3 March 2007: How to Keep One’s Good Health in the Form of Traditional Chinese Medicine


As the Chinese saying goes: “In human history, man seldom lives beyond the age of 70.”


Is this true?


Recent studies have reported that humans are more than capable of surviving well over the age of 70. Reports have shown both women and men living as long as 100-150 years! Then, where have all these lost years gone? We have now invited registered Chinese medicine practitioner Ms. Louisa Wong to talk about Chinese Medicine and Longevity. Ms. Wong will introduce ways to recover all those lost years and alternatives to living a long healthy life.


Main Body:

One of the golden sayings for beginning Chinese herbalist is: Life lives on motion. This simply means that a strong physique is built on regular exercise, movement. Ms. Wong elaborates further by saying that, “Physical exercises relate to the circulation of breaths, and body movement spurs vigor and vitality. For instance, metabolism is motored by breaths: in and out, out and in, and so life grows on. Physical movements, allow us to make our breaths circulate non-stop.”


Physical Exercises Relax Our Internal Organs

For busy city residents, finding time to do exercises is easier said than done. In this respect, Ms. Wong shared the prolonged living experience of another famous National Chinese Medicine Practitioner named Deng Tietao. Wong said: “Everyday, Deng practiced ‘baduanjin kungfu in the morning and switched to‘Tai ji’ boxing at dusk. After a busy day, Deng would have his internal organs relaxed through a rejuvenating set of ‘tai ji’boxing. But in Hong Kong, air pollution is always a problem, but has the choice of living in less congested districts, i.e. New Territories, where fresh air is abundant. Then one may practice ‘tai ji’ boxing in the evening, to rewind oneself, but only after having consulting a ‘tai ji’ boxing master first.


At one time, old Deng had the habit of jogging for 40-45 minutes doing ten laps near his home before dinner time. Huang further pointed out that exercising of the limbs impacts the spleen and stomach. (According to Chinese herbalists, the function of the spleen is more than just a spleen but includes the absorption and digestive systems.) To jog a little before eating does in fact activate the digestive power and enhances one’s appetite, provided that one is not overdoing it. However, since cancer patients are generally weaker, excessive exercising may become hazardous to their health. Therefore, it is necessary to take any exercise routine slow. Begin with a 20 minutes jog and gradually increase as the weeks/months progress.”


To Maintain Mental Openness and Tranquility

Another golden saying is: Life lives on motionlessness. This means that a person should let his or her spirit rest in peace at certain times. It appears that this is somewhat in contradiction with the above saying (Life lives on Motion) but, in fact, they are mutually complementing. Wong supplemented by saying that:


In ancient times, the Taoist priests, while doing their sitting up to cross over to the state of tranquility, would refrain from food. This is also one way to cultivate prolonged life. Man is like a candle; to engage in excessive activities are tantamount to burning a candle at both ends. Life would not last long as expected.


As a consequence, man needs physical exercises to keep their blood and breathe in good circulation. But at suitable times, man must preserve mental calmness in order to recover normal breaths and mentality, ideally striking a balance between the two that is between agility and tranquility.


However, the mood of breast cancer victims often fluctuates with the rise and fall of the cancerous condition. Hence, it is suggested that such victims should tackle the problem with a light heart with the flanking support from their families through cultivating their peace of mind. Citing Mainland’s prolonged life expert Hung Chiu Kwong as an example, Huang advised that man should not be too rigid or stubborn and should take things easily with an open mind. Hung was a Westernized medical practitioner but he preached ‘preserving prolonged life’ with a touch of Chinese herbal prescriptions such as [one slice of kind heartedness, two ‘fan’ of intestines, three ‘fan’ of upright breaths, four ‘chins’ of forgiveness, unlimited filial affection, suitable amount of honesty, free offering most welcomed, and reciprocation never solicited. In a nutshell, a human soul does not ask or expect too much but balance!


The Way to Live a Life: Clothing, Food, Living, and Labor and Resting


  1. A shawl: When you are unavoidably sitting under the cold winds of an air conditioned room, a piece of shawl would keep your body warmth and prevent you from catching cold.
  2. A pair of socks: Chinese herbalists are particular about keeping the foot arch warm to keep off the chilled air.
  3. Hot water bag: Placed on a rest chair to keep your back warm.



  1. No cold drinks: Stay away from cold drinks – this will do your digestive system good.
  2. Polished within unpolished: Cook white rice with red rice for meals. Red rice reduces cholesterol levels, high fiber and facilitates the digestion of harmful toxins: namely urination, stool, and perspiration.
  3. Soup before meals: This reduces the stomach space for holding food and defuses the desire for excessive food.
  4. Do not clear the dinner table: Leave the vegetable left overs alone.
  5. Eat more often, i.e. “five colors of food”- red, yellow, green, white and black: Eat a suitable quantity of food in each of the aforesaid color categories.
    • Red: such as qizi and tomatoes
    • Yellow (including orange): such as pumpkin and carrot
    • Green: such as dark-colored vegetables like broccoli, spinach and green tea
    • White: such as soybeans, tofu, almonds and matched
    • Black: such as black sesame and black fungus and Get this – eat a full breakfast, a good lunch and a light supper.


Daily Living

  1. Wash face with cold water: To contract pores and compact skin.
  2. Rinse mouth with warm water: This gives oral comfort. What is most important is that your teeth protect your kidneys by breaking down food.
  3. Hot water bath: To bathe your feet in hot water helps you sleep.
  4. Steady winds are preferred to full-blown gusts.
  5. Two-way air-conditioning to keep indoor temperature at a constant level.
  6. Wake up but allow yourself to lye in bed for half a minute. Meditate peacefully to reminiscence over happier moments.
  7. Sit in bed for half a minute: sit up and think of something you are thankful for.
  8. Bedside sitting decently half a minute: this gives your livelihood a refreshing boost for the day.


Labor and Rest

Three Types of human physical weariness:

  1. Body fatigue: Excessive exercises are tantamount to labor and weariness. Do not exhaust your physical strength to the maximum limit.
  2. Brainstorming: Use your brain only if you know when to stop.
  3. Labor between bed sheets: Chinese herbalists see excessive sex as a form of physical breakdown.
  4. Advocating early afternoon nap: Take a nap say immediately after noon until 2 pm. The length of the nap may vary with individuals. In this way, one is revitalized for more work.
  5. Dynamism: Do quick steps, tai chi gong, yoga, paddling/ swimming.



Speaker’s Profile: 
Louisa Wong, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner; Student of General Degree Courses of School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong University; Master Research Student of the University of Hong Kong School of Chinese Medicine; and Disciple Student of veteran National Chinese Medicine Practitioners.