The ancient practices that many of us now subscribe to as part of “wellness culture” were able to develop on a very different timeline, back when people weren’t trying to squeeze so much into a day. Ayurveda, yoga, tai chi, meditation, and the healing arts arose out of self-study, plus trial-and-error by practitioners who shared a common quest to know themselves and to share knowledge with their communities.
What started to take hold in these ancient societies was practical health care, a way of maintaining health and well-being as part of daily life—rather than waiting for signs of sickness before addressing health issues. For example, shiatsu, a form of Japanese bodywork based on concepts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), was originally practiced in the home between family members as a normalized way of caring for each other. Can you imagine families doing this together today?
We have an opportunity to make our wellness practices work for us all the time, not just in the moments we squeeze in to practice yoga, meditation, or prepare a nourishing meal. We have an opportunity to bring awareness to ourselves and the world around us by simply listening.