What is Yang Sheng?
16 November 2017
The Hayo’u Method is based on a little known but central aspect of Chinese medicine called Yang sheng, meaning “nurture life”. It means dealing with small health problems at root level to limit the chance of illness getting a foothold in the body. Essentially ‘prevention rather than cure’. There is a great Chinese proverb that sums up Yang sheng – ‘A drop of prevention is worth a bucket load of cure.’
Yang sheng may be the most important concept in the culture of Chinese health. Yang sheng in practice is the fostering of health and well-being by nurturing body, mind and spirit in harmony with the natural rhythms, and with universal laws.
Continuously developed over thousands of years, Yang sheng is not just about physical health, but a holistic approach involving body, soul and spirit. Yang sheng does not look at each of these separately, but considers their interaction and their function for the building of behaviour patterns.
It’s been described as the ‘seamless integration of mind and body, physical and mental balance, detachment from excessive emotions, health and fitness into old age and wisdom’. Yang sheng is about developing a conscious approach towards oneself, a mechanism of self-support.
Look at it like the legs of a chair. You need all 4 pillars for the chair to work properly –
mind and emotions, diet, exercise and sleep. It’s no good exercising like a crazy person if your emotions are all over the place, for example.
So, Yang sheng is a self-care approach. What makes this any different from all those other wellbeing manuals? The short answer is, that this is advice rooted in thousands of years of wisdom. Texts on how to preserve and extend life, health and wellbeing have been part of the Chinese tradition since the 4thcentury BC. They’ve had over 25 centuries to be refined and are time tested.
Yang sheng takes into account core theories like yin and yang, adhering to the laws of nature and harmonious free flow of Qi around the body (see below). As the active pursuit of the best possible functioning and balance of the whole self – body, mind and spirit. Yang Sheng takes into consideration your relationships to people and the environment.
Prevention rather than cure
‘A superior physician treats a patient before he is sick’ – Yellow Emperor.
In the West, we systematically neglect wellness and disease prevention. We take our good health for granted. We assume that we cannot avoid disease. And then when we are ill, we treat the symptoms of disease rather than finding the root cause.
Yang Sheng is about discovering energy imbalances long before they turn into overt disease. It works on the approach of eliminating small health niggles and balancing the body to stay healthy.
The Hayo’u Method addresses the root cause of most modern-day illness – inflammation. Currently, the only anti-inflammatory solutions offered are diet based.
The Hayo’u Method deploys one-minute rituals that work to reduce stress and inflammation on a daily basis. These simple techniques relax the body, enable free-flow of circulation and assist detoxification by supporting the lymphatic system.
According to Chinese Medicine, Qi is the energy that flows through the body. It aids the movement of blood, lymph, nutrients, toxins, nerve conduction; energy production and cognitive awareness.
Chinese Medicine believes the free flow of Qi and blood is fundamental to good health.
Like feelings and emotions Qi can’t be seen, yet it penetrates every part of the body, giving us sensations, vitality and life force.
According to Chinese theory, those with a strong and abundant Qi enjoy perfect health and vitality. In old age and sickness Qi gets weaker. When it’s totally dissipated, the flesh and blood body dies.
Imbalance or blockages weakens our Qi, which eventually manifests as disease. So, it’s imperative to look after our Qi on a daily basis to keep it strong and smooth flowing.
Modern living has a very negative impact on our Qi. We are constantly bombarded by adverts, all trying to convince us to endlessly consume or risk feeling inadequate. Social media often doesn’t help, posturing as it does with a distorted, filtered view of life. We are assaulted on average by over 5,000 messages a day. These overwhelming and negative stimuli drains and weakens our Qi, which according to Chinese Medicine eventually results in conditions such as stress, pain, low energy, premature ageing, bad digestion and lack of sleep.
Hayo’u is a ground breaking self-treatment method inspired by Chinese Medicine, designed to strengthen and enable free flow of Qi using simple one-minute rituals.