The concept of gardening gives us an excellent illustration for the theories behind Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. Imagine you are a gardener whose job it is to help a garden thrive. To help nature along, you must provide necessities such as water and fertilizer. You must make sure plants receive the right amount of sun, and you must weed out any undesirable elements. Gardening takes time and effort, but the reward is a beautiful, healthy garden, abundant with flowers and vegetables.
Your body is just like a garden, and you and your acupuncturist are the gardeners. He or she will work closely with you to strengthen and balance your internal garden. By taking your entire self into account, your practitioner can help identify—and weed out—any imbalances that could cause problems.
Your goal is to learn how to cultivate and support your inner garden. Your acupuncturist’s goal is to nurture your inner ecosystem so that it can flourish—and you can enjoy health and harmony.
Nurturing your garden Acupuncture isn’t a “quick fix.” It does, though, provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to nourish the garden within.
Your participation in the process is essential. After all, you wouldn’t simply plant seeds in the ground and expect them to bloom unattended. It’s the same with your health. Working with your acupuncturist and committing to long-term care can create positive changes for your overall health.
One of the best ways to nourish your internal garden that you can do on your own is to practice good nutrition. Give the recipe below a try. Not only is it yummy, but it’s good for you.
Sweet & Sour Chinese Cabbage
2 Tbs. tamari
2 Tbs. vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. safflower oil
1/2 – 1 Tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. miso
2 pounds Chinese cabbage, sliced crosswise into 2-inch pieces
2-3 cups hot, cooked grains, such as millet, couscous, or brown rice
Mix together tamari, vinegar and honey. Stir in cornstarch. When it is dissolved, stir in sesame oil. Set aside. Heat oil in wok over moderate heat and add red pepper and miso. Stir-fry for a few seconds and add cabbage. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until cabbage begins to wilt, then add tamari mixture. Cook for 1 minute, or until cabbage is glazed. Serve immediately, with hot, cooked grains.