‘The idea is that the universe has a rhythm like a pendulum and when we swing in rhythm with this pendulum, the universe can run through us’

The physicians of ancient China strongly emphasized the importance of ‘regular life rhythm’ and ‘living in accordance with the universe’ for maintaining health and longevity.

Regular life rhythm is the first and most important key to health and longevity in Chinese Medicine. Chinese Medicine is based on the assumption that we are a small part of a much larger natural order. It is believed that observation of the universe and nature can give us insight into understanding ourselves. 

When observing the universe, by watching the movement of the sun, moon, tides, seasons and stars, the first insight is ‘change’, described by the Daoists as the ‘only constant in the universe’. They then noted that this sequence of change occurs in cycles that are rhythmic and regular, for example, the day follows the night, the full moon follows the new moon, and the summer follows the winter in very regular cycles and times. This regular movement of the universe – based on ancient spherical astronomy – was the basis for Daoist philosophy. All natural systems, in particular the life processes of plants and animals, live in accordance with those rhythms. This is the basis of Yin-Yang philosophy, the complementary opposites where everything is moving in cycles and when the Yang peaks the seed of Yin is born and so on.

‘Natural laws rest on this principle of movement along the line of least resistance. These laws are not forces external to things but represent the harmony of movement immanent in them. That is why the celestial bodies do not deviate from their orbits and why all events in nature occur with fixed regularity.’

Yi Jing – Book of Changes (11th Century BCE)

Based on long-term observation, in combination with the belief that we are a small part of a much larger natural order, the Daoists assumed natural laws must be the same for humans. Regular rhythms in sync with the heavenly rhythms maximize bodily functions, and in doing so maximize health and longevity. The idea is that the universe has a rhythm like a pendulum and when we swing in rhythm with this pendulum, the universe can run through us.

After 3000+ years of observation from the longest continuing civilization on earth, life rhythm is considered the most important key in Chinese Medicine preventative health. In fact, I believe all successful cultures shared similar knowledge and actively cultivated these rhythms. The major benefit of the Chinese medicine approach is that they made it the foundation of their health science. I feel it is even more important now, in the age of unprecedented choice and responsibility, than it was in the past. The power of humans to develop oral and written language, and then to collect that information in books (such as classical texts and imperial archives), allows us to observe results over centuries and apply those towards greater depths of understanding. This is key to human success and differentiates us from the rest of the animal world.

Understanding that we are part of nature is the essence of Daoism – click here. Aligning ourselves with those forces that created us is the first and most important step. The Chinese Clock is an ancient code to guide us back to feeling connected to the regular rhythms of life and the universe.

Use this condensed wisdom as your guide in how to best achieve health and balance starting right now!

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