So you want to live a long time?

Make good choices.  Make good decisions.  Walk a moderate path.

Danny and I have posted a few times on Chinese Medicine.  We’ve posted about and linked to articles that discuss the health benefits of Tai Chi, meditation, stretching and chi kung, four of the pillars of our practice.

The classic Chinese perspective is live a healthy life to avoid as much illness as possible.  In the West, we’re more of a get in there and cut out the bad stuff and keep on trucking sort of mentality.  I aim for a balance between the two.  And you find people on both sides of this spectrum in the East and in the West.  Both cultures have permeated each other.

I recently read a very interesting article on longevity.  In this article, like so many other times I’ve noticed over the years, Western research again affirms Chinese Medicine.  The article is “The Key to a Long Life: Conscientious Habits“, by Phillip Moeller, and he was basically reviewing a book about Longevity, called The Longevity Project:  Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study, by Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin.

They took about 1,500 above average kids, born in 1910, and studied them throughout there lives.  The ones who lived longest, were not necessarily the most cheerful, but the most conscientious ones.  The ones that made the best choices as they went along.  The ones that coped with adversity, best.  These sorts of choices and skills led to longer lives.

If one chooses to practice Tai Chi, or Wing Chun, or swimming, every day.  If one chooses to meditate every day.  If one chooses to be good and humble, every day.  Kind, thoughtful, conscientious, everyday.  Then, one would likely have the propensity to live a longer life.

Conscientious Defined, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conscientious:

con·sci·en·tious

[kon-shee-en-shuhs, kon-see-]

–adjective 

1. 

controlled by or done according to conscience;  scrupulous:a conscientious judge.
2. 

meticulous; careful; painstaking; particular: conscientiousapplication to the work at hand.
Origin:
1605–15;  < Medieval Latin conscienti?sus,  equivalent to Latinconscienti ( a ) conscience + -?sus -ous

—Synonyms

1.  just, upright, honest, faithful, devoted, dedicated. 2. See painstaking.

 

Sounds a little like Zen, doesn’t it?

Moeller finishes his article, with this quote from the book:

“Medical treatment is conspicuously absent from the book’s longevity findings. ‘So-called modern medical cures have played a relatively minor role in increasing adult life span,’ the authors wrote. ‘Social relations should be the first place to look for improving health and longevity.'”

Think if everyone drove politely every day.  Think if everyone smiled at each other and said hello while walking by.  How cool and how healthy would that be?

It starts with you.  As Ghandi says, ‘Be the Change you Want to See’.

Practice Every Day, Conscientiously.

Zaijian,

David

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