Chinese Secrets of Health and Longevity

chinese secrets of health

China is a country associated with a lot of mysterious things, among which is its medicine working effectively for the whole nation for over 2000 years already. Compared to others, Chinese prefer preventing diseases than treating them. And they do this successfully by perceiving a human body as one entity.

Traditional long-livers of China were and remain Buddhist and Taoist monks. This is not surprising. They chose for the construction of their monasteries a valley with clean air and spring water, they were able to adapt their bodies to the changing seasons, tasted the modest food, and daily turned to meditation, gymnastics, and martial arts.

Some time ago, being 148 the famous Chinese long-liver, Gong Life, died. A peasant with a height of 140 centimeters and weighing just over thirty kilograms, he processed his rice field up to the age of 133. Gong worked eleven hours a day, ate twice a day, did not know the taste of tobacco, drank rice vodka and went to bed at half-past eight. The peasant Gong from Guizhou province is just one of a huge number of Chinese who have lived more than a hundred years, thanks to the observance of the oldest tradition of preserving vitality.

A figurine or picture depicting a bearded old man with a huge peach in his hands will be found in almost every Chinese house. This is Shou Shen, the God of health and longevity. The Chinese believe that under his patronage, following the wise covenants of many generations of ancestors, everyone can live for at least hundred years. The history of Chinese dynasties is full of legends about long-livers. The alchemist Gu Hun, who lived in the 3rd – 4th centuries AD, left after himself a treatise “The Story of the Immortals,” in which 94 long-livers of antiquity are described. Among them, there is the master of Qigong and Chinese cuisine Peng Zu, who allegedly lived for 767 years, the Taoist thinker of Lao-Dzi, who died three hundred years old, the famous physician Li Jang Zai, whose rumor ascribes almost eight centuries of life.

It is difficult to believe in these legends. But there are more serious, believable testimonies about the amazingly long life of the ancient Chinese. Blind musician Dow, who served under the imperial palace of Han, lived 180 years. He explained this by special gymnastics and the state of peace of mind that his own play on the lute brought him. The basic treatises of Chinese longevity are spelled out in the “Canons of Medicine of the Yellow Emperor Huang Di”. Started more than two thousand years ago, this work was supplemented for several subsequent centuries. The main secrets of longevity are described in 20 hieroglyphs and seem rather simple: “Train the body, do not overeat, do not worry over trifles, avoid excessive joy and extreme anger, be moderate in sex.”

Chinese are literally obsessed with the idea of the healthfulness of food. In the Canon of the Yellow Emperor, it is written that doubling the norm of eating and drinking will ruin the stomach and intestines. Another ancient treatise advises not to eat much and to drink seldom affirming: “The less food, the clearer mind, and the longer life is.”

“Keep calm joy in your soul, whether you are rich or poor. Only the one who is stupid does not smile. Fury hurts the liver, exuberant rapture hurts the heart, “the Yellow Emperor’s Canon says. According to the traditional Chinese medicine, a new life takes as its basis the mother’s nature and the father’s shield. Heredity along the line of the father determines the child’s innate vitality. However, many examples prove that by strengthening the body and spirit, a person is able to overcome the most unfavorable heredity.


  1. A. Gingrich “ Chinese secrets of health and longevity”, August 12, 2014.
  2. H. Beinfield, E.Korngold “Between Heaven and Earth: A guide to Chinese medicine”, June 30, 1992.
  3. S. Chmelik “Chinese herbal secrets: The key to total health,” March 1, 1999.


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