5 Eastern Contributions to the World of Health and Fitness

September is the National Yoga Month in the United States of America. Over 1,500 yoga events will be organized throughout the country to spread awareness about this discipline and its advantages. This only proves its fast-growing popularity. In this way, there are many contributions that are made by the East in the field of health and fitness which are being embraced by the whole world. All these practices are ancient, traditional and come from the other side of the globe.

Yoga: It refers to the traditional mental and physical disciplines that originated in India. The major branches of yoga are- Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Out of all these branches, Hatha Yoga is used in the contemporary world to combat many diseases. The different yoga postures and breathing techniques claim to make people healthy and fight against many ailments. The list includes: diabetes, thyroid problems, obesity, back pain, stomach-related problems, to name just a few.

Acupuncture: The earliest records of acupuncture dates back to the 2nd century BC. It is a traditional Chinese procedure of manipulating and inserting needles. These needles are inserted in various acupuncture points in the body. It is said to relieve pain and used for therapeutic purpose. Acupuncture has been a subject of controversy among the medical community which questions its efficacy. However, according to the World Health organization (WHO) and NIH it can be effective in treating pain and neurological conditions.

Acupressure: Acupressure is a blend of acupuncture and pressure. It is derived from the Chinese traditional medicine theory- acupuncture. Pressure is applied on certain acupuncture points using elbows, hands and other devices. This technique too has borne the brunt of the scientific community. However, some feel that applying pressure does alleviate pain, morning sickness, nausea etc.

Ayurveda: It is the traditional medicine system which is native to India. It is being practiced in the other parts of the world under alternative medicines. It works on the principle that everything is composed of five elements- air, water, earth, fire and ether. Any kind of imbalance in these elements causes disorder. Over the years, Ayurveda has developed many medical preparations and surgical procedures to counter many diseases.

Reiki: Reiki was developed by a Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui in 1922. It is also referred to as the “palm healing”. In this alternative healing method, the practitioners transfer the positive healing energy through the palms. The Master reiki practitioner can heal himself and the others through touch.

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