Ancient Systems, Modern Applications
Submitted by Steven Deobald (@stevendeobald) on Monday, 13 February 2017
Section: Full Talk Technical level: Beginner
The older nations of Earth form a rich tapestry of varied approaches to health. Newer nations often struggle with weight management and mental health problems. Fad solutions to these problems have become their own industries.
As a modern society who value the scientific method, what can we learn from these ancient systems? Where Science cannot be applied, how do we evaluate their merits?
Intended audience: Anyone
First, a walkthrough of my own personal journey through asthma, digestion problems, weight problems, mental health issues, and alcoholism.
Second, a survey of health systems I have stumbled upon and applied myself and others which I have studied, as they are related by history. Direct experience will include “modern” medicine, Ayurveda, raw diets, heavy meat diets, sattvic/vegetarian diets, various meditation techniques (Thich Nhat Hanh’s methods, Zazen, Vipassana, and Yogic meditation), and various heavy exercise regimes (swimming, Kempo, weight training, running, bicycling, skiing, kayaking, climbing, yoga). Related systems include Chinese medicine, Tibetan medicine, and energy practice martial arts.
Finally, we will discuss drug and alcohol use, sleep, self-evaluation of health, and our poop.
I am an unlikely proponent of moderate diets and daily exercise. Outside of childhood asthma, I have never had any significant health issues – at least none I had noticed. In retrospect, it’s obvious that my friends and family were almost constantly concerned with my health and well-being but having no serious obesity or clinical mental health issues I remained unaware of my issues until I stumbled into solutions entirely by accident. These discoveries are recent. Well into my 30s I was still under the impression that society was binary: on the left, healthy people and on the right, unhealthy people with problems like obesity, depression, and disease. How wrong I was.