It is an old saying in China that “Old age is inevitable, but there is no excuse for senility”. As we have already seen, illness is absolutely unnecessary, and is caused by bad eating and drinking habits. In China, where the normal diet is much healthier than in the West, many of the illnesses most prevalent in the West are scarcely known.
Ch’ang Ming (長命 Pinyin: Chángmìng), the Taoist Long Life therapy has played an important part in Chinese eating and drinking habits for thousands of years. Derived from the basic principles laid down by the “Sons of Reflected Light”, which are incorporated in the foundations of the “Five elements” in reference to the Yin and Yang aspects affecting the human body, it has been handed down from family to family throughout the vast expanse of China, and has become a natural part of the average family way of living, so that it is now second nature to them.
Most people never think of their health while it remains reasonably sound, but they may be so abusing it in so many different ways that sooner or later the system is bound to break down and succumb to illness. The vitality of youth may conceal physical weaknesses, and if a child does complain continuously about various aches and pains and other upsets it is usually put down to “growing pains”. As age takes its normal course through life, then degeneration and the natural deterioration that goes with it starts to take place, and it is then that the real weaknesses within the framework of their physical structure starts to become more and more noticeable. The body, not having the necessary strength to fight back, will slowly wilt under the strain and become racked with illnesses. If you allow the foundations, the walls, and the roof of your house to deteriorate, then eventually it will collapse and you will have nothing left but a pile of useless rubble.
That is exactly what many people in the West do to their own bodies, and then they wonder what has gone wrong, and put the blame everywhere but on themselves, which is where it belongs. We will give you a good guideline to good health—if you catch one cold or lose your temper once in your lifetime, then you are sick, and you must do something about it AT ONCE.
There is no excuse for undermining the health of the human body, the most wondrous creation of the Supreme Spirit. Perfect in every detail, with working parts that replace themselves constantly, built-in thermostats to guard against the cold and changes in the atmosphere, an automatic cooling system that refreshes you in the extreme heat, and essential organs that work for twenty-four hours every day and never go on strike, unless you overload them, and they all do their own particular jobs to the very best of their ability without thanks or recompense.
No engineer could ever design a machine that could do the same job over and over again throughout such a long period of time, no heating expert has ever devised such a marvellous automatic system, and look at the wonderful way everything within this physical structure, called the human body, can not only look after itself, arrange its own maintenance, but also renew its own parts.
It has within itself a huge work-force, which it feeds, houses, and, if they die, replaces them at very short notice. It has the most efficient power and sewerage systems ever designed. This wonder of wonders, this miracle of miracles, this treasure beyond all treasures, and yet, many constantly abuse it every day. Sending the workers on strike, killing off the army of protectors, severely overloading the power and sewerage systems, and packing out the warehouses with useless rubbish, so that there is no space left for the essentials.
If you owned the greatest treasure in the world, what would you do? You would make sure that it was fully protected in every possible way, you would see that it was kept at the right temperature, regularly cleaned every day so that its beauty could be admired by everyone, and you would be proud to put it on show for the whole world to see.
Well, you do own the greatest treasure in the world; it was given to you by the will of the Tao, and you gained possession of it in your mother’s uterus, so why not be sensible and learn to guard and protect it properly every day of your life, wrap it up well in the cold and help to keep the warmth in, just as you lag your water tanks, and give it air when it’s hot, just as you open the windows of your home to let the air circulate. Then you will be able to tell the world what a wonderful treasure you own, and show it off with pride.
Ch’ang Ming is based on very sound biological principles, proved and tested over 10,000 years of history. The early Taoists, recognising that “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, used their own bodies to test it over many centuries, sometimes eating only brown rice, sometimes only meat, at other times only fruit, during other periods only seafood, and so on. No other art has been so thoroughly proved, and no medical organisation has practised their knowledge and skill over such a long period. So that today millions enjoy the benefits of Ch’ang Ming, which is based on just a few simple rules:
- Eat only when hungry, and not just out of habit.
- Eat only natural foods.
- Eat more grains and vegetables.
- Chew all your food really well.
- Don’t over-eat at any time.
- Keep your liquid intake down to the barest minimum.
- Take deep breaths whenever you get the opportunity.
Because Ch’ang Ming was based on such simple rules it became necessary to know the fundamental biological foundations of all food that was grown, plant, flower, fruit, root, and all other living matter, and to understand what long term effect each one had upon the human body. So it came to be that after 10,000 years of study and practice, practitioners of this art in China had a very deep insight and understanding of the laws and principles of the universe, and they were all very competent dieticians and herbalists, based on the Taoist experimentations on themselves in their search for physical and spiritual alchemy.
Naturally, Chinese herbal therapy (Ts’ao Yao) is an intimate companion of Ch’ang Ming, and together they have led to some wonderful discoveries, not only in the field of plant life, but also in the area of minerals, ores and liquids. Did you know that the shell of the tortoise can be used to cure malaria and infantile convulsions, that your own hair, when carbonised, can stop a nosebleed, that the centipede is good against lockjaw and snake-bites, that the poison in potatoes can help cure arthritis, and that pepper, when used as a medicine, can cure dysentery and food-poisoning? Chinese herbal therapy details thousands of recipes for health, but they would not be needed if everyone learnt to eat and drink sensibly, and in accordance with the laws of nature.