Live well, live long: the Nourishment of Life tradition

The Nourishment of Life tradition is one of the foundations of my healing practice, protecting your physical and mental well being. 

Yes, using needles isn’t currently possible, but I’ve found there ARE meaningful ways to be there for my patients online, protecting their physical and mental well being in scary, stressful times. 

Needles are important tools, but they’re not the only ones I’m trained to use. Acupuncturists are practitioners in the Chinese Nourishment of Life tradition – known as yangsheng. Yangshen dates back over 2,500 thousand years and is a philosophy of wellness focusing on preventing illness and disease and promoting well being through a range of healing and therapeutic tools that includes tai chi and qigong, medicinal herbs and of course, acupuncture   

To support living well and fully into old age,  yangshen takes account of every aspect of our lives and behaviour – physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. In addition to needles, this tradition provides me with a whole range of tools and approaches I use to encourage people of all ages towards health and fitness, improved immunity, and physical and mental balance. This means I can continue to offer support to my patients online – from recommending food as their best medicine to helping them cope with chronic pain. 

In lockdown I see patients for one-to-one sessions using a secure and data-compliant tele-health portal. Some find my continued emotional support is critical:  this pandemic hasn’t paused their personal traumas. Physical symptoms still cause pain too, and I coach my patients in appropriate techniques, including acupressure and moxibustion, that – with a little practice – they’re able to use at home. And there’s nothing more life affirming in Covid-19 times than coaching mums-to-be and their birth partners in acupressure techniques! 

In the best of times, it can be a struggle to find space to quiet strident thoughts and emotions. Usually, my treatment room is that place of calm for my patients. During this crisis, while that’s not an option, I’m doing my best to share yangshen Nourishment ofLife traditions as widely as possible in my community with skills and advice to help us all to live well and live long. I’ve recently started hosting free online, guided relaxation classes, open to all. Join me via Zoom meetings at 8pm on Monday evenings for 30-minutes of gentle physical and mental relaxation, offering calm and quiet in these troubling times. 

Everyone is welcome. To register, email me at kaye@kr-acupuncture.com

If you’d like to find out more about yangshen, I recommend Peter Deadman’s book Live Well Live Long: Teachings from the Nourishment of Life Tradition, published by The Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Image Credit: Ming herbal (painting): Siberian white crane. Credit: Wellcome CollectionAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)