Saturday, 30 December 2017

WTY-7: Wang Yung-ching's Yangsheng Secret

30 Decenber 2017

Wang Yung-ching, also called YC Wang, the founder of one of the largest business empires in Taiwan and for many years the richest Taiwanese (the 178th richest person in the world according to the 2008 Forbes survey), lived a busy life as long as 92 years. Asked about his most important yangsheng secret around age 90, he said: hitting a wall with my back every day.   

Image result for wang yongqing taiwan

Friday, 29 December 2017

WTY-7: Yangsheng and Occupation

29 Dec 2017

Although there is no specific statistic report showing which occupations are most yangsheng-friendly, we can reasonably assume that Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors live a healthier, happier and longer life than most other groups of people.

Not only do they have more yangsheng knowledge (as partly required by their profession), but they also begin to practise yangsheng self-consciously at an earlier age than any other professional groups of people in the world. Naturally, like certain schools of Daoist priests, they are among the most accomplished yangsheng practitioners.

We are not all TMC doctors, nor do we have to choose this occupation to become accomplished yangsheng practitioners, but we can begin learning and practising yangsheng sooner than later. After all, don't we all hope to enjoy a healthy, happy and perhaps long life?

Thursday, 28 December 2017

YR-7: Three-Red Soup

28 Dec 2017

Some people may easily get cold hands and feet, and this feeling often gets worse in winter. While the reason has most to do with one's weakened qi and blood system, or heart condition, doctors can do little about it. However, you might try this food therapy called 'three-red soup':
1/ 250 grams of red beans;
2/ 10 (red) dried dates;
3/ 2 spoonfuls of red (brown) sugar;
Boil the first two ingredients together for a few minutes; then add the third and simmer the soup for another 10 minutes.
Eat the soup every day before breakfast for 10 days as a cycle. Repeat this cycle if necessary, and you will see how it works on you (the effect varies with different people).

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

YE&T-7: Belly Rubbing

27 December 2017

Rub your belly closewise first, and then counter clockwise 36 rounds each time; better to do so once before getting up, and a second time before sleep. For more and better effects, you can rub your belly by drawing increasingly larger and smaller circles around your navel with your palms. This simple exercise helps to maintain the health of your stomach and intestine systems, among other things.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

BHH-7: Eating No Breakfast

26 December 2017

For one reason or another, many people, especially the younger, seldom eat breakfast. This is a bad habit. Because the human body usually needs more energy in the morning than in any other periods of time during the day, no food intake after getting up undoubtedly makes the body work without enough energy in the whole morning. If this habit lasts long, the body inevitably will suffer a lot from malnutrition, poor health and even diseases.

Monday, 25 December 2017

GYH-7: Singing While Taking a Shower

25 December 2017

Some people like to hum, whistle or sing aloud while taking a shower. This is a good habit in terms of yangsheng because it helps not only to maintain the health of one's lung and heart systems, but also to keep one in good spirits. Indeed, just as we feel lighthearted when we make such pleasant sounds, so we cannot help singing aloud when we feel lighthearted during a shower.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

WTY-6: Yuan Liaofan and His Altered Destiny

23 December 2017

In practice, there have been numerous stories about how people have changed/improved their fate mainly through their self-reforms. The most famous example in Chinese history is Yuan Liaofan (1533-1606), who proved himself to be a great accomplished yangsheng practitioner by living a much healthier, happier and longer life than his fate had believedly predestined.

This is the story, as retold in Zhang Xinyue's Creating Abundance (Vancouver: Poetry Pacific Press, 2015, translated by Yuan Changming)::

Yuan Liaofan (1533 – 1606), originally named Biao, then renamed Huang, styled Qingyuan, also Kunyi, or Yifu, first known as Xuehai, then as Liaofan, was born to a medical doctor’s family during the Ming Dynasty. His father died when Liaofan was a small boy. Later he gave up his studies to become a doctor as his mother hoped. When he passed by Ciyun Temple once on his way to collecting medical herbs, he met an old but young-looking man called Mr. Kong, who encouraged him to pursue a scholar-official career. Inviting the old man to his house, Liaofan reported this encounter to his mother, who told him to treat Mr. Kong well and asked the old man to tell his fortune.
According to Mr. Kong, Yuan Lianfan was to be ranked 14th as a county candidate, 71st as a prefecture candidate, and 9th as a provincial candidate before he could achieve some fame. He would become a lin-student or one of the second-best xiucai in a certain year, a gong-student or the best xiucai in another and eat certain amount of rice in that capacity. After his release from formal Confucian restrictions, he would be appointed Magistrate of some county in the Province of Sichuan in a certain year. Three and half years later, he should resign and return home. He would die without a son at the age of 53.
Yuan Liaofan took notes of all these details and remembered them well. It turned out that everything happened exactly as Mr. Kong had predicted, except that the amounts of rice Liaofan Yuan ate during his lin-studentship was not right: Mr. Kong had foretold that he would not become a gong-student until he consumed 91 dan plus 5 dou of rice, but somehow he was recognized as such by the provincial minister of education when he had finished eating only 71 dan. In private, Yuan Liaofan began to nurture some doubts about Mr. Kong’s predictions. However, Yuan Liaofan’s gong-studentship was later revoked by an acting minister. It was not until the grand examiner Qiuming Yin read his paper and became deeply impressed that Yuan Liaofan was made a gong-student again as a result of Yin’s intervention through an official order to the magistrate. During this dramatic period, Yuan Liaofan ate more rice which, added to what he had already consumed, made the total sum exactly 91 dan plus 5 dou.
These occurrences made Yuan Liaofan realize that everyone’s personal advancements and setbacks were predetermined. It was also preordained whether one was to be fortunate sooner or later. Given all this, he began to make light of everything and henceforth became downhearted.
In 1569, Yuan Liaofan went to Mount Xixia to visit the Zen Master Yungu, where the two sat still face to face, meditating with a clear mind for three days without ever falling asleep. Surprised as he was, Master Yungu asked, ‘How have you managed to sit still without any distractions for as long as three days?’ In reply, Yuan Liaofan told the master everything about his experiences predicted by Mr. Kong.
‘In Taijia’s words,’ said Master Yungu, ‘man could go against God’s will, but he must perforce fall if he chooses to.’ As pointed out in the Book of Poetry, ‘Always remain studious in harmony with the ordinances of God, and you will attain much happiness.’ Mr. Kong predicted that you could never pass the imperial examination, nor would you have a son. This is your fate, or the so-called ‘God’s will,’ something you can actually try to change. If you maintain a high moral integrity, perform more good deeds, and accumulate as many hidden virtues as possible, how can you not get what you deserve?’
Greatly inspired, Yuan Liaofan decided to perform 3,000 good deeds; he kept a record and subtracted one from it for every bad thing he happened to do.
During the imperial examination held in 1570, Yuan Liaofan should come out third as predicted by Mr. Kong, but he actually won first place and began to have a different fate. In 1581, he begot a son; five years later, he obtained his doctorate, and was appointed Magistrate of Baodi County. In 1593, he was promoted to be a section chief of the Imperial Defense Department. He died when he was more than 70 years old.

Friday, 22 December 2017

WTY-6: Yangsheng and Destiny

22 December 2017

Many people believe in destiny or fate, if not in God. Since fate is by definition a 'necessary' development of events beyond human control, it is considered to be unchangeable by any one. Whether one can live a good life or achieve one's life goals thus depends more on fate than on effort. As for one's life span, it is something always preordained by the 'Sky', as most Chinese people believe.

However, that's not true. Even if there is a 'sky' or supernatural being controlling our fate, we can always do something about it. Theoretically, whatever is to happen to us results more or less from a combination of causes, which may have to do with our genes, character, psychological tendencies, behavioural patterns, past experiences, living circumstances, social backgrounds and etc. Such conditioning elements are never entirely out of our control, for we can at least reform our selfhoods.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

YR-6: Health Effects of Daikon Juice

21 Dec 2017

Many people suffer from discomfort when the climate is dry. They cannot help sneeze a lot and their noses may bleed. Here is a helpful recipe for dry nose, chronic rhintis cicca, which can also function to prevent from catching a cold or the flu.

1/ Use a blender to get juice from a peeled daikon (white radish/turnip);
2/ Use a cotton swab to apply the juice to the inside of nose

And you will immediately feel more comfortable.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

YE&T-6:Therapy for Winter Cough

20 Dec 2017

Some people just cannot stop coughing in wintertime. While doctors and medications are surely able to help in one way or another and to varying degrees, here is a more natural way to relieve the symptoms:

1. Cut ends off three long eggplants;
2. Put the eggplants ends into the fridge for about six hours;
3. Boil the eggplant ends in water for 5 to 10 minutes;
4. Drink the water daily, once in the morning, once before bedtime.

For many people, especially those with lung fever, this theropy proves very effective. At least, it costs little and has no harm.

Image result for Image result for 茄子把

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

BHH-6:No Mouth Rinsing after Meals

19 December 2017

Many people forget to, or do not, rinse their mouths after food intake. Apparently, this is a bad habit, since the act of eating always leaves something between our teeth, which might cause problems later. It would be even better to brush teeth after each meal; while circumstances may prevent us from doing so, we can at least do something to maintain our mouth hygiene by rinsing it.

Monday, 18 December 2017

GYH-6: Getting up Early

18 Dec 2017

Just as Benjamin Franklin has said: "Early to bed and early to risemakes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise". Indeed, it is advisable to get up between 5:00 and 7:00 am every day. According to classic Chinese medicine, our large intestine meridian begins to work actively during maoshi (from 5 to 7 o'clock in the morning). Accordingly, one should finish bowel movement within this time window. In addition, our body needs stretching as well as fresh air after 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

WTY-5: Prevention of Diseases or Poor Health

16 December 2017

There are specifically different reasons for our poor health or diseases, but in general, the following ten may prove to be common root causes in most cases:

1/ Getting angry easily;
2/ Often staying up late at night;
3/ Eating uncommon foods or simply too much;
4/ Doing little physical exercise;
5/ Taking everything too seriously all the time; 
6/ Feeling sad too long;
7/ Remaining depressed for a long time;
8/ Working too hard (or 'overdrafting' oneself) for long;
9/ Worrying too much constantly; and
10/ Living too lonely a life

Ostensibly, 1/, 5/, 6/ 7/ and 9/ are psychological and related directly to one's personality traits, whereas the others are mostly (social/behavioural) habits. 

According to yangsheng experts, we can live a life relatively free of diseases if we avoid the above 10 psychological or behavioural tendencies. 

Friday, 15 December 2017

WTY-5: Yangsheng and Religion

15 December 2017

Yangsheng and religion are closely interrelated. Succinctly, their relationship can be seen in two simple ways.

On the one hand, as a system of beliefs, religion may play a significantly helpful role in yangsheng. Whether they are self-conscious yangsheng practitioners or not, those with a strong religious faith can usually live a happier life than most non-religious people. The most important reason lies in the way strongly religious people are better prepared spiritually to deal with all kinds of hardships in life. With a solid faith, they may suffer less psychologically, to say the least.

On the other, both yangsheng and religion are a practice or, rather, lifestyle. Just as a particular religion determines the particular way its followers live, yangsheng guides its practitioners in terms of how they should live. Religious people have a whole set of living habits centering around a super-being, while yangsheng practitioners also have a whole set of living habits centering around their own life.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

YR-5:Three Slices of Ginger

14 Dec 2017

Every morning, it is advisable to eat three (roughly two mm-thick) slices of fresh ginger better before than while eating breakfast. 

Fresh ginger is one of the very best foods for all yangsheng practitioners, as it helps to maintain the health of, or even enhance, your digestive, blood and immune systems. However, avoid eating ginger after lunch.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

YE-5: Wall Hitting

13 Dec 2017

Stand straight against a wall (or a tree/pole), and use your back to hit it as hard as you feel comfortable for 108 times each time. Do this back-stimulating exercise once or twice every day. This is a self-massaging exercise that helps you not only to relax your back muscles but, more importantly, to keep your major meridians and energy channels fit and functioning well.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

BHH-5: Too Much Sitting

12 Dec 2017

No less harmful than smoking, staying up late, picky eating, and getting angry easily is sitting too much or for too long every day. From the traditional point of view of yuangsheng, this habit is really very detrimental to our health because it may not only cause many spine/vertebra-related problems, such as neck pain, dizziness, back pain and leg pain, but also weaken our internal organs, resulting eventually in many diseases, prostate problems and heart conditions in particular.

Sitting too much and/or for too long every day is probably the commonest and most persistent bad habit that everyone of us have. Fortunately, more and more people are beginning to realise the need to get the habit under control, and the practice of standing to work or entertain is certainly a healthy new trend in some professions or among some groups of people.

A yangsheng practitioner should try to reduce sitting time to the minimum. Even when sitting is a must-thing to do, we should sit properly and do some stretching every 30-60 minutes.

Monday, 11 December 2017

GYH-5: Taking a Foot Bath Daily

11 Dec 2017

'People begin getting old from their feet.' This is a well known health proverb among Chinese yangsheng practitioners, which pinpoints feet as the very foundation of old-age health.

Important as it is, foot health deserves special attention once we turn fifty in general. To take good care of our feet, we'd better take a foot bath (or spa) for 15 to 20 minutes before bedtime every day. By doing so, we can at least have a better sleep as well as better-functioning legs.

For more and better health effects, it is even more recommendable to use herbal medicine soup instead of water, if not too inconvenient.

Yes, taking a foot bath daily is a good yangsheng habit although it may not be so to some people, like those with diabetes or thrombus problems. As our feet have many an acupoint,  such a bath can help us not only maintain our foot health itself but also improve our physical wellness as a whole.

However, please be warned that those with diabetes and high blood-pressure should avoid foot bathing, as it may produce an undesirable effect.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

WTY-4: Forever Young in Heart

9 December 2017

Li Shufan, born in 1926, married a Chinese man and moved to Wuhan in 1950. Ever since then, she has been living in the city as the only person of Russian origin. At age of 92, she was invited to participate in the CCTV New Year's Gala, where her singing and dancing shocked the whole nation. Asked how she had been practising yangsheng to live such a long and happy life, she replied: Always remain young at heart and be self-confident!

Li Shufan singing at CCTV New Year's Gala

Friday, 8 December 2017

FTY-4: Yangsheng and Lifestyle

8 Dec 2017

According to Zhong Nanshan, a leading yangsheng expert in China today, our health and life span depend 15% on our genes, 10% on our social environment, 7% on our physical environment, 8% on our medical resources, and 60% on our lifestyle. That is to say, how healthy we are and how long we can live are determined most significantly by our own chosen lifestyle.

What is our lifestyle then? 'The way a person lives', as it is defined, is in essence nothing but an individualised set of habits, which we have develop since our birth. This set may vary with different people in numbers, but basically, it can be divided into two large categories, one concerning our behaviours, the other our inner activities.

To live a healthy and attain longevity is primarily to develop a whole set of good habits conducive, to yangsheng is to follow a good lifestyle.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

YR-4: Six Best Foods for Blood System

7 Dec 2017

The following are the six best kinds of foods, which are particularly helpful to clean blood or maintain blood health, and prevent formation of thrombus, vascular blockage, and heart diseases::
1. Corn;
2. Onion;
3. Oatsmeal;
4. Black fungus;
5. Green tea;
6. Peanuts
Eat any of the above mentioned three times a week at least, and your blood will remain as young as you would love to be.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

YE-4: Tooth Knocking

6 Dec 2017

As we are getting old, some of our teeth may gradually become loose until they are eventually lost. Important as they are, we should make every effort to maintain the health of our tooth.

Among many possible ways to prevent our teeth from getting loose or lost, these two kinds of tooth exercises are probably easier and even more effective than your dentists might have to recommend:
1/ Twice every day knocking your lower teeth against your upper ones (or the other way around) for at least 100 times;
2/ Keeping your teeth bitten hard whenever you urinate or make a bowel movement.

In the long run, these tooth exercises will contribute a great deal to your tooth health.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

BHH-4: Getting Angry Easily

5 Dec 2017

Of all the bad living habits we have developed over time, getting angry easily is probably the very worst, and also the most difficult one for us to give it up. No matter how it may have become part of our nature or personality, this psychological tendency is definitely as harmful to our health as any other bad habit in the long run. While traditional Chinese medicine has kept warning us that anger can have a particularly damaging effect on our liver, recent scientific studies show that fury actually produces a toxic element within our body, which can be poisonous enough to kill a lab rat.

In addition to its negative impact on our physical wellbeing, anger can also lead us to say or do something stupid, wrong or destructive. Since wrath can serve no good purpose at all in our lives, we should learn to get this negative feeling under control in every conceivable way.

To many Chinese yangsheng practitioners, anger control has been a major part of spiritual cultivation since ancient times.

Monday, 4 December 2017

GYH-4: Eating Less Than 'Enough'

4 Dec 2017

One of the very best habits to develop for the sake of yangsheng is to eat your fill only by around 70%. Eating too much is always worse than eating enough, while eating enough is in most cases worse than eating less than enough.

In other words, it is a particularly good habit to practise quantity control of food intake.

As it usually takes at least 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our 'brain' whether we have had enough food intake, eating enough actually means eating too much already before we stop eating at a meal. If what we eat is 'junk food' or non nutrition-balanced food, eating too much will be doubly detrimental to our health.

Eating your fill only by around 70 % will prevent your digestive system from over-working. Also, this good eating habit can help avoid many potential health problems.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

WTY-3: Fears - a Yangsheng Poem

2 December 2017

        by yuan changming

Before rising with his long and thick pigtail  
Nurgaci openly proclaimed his seven bitter hatreds
Against Ming China, which eventually made him
The father of the Qing Empire... I do not have
Such prestigious hatreds, except for only a few
Hidden fears or, rather, non-fears: yes, I fear

I don’t fear not being rich, not being
Famous, not being powerful
Not being physically attractive, not
Being gifted or talented, not being
Normally healthy and, in particular
Not even being as poetic as I would
Otherwise have wanted. Although absolutely
Private, aren’t my fears sweeter than bitter?

Friday, 1 December 2017

FTY-3: Four Fundamental Principles for Yangsheng

1 Dec 2017

1/ It is essential to develop a positive mentality. Sometimes referred to as positive attitude, optimistic mindset or (sound) mindfulness, a positive mentality enables us to live a rich and healthy emotional, intellectual and spiritual life. You may be introvert or extrovert, poor or rich, young or old, but you can always make conscious effort to become positive-minded. 

2/ It is important to live in harmony with nature. In practice, this means to follow the way of nature or imitate nature (道法自然), as Lao Zi taught us in his Tao Te Ching. For example, acupuncture, physical exercise and organic/food therapies are more natural than surgery industrial/chemical compounds when it comes to deal with health problems. 

3/ It is always advisable to maintain various living balances than otherwise. Such balance can and should be maintained at different levels and in various aspects of life, as between work and play, between activity and stasis, between yin and yang, between control and indulgence. Any overly emphasis on one would break the natural equilibrium with the other. 

4/ It is always better to prevent than cure. This principle seemed to become increasingly popular in the world only in recent decades, but has been emphasized and practised especially by Daoist practitioners and traditional Chinese doctors for more than two thousand years.

Needless to say, one can write a pamphlet or even a thick book on each of these principles, but theories are always less interesting, so we post them here briefly just for casual discussion or future elaboration.