Basic Literacy of Citizen in Yang-Sheng & Well-being

[Ancient Wisdom 前人智慧]

Basic Literacy of Chinese Citizen

in TCM Yang-Sheng and Well-Being


State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine

& National Committee of Health and Family Planning

(May 16, 2014)

(Translated and edited by Kevin W Chen, Ph.D.)


In order to improve the quality of our citizens in Chinese Yang-sheng and well-being, to popularize basic concept, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Yang-sheng knowledge and skills, and to raise the level of citizens’ health, the State Administration of traditional Chinese medicine and the National Health and Family Planning Commission organized experts to develop the following “Basic Literacy of Chinese citizens in TCM Yang-sheng and Well-being,” which are hereby issued.


Preface:  To each citizen, the 42 entries of Chinese medicine Yang-sheng and well-being literacy is not only the TCM health knowledge that everyone should be aware of, but also the healthy behavior pattern everyone should follow.

The literacy of well-being refers to the capability of an individual to obtain and understand the health information, and use this information to change their lifestyle and behavior, to maintain and promote the health and longevity.

A.  The Basic Concepts and Knowledge

  1. Yang-Sheng and healthcare in Chinese Medicine is the health and well-being activities under the guidance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) theory, through a variety of methods so as to enhance physical fitness, prevent diseases and live longer and healthier.
  2. The philosophy of TCM yang-sheng is in harmony with nature, yin-yang balance, and varying by individual.
  3. The four foundations of TCM Yang-sheng are: mood/emotions, diet, living routine, and exercise (sports activities).
  4. TCM Yang-sheng and healthcare starts with teenagers to emphasize the comprehensive maintenance, adjustment (conditioning), and perseverance.
  5. The TCM philosophy of “treating disease before it occurs” (premature sickness) cover the full process of health and disease, including three stages: First, “prevention before disease” to prevent from diseases; second, “prevent change once disease occurred” to prevent the development of the disease; the third, “prevent relapse after disease disappear” to prevent the recurrence of the disease.
  6. Health and well-being through Chinese medicinal is to apply the natural conditioning bias of medicinal to adjust the rise and fall of body’s yin-yang and Qi-blood. Differentiation by age, physical characters, and seasons should be taken into consideration when taking medications.
  7. Medicines and foods have similar origins. Commonly used edible medicinals include: honey, yam, lotus seeds, jujube, longan, gogiberry (medlar), walnut, Poria, ginger, chrysanthemum, green beans, sesame seeds, garlic, pepper, hawthorn, and so on.
  8. The five main acupoints in TCM well-being are: Shan-zhong (RN17), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Zusanli (ST36), Yong-chuan (KI1), Guan Yuan (RN4).
  9. The basic methods of self-acupressure include: point pressure, press-rubbing, pinch press, moderation, rubbed, percussion, beating.
  10. Scraping (刮痧) can help circulating blood, stretching tenders, channeling meridians, solving stagnation, and scattering evil.
  11. Cupping can help with scattering cold and wet, excepting stasis, stopping pain and swelling, getting rid of poison-heat.
  12. Moxibustion can help with Qi and blood circulation, temperature, and flow of meridians.
  13. Avoid the use of aluminum or iron boiling container for TCM medicinal decoction.


B.  Healthy Lifestyle and Behaviors

14.  Maintain peace of mind, to adapt to social environment and status, be positive and optimistic in living and work.

15.  Living a regular routine in daily life, adapt to changes in nature such as the morning twilight and dark night, and the four seasons, and maintaining these routines.

16.  The key points of four-season adapted living: may stay up late and get up early in the spring or summer; in the autumn, should go to bed early and get up early; in the winter, should go to bed early and get up late.

17. The healthy diet should pay attention to the balanced combination of cereals, vegetables, fruits, poultry, and other nutritional elements, do not make any one element more or less important that the others.

18. Eat slowly, do not eat too much. Meal time should stay focused on eating, and keep a happy and joyful mood.

19. Breakfast needs to be of good quality, lunch should be the largest meal of the day so you feel well-fed and nourished, and dinner should be a smaller meal.

20. Wash your hands before meals, wash your mouth after meals.

21. Women have a menstrual period, pregnancy period, lactation period and menopause; Yang-sheng and healthcare have their own characteristics in these periods.

22. Not smoking, and drinking sparingly, can reduce incidence of related diseases.

23. The condition of the feet is important as a man ages; foot care has good efficacy in Yang sheng and well-being.

24. Control (limit) the sexual intercourse. The desire cannot be forbidden, nor can be vertical.

25. Those with physical weakness may use a winter tonic to supplement nourishment and wellness.

26. Do not feed children too much food.

C.  Common Contents of Yang-sheng and Well-beingMassive_Yang_Sheng

27.  Emotional well-being: The yang-sheng methods help to control and regulate emotions to achieve the peace of mind-body, and pleasant emotions/mood.

28. Dietary regimen: The yang-sheng methods are based on individual physical constitution, through changing the diet, and choosing the appropriate foods to gain a healthy regimen.

29.  Exercise regimen: The yang-sheng methods are by practicing traditional Chinese exercises to maintain health, strengthen physical quality, and prolong life. The common yang-sheng and well-being exercise include Tai chi, Ba Duan Jin (Eight Piece of Brocade) , Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Qigong), Liu Zi Jue (Six Healing Sounds) and so on.

30. Seasonal well-being: According to seasonal changes, adapt appropriate well-being practices differently in each of the four seasons.

31. Meridian well-being: The yang-sheng methods, according to the TCM meridian theory, apply TCM meridians and acupoints. Indications to use needles, moxibustion, tui-na, massage, exercise, etc., to work through the meridians to reconcile the yin-yang of health.

32. Physical constitution well-being: According to different physical types or characteristics of the individual, one can develop one’s daily yang-sheng methods.  The common types of physical characters are: gentleness, yang deficiency, yin deficiency, qi deficiency, phlegm dampness, damp heat, blood stasis, qi stagnation, and intrinsic quality, the nine common types of constitution.

D. Simple and Commonly Used Yang-sheng Methodsys1

33. Knocking teeth Method: when waking up in the morning, knocking the upper and lower teeth together, first knock molars 30 times, then knock the front teeth 30 times.  This can help strengthen the teeth.

34. Adjusting Breath with Closed Mouth: frequently regulating breathing with closed mouth, keep breathing slow, even, and gentle.

35. Pharynx Otsu Method: Every morning, with the tongue against the palate, or tongue licking or moving the palate, such as saliva full of mouth, swallow multiple times, which helps with digestion.

36. Rubbing face method: Every morning, rub your palms until warm, then rub your face placing the middle finger on each side of the bottom of the nose and rubbing up to the forehead with both hands on cheeks to the sides; this can be repeated more than 10 times, until the face feels gentle heat. This can make the face ruddy gloss, and eliminate fatigue.

37. Combing hair: with ten fingers split into the hair, comb the hair with your fingers, from front to back of the head, 50 to 100 times. This helps circulate the blood, and cleanse the mind.

38. Eye-Moving Method: rotate the eye from left to right 10 times, and then from right to left round 10 times, and then, close eyes for a break.  Do this 4 to 5 times a day; helps cleanse the liver and brighten the eye-sight.

39. Condensate ear method: both hands cover ears, head down and up 5 to 7 times. Makes the head (mind) clean, and gets rid of distractions.

40. Raising Qi Method: when inhaling, raise the anal and perineum tightly with some force, then slowly exhale and let it down; repeat 5-7 times a day, helps with qi circulation.

41. Abdominal massage method: after each meal, use the center of palm to massage the navel and abdomen area in a clockwise direction 30 times. This can help digestion, and eliminate bloating.

42. Massage Foot Center: before going to sleep, use thumb massage the center of feet (Yong-chuan area),  clockwise 100 times. This can help strengthen the kidney and waist.

[Read original Chinese at ]


Kevin ChenKevin W Chen, 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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