Natural Remedies 1: Eastern & Western Philosophies



     I’ve been in Chukyo University on Fridays since September to take an interesting class entitled Natural Remedies. It’s a kind of English class, but not ordinary conversation or grammar class. Students are supposed to study about a variety of ways of natural remedies as like herbal medicine, music therapy, aromatherapy, yoga and acupuncture and so on.

     There are 6 students in the class; 5 women and 1 man. The all of us are Japanese adult. And the teacher is a cute English woman. In the first lesson, we learned about the differences in approach and understanding between eastern and western models of thinking.

     If you have a headache and go to the hospital, the doctor would give you some painkillers and take an exam with MRI or something to check your brain. And if you have a knee pain and go to the hospital, the doctor would take X-ray of your knee and try to know the condition of your bone.

     But in eastern medicine the doctor probably will do different approaches to your body. If you have a headache, he won’t give you painkillers soon. He must check your whole body and try to know the cause of the pain instead. If you have a knee pain, he must check your whole body not only your knee. It’s because the way of the approach to the pain depends on each cause.

     After World War II, Japan has westernized rapidly and forgotten eastern medicine and thinking way. You see a lot of patients overflow from big hospitals. Many people believe that western drugs are great. Yes, it’s true that numberless people’s lives have been saved by western medicine. But in the meantime, many people are given up by the doctors. Where do those people go to instead of the hospital? They return to eastern medicine. And recently eastern medicine has discovered its merits and has been studied all over the world. We need and should use merits of the both of western and eastern medicine.

     In the class, we learned about some tips of diet as well.


1. Eat meals regularly.
2. Eat to satisfy not full.
3. Vary the types of food at each meal and from day to day.
4. Chew your food well.
5. Refrain from eating too much of the same food.
6. Do not reheat food more than once.
7. Eat natural and organically grown food.
8. Eat food that is as fresh as possible.
9. Avoid eating a meal before bed.

     As for me, my diet is far from those suggestions. I always regret after eating too much. I hardly chew food. I often use deli foods and can’t live without the microwave oven. I always buy bargains which are not fresh. My dinner is always around 10 at night! Hmmm…I’m wondering if I may be able to improve my diet and life style through the class and become healthier in the end of the course…

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