In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the body is seen as a dynamic structure that is in constant state of change. This matches with modern medical science that understands that all the cells of the body are continually dividing growing, and are replaced when they die. Various parts of the body are rebuilt continuously through out the life of the individual. It is understood that most of the body is rebuilt over the span of about seven years. This is similar to the understanding of TCM that sees the body as working on 7-8 year cycles.
The concept of cycles in the body is important when it comes to changing the nature of the body. In TCM where the goal is to help the body to heal or change in function, how long the problem has been going on is very important to determining the length of treatment. The saying is “the longer you have had a problem the longer it is going to take to fix”. Essentially this means that the body develops habits of function. The longer those habits are in place, the more difficult it is to change the habit.
Long term health and wellness is about lifestyle and maintaining a lifestyle that supports long term goals. Short term fasts, diets, healthy vacations can help a person feel better in the short term, and can provide a start to building a better lifestyle. If those efforts are not maintained, then the body quickly falls back into its old habits.
The beginning of September is a good transition time to try to build a better lifestyle. Schedules are often in flux and people are switching from summer food and activities to autumn food and activities. The trick is having a plan to understand how to maintain a better lifestyle for the long haul. The time frame of the dynamics of the human body is about seven years. If you have had unhealthy habits for more than seven years, then those habits are nearly permanent. To reverse those habits is going to take an equally long time to make the healthy habits permanent. That time frame should not be seen as discouraging, rather it should change the perception of the problem away from quick fixes, to one of a long term goals. This long term mindset can help prevent the short cycles of attempt and failure that make matters worse. When it comes to life long health- slow and steady wins the race.