Why Good Health Is Like A Russian Nesting Doll


As a young girl growing up in Russia, I loved to play with the nesting dolls that are a big part of my culture. I marveled at the way the seven little figures fit together, each only slightly larger than the previous one. I still have a set of dolls and keep them on the shelf. The other day, I was thinking about wellness and the dolls caught my eye. At that moment, it hit me that the building blocks to good health fit together much the way the nesting dolls do.

Let me explain:

  • The smallest doll represents ourselves as we are born, arriving into this world with innate gifts as well as challenges.
  • The next doll represents the first building block of good health, our Physical Health. We need to eat right, get plenty of exercise, and maintain a healthy weight to avoid sickness and sustain vital energy.
  • The second block is our Emotional Health. When we express our feelings in a positive way, the world around us responds positively as well. Making our feelings known is an important part of being healthy.
  • The third block is our Mental Health. How we cope with the demands of daily life determines the state of our well-being. When we maintain balance between our activities and our psychological resilience, we can enjoy life and make valuable contributions to our communities
  • The fourth building block represents our Environmental Health. We need clean air, pure water, and safe food to be strong and healthy.
  • Relationships with our family, friends and co-workers are the fifth building block, our Social Health. When our relationships to one another are strong and happy, we can thrive.
  • And lastly, the sixth building block is our Spiritual Health. How we live according to our ethics, morals and values to maintain harmonious relationships to the world at large is very important to our wellness.

Within the nesting doll model, each of these components fits together so that the whole is supported. When one is missing or is out of place, the doll (and our good health) cannot maintain its wholeness. That is what I notice when patients come to me. One or more of those building blocks has been disrupted, ignored or is missing important elements. My role is to understand what is disturbed and help to restore the balance.

I always believed that playing with the nesting dolls as a child influenced my decision to become a mechanical engineer as an adult. I can see now, that they also influenced my decision to practice holistic healthcare. I love the way everything fits together. If the building blocks of your good health are not fitting together harmoniously, come see me. We can restore the balance together!

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The Healing Point Acupuncture Clinic
Xia Xin, L.Ac., CSMA


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