Tag Archives: Kevin Chen

From the Editor

Welcome to the July issue of Yang-Sheng! It is my great pleasure to be the guest editor-in-chief this month. Our theme for this issue is “positivity and health’ or happiness, which is one of the most demanded topics from our readers’ … Continue reading

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Method to Improve Meditation

Counting-Breath Method 数息法 Kevin W Chen, Ph.D. MPH   Counting breath has long been a method used in meditation training. It appeared in Chinese literature as early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25—220AD), when Buddhism was introduced to China. The … Continue reading

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From the Editor

This subject of Nourishing Life practice is a very ancient one yet many of the ideas and practices offered in these pages are as up to date as can be. Many of the problems facing humankind today are the same as those of the Tang Dynasty and earlier. Yet some are totally new. This world of ours, racing faster and faster and becoming more and more toxic, is full of modern ills. Alternative health modalities, including Chinese medicine and many more, have also been developed and can be of much help for many of the illnesses and complaints of the modern world. Continue reading

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Scientific Qi Exploration. Part1. Qi in Chinese Medicine

Before any scientific investigation of Qi, the concept of Qi and its properties in Chinese philosophy must be known, in order to judge how closely any modern scientific interpretation fits.

Qi is a fundamental concept or terminology in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with multiple levels of meanings. If you read enough in TCM, you would find that TCM seems to use “qi” to describe almost all invisible forces that affect human lives and health. More specifically, Qi can describe the invisible forces both outside and inside the human body in many different ways (1). We will introduce some of these uses here as we lay out some basic background of Qi in Chinese philosophy and culture.

Qi might have been first discussed by Chinese philosophers (2). Huai Nan Zi, a Daoist book around 122 B.C., states that the Dao originated from Emptiness and Emptiness produced the universe. The universe produced Qi. Here it was most likely referred to qi energy outside of body.

Zhang Zai (1020-1077) said that the Great Void consists of Qi. Qi condenses to become the myriad of things. He clearly understood the concept of the matter-energy continuum, in the sense of modern physics, even though these ideas were conceived centuries later. He also saw the indestructibility of matter-energy as revealed by his statement “Qi in dispersion is substance and so is it in condensation.” “Qi forms myriads of things” implies that Qi must also involve information, in modern terminology. He also said that every birth is a condensation and every death a dispersal of Qi. Thus, just as “Qi” is the energetic foundation of the universe, it is also the physical and spiritual substratum of human life. Zhu Xi (1131-1200) confirmed that Qi condensing can form beings and the conservation of energy, when he stated: “When dispersing, Qi makes the Great Void, only regaining its original misty feature, but not perishing; when condensing it becomes the origin of all beings.”

From these classic discussions (and the recent research findings to be presented later), we should say that a modern scientific explanation of Qi must involve aspects of matter, energy, and information, which remind us of the new finding in modern physics, the “hidden dimensions.” Continue reading

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Yang Sheng Welcomes You

From my introductory article “What is Yang Sheng” you may realize that Yang Sheng is one of the most important concepts in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is the root of Chinese medicine, and the foundation of human health. However, this magazine or network is not about Chinese medicine, but about the common accessible practices for ordinary people to cultivate health and harmony through daily activities. Rather than treating disease, the focus of Yang Sheng is on maintaining balance through an awareness of our connection to nature, to our own bodies, and to the spirit. Continue reading

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Introduction to Yang Sheng

Yǎng Shēng (養生) may be the most important concept in TCM and Chinese health culture. The Chinese word “Yang” means to nurture, take care of, and nourish; “Sheng” means life, birth, and vitality. Together “Yang Sheng” means to nurture or nourish life — fostering health and well being by nurturing body, mind and spirit in harmony with the natural rhythms, and with universal laws. Sometimes Yang Sheng is also translated as health preservation, life cultivation, or life nourishment. Continue reading

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The role of breathing training in asthma management

There is considerable public interest in the use of breathing modification techniques in the treatment of asthma. Surveys suggest many people with asthma use them, often without the knowledge of their medical attendants. Extravagant claims have been made about the effectiveness of some techniques, resulting in scepticism from orthodox clinicians. The evidence supporting breathing training for asthma was previously weak, and limited by the small size and methodological limitations Continue reading

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