As the weather gets colder and more harsh, we often start the cold and flu season. Some of us always seem to catch the virus that is “going around”. However, we don’t often realize that from a balance perspective, that we cause ourselves to be sick. As a physician, I often see a “wave” of illness due to viruses that go through the community. As a Martial Arts Instructor, however, I see a different perspective on illness. Illness is really a wake-up call, a warning that your life is out of balance.
Human beings must constantly balance everything in their lives. They must neither eat too little or too much, they must neither sleep too little or too much. They require stimulation to keep from being bored, but too much will leave them stressed and neurotic. They must balance work, family, kids, and special events. They must balance their “mental” life with their physical one. They must get enough excercise. You can start to see that life is really a complex juggling act of multiple factors in order to have a healthy mind-body-soul. Any deviation from that balance will cause disharmony, and invite illness to invade, be it viruses, cancer, or arthritis.
I often hear from a student or a friend that they “caught a virus” at the holiday party they attended. They often fail to recall, however, that they ate too much, drank too much, smoked too much, and stayed up all night while at the party. What do you think might happen if this person eats too much, smokes too much, and gets too little sleep over years, or a lifetime?
How then can I use this information to my advantage? Simple. When you get an illness, use it as a wake-up call this something is wrong in your life; you are out of balance. Identify that disharmony, and fix it. It may be something simple (I haven’t slept enough lately), or it may be complex (I worry too much and have anxiety). You must work on fixing it, or it will only cause you more problems later on. And once it is fixed, you must work on keeping that balance. Eat too much? Eat small amounts the next day. Too sedentary? Get on the treadmill. If you can keep that balance, you will be surprised on how infrequently you get sick. It’s really about balance.