In my opinion, we live in a culture that loves extremes or excess. If a little of something is good, perhaps a lot will be better! Not according to Asian medicine. When a new client comes to see me, in my shiatsu practice, I request that they abstain from caffeine, sugar and alcohol for twenty-four hours before and after a session. Not only does this tell me about their habits it is important for me to experience their true energy patterns. This is what I use to formulate my plan for their session.
Extreme substances affect your body in a variety of ways. They can unbalance the natural cycles of body systems. If used in moderation there should not be a problem. The challenge is to define moderation. For me, even one cup of coffee or caffeine tea would cause great stress for me. For others, there is no problem. There may not be an immediately noticeable symptom. Yet, if sleep problems are present I might suggest that there be no extreme substances taken as a way to see if there is an improvement.
Sugar includes all forms of sugar, both natural and chemical. The main ingredient in fruit is sugar. While is does have some fiber, vitamins and minerals the sugar can be a problem for some clients and may need to be limited. Sweet flavors can be a part of a healthy diet in moderation. Fruit might be a good choice. Unless stated otherwise, most sugar is made from beets and is genetically modified (GMO). This is also a consideration when making healthy choices.
The way we manufacture food is also a case for extremes. Bigger is always better is not necessarily true. Yet, chemical fertilizer is used to grow bigger, but not necessarily better, foods. Some practitioners believe that refined sugars cause cancer. It can cause a candida over growth which can be the precursor to many diseases. Candida is a fungus that is a necessary part of our digestion.
I have heard that alcohol has had a negative influence on more people’s lives than any other substance. If you have had a person with an addiction in your family you know how damaging this can be to the entire family system. No matter what claims you read, in the popular press, alcohol is an extreme substance. It takes a great deal of energy to process and most people know it’s damaging effects.
When making choices, about what to put into your body, consider the impact they may have on your health and well-being. Even small amounts of extreme substances can cause detriment over the years. Many things are cumulative and not noticeable until it is too late. “Food is medicine”, is part of the the Asian medicine philosophy. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun once in a while just be aware of the choices you are making. Moderation in all things is the first principle. This creates balance in all things. Balance creates health and well-being.