Every thought, word and action is the manifestation of the life force being used by the body. Every thought, word and action consume the life force and a deeper quality of stored force or essence from the body.
All of the actions of the body and mind are manifestations of the life force transforming the substance of the body. The substance of the body is a combination of our genetic strength and the nourishment we get from food. As long as we create more life force then we consume, we grow and flourish.
According to the thousands of year’s experience of oriental medicines, by our mid 30’s, our digestive system starts to weaken and we do not create as much abundant life force as we did before from our food and the air we breathe.
Because it is hard to replenish the life force, as we age, we must pay attention to sufficient rest and relaxation to renew the body for us to stay healthy. Here are some simple ideas to address this issue in our daily life.
Working, walking, and talking are all important parts of a fulfilling life. It is important to stop activities before we become fatigued. Often, we ignore this principle and push forward. This creates poor health and the inability to interact in a harmonious way with others.
Prolonged execution and over exertion, doing something too long or too much for our current tolerance or condition exhausts the body. Over time overworking the body leads to sickness, premature aging and suffering. Examples of activities that exhaust us are walking too long, lifting things beyond your strength and working too long hours that go beyond your capacity. Working at night particularly taxes the body.
Economy of Speech
In oriental medicines from China and nearby cultures, speech is seen as being generated by the life energy derived from food and inhaled air. Great amounts of vitality is expended during talking. Talking and communicating are a natural part of life yet it is important to conserve our life force by managing how we use the resource of speech.
The greatest rest and rejuvenation is derived from sleep. During sleep bodily functions slow down and whatever surplus of life force manufactured and nourishment absorbed is transformed and stored in the body. The body rebuilds itself during our sleep. Because of these important functions, going to sleep when it is dark and before 11 or 12 has the most beneficial effect on rejuvenating the body.
The body has to settle down to get a deep and good sleep. Three things are important to consider as part of good sleeping habits in order to settle the body and mind.
1. Keep a calm mind before you sleep. Avoid watching over stimulating movies. Stop working or doing intense mental activities at least a few hours before you go to sleep.
2. Eat lightly before bed. Ideally, stop eating 3 hours before sleep. Avoid alcohol many hours before sleep or skip it.
3. Do very gentle exercise such as An Mo Gong, self-massage of acupressure points, walking a little or stretching.
Each sensation that we experience and each thought that we think uses up the life force. Thought uses up enormous amounts of the life force. It is important to take time to quiet the mind. Two ways to do this is by meditation or relaxation tapes. Meditation is a practice by which we quiet the mind. There are many techniques ranging from simple to advanced practices. On a basic level, techniques involve quieting the mind so that a person trains themselves to observe their thoughts. Over time with practice, a person can take their thoughts and many times accompanying emotional states less seriously. It is easier to let go of them due to this training. On another level, correct meditation techniques create a calmer mind during the day, less upset with the obstacles that life throws at us and can store the life force in the body for rejuvenation.