Centenarian In-bed Health Exercises for Longevity

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Centenarian In-bed Health Exercises for Longevity


 Translation and editing by Kevin W Chen


126882852742577071This in-bed health exercise was introduced and taught by Mr. Kai-Shen Tsui (崔介忱) in Taiwan, who was born in 1910.  He learned these simple but powerful exercises in 1934 from a Buddhist monk in Northern China but did not start formal or regular practice until he retired from a government job at the age of 66.  Now he is 104 years old, and still lives a healthy life.  He shares his longevity secrets on the internet.  Most information here is translated from the internet.  For more information about Mr. Tsai, please refer to previous article in Yang-Sheng “Life-nurturing regimen: As revealed by a centenarian”.

You are supposed to perform these exercises in bed on a daily base, before you get up.  According to the original instruction, most movements are supposed to be done 108 times before proceed to next.  I have used 36 times (instead of 108 times) in the following translation for a more practical introduction….

Fetal_breath1.  Fetal Breath  胎息Posture:  supine in bed, hands & legs straight, palms facing up close to leg,  empty mind (think nothing), thin breath-in deeply with tongue touch the palate, hold the breath without exhale and start to count….  The Key components:

  1. Entire breathing should be fine and slow. As fine as gossamer, showing breathing capacity is controllable.
  2. Breathe long, in and out take a longer time to display toughness of vital capacity & strength.  Bubbles in the lung is trained into the active zone,  gradually become stronger.
  3. Breathe evenly. Avoid urgent in or exhale, need to be thin and long breathing with certain rule (1-4-2) .  Inhale by nose and exhale by mouth to achieve the optimum status. (Or it may lead to tightness, chest swelling, or headaches).
  4. Breathe naturally, no rushing, no radical, and no hurry; follow the natural step so to avoid bad situations.
  5. Be persistent, do it every day; the more practiced the stronger so as to let blood wander entire body, reaching optimum health situation.

At first, you may count to 100 or so per breathing after inhale, gradually count to higher  until you can’t hold it anymore, then exhale by mouth (tongue & belly back to normal). No sound, then you can adjust breathing before next deep breathing (1 to 3 adjustments), continue count  when holding next breath.   9 mouthfuls every day.  Long  practice will increase # of counting during holding (pause).  When you can count to a thousand for each breath, your body will rejuvenate, and return to youth….

After practice this for three years, I could easily count to one thousand within one breathing, had some unexpected effects.

  1. Comb hair 梳头2014-08-06 12.12.39

Ten fingers slightly separated, comb from forehead towards occipital (36x) so as to keep blood vessels softened and smooth, to prevent headaches or hemorrhagic.

  1. 2014-08-06 12.13.42Rub head 搓头

Respectively, rub both the forehead and the back of head horizontally with both hands — 36x cross.  Enables the strengthening of the arteries, you will be less likely to suffer from headaches.

  1. Wash face 洗脸wash_face

YingxiangWashing face with both hands up and down (36-108x):  middle finger on both side of nose (LI20) to prevent rhinitis; other four fingers and palm facing upward push stick, then pull the palm and finger veneer down, helping blood vessels, smooth skin to be without wrinkles or dark spots, prevent headache.

  1. Rub inner eye corner 揉内眼角Eye1

Use the first joint of thumb rubbing the inner corner of eye – Jingming point (BL1) 36x. — treat hyperopia, wind-tearing, blurred vision, inner canthus crimson embolism, and so on.

  1. Rub eyelids 擦眼皮 2014-08-06 12.16.03

Use middle & ring fingers rubbing the upper and lower eyelids,  from inside out (horizontally) 36x. This massage helps ocular blood vessels, keeps eyes forever flexible, and eliminate crow’s feet.

  1. Rub ear root 搓耳根ear1

Use middle & index fingers rubbing the root of ears:  Middle finger on front of ear (SI19 point),  index finger on back of ear, rubbing up and down (not too long), 100+ times, to prevent and treat tinnitus or hearing loss.

  1. turning ear back 翻揉耳 Ear2

Use both hands rubbing the left and right ears 36x from front to back.  Though ear volume (the size of the ear as compared to the whole body) is small, it has 120 Meridian points (especially, the kidney is closely related to eye), connecting major organs through the body.  Left ear is gold, right ear is wood; If human ear becomes dry and dark, this signals poor health.

  1. rub around Navel 绕肚脐揉 mqdefault (1)

Use the middle three fingers spiral-rubbing around navel clockwise 36 to 81 laps (switch hand is OK);  to prevent gastrointestinal problems and constipation, keep internal organs smooth and healthy.

10. Massage inner thigh (male) 揉大腿根 mqdefaultRN1Left or right hand, respectively, use four fingers (no thumb) rub around the inner thigh, on the side of Hui Yin (CV1/RN1) and anus,  one hand at once, switch hand after 36 times (female not appropriate).  This will help prevent prostate hypertrophy, with 100% healing rate.
11.  massage lower belly 揉肚脐下  hqdefault (3)Hands overlap one-half inches to four inches below navel, rub 36 times. A half inche below the Navel is the sea of Qi (RN6), 3 inches below navel is Guan Yuan (RN4), 4 inches below is Zhong Ji (RN3), Rubbing these 3 points has therapeutic effect on frequent need to urinate, and makes the bladder more elastic.
12.  Swing Hip 摆臀 2014-08-06 12.32.56Straighten both legs, the toes stretched back (inward hook), then make hip bone move up and down by leg moving in and stretching out 36 times; to prevent sciatica and bone spurs.
13. Raise anus 提松肛  2014-08-06 12.33.58Same posture as #12, with legs straight. The toes stretch back (inward hook) and raising (attract) anus while inhaling, count to 36 before relaxing anus, and toes go back while exhaling.  Do this ten times every day to heal hemorrhoids without surgery. Toes stretched back in inward hook prevents legs from cramping.
14. Knick leg 踢腿  TenTwo legs straight with toes inward hook, then kicking each leg up 36 times, then switch.  This helps prevent legs from cramping, and increases hip strength.
15. Stretch waist (bridge) 挺腰   2014-08-06 12.36.45Straighten arms and clench hands around ankle, pull inward to prolong the leg, then put feet under hip with Yongquan (KI1) touch ground, stretch waist outward, two elbows touching ground; swing left-right 36 times (Combine Fish & Monkey play) .hqdefault (1)Functions:  Strengthen the arteries in the head and stretch the neck, strengthen arm flexibility, prevent frozen shoulder, and increase knee and  leg strength. Yongquan touching ground promotes kidney health.
16. Push up heaven … 两手托天   2014-08-06 12.38.50Though supine, hands crossed, raising up from abdomen to the top of the head, 36 times; to regulate triple burner so as to treat frozen shoulder syndrome, calm the fire along triple burner.
17. Sit ups 仰卧起坐  2014-08-06 12.39.28Hands on side of body, do sit-ups six times or more to strengthen abdomen, reduce fat, and prepare for the 18th exercise.
18. Bend waist different ways 伸压腰   2014-08-06 12.40.58Three ways to bend wait forward with legs straight.

  1. A) hold hands around head, bend forward to let left elbow touch right knee, then let right elbow touch left knee, 36 times each.2014-08-06 12.41.41
  2. B) hold the head, bend straight forward and look down,
  3. C) two hands reach down from toes to heel as far as possible, 36 times. Or split two legs apart with hands touch the legs….

2014-08-06 12.42.14These three exercises can reduce suffering from fasciitis, and strengthen visceral and vertebrae health, reduce abdominal fat, and keep waist and legs strong.

19. Push ups 俯卧撑Push-upPush ups 36 times (doing fewer is OK); to enhance waist, legs, & arms.
20. Cross-leg sit meditation 盘腿静坐  Tsui1Sit peacefully with legs crossed, hands clasped together or left on the lap to recover strength. Quiet the mind and breathe 36 breaths, then return to normal.  For each breath:  Tongue touch upper palate, inhale Qi from the lower Dantian, then use intention (Yi) to guide Qi along spinal vertebrae from the tail to the head (already warm or hot), then exhale by mouth, return to natural status.  Most importantly, keep a calm mind and spirit when practicing; cannot have any distractions.

Be persistent in exercise and adhere to a daily practice, long-time practice will produce incredible results.  You can find the teaching of Mr. Tsui from Youtube video:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z4caCs3lj0


Kevin Chen Kevin W Chen, Ph.D. – is an associate professor at the Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine (USA).  Dr. Chen was educated in the universities of both China and the United States, and has years of experience and training in blending eastern and western perspectives, and in the practice of life-nurturing methods. As a long-time practitioner of Qigong Yang Sheng, he is one of the few scientists in the U.S. to have both hands-on knowledge of mind-body practice, and an active research career in mind-body medicine, which is funded through grants by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and various foundations.  Dr. Chen devotes his career and life to the practice of Yang Sheng, and promotion of self-healing and mind-body-spirit integration through the non-profit organization, World Institute for Self Healing (WISH)
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