Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ancient Secrets of Chinese Proverbs (different approaches)

What would you do if you like to have wind from your southern windows? Did you say "open the southern windows"?

欲求南风,先开北窗。
yu4 qiu2 nan2 feng1, xian1 kai1 bei3 chuang1.
Literally it means:  if you want wind coming from the south, you should first open the windows in the north.

Another similar expression is:
无水舟停, 增水行舟。
wu2 shui3 zhou1 ting2, zeng1 shui2 xing3 zhou1.

So what do you do if the boat stops? Pushing and pulling by force can get it going, but it will stop
again if you stop doing that.  Have you thought of the possibility of the river water getting low? It will be much easier to add water to the river. Of course, it takes more time, but it will solve the problem forever.


This is why you see TCM doctors insert needles on the legs to stop stomachaches, or needles on the arms to treat constipation. It is truly a holistic approach to treating our health problems.

The traditional method of losing weight in the west is to try to curb your appetite and reduce the intake of calories. But why do you hear so many people complaining that "they are still gaining weight if even they are living on water only"? The TCM would regard this as a problem in your spleen and stomach meridians which are in charge of your digestion systems. If the food cannot be digested properly, it turns into waste and accumulates in different parts of the body in the form of water and fat. Therefore, to lose weight, it's more important to strengthen the spleen and stomach rather than to cut down on food.

Accordingly, if you have a stomach problem, it is very likely you have problems with your liver meridians, which means you tend to get angry or melancholy very easily. So it is very important to keep a happy and relaxed mood to promote the function of digestion. Otherwise, your stomach problem won't leave you no matter how much drugs you take.

Now we are back to the fundamentals of TCM diagnosis. If you feel hot and stifled in front of the windows in the south,  the problem can be solved more effectively if you first open the windows in the north.

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