Category Archives: Health and Longevity

The Spark in the Machine – Book Review
I have spent a lot of time studying, reading, and deciphering works on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Taoist texts. Through this effort, combined with regular Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong practice, and acupuncture treatment, I have been able to arrive at an experiential and fundamental understanding of the subject. However, I sometimes run into those interested in Internal Chinese arts who do not believe in “Chi”. In many instances there is a complete dismissal of the TCM principles as nonsense. Besides the obvious questions that come to mind such as, why would one be...
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The Five Elements and Your Kung Fu Practice – Part 1
Ah Yes, Springtime! From the Chinese philosophical concept of the five phases of energy evolution, we are entering into the wood phase. It is the time when the earth is in renewal -- the time when plants come to life, animals start the mating process, and humans begin to explore their outside natural surroundings after their long hibernation during the cold winter. It is an energy of expansion (upward-outward), rising, growth, birth, and creativity.  It is a time when the yin/yang earth energy is more in balance. The temperatures are...
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Breathing Exercises For Martial Arts and Health
Breathing, fundamental to all bodily processes and also one of the first autonomous actions we take after we leave the womb... Can you think of anything more paramount? You can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water and 3 hours without proper shelter on a snowy day (according to Google) but how long without air? 3 minutes? Reportedly healthy people can hold their breath for up to 2 minutes. The Guinness World Record for holding breath is for 20 minutes 21 seconds. Given that's more of an anomaly, let’s say with a little...
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How To Grow Reishi Mushrooms at Home
Within the traditional Chinese pharmacopeia few herbs are as prized as Lingzhi or Reishi mushroom.   Ranking in the Superior Class of Chinese Herbs, it is referred to as the “Mushroom of Immortality.”  Reishi is truly legendary and can be seen in Chinese art where longevity is the subject matter.  Reportedly, Li Ching Yuen the 256-year-old man consumed it. Historically, Taoist mountain hermits and foragers in the herbal trade gathered wild Reishi.  In modern times, Reishi is typically cultivated and is sometimes called “hot house” Reishi. Today we will be examining growing Reishi at...
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A Lesson From A 256 Year Old Man – Li Ching Yuen Part 2
When the subject of 256 year old Li Ching Yuen comes up it engenders mixed reactions. Among others knee-jerk skepticism and disbelief. Even though it is one of the best documented cases of extraordinary longevity. Why is this? In some cases people think the story simply isn't true and that he was able to capitalize on his family surname. My guess for the other reactive dismals of the account of 256-year-old man is that... I think most people aren’t ready to entertain the idea of living longer than their own preconceived notions. If we could...
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