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Top 9 Chinese Medicine Tips for a Long Life

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

There is an ancient Chinese medicine axiom that says: 'One disease, long life; no disease, short life.' Doesn't this sound utterly bizarre? Why would going through the ordeal of a major illness or medical condition be desirable?

Maybe it has something to do with another old adage that advises us that 'to know thyself, is to heal thyself.' Ultimately it is far better to profoundly understand ourselves than to live in denial that our habits and lifestyle may be dangerous for our health.

Nothing forces us into reality as when we are confronting weakness due to failing health. Which brings us to another bit of ancient Chinese wisdom that states 'one hundred gold pieces can not buy a single breath.'

But how exactly do we get to enjoy a long life? While there are many answers to this question, the following list provides some insight and advice written about in the annals of classical Chinese medicine.

Comb Your Hair
Yes, it's that simple. Comb or brush from the roots to the end, spending at least 2 minutes doing it. If you don't have a mane with which to work, use your comb directly on the scalp. The idea is to stimulate more blood flow to the head, as it brings nutrients and acts as a waste disposal system for toxins. This helps with memory, improving the senses such as hearing and seeing, clears the mind, and alleviates facial pain.

Foot Rubs
Foot reflexology relies on the fact that all the organs and systems of the body are represented on the feet. Therefore, massaging your trotters is a great way to refresh your entire body. Spend time rubbing the areas between your toes and the soles of your feet, in addition to the ankles.

Send your arms high over your head, then reach for your toes. Twist your waist as you keep your feet and waist stationary. Wring out your hands. Basically, do any stretching that feels right. Remember that 'if blood does not circulate, the body will be afflicted with disease.'

Swallow Your Saliva Throughout the Day.
What, excuse me? It makes sense when you learn how Chinese medicine views this substance. It is considered a precious fluid that is anti-microbial, aids in digestion, protects the gums and teeth, and eases the contraction in blood vessels. Think of yourself as the maker of your own medicine.

Keep Your Feet Warm
No walking on cold floors in bare feet. Cold and dampness easily penetrate through the soles of our feet, so it's best to wear slippers or socks, or just keep your shoes on. This helps keep your whole body warm.

Keep Your Head and Neck Warm
When it's cold or windy outside, put on a hat and scarf. The head and neck are vulnerable to the harsh elements. Invasion into the body can ultimately cause colds and sniffles, or worse. If you sleep with the air conditioner on, try wearing an eye patch to keep the cold wind away from your eyes.

Minimize Cold Drinks and Foods
Skip the ice and minimize cold drinks and foods. The stomach likes warmth. Too many iced lattes and ice cream cake can cause a slowdown in digestive function. To facilitate your digestion, think warm meals or at least room temperature foods.

Always Eat Breakfast
The energy of the stomach and spleen is at its highest in the morning, making it an optimal time to enjoy a hearty meal. This will ensure your blood sugar levels remain stable, making it a great start to the day.
When things get stressful, take a minute to deeply inhale and then exhale. Rhythmic breathing is one thing you can control, and it just might help to soothe you.

For more acupuncture and Oriental medicine tips on healthy living Contact an Acupuncturist and schedule an appointment!

Source: Maciocia G. (2014). Spleen-Yin Deficiency. Giovanni Maciocia. Retrieved from


About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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