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Culture Folk-custom

Medicine on Keeping Young

Both theory and practice with regard to the aging process was recorded in China as far back as 2,400 years ago. Traditional medical works note the changes that take place as a result of aging.

Traditional Chinese medicine has a wealth of advice and many theories on slowing the aging process. The basic ones are:

1. Keep even-tempered

2. Regular exercise

3. A balanced diet and adequate nutrition

4. Live a regular life with a proper combination of rest and work

5. Take medicine only when necessary

Traditional medicine stresses keeping in good health rather than depending on medicine to overcome illness, and says that eating more nourishing food is better than taking too much tonics in the hope of maintaining youth.

There was even an ancient jingle telling what people in olden times did to live long: keeping calm, rising and retiring early, getting some sun, opening the window to let in fresh air, doing taiji exercises and physical labour, walking rather than going in a vehicle, eating simply and leading a simple life, taking a walk after meals, and not drinking liquor to excess. This is borne out by findings of a comprehensive study of 50 people over 90 in Bama County in the southern mountains of Guangxi-one of China's two counties famous for centenarians. It concluded that rational nourishment was the most important factor in these individuals' longevity. Other factors cited in the study were heredity and doing a moderate amount of physical labour, keeping in good spirits and living a regular life.