5 Health-Damaging Actions According to Eastern Philosophy

· August 31, 2018

Just about every culture of medicine in the world agrees that sickness and health are linked to people’s lifestyle. More specifically, they have a link to how you eat and use your energy. These two things are fundamental to Eastern medicine, which talks a lot about health-damaging actions.

Although we often talk about mind and body as two separate things, we all know they’re part of a larger whole. What damages your mind ends up having an impact on your body. In the same way, if something damages your body it can also have a negative effect on your mind.

A doctor who treats disease after it has appeared is a mediocre doctor… A doctor who treats disease before it happens is a superior doctor.

-Huangdi Neijing-

Your lifestyle depends almost entirely on your mind. Each and every one of us decides whether to keep up certain habits or avoid them. That lifestyle will either help or hurt your body, a clear example of the mind-body connection. According to Eastern thought, these are the five health-damaging actions. In other words, they’re wrong decisions that end up harming your body.


1. Eating foods that aren’t good for you

Self-knowledge is a common conversation topic, but most people only see it as something that has to do with your internal world. The idea is that knowing yourself just means being able to identify your personality traits and predicting your behavior. But most people forget that self-knowledge also has a lot to do with the body.

Kids eating cotton candy, symbolizing one of the actions damaging to your health.

Every society has specific dietary habits based on whatever kinds of food are most available, but diet is also a very personal thing. Everyone has their own specific nutritional needs. That’s something a lot of people forget and it can make you follow other people’s eating habits. Oftentimes that ends up being a health-damaging action.

2. Using more energy than you get back

This one has a lot to do with the last point. How often and how much you eat are strongly connected to your way of life. To be more specific, they have a link to how much energy you use.

Eastern thought says that another health-damaging action is using more energy than you get back. You can see that a lot nowadays in the way we have our first meal of the day. Most people have a lot of things to do in the morning, but decide to forego breakfastThat ends up impacting your body and your mind too.

3. Taking in too many bitter flavors

Bitterness is one of the five basic flavors. It’s usually an acquired taste because it’s unpleasant to a lot of people. Plus, most medicines have a bitter taste to them, which doesn’t help. Eastern thought says that all bitter things create a kind of toxic addiction.

Lion vomiting images after eating too many bitter things.

Eastern medicine says that bitter foods stimulate your digestive processes, which is why they need to be part of all diets. But they can lead to problems like nervousness, anxiety, and kidney issues if you eat a lot of them.

4. Not staying at the right temperature

Eastern thinkers saw body temperature as a very important part of health. A good body temperature is a sign of good health. Some foods cool your body down and others heat it up. In general, raw foods make you colder and cooked foods make you hotter.

When you’re overly nervous, you tend to keep your body cold. That can make you feel weaker, more anxious, and more restless. On the other side of things, aggressive people tend to have a high body temperature. So bringing that temperature down with food would help them feel calmer.

5. Eating or drinking too much

This is the opposite of “using more energy than you get back”. In this case, it’s more of “having more energy than you use”. That’s why it’s a health-damaging action. In the end, any kind of excess will have a negative effect on your body and mind.

A woman drinking too much water.

Eastern thinkers said that when someone eats or drinks too much, it means they haven’t gotten all the nutrients they need. That’s why their feeling of hunger doesn’t go away and why they try to deal with it by eating more and more. The solution is to figure out what nutrient you’re missing in your diet.

Just like Hippocrates, the father of allopathic medicine, Eastern thinkers said that good health mainly has to do with your diet. Being aware of that and acting on it will help you live a much healthier and more balanced life.