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Secrets of Longevity: Environment, Ecology, and Community

By: Dr. Maoshing Ni

Where You Are: Environment, Ecology, and Community.

Are Your Clean Clothes Toxic?
Traditional dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent, perchloroethylene, to remove stains.  Unfortunately, its chemical residue is toxic to humans.  People often experience headaches, sinus congestion, shortness of breath, and dizziness from dry-cleaned clothing.  Perchloroethylene also causes cancer in animals.  To minimize your exposure, air out dry-cleaned items for at least twenty-four hours before placing them in a closet or drawer.  To be safest of all, seek out dry cleaners that use organic, nonchemical cleaning methods.

Grow Fresh Air Indoors
Our homes should be our havens, places that nurture our health and soothe our spirits.  These days, however, the synthetic materials found in buildings, furnishings, and electronic devices emit volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) into our home environments.  These toxic gasses include formaldehyde from plastic bags, benzene from wall coverings, and xylene from computer screens.  Such indoor air pollutants aggravate allergies and fatigue; in severe cases they can lead to cancer and birth defects.  Mother Nature to the rescue: plants are our best air purifiers.  They produce oxygen and eliminate VOCs at the same time.  Most effective are indoor palms, English ivy, ficuses, peace lilies, and chrysanthemums.  So fill your home with houseplants and bring fresh air indoors!

The Energy Points  of the Compass
The principle of feng shui is based on the ancient Taoist concept of energetic polarity.  The terms yin and yang describe the opposite yet complementary energy states in the universe.  A balance between the two polarities can help you stay in beneficial energy alignment and lead a healthy life.  Yin embodies negative electrical charge and contractive energy, while yang is characterized by positive electrical charge and expansive energy states.  The two yin directions are north (the negative pole) and west, the sunset direction.  Yang is associated with south (the positive pole) and east, where the sun rises.

Activities in our lives can also be categorized as yin or yang.  Sleeping, relaxation, reading, and bathing are yin activities, while exercise, cooking, engaging in hobbies, and studying are yang.  Therefore, your bedroom and bathroom are more appropriately located in the northern and western parts of your home, and your office, kitchen, living room and dining room should be in the southern and eastern locations

Too Close a Shave
Nowadays we™re all aware that some products contain toxic ingredients, and we™re careful if we have to use them.  For example, the carcinogenic chemicals called phenols found in laundry soap and household cleansers may not be an extreme threat"little or none remains on the clean clothing, and we use gloves when handling cleansers.  But when these chemicals are included in toothpaste and shaving cream, it™s a different story.  Both of these items are used near the mouth, so there™s a higher risk of accidentally swallowing some.  Phenol exposure via skin contact or fumes is always somewhat toxic, but ingesting phenols in even small amounts can cause respiratory failure and death.  Your best bet is a good toothpaste from your health food store and a shaving cream made with natural almond or coconut oil.  And while you™re there, why not pick up some phenol-free kitchen cleanser and laundry soap?

Flat is Good
The workplace can be a source of hidden dangers"even when the workplace is your home.  If you use a computer in your home, you are exposed to electromagnetic radiation emanating from the cathode ray tube (CRT) of the monitor.  CRTs operate at extremely high voltage (and thus high radiation levels), the larger ones using 35,000 volts or more.  If you replace your CRT monitor with a flat screen type, you™ll eliminate the risk completely.  Flat screen monitors use a completely different technology; not only do they operate at much lower voltages (usually in the hundreds), they do not produce electromagnetic radiation at all.  Oh yes, and as a side benefit, expect your utility bill to drop.  You™ll be using a lot less electricity to power your flat screen.

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About the Author:

Dr. Mao (as he is known by his patients and students) is a 38th generation doctor of Chinese medicine and an authority in the field of Taoist anti-aging medicine.  After receiving two doctorate degrees and completing his Ph.D. dissertation on Nutrition, Dr. Mao did his postgraduate work at Shanghai Medical University™s affiliated hospitals and began his 20-year study of centarians of China.  Dr. Mao returned to Los Angeles in 1985 and has since focused on Taoist anti-aging therapeutics at his Tao of Wellness Center.

Praise for Dr. Mao

Undergoing treatments with Dr. Mao at the Tao of Wellness and following his nutritional advice has led to a marked change in my physical vitality and my general state of well-being.
"Jim Carrey

Dr. Mao brings generations of experience, an abundance of knowledge about both Eastern and Western Medicine, and his own good heart to his remarkable work.
"Helen Hunt

Looking and feeling young for decades is not just the province of the wealthy and surgically enhanced. Living to be 100 is simpler than most people imagine.   In Secrets of Longevity, Dr. Maoshing Ni shares the secrets gleaned from 38-generations of medical knowledge in his family, and a 20-year study of centenarians in China.  A longer, healthier and happier life is not a result of a complicated supplement regimen, arcane dietary restrictions or any particular exercise, rather it is a combination of simple approaches to all areas of life.  Dr Mao (as he is known by his patients) shares the main areas in which small changes can have a big impact on longevity and general health. 


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About Aging

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Q: Can acupuncture help with hyperhidrosis?

A: Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will rarely treat the symptom of sweating directly. Usually your practitioner will try to find out w... Read More