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Old Days, If Only...

"In the old days, the sages treated disease by preventing illness before it began, just as a good government or emperor was able to take the necessary steps to avert war. Treating illness after before it began is like suppressing revolts after it has broken out. If someone digs a well when thirsty, or forges weapons after becoming engaged in battle, one cannot help but ask: are not these actions too late?"

Ahh yes, the old days. Simpler times. We're so busy nowadays.

It's understandable considering our busy lives, our medical system, and the costs of healthcare (and sick-care) in general. Throw in a smidge of ego, "I'll be fine," "I'm strong," I'm good," "I'm young, I'll worry about that when I'm old," or the classic, "I'm old, it's too late for me."

The first discussion began with Huang Di inquiring, "I've heard that in the days of old, everyone lived 100 years without showing the usual signs of aging. In our time, however, people age prematurely, living only 50 years. Is this due to a change in the environment, or is it because people have lost their way?

Qi Bo replied, "In the past, people practiced the Dao, the way of life. Do you understand the principle of balance? Of yin and yang as represented by the transformation of the energies of the universe? Thus, they formulated practices such as Dao-yin, an exercise combining stretching, massaging, and breathing to promote energy flow and meditation to help maintain and harmonize themselves with the universe. They eat a balanced diet at regular times, arose and retired at regular hours, avoided overstressing their bodies and minds, and refrain from indulgences of all kinds. They maintained the well-being of body and mind; thus, it is not surprising that they lived over 100 years."

"These days, people have changed their way of life. They drink wine as though it were water, indulge excessively in destructive activities, drain their jing - The bodies essence that is stored in the kidneys – and deplete their qi. They do not know the secret of conserving their energy and vitality. Seeking emotional excitement and momentary pleasures, people disregard the natural rhythm and order of the universe. They fail to regulate their lifestyle and diet and sleep improperly. So it is not surprising that they look old at 50 and die soon after."

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