Learning & Resource Center Articles
Secrets of Longevity: Environment, Ecology, and Community
By: Dr. Maoshing Ni
Where You Are: Environment, Ecology, and Community.
Are Your Clean Clothes Toxic?
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
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
The Energy Points of the Compass
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.
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
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
Flat is Good
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.
About the Author:
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
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."
Mao brings generations of experience, an abundance of knowledge about
both Eastern and Western Medicine, and his own good heart to his
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.