Dr. Chad Sato
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist
In looking for a topic to share in my Hawai‘i Herald column, I came across a little factoid that during the fall is the time for harvest and many festivals are celebrated. The Chrysanthemum festivals caught my attention in particular because every year, to control pests such as ants and B-52 cockroaches, my pest control guy spreads chrysanthemum pellets around the house as a non-toxic alternative to poisonous insecticides. I became even more fascinated with the chrysanthemum when I discovered that it was the Imperial House of Japan’s symbol and was first introduced to Japan by China back in the 5th century. During that period, the Japanese had a penchant for admiring Chinese art, calligraphy and style, but the Japanese imperial family was particularly enchanted by the royal chrysanthemum’s yellow color and 16 petals in the front and back respectively. The chrysanthemum became the image of their official seal and throne, leading to the imperial family’s moniker “chrysanthemum throne.”
It’s amazing how this flower not only has beauty but embodies other healing and protective properties that makes it stand out as unique and special. The chrysanthemum represents permanence, reinvigoration and dignity in Japan. It symbolizes the fall and harvest time; goodwill and due to its auspicious nature, the flower is well represented in many facets of Japanese culture even being on the 50-yen coin. First, I wanted to share all the diverse properties of the chrysanthemum, next compare how its humble nature is comparable to your body and then finally share ways to connect with your body in order to achieve long standing health, resilience and wellness.
It was not until I wrote this article that I got to taste chrysanthemum tea by chance for the first time. The flavor is rather subtle and pleasant, and its taste brings a sense of calm over you. The reason being is that for years the property of this tea helps to promote heart health by lowering your blood pressure, cooling the body and helps to reduce inflammation. Due to the minerals and antioxidant properties of the tea, it helps your body to self-regulate more efficiently and reduces cortisol (stress hormones) in the blood. Just know that not all flowers can be ingested, and many are grown for decorative purposes only. The mum element contains a natural insecticide so, in other words, kill insects without harming you or your precious four-legged animals. Supposedly NASA did a study that showed how potted mums were the best plants to clean your air indoors. On the medicinal side, the boiled roots have been seen to help with headaches, while other products with chrysanthemum have some claims to help lower blood sugar, heart pains and even some cancers of the prostate and stomach. Chrysanthemum tea is also loaded with Vitamin A, B, and C which aids in improved vision, healthy metabolism, better bone health and higher immune function respectively.
Chrysanthemum body symbol?
Like the chrysanthemum, your body relatively stays quiet and humble; never makes a peep until you start ignoring its signs and then it makes its presence known. When you take the time to pause and make it a point to become present with your body, ease and calmness follow. If you don’t take the time to appreciate all the hard work your body does to keep you going, it will ultimately show you the folly of your ways. Your body doesn’t need to promote heart health, but it does require your awareness and to sense when stress is starting to impact you. Admitting that you feel stress or are stressed doesn’t make you weak but instead confirms that you care. I learned several years ago that the only reason you stress is because you care. Think of it, if your loved one or child got COVID-19, you feel stressed because you care about them and don’t want them to suffer. If you don’t care about someone or something, you won’t feel stress. Your body has its own innate ability to heal and protect you from viruses and bacteria, but it does require you to nourish yourself with good food, positive thoughts, proper hydration, restful sleep and immune building supplements. The more that you make it a habit to listen to your body signals and take the necessary actions to stay balanced will only enhance your life like the decorative floral arrangements of chrysanthemums.
Chrysanthemum body connecting strategies
The first concept to adopt is to recognize that the mind is not all powerful, but when working in conjunction with the body you are way stronger. Permanence – you gain longevity or stay youthful longer when you listen and tune into your body. The first action step you can do is when you first wake up in the morning or just before you go to bed, spend two to three minutes quieting your mind and paying attention to any areas of your body that you feel tightness and areas that are comfy. Attempt to do this for a week and you will start to sense quicker when you feel tension building up and when your body feels more at ease.
Second concept to adopt is by taking moments to pause and breathe to stay present with your body and life, it will help you to feel revitalized and more focused. Reinvigoration – the power of breath is to bring more oxygen to your cells that accelerates healing and mentally/emotionally helps you to reset and stay in the moment. Exercise – when you find yourself feeling stuck or meh, place one hand on top of the other somewhere on your body and take seven deep breaths in. Focus on the depth and how your breath feels as you inhale and exhale.
Finally, the last concept is to honor your body and choose to do things that support you physically, but also mentally as well. Dignity – by choosing a higher standard for yourself not only keeps you physically stronger, but also mentally clear. Exercise – know your boundaries and what you are willing to do and not do for friends, family and loved ones. The clearer you are about what works for you ensures that you elevate your wellness and stay clear and connected.
In closing, as the chrysanthemum enchanted the imperial family of Japan centuries ago, allow yourself to embrace the permanence, reinvigoration and dignity of the chrysanthemum essence and apply it to your life. By choosing to connect with your body and listen, you embody the beauty and power of the chrysanthemum. You are worth it and it’s up to you to choose how you want to live and move through your life.
Dr. Chad Sato graduated from UCLA in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned the Doctor of Chiropractic degree with honors from Life Chiropractic College West in 1998. Sato founded his practice, Aloha Chiropractic (drchadsato.com), in Mänoa valley, O‘ahu, on Oct. 1, 1999. He is a sought-after educator, speaker, author and mind-body specialist who helps people reach new levels of empowerment when it comes to their health and wellness by staying present with their body signs, making appropriate life choices and utilizing stress instead of managing it.