As a child I frequently suffered from tonsilitis accompanied by a high fever, as you know from my book “Mummy – the small Medica”, not to mention nasty bouts of bronchitis and middle-ear infections. However, even back then I was not one to sit back and do nothing. So I tried to keep myself fit. While in kindergarten I already started to do gym, and gradually I beefed up all my sporting activities: gymnastics, swimming, Asian martial arts, and ball games like soccer.
Today, I still get a real buzz the moment I have a ball in my hands. Most of all, I love playing soccer with my kids, grandchildren and other young people. And gymnastics with all the stretching and various yoga and Tai Chi elements have been part of my life throughout.
The underlying idea in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, namely that the human being is a unity of body, mind and soul that remains in movement until the end of her life, is something that for my part has become increasingly compelling. Movement both physically and mentally to remain fit, to recuperate swiftly and strengthen the immune system. Supported by eating lots of fruit and vegetables. What by contrast seems increasingly far-fetched is the emphatic focus in Western conventional medicine on specific organs.
In my youth, I sought to acquire as broad a range of knowledge as possible in order to understand the world. Possibly to become a doctor like my ancestors. That said, my professional career did not follow such a straight line. When I took the decision to become a doctor, I was already in my early 20s. Before then I
had wanted to become a pilot, a pastor, a cabinetmaker, engineer, or football player. And at school? I was interested in all sorts of things, especially outside normal classes. I really had ants in my pants. Was forever shuffling around on my chair, which back then was considered an offence and would presumably be treated today as attention-deficit/hyperactivity syndrome. I would have preferred to run around during school time rather than having to sit still and would happily have done much more sport than the meager PE classes on offer. Not to mention the fact that PE classes were often canceled. Which is why I tended to catch up on the movement deficit I felt after school – by running, playing tennis, swimming, and playing all sorts of ball games.
Today we know from the psychology of learning that children need much more movement and training of their sense of balance (even during class) in order to enable their brains to absorb more and to keep them happy, less aggressive and more attentive. For years now I have been championing the “moving school”, and today receive support from the health insurance companies. An hour of movement and sport for every child at every school, every day! And for us adults, as well! It strengthens the body, the mind and the immune system, too. “Never stop moving” I say.
One great way to strengthen your brain and immune system!
© Dietrich Grönemeyer 2021-08-29