Updated: Jul 26
from a Chinese medicine perspective
In today's fast-paced world, self-care has become an essential practice for maintaining overall well-being. While modern self-care techniques focus on physical and mental health, it is interesting to explore the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and its unique perspective on self-care. Chinese medicine emphasises the harmony between mind, body, and spirit and offers a holistic approach to self-care. So let's take a look into the principles and practices of self-care from the perspective of Chinese medicine, and grab some practical tips for incorporating these ancient traditions into our modern lives.
Yin Yang balance
Chinese medicine revolves around the concept of Yin and Yang, representing opposing forces that are interconnected and interdependent. Self-care, according to Chinese medicine, begins with achieving and maintaining balance between Yin and Yang energies within the body. This involves understanding one's individual constitution and adapting self-care practices accordingly.
Qi, often translated as "vital energy," is a fundamental concept in Chinese medicine. Cultivating and balancing Qi is crucial for self-care. Practices such as acupuncture, qigong, tai chi, and herbal medicine are thought to help regulate the flow of Qi, promoting overall well-being and preventing illness. Engaging in gentle exercises and mindful breathing techniques can enhance Qi circulation and reduce stress.
Chinese medicine places great importance on the impact of diet on health. Self-care involves nourishing the body with appropriate foods that maintain balance. According to Chinese medicine principles, warm, cooked foods are considered more beneficial than cold, raw foods, as they are believed to be easier to digest and gentler on the digestive system.
Incorporating a variety of colours and flavours into meals is also emphasised for a balanced diet.
The intricate connection between the mind and the body is highly regarded in Chinese medicine. Practicing mindfulness and being present in daily activities are essential aspects of self-care. Taking regular breaks, engaging in meditation, and cultivating positive emotions help promote mental clarity and emotional balance. Mindful lifestyle practices also involve being aware of the body's signals and responding to them promptly to prevent imbalances.
Harmonising with Nature
Living in harmony with the natural rhythms of the seasons is a fundamental concept in any Chinese medicine practice. Adjusting self-care routines based on seasonal changes helps maintain optimal health. For example, incorporating warming foods and herbs during the colder months and engaging in outdoor activities during spring and summer can support the body's natural energy flow.
Acupressure and Self-Massage
Acupressure and self-massage techniques are integral parts of self-care in Chinese medicine. These practices involve applying pressure to specific acupuncture points to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. Regularly massaging key points on the body can help alleviate tension, promote relaxation, and improve overall well-being.
Try it out!
(Not recommended during pregnancy)
Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow and promote overall well-being. Here are a few acupressure points that can help increase energy levels:
Spleen 6 (SP6):
Located about four finger-widths above the inner ankle bone, pressing on SP6 may help to promote Qi circulation, boost energy and improve overall vitality.
Stomach 36 (ST36):
Also known as the "Leg Three Miles" point, ST36 is located about four finger-widths below the lower edge of the kneecap, on the outer side of the shinbone. Stimulating this point may enhance energy, strengthen the digestive system, and invigorate the body.
Pericardium 6 (PC6)
PC6 is situated on the inner side of the forearm, about three finger-widths above the wrist crease, between the two tendons. This point is commonly used to alleviate nausea, but it is also used to help promote energy flow, reduce fatigue, and enhance overall well-being.
Governing Vessel 20 (GV20)
Located at the top of the head, GV20 is also known as the "Hundred Meetings Point." Gentle pressure or circular massage on this point is used to help clear the mind, improve focus, and increase mental energy.
Conception Vessel 6 (CV6)
CV6 is found about two finger-widths below the navel. Stimulating this point may help strengthen the body's core energy, boost vitality, and support overall energy levels.
How to Apply Acupressure: To apply acupressure to these points, follow these general guidelines:
Find a comfortable and quiet environment where you can relax.
Apply firm, steady pressure using your fingertips or knuckles on the chosen acupressure point.
Start with a gentle pressure and gradually increase as tolerated, but avoid any excessive pain.
Hold the pressure for 1 to 2 minutes while taking slow, deep breaths.
Release the pressure and move on to the next point if desired.
Repeat the process daily or as needed to maintain energy levels.
Remember, acupressure is generally safe, but it's always advisable to consult with a qualified acupuncturist or healthcare professional before attempting self-treatment, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant. The acupuncturist can provide personalised guidance based on your individual needs.