What is Yang Sheng? Nourishing Life through Mind, Body and Spirit
This installment of Meet the Maker is a little different. We asked Dr. Colette Widrin, founder of Balance Blends to share her wisdom and expertise around Yang Sheng.
Colette received her master’s degree from Emperor’s College in Santa Monica, CA and her doctorate from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. She specializes in dermatology, women’s health, anxiety disorders, pain and stress management, functional medicine and blood analysis.
We all aim to live a long, healthy life. The Erewhon community (customers, employees and administrative personnel) knows that being and staying healthy takes making daily decisions that keep our mind, body and spirit balanced and as stress-free as possible.
If you can relate to this lifestyle philosophy, you are likely already putting many elements of Yang Sheng, one of the defining philosophies of Chinese medicine, into practice.
Yang Sheng (translated into English as “nourishing life”) is the holistic concept that embraces the continuous process of fomenting a state of personal health and cultivating longevity and disease prevention.
Yang means to “nurture”, as you would a child; “nourish”, as you would with whole foods; and “take care of”, as you would your well-being. Sheng” means life, birth and vitality. Yang-Shen is the cultivation of your being through day-to-day actions, feelings and spiritual state. What you do today and everyday will affect your physical and mental state a year, 5 years or even 20 years from now.
Yang Sheng is one of the most fundamental elements of TCM and Daoist philosophy. Health must be fostered by nourishing the three “treasures” that make up life: jing, which is “essence”, qi, which is “vital breath”, and shen, which is “spirit”. While everyone is born with qi and jing (which dissipate more quickly throughout life if balance is not maintained), shen is cultivated and fostered throughout life with the goal of maintaining balance – Yang Sheng.
Daily practices, such as meditation, natural medicine and diet, are key to Yang Sheng. Choosing organic, whole foods and integrating them into your daily ritual for self-care of the mind, body and spirit will undoubtedly help you foster resilience, vitality and health. You will be planting seeds for longevity and contentment.