Many years ago, I was introduced to this concept of “Head, Stomach, Feet,” a Taoist philosophy taught to me by my martial arts teachers. Me and my peers of that time were instructed to use our eyes, ears, nose, taste and touch/feel to observe what was being presented to us. This might have been a particular self-defense technique, exercise method, herbal recipe or maybe complex theories on energetic anatomy, kinesiology or self-awareness and realization. Over some time and repetition of diligent practice, we would be tasked with processing the information and “make it ours.” As even more time, effort and practice was accumulated, we would be able to more wisely discern how we were to use this valuable knowledge, whether for our own benefit or those we also taught, or others we cared to share with.
This concept need not be kept unique to martial arts, but rather utilized by anyone willing to dissect how they themselves learn something new with the intent on putting it to use later. How can we expect to teach someone else something that we ourselves do not fully understand? Can a parent truly teach their child about algebra, nutrition, fitness, stress management, etc., that they themselves have not learned and experienced on some level? Can a sports coach teach players proper form and technique if they have not personally experienced and benefited from such practices? Similarly would someone pursue learning about health, wellness and fitness, from a teacher who themselves is not healthy? Or even trust a healthcare professional that is not an example of what they preach to others about healthcare?
Head: Observe, Learn
The body’s Brain” is the commander of the central nervous system (CNS) that manages most physiological body functions. Input from the sensory organs provides stimulus for the brain to process in order to sustain life, with relative health and happiness.
Stomach: Contemplate, Process, Digest
The body’s “second Brain” is the enteric nervous system (ENS) that manages the gut. This extensive network uses the same chemicals and cells as the brain to help us digest not just food, but sensory input to alert the brain when something is out of order or awry.
Feet: Implement, Put Into Action
Once the brain observes stimulus, and then processes this input, other thought processes determine the “how and why’s” of putting this input either into short-term memory (STM) for immediate usage or stored into long-term memory (LTM) for later access.
I write often about topics that affect our health and well-being. Additionally, I teach and offer lecture about qigong, tai chi, baguazhang, and yoga. I also have hundreds of FREE education video classes, lectures and seminars available on my YouTube channel at:
Mind and Body Exercises on Google: https://posts.gle/aD47Qo