In the Orient, all philosophy, art and science are traditionally based on the fundamental realization that all things, and all processes, are interconnected. Oriental wise women and men long ago recognized the interconnectedness of the various parts of the body. The human body, mind and spirit are experienced as one complete whole, within themselves, with the environment and with the universe.
The notion of the unity of the body and psyche is fundamental to the Oriental health arts. Changes in one’s physical condition will result in changes in one’s thinking and in one’s intuitive and emotional processes. The mind likewise directly and indirectly influences gross and subtle changes in one’s physical nature and in the actions we take. Virtually all aspects of health are rooted in the harmonious integration of the body and the psyche.
The Oriental health-maintenance and health-promotion arts, such as tonic herbalism, take full advantage of this oneness of body and psyche to help each person to grow to as full a state of health, wellbeing, and spiritual awareness as the person is ready to achieve. The tonic herbs are used to bring about changes in one’s physical condition; and simultaneously, they are routinely used to influence the conscious and subconscious mind, the emotions, and the human spirit.
No form of health care is complete unless it recognizes and utilizes this principle of the unity of physical and psychic (vibrational) energy. A Chinese tonic herbalist will never attempt to influence a change in just one aspect of a person’s physical or psychic life. In any case, such an attempt would be fruitless – our world is a web of interconnections.
The goal of tonic herbalism is to help the user of the tonic herbs to establish a harmony of body, mind, spirit and environment, which can result in a new level of wellbeing, a new level of health and happiness that forms the foundation for a creative, successful life, as well as for true spiritual discovery, growth, and possibly, eventual mastery and enlightenment.