The body as a human garden
Virginia Field (Blue Mountains City Council)
Paper short abstract:
Eastern medical model sees human body as having seasonal cycles and rhythms. There is alignment between the food grown, nourishment, growth and development of the body. Eastern approach to disease is to resolve patterns of disharmonious relationships, attending to such relationships of the body, like gardening.
Paper long abstract:
In the West supply of fruit and vegetables is supported by fast modes of transport, refrigeration, which have harmed the environment, as well as compromised quality. In addition, the western medical model, how the human machine works with its mechanical view overlays this model of readily available food, fixed flavours and limited variety. Seasonal products may be observed in principal only. In Eastern cultures, the cultivation for fresh products has remained and their medical model sees the human body as having similar rhythms, cycles to a garden, pays close attention to the alignment between eating, nourishment, growth, development of the body. The approach to illness is one of responding to relationships that constitute the body's functioning. The body's internal climate, the dampness or dryness, heat or cold, are analysed. To promote health, appropriate nourishment is derived from observing seasons, food, plants, method of preparation, herb choices. This encourages awareness, appreciation, understanding of taste, digestion, responses to food, connection to the earth. A basic explanation of Eastern theories (yin/yang and 5-element) are explored. Concepts, functioning, cycles conditions in the body and plant world will be described. Children benefit in learning these principals as a means to understand, care for, value their body, by appreciating the way they care for the soil, plant, food they choose to eat and how it is prepared. Learning about the way the garden is tended, planting, growth, development, harvest, preparation, eating, enjoyment of food can influence, enhance the understanding of our bodies and the cycles of life.