We human beings are intimately interconnected with our environment. Any change in the environment influences us both physically and psychically. How we handle such changes, how we adapt to the changes in our environment and to the stresses of life, will be the determining factor in our health and wellbeing, and probably in our longevity. Conversely, as we change, the environment around us will be influenced and will reflect our changes. The greatness of Oriental natural philosophy lies, to a great degree, in its subtlety and breadth of vision with regard to the connection between the human being and their environment. The tonic herbalist recognizes such environmental influences as the change of seasons — wind, heat, cold, dryness, moisture, radiation, and so on — as fundamental causative factors in one’s health as well as one’s discomfort.
A person’s ability to adapt to the ever-changing variables of life determines that person’s health, wellbeing and happiness. Indeed, adaptability is a bottom-line issue for all life. Adaptability requires energy and innate sensitivity. The greater the stresses of life and the more dynamic the changes in one’s life, the greater is the requirement for adaptive energy. The very purpose of using Chinese tonic herbs is to aid the bodymind in its adaptive needs. The greatness of the Chinese tonic herbs lies in their adaptogenic quality; that is, the ability to enhance the body-mind’s capacity to adapt optimally, accurately and with endurance to changes in the environment, and thus to overcome the stresses of life.
By replenishing the energy of the cells, tissues and systems that regulate our adaptability, we find ourselves capable of experiencing life at its fullest. We find ourselves with increased physical, mental and emotional endurance. We find ourselves easily handling stresses that would exhaust others. We find ourselves to be resilient on every level. This adaptability allows us to lead a rich, broad, adventurous life.