A Thousand Years of Medical Wisdom
 Dr. Helen H. Hu, Medical Degree, OMD, L.Ac

Dr. Helen H.Hu, Medical Degree, OMD, L.Ac

Basic Concepts of Longevity and Yang Sheng (Nourishing Life)

Aging is a natural and so far irreversible process for all living organisms. The Chinese

say; “if there is a sun rise, there must be a sun set”. This is the law of nature.

To discover an elixir, potion or a magic pill for longevity with eternal youth has been

a much sought after goal in almost every culture on the earth throughout human

history. While people live longer and stay healthier as we fight aging with modern

procedures and tons of health and beauty products, nature wins in the end.

We all get old despite scientific advances, surgeries, pills, or gene altering techniques.

Commercial scientists, Pharmaceutical deceptions and Marketing are a repeat in history.

Claims to find some “magic” supplement, pill, surgery or gene altering process

that will extend life. It is unrealistic to believe there is one solution, one magic elixir

to prevent aging.

Every living organism on earth has a genetic life span. The maximum human life span

is currently said to be 125 -130 years. Traditional Chinese Medicine calls the life span

“Tian Nian”, the Heaven Age. Most of us will not reach Tian Nian , the maximum

life span due to the many other contributing factors throughout one’s life.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teaches that a more realistic approach is that

an anti-aging process should focus on the detection, prevention and treatment of aging

related diseases. This in turn will not only promote a sense of well being but will

naturally retard the human aging process. Spirituality with strong faith and inner

peace play an important role in longevity and well being.

In a Chinese word: Yang Sheng (Nourishing life).

What is Yang Sheng?

Yang Sheng is a lifelong activity of integrated varieties of practices both physical and

nonphysical into one’s life style in order to sustain the optimum of health, the maximum

of a life span (longevity), and physical and emotional well being without diseases of any

kind. In short: nourishing life.

The practice of Yang Sheng has been developed, guided and integrated with Traditional

Chinese Medicine, Martial Arts, Qi practice, spiritual practices and a positive view of life

and the universe such as Daoism, Buddha and other life philosophies.

The principle of the whole system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) itself gives

the birth of Yang Sheng in a broad definition. TCM teaches how to practice a healthy

diet that follows the law of changing of the natural five elements to chose the right kinds

of diet, activities and natural therapies best suited for a person’s constitution, health

condition, stage of life and seasonal changes (refer to the book Body Without Mystique) in

order to have maximum nourishing life.

Another part of Yang Sheng is it’s universal spirituality and Qi (energy) exercises, especially

under Daoism, Buddhism and other kinds of spiritual practices, such as how one

chooses to live in harmony with the environment, dutifully resume social responsibilities,

with the view of life and the world in a positive attitude and truly reach a status of inner

peace, happiness and satisfaction along with physical wellbeing and longevity.

However, in reality, Yang Sheng is defined as a narrative meaning and practices in our

society that is to promote health and well being through non drug related supplements,

healthy diets, exercises and stress reduction by any measures.