Longevity Secrets from the Grand Masters of Chinese Medicine
(Translated by Jake X. Zhao)
[Note from Editor: The “Grand Master of Chinese Medicine” 国医大师 is an honorary title granted by Chinese government, and selected by a panel of various experts. The first selection occurred in 2008-09 and 30 TCM experts were named the Master of Chinese Medicine in 2009. The selection will take place every 5 years. Here are some secrets of longevity from 10 of the 30 Grand Masters. For more information about them, go to: http://baike.baidu.com/view/2411533.htm]
Tietao Deng, 95 years old, tenured professor of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine. 邓铁涛, 95岁，广州中医药大学终身教授)
1. Don’t compete for fame, and let nature take its course; 2. Adjust diet and lead a regular life. 3. Do regular exercise, do Eight Pieces of Brocade every morning. He suggested,” I have a secret bath prescription. Alternate hot and cold bath and they are relatively cold and hot alternation, which will make the blood vessels contraction and relaxation just like massaging the vessels.”
Liangchun Zhu, 94 years old, a famous TCM doctor in Jiangsu Province, he is an expert of TCM for cancer treatment — 朱良春,94岁，江苏名中医，擅用虫药治肿瘤)
Since a long time ago Dr. Zhu eats a special kind of “Yang Sheng congee,” made by “green been 50g, pearl barley 50g, lotus seed 50g, lentils 50g, dates 30g, lycium barbarum (goji berries) 10g, astragalus membranaceus 250g ( 30g for regular persons daily). Wash the first 5 and put them into a boiling casserole and add the water from astragalus membranaceus. Cook on high flame until it boils then change to low flame for 40 min. Then add goji berries into it and continue for 10 more min. Have 1/5 of the amount daily -dividing the dosage into taking half of it before breakfast and the other half after dinner.
Dexin Yan, 91 years old, the leader of Chinese Medicine in Shanghai, the master of balancing Qi and blood. 颜德馨, 91岁，上海中医领袖，气血“衡法”大家)
Longevity and aging are closely related to qi and blood balance. Smooth qi and Blood circulate the whole body and adjust the functions of internal organs to promote longevity. “The main supplements I have are some Chinese herbals for Spleen, adding qi and increasing Blood circulation including red flowers, walnuts and so on. I suggest taking these herbals with water and empty stomach only once every morning not twice per day.”
Guangxin Lu, 84 years old, Professor at Chinese Academy of Chinese Medicine, expert in TCM theory; 陆广莘, 84岁，中国中医科学院教授，中医理论大家)Dr. Lu advises chewing and swallowing slowly, it may take a while for him to eat just an
egg. Dr. Lu always says “Eating should be with an enjoyable attitude.” He eats 2 eggs every day and he believes that eggs contain a lot of lecithin which helps fight against aging. Getting up early every day, he rubs his ears and belly to make meridian vessels and blood circulates well. In addition, a foot bath before going to bed will let you sleep better.
Zhizheng Lu, 91 years old, a famous TCM doctor in Beijing; 路志正,91岁，“首都国医名师”)
Dr. Lu eats ginger after getting up in the morning. He believes eating ginger with dates and brown sugar promotes health and wellbeing. However, he advises only to eat ginger in the morning but not at night. Dr. Lu is in the habit of massaging and rubbing his face in the morning and having a foot bath before going to bed. The foot bath will pull the blood down and it is assists the brain in getting into sleep mode.
Zhongying Zhou, 84 years old, former president of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine; 周仲瑛,84岁，南京中医药大学前任院长)
Dr. Zhou sees patients for 5 half-days every week. It is his greatest pleasure to see and help patients. His lifestyle and routine is very regular, and he never stays up late at night. “Desire is the source of suffering; less desire leads to stronger mind.” People should live with low-desire, and with a lot of calmness and tolerance.
According to Dr. Tang, the secrets of longevity are: “A nurturing life needs a nurturing mind; an open mind leads to happiness. Keep a hospitable and peaceful mind. He sees patients in clinic twice a week and is willing to accept new things. He enjoys thinking which keeps the brain working. In addition, he recommends making sure you have enough sleep, at least 7 hours a day, and take time for a lunch nap.
Zhenghua Li, 87 years old, the former president of Henan College of Chinese Medicine. 李振华,87岁，河南中医学院原院长)
Dr. Li practiced Chinese medicine for more than 60 years. He emphasizes nourishing the Stomach and Spleen, adjusting diet and never engaging in binge eating. He recommends paying attention to exercise and taking a walk after a meal. He walks in the living room for 15 min in the winter when he can’t go outside. He writes in calligraphy (handwriting with special pen) to nurture life and taking care of the temperament.
Qi Zhang, 90 years old, chief expert of Chinese medicine on kidney diseases, 张琪, 90岁，全国中医肾病首席专家)
Dr. Zhang longevity secrets are keeping your spiritual aspect pleasurable and free from worry and anxiety. Ignore rumors and burdens that make you unhappy, instead just laugh at them. Eating and diets should follow the natural way, neither eating too much nor eating to light. He prefers a balanced diet and does not agree with avoiding foods with cholesterol. He says it is undesirable to eat only vegetables and be on diets to lose weight.
Peiran Qiu (裘沛然1913-2010，97 years old）a tenured professor of Shanghai University of Chinese Medicine. He is a famous educator and doctor of TCM.
One of Master Qiu’s favorite students explaines his secret of longevity as following:
- Eat less. It means on one hand eat a meal until you’re about 80% full; on the other hand, don’t wait until too hungry.
- Act less. Dr. Qiu believes that cultivating Shen (Spirit) is the most important practice for longevity. Control your desires and be indifferent to fame and wealth.
- Do what you like. Dr. Qiu enjoys reading, writing poetry and making friends. It’s natural to find pleasure mentally and physically when indulging in the things that spark your interest. Similarly for Master Qiu, to see and help patients and treat difficult miscellaneous diseases can also bring him great pleasure.