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The Chinese Traditional Idea of Health Preservation


General idea of Yangsheng


Yangsheng, in Chinese, literally means nourishing life. In Chinese medicine and religion, particularly Taoism, Yangsheng refers to the various self-cultivation practices aimed at personal health and longevity.


According to the Yangsheng theory, a person's life is sustained by three treasures or three principles. Jing is the essence of life. Qi is a complex concept referring to vital breath and energy. And shen is both spiritual and mental vitality. If these three treasures become out of balance, people’s health will decline. This is when people need physical exercises, meditation, medicines and a specific diet to integrate body and mind.



Principles of Yangsheng


1. The unity of human and nature

This principle emphasizes that human beings must observe the law of nature, follow the changes of the natural environment and climate, and take the initiative to adapt their own body to nature in order to increase their immunity.


2. The harmony and coordination

 It means the harmony of yin and yang, and the coordination of internal organs. And as yangsheng practice, Tai chi is often described as the principles of yin and yang apply to the human body.


3. The combination of activity and stillness

This is based on the idea that activity is good for body building and stillness benefits mental tranquility.


4. The unity of form and spirits

It emphasizes that one should pay attention not only to body building, but more importantly to spiritual and mental adjustment. And this is the way to achieve overall well-being.


Methods of Yangsheng


In the Chinese yangsheng, the secret to health and longevity is to implement small daily measures that are simple, pleasurable, and fit effortlessly into life.


1. Daily exercise.

We need to try to strike a balance between activity and stillness.



2. Recognize and adjust our moods.

Try to breathe a smile deep into the abdomen to release stress. Deep smiling breath is not only easy, but can lead one breath at a time into a simple meditation, which improves blood pressure and enables a positive mental outlook and reduces stress.


3. Improve the quality of sleep.

Do not stay up till late at night. That essentially means that when we are asleep, our body will repair itself. So a good night of sleep and a short nap at noon will keep the toxins out of our body.


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