Natural Health and Healing Therapy

TCM Yin And Yang Principles In Preserving Life

Follow The TCM Yin And Yang Principles To Enjoy Good Health And A Long Life

Following the principles of yin and yang" means adapting oneself to environmental, especially climatic
changes. Ancient scholars on the art of healthy living stressed preservation of life by adapting oneself to the
changes of the four seasons. Their writings advanced the belief that if one adjusts oneself properly to climatic changes, one can enjoy good health and a long life. Adaptation to external changes will result in diseases and a short life. A description is given below about how to preserve life in spring, summer, autumn and winter as recommended by ancient centenarians.



Caring For Life In Spring

With the rise of the spring sun, trees and grass are sprouting. in the second lunar month (from March to April) the weather turns warmer, but is still chilly. Weather changes in early spring easily bring relapses of former ailments in elderly people. As weather is sometimes warm and other times cold, it is inadvisable for old people to suddenly dispense with their cotton-padded clothes. They should remove their garment layers one by one. As they are weak and susceptible to the combined exopathogenic attack of wind and cold, they ought to have fine woolen knitwear or jackets with lining on hand at all times and put them on when the weather turns cool and take them off when it gets warm.

In spring days of warm sunshine and gentle breezes old people must not sit drowsily at home all day long
because this easily leads to depression. Out in the country, flowers vie with one another in a riot of colors
and young willow branches are sprouting and turning green. Old folks should go out on spring excursions to
scenic spots and gardens, walk leisurely along a dyke or boat on a lake, sing or dance, listen to birds in the
woods; this will make them feel delightful and brim with vitality.


Caring For Life In Summer

In summer the sun is scorching and the heat stifling. Old people weak in physique and vital energy will find it difficult to take  good care of themselves. They should get up at early dawn when the air is refreshing, practice deep breathing exercises to exhale stale air and inhale fresh air, do traditional Chinese boxing and daoyin exercises.

On the hottest days old folks should not enjoy the cool under eaves, in corridors, at entrances to alleys, or
at windows where wind blows strong. Although these places are cool, the drafts there are severely pathogenic. It suits an old person to rest in an empty hall, a quiet, clean room or a cleat, spacious spot such as a waterside pavilion or shady woods where he will naturally remain cool. Moreover, he should regulate his breathing and keep his heart at peace so as to feel at all times as if ice and snow were refreshing his heart. He should not become irritated by the heat, for that only makes the heat more unbearable for him. people describe this as "a marvelous way to avoid summer heat. one does not need woods or a stream. Just rest calmly without any perplexing thoughts and one will arrive at refreshing mountains." In other words,

'When one's heart is at peace, one will naturally feel cool."

Elderly people suffer from insufficiency of the yang of the spleen and stomach so they had better not eat ice
or take cold drinks in summer months. They should also avoid eating anything raw, cold or greasy. otherwise
they may vomit and suffer from diarrhea and this will impair their vitality and vigor and aggravate their weakness and fatigue. They may take green bean soup and dark plum drink to quench their thirst and refresh
themselves in the heat.

It is inadvisable for old people to sleep under stars and moonlight in the open air. When sleeping, an old
person should not stay in the breeze and should not as somebody to fan him. Otherwise, wind will penetrate
his body through pores and cause numbness of hands and feet. He should also, to prevent sunstroke, avoid
working or walking in the scorching sun.


Caring For Life In Autumn

The weather turns cool in autumn, with sharp temperature differences between day and night. Ill-adapted to such weather. changes, an old person could easily have a relapse of former ailments and contract new diseases. He should be ready at all times to add or take off clothes, and should do massage and daoyin exercises to limber up his tendons and joints and build his physique to guard against

At the Double Ninth Festival (the ninth day of the ninth lunar month) when the sky is clear and the air
crisp and refreshing, an old person may stroll outside the city, climb hills to enjoy the surrounding scenery,
compose poems by the waterside, take a short rest in the maple woods, gather chrysanthemums under the eastern hedge, or sing to the accompaniment of music. He should not be depressed by the sight of leaves falling in autumn wind, but should find inspiration in the famous line by the Tang poet Du Mu: "Frosty maples are redder than spring flowers."

In the droughty autumn air old people's blood and body fluids become dry and they often suffer from constipation. It suits them to eat sesame seeds, honey and similar food to nourish blood and body fluid and
lubricate the intestines. They must avoid glutinous, hard, raw or cold foods to prevent autumn dysentery.


Caring For Life In Winter

Winter weather is cold in its world of ice and snow. It is advisable for the elderly to go to bed early and not get up until sunrise, thus avoiding cold by resting until the day warms up. An old person should gradually add clothes, and put on cotton-padded clothing only when the weather has become severely cold. It is inexpedient to wrap oneself in heavy woolen sweaters and cotton-padded garments when the weather is just beginning to turn cold. otherwise, the body cannot stand up to weather changes when it becomes colder. The elderly should not sit at the fireside all day long, and if the bedroom is heated with a stove, special attention must be given to ventilation to guard against gas poisoning.

An old person must not sit quietly indoors in winter months. It is better to practice shadow boxing and
fencing, exhale stale air and inhale fresh air, do daoyin exercises to limber up joints in the sunshine, tend trees and flowers or appreciate the snow and plum blossoms.  These outdoor activities make a person warm and comfortable all over his body, generating feelings of spring and vitality despite the years. If one feels like dead ashes and curls up on bed or sits drearily, it will be more difficult to resist the cold.

In winter, it suits the elderly to eat warm, soft, well-cooked food, but not any tonic herbal or animal-based medicine hot in nature because in winter old people have internal heat, though they may be cold externally. Tonic medicines hot in nature will boost internal heat and cause inflammation. An old person can only take appropriate tonics warm in nature-and drink a small glass of medicinal wine mornings and evenings to promote blood circulation and help resist cold.



Follow The Principles Of Ying And Yang In Preserving Life

The above-mentioned ways of preserving life in the four seasons are all practices of ancient people to adapt
themselves to climate changes: the warmth of spring, the heat of summer, the chill of autumn and the cold of winter. Besides food, clothing, shelter and transportation, the Chinese put special emphasis on "nurturing the mind." One will naturally remain fit if one is always lighthearted, optimistic and willing to improve.

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