Monday, November 4, 2013

Goldilocks and The Five Taxations: Balance in Chinese Medicine (Part 1)

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One of the reasons I love Chinese medicine is its attention to moderation, or what I call Goldilocks Medicine: nothing should be too much or too little, everything should be "just right." One example of this philosophy is the idea of the Five Taxations.

The Five Taxations have nothing to do with the IRS. Rather, they include various ways you can be out of balance by your activities. Too much activity, whether mental or physical, will wear your mind and body out in specific ways. Too little activity, or too much staying still in one position, will harm you as well.

Like food, where the more variety you have of wholesome, natural food, the better your health, your activity level should include time for vigorous movement, deep thinking, rest, and gentle work. If you spend all your time on one activity, whether it's watching TV or doing yoga, your systems will become unbalanced.

Here they are:

  • Excessive use of the eyes, which damages blood.
  • Excessive lying down, which damages qi;
  • Excessive sitting, which injures flesh;
  • Excessive standing, which injures bones;
  • Excessive walking, which injures sinews.
I'll be covering one of these taxations with a blog entry for a few weeks. If you have any questions about a specific taxation, please feel free to comment or contact me.