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Relevance of Ancient Health Practices Today

The modern Western world focuses on primarily physical health, to the exclusion of emotional, mental and spiritual health. But people are slowly realizing that all these dimensions are interrelated. That is the reason why many people today, even in the West are turning to practices from the ancient Eastern cultures to help them achieve better health.

Tai chi, yoga, ayurveda, acupuncture and many other ancient practices focus on not just physical health but also the spiritual, mental, and emotional health of a person. The East has long based its healing practices on the understanding that we are much more than just our physical bodies, and that our spirit, mind and emotions play an important role in our health and well being. People in the West are slowly recognizing the veracity of such a view and these days, many are turning to ancient practices from the East to help them feel better.

The Eastern health practices of yoga, acupuncture, tai chi, and ayurvedic medicine are thousands of years old but are being recognized these days. These health practices rest on the basic principle of holistic treatment. The physical cannot be treated in isolation because the mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects are just as important and each affects the other. They profess that the whole of a person is important, and encompasses more than just the physical. Such practices today are known as holistic, because they treat the whole person, not just the physical being.

Yoga and acupuncture are perhaps the most widely known and practiced of these health systems. Yoga is meant to help a person achieve enlightenment by bringing the mental, spiritual, and physical selves into unity. It creates strong, limber bodies, minds capable of quiet reception to truth, and spirits willing to seek and discover the divine. When all are working together, ailments are lessened, the mind is alert and active, and the spirit is content. This is whole health. Acupuncture is devoted to health by
keeping the bodys’ energies properly focused and channeled. By encouraging the free movement of positive energy throughout the body with the use of precisely placed needles, the mind is invigorated and the body avoids ailments.

Ayurveda and Tai chi are also widely used but perhaps lesser known than other ancient health practices. Tai chi is similar to yoga in its endeavour to direct energy through the body, give strength and harmonize the different aspects of the being. The system behind Tai chi is an ancient martial art and it combines movements of a modern exercise program. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medicinal art, which comprises various treatments and practices that seek to promote holistic health.

We can enjoy more balanced, fulfilled and healthier lives today by using the ancient wisdom contained in some of these health practices.

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