Environmental protection, public education, self-disciplined life – Let’s talk about it all, from wellness to spiritual needs and social responsibility. By Fifi Kao
As the previous article explained, people are living longer and longer. With more social resources being consumed, do people equally repay society? Along with the rapid development of human civilization is the continuous increase in people’s expectations and pursuit of material things. Is our spiritual state also being enhanced in tandem? The answer is, at least in China, not yet.
According to Inner Canon of Huangdi – Plain Questions (Su Wen), an ancient Chinese medical book dating back to 2,000 years ago, lack of self-discipline is the source of disease. This time-honored wisdom is still applicable today.
Nowadays, people’s self-willed behavior and bad life habits can cause a fatal vicious cycle. For example, people throw plastics and rubbish into the ocean. The toxic substances are then consumed by marine life. Finally it goes into the seafood market where we buy our daily supply. People, driven by their desires, abuse pesticides and food additives and thus heavily pollute the soil and water, which in turn affects every living thing on the Earth. Other cases include the great shrinkage of forests and glaciers due to our willful conduct. Surely, our mind guides our behavior and our behavior decides what kind of life we will have.
All things in the universe share inner commonality. The natural world is actually a reference for and a proxy of human’s internal mechanism. Just as the environment needs to be protected, the environment inside our bodies also needs to be cleaned. In this aspect, SPA is indeed a great way to purify people’s body and mind, and regulate one’s magnetic field to stay in tune with that of pure nature.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the root of disease is the “blocking” of the circulation system. “Blocking” causes slower metabolism and then sub-health conditions occur. TCM emphasizes the care of the mind. Chinese traditional wellness practices such as Qigong, seated meditation and Taichi all aim to calm the mind and purify the heart. In TCM, the key to health is to “nourish the heart”.
We always hear the saying: follow your heart. Surely, SPA is a very heartfelt business. Whether the staff have cordial attitude directly decides the whole ambience and comfort level of the spa. And also, a good spa is surely the one that can win customers’ heart.
So how important indeed is one’s mental state? Foreign medical researchers have made great discoveries regarding the relationship between the mind and physical health. They find that people’s brains can release a substance which improves health.
The substance is a natural pain reliever called endorphin which can increase the gamma globulin in the immune system to better defend the body against virus infection or even cancer. The brain also releases many other substances that co-work to steer our body’s condition. Many of these substances are in fact the result of our thoughts, feelings and expectations.
The mind influences the body. If we stay passive and with n attitude of hopelessness with regard to diseases and life, our brain will not be able to release enough of the substances that help to heal. But if we have a positive mentality, our brain can release sufficient substances that enhance the healing of our body.
The body also influences the mind. A declining health condition and continual lack of sleep will limit the brain’s ability to release health-maintaining substances and result in higher stress or allergy issues. If the vicious circle continues, the chemical substances released by the brain will fall out of balance, leading to depression and other mental problems.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we say “the thought in your mind”, while in Western medicine, there is also an emphasis on “the integration of mind and spirit”. They are actually saying the same thing. Those who think actively and have a positive attitude can normally more enjoy their lives, and surely at the same time, enjoy better health.
Maybe all of us have met such people around us. They have stable emotions, positive mentality, and a broad mind; they are willing to help those who need help, devote their strength for deeds of love, and therefore gain great respect and trust from others. Also, they are self-disciplined in daily life, stay in moderate diets and enjoy a balance of work and rest.
I am lucky to have recently encountered a few people who have such an ideal state of life. They possess material wealth, yet they have a strong sense of social responsibility. They regard social contributions as their mission.
“After visiting several rural areas for poverty relief causes, I discovered that less income is not the main point. Compared with city dwellers, they breathe fresher air, enjoy more natural food and wear clothes as decently as we do. The biggest difficulty is that they don’t have clear goals and motivations for life. The lack of education and spiritual satisfaction is the true root of poverty,” said Ms Lin Ying, who began her poverty relief project in Chishui, Guizhou three years ago.
“I want to spend more time on social education and help young people find their direction. Only when we have clears goals can we get motivated in our life,” said Ms. Grace Wu, the partner of Venus Concept China. After 30 years’ experience in the business world, she has retired from the front line and contributes to society by giving educational lectures, currently 20 public lectures a year.
“We have at most 100 years to live, yet some of these trees have lived for nearly 1,000 years. So we are just passers-by under the trees,” said Mr. Ma Dadong. Because of his reverence for life, he has moved the old houses with 300-500 years’ history, and big trees with a thousand years’ of life, which would otherwise forever disappear because of the construction of a reservoir, from his hometown to Shanghai. And now we have the amazing Amanyangyun.
“My idea is simple,” Ms. Ma Lan said. “I want to help pass down the time-honored craftsmanship, so that later generations can also enjoy the amazing beauty of these traditional works.” Lan got her doctorate degree in biochemistry in America. Now after 20 years’ work, she quit a job envied by many and started her own business – offering customers purely handmade products collected from all over the world. “We need to hear the voice in our heart so that we can have a better communication with our inner self.”