My journey to discovering this philosophy has been interesting to say the least. I started training in martial arts in 1993 at the age of 13 under the guidance of a very influential mentor. The way I was trained combined “hard style” martial application (Fujian White Crane/Okinawa-Te) and “soft style” body mechanics (Xing Yi). Our training was also focused on joint manipulation/acupuncture point striking and traditional Chinese medical principles. We were not a sport or family school. We were trained as warriors in all aspects of combat. I trained daily until June 12th 1997.
Throughout June of that year, I had been suffering from a series of headaches. But I went for my regular 5 kilometer run anyway the evening of June 12th. The following day, June 13, 1997, my life changed forever. I went to the hospital to get checked out and my parents were pushed into having a surgery performed on my brain. This was a surgery that I ended up not needing in the first place. It was also performed without signed consent from my mother and father. That day I had a massive stroke during surgery. I would not have had the stroke without the “help” of the surgeon. I went into a coma and awoke a couple of days later suffering from left-sided body/facial paralysis and unable to speak. The headaches I endured over the next several years were debilitating. Essentially, I lost around a decade to various chronic health problems, some of which were severe, resulting from brain trauma. I was only 17 years old at the time that all of this started.
A very long story short, I recovered fully. It took over 10 years and a lot of attempts at various “healthy lifestyles” from vegetarianism (it was low fat and I had a stroke after all … that was the healthy stuff they taught us in medical school), to paleo to ultimately a ketogenic diet. I went for a long time with incredibly painful headaches, no sleep, very erratic mood swings and uncontrollable behaviours. I had significant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Not a single medical doctor even suggested it to me.
I completed college and a fully regulated post-grad program in traditional Chinese medicine in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. In B.C. Chinese medicine and Acupuncture are a fully regulated health profession with physician status. I worked as a peer-reviewer at a medical journal at Oxford University medical journal for 4 years after beginning my clinic here in Ontario. I learned a lot about life. I learned how important physical and mental health are to being able to enjoy the short time we have on the planet.
During this time I found solutions to my troubles, and ultimately a very peaceful and otherwise “normal” life. I healed myself through a combination of Chinese herbal medicine, exercise, meditation and a “real food” diet. All of these practices came back full circle with me.
My exposure to martial culture, and a warrior’s way of life, taught me about:
- Nourishing traditional foods and how to combine them with herbs
- Consistent physical activity combining low level cardiovascular (oxygen-based) with heavy lifting (non-oxygen-based) exercise
- Clarity of mind through meditation
- Healthy sleep and rest patterns
All of these practices build upon each other.
These are the practices that saved my body and mind. These are the practices that helped me get back in touch with myself as a human-being. The purpose of this blog is to share them with you.
In happiness, strength and peace of mind.
David Hastings Lloyd
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