12 Health Tips From the Father of Chinese Medicine, Sun Simiao

Sun Simiao.

Sun Simiao as depicted by Gan Bozong, woodcut print, Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907). (Image: via Wikimedia Commons)

Sun Simiao (A.D. 581-682), a famous Chinese physician in the Tang Dynasty, passed down 12 health tips. The tips are simple and easy to do. If you practice them consistently, they can improve your health and promote longevity. 

12 health tips of Sun Simiao

1. Head twist

Place your hands on your waist, close your eyes, and lower your head.  Slowly turn your head to the right, then back to your original position. Repeat six times. Then repeat six times to the left. This exercise improves the flexibility of your neck muscles. Be sure to turn your head slowly to prevent dizziness. 

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 2. Hair brushing

Rub your hands together 36 times to heat your palms. Then, starting from your forehead with your palms face down, sweep your hands to the top of your head, the back, and neck.  Repeat 10 times every morning and evening. There are many vital acupoints on your head. Frequent “hair brushing” helps prevent headaches, ear problems, gray hair, and hair loss.  

The health tips include frequent 'hair brushing' to help prevent headaches, ear problems, gray hair, and hair loss.
Sun Simiao’s health tips include frequent ‘hair brushing’ to help prevent headaches, ear problems, gray hair, and hair loss. (Image: via Freeimages)

3. Eye exercise 

Close your eyes, then open them forcefully. Roll your eyeballs in a full circle starting from the left, top, right, and bottom.  Close your eyes again, open them forcefully, and roll your eyeballs from the right, top, left, and bottom. Repeat three times. This exercise can keep your eyes healthy and correct near-sighted vision over time.  

4. Ear exercise

Cover your ears with your palms, press inward with force, then let go. You should hear a “puff” sound. Repeat 10 times. Cover your ears with your palms. Using your four fingers, tap the back of your head with force. Do this 10 times. Do this before and after bed every day to enhance memory and hearing.  

5. Teeth click

Close your mouth slightly; click your teeth together lightly to make a sound. Repeat 36 times. These movements open the meridians in your upper and lower jaw, clear your mind, strengthen stomach absorption, and prevent tooth decay. 

6. Swallowing saliva

Close your mouth lightly, and extend your tongue to the front of your teeth. Starting from the top of your teeth, rotate your tongue in a circle around the front of your mouth. Do this clockwise 12 times, then swallow your saliva. Repeat this counter-clockwise 12 times. 

Close your mouth lightly. Keep your tongue inside your teeth this time. Starting from your upper palate, draw a circle with your tongue beginning from the left side. Repeat 12 times, then swallow your saliva. Repeat in the opposite direction. When swallowing your saliva, imagine your saliva sinking to your lower abdomen. There are many enzymes in your saliva that can balance hormones in your stomach to help with digestion. 

A woman with a lovely complexion.
Face messaging improves the complexion of the cheeks and prevents wrinkles. (Image: via Pixabay)

7. Face massage

Rub your hands together 36 times. After warming your palms, massage your face in an up and down motion, then in an outward circular motion. Regularly performing this motion improves the complexion of the cheeks and prevents wrinkles. 

8. Waist swing

Twist the body to the left, with the right hand at the front and the left hand behind. Gently pat your lower abdomen with your right hand and gently pat your mingmen acupoint (located at the lower border of the second lumbar vertebra, roughly opposite the belly button) with your left hand.  Repeat in the opposite direction with rhythm 50-100 times. This set of motions helps strengthen the stomach and kidneys’ functions, and prevents indigestion, stomach pain, and lower back pain.

9. Belly massage

 Rub your hands together 36 times. After warming your hands, overlap your palms together and massage your belly in a clockwise motion around your belly button, starting from a small circle to a larger circle 36 times. This motion improves digestion and stomach absorption, and prevents abdominal distention. 

10. Knee twist

 With the feet together, close your knees and squat down slightly.  Place your hands on your knees and twist left and right 20 times. This motion strengthens your knee joints over time.

11. Foot rub

Rub your left foot with your right hand, and your right foot with your left hand. Start from the heel and move up to the toe, then back to the heel. Repeat 36 times. Rub the soles of your feet with the thumbs of both hands 100 times. The soles of your feet concentrate the reflexes of your organs. Frequently rubbing your feet can strengthen your organs’ functions, cure insomnia, lower blood pressure, and eliminate headaches. 

 12. Take a walk

Take a relaxed stroll with your back straight and enjoy the scenery along the way with your mind clear and free from distractions.

Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Cherry He

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