the recovery of natural biological function. But to do so, the sympathetic nervous system needs a break from the labor, in this case, working out, which causes tension. Through a break, the parasympathetic nervous system can reverse the blood flow back towards the organs and let them recover to normal condition.
Food consumed is stored as fat in abdominals during the day and our body spreads the fat all over the body during sleep and reduces the possibility of getting abdominal obesity. Physical injury is treated and healed overnight while we’re asleep. Like so, our body is systemized to take off as much as we put on, which means taking a break is essential to be healthier. In Korean Medicine, this balance is defined as ‘Yin-Yang Balance’ and this is the logic of life people should be more aware of.