The majority of residents in Okinawa, Japan who are over the age of 100, have both a Zen garden and a vegetable garden. This hobby seems to be common practice in other places around the world among people who enjoy a long lifespan (Sardinia, Italy – for example). While this theory is mainly comparative, one cannot deny that it forces you to step out and get some fresh air and sunlight, as well as enjoy organic vegetables. Undoubtedly these factors contribute to longevity.
By training, I am a American Board Certified Pediatrician. But in my younger years I grew up with natural alternatives. As a mom I have tried to incorporate both for my kids and it has worked wonders. And finally, as I am studying natural & alternative medicines, I realize the beauty and wisdom of living closer to earth. Hence in my practice I integrate both...for acute ailments I follow American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation but for simple and/or chronic conditions I prefer natural alternatives.
In western training we were raised to think that "health is the absence of symptoms and problems". But eastern sensibilities has educated me that "Health is state that allows one to use the full capabilities of their body, mind and intellect. Therefore, healthy living is a balanced state of well being: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually." This implies that healing is not a "one-pill-fits-all", but a personalized experience.