What is the secret to longevity from ancient wisdom? How did people from the past maintain a long life?
1. Meridian Therapy
The meridians are a bodily network that controls the flow of blood and life force throughout the body to ensure the proper functioning of all its parts. According to Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon), they are the key to life and to good health. Ancient people believed that in order to maintain a smooth flow in the meridians, stimulating, giving a massage or performing acupuncture to the Hegu, Neiguan and Zusanli acupuncture points were the most important, as they were connected to the head, the heart and the organs respectively.
Ancient people believed that food and drink could nourish the body, correct the malfunctions of organs, prevent sickness and help maintain longevity. They advocated the idea of “crops to be the main food source, fruits to be supplementary, domestic animals and poultry to be nourishing, and vegetables to be supportive”. They also saw the importance of condiments to bring about balance.
3. Live in accord with the season
Ancient wisdom took time seriously. As the season changes, so do all living things. Thus, ancient people believed that man should eat and live according to the change of seasons. To work against nature would mean to work against one’s health.
All internal negative energy, such as moodiness, tiredness, overeating or external negative forces, such as excess or undersupply of natural elements like wind, sunshine… can be the cause of illness and they are treated as toxins inside the body. Elimination and nursing through diet and medicine can help maintain the internal balance.
Meditation is important in the studies of longevity. The mind dominates the body. When the mind is at peace, all parts of the body stay in tune and harmony, which is essential for good health. On the other hand, when the mind gets imbalanced by anger, being overjoyed, fear… the body loses its equilibrium and is prone to illness.
Cultivation not only keeps oneself peaceful, but also helps to diminish one’s bad thoughts or harmful words, and increases one’s enthusiasm to help others. When the mind is cleansed, the heart is filled with joy and openness; then, good health is not far away.