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Ancient Tibetan Medicine: 24 Points for Maintaining & Preserving Health

The 24 Points for Maintaining & Preserving Health are presented below in English and French.

Introduction

A friend of mine recently lent me a book that is a compendium of Chinese health exercises from different dynasties that had been translated into French. One interesting section of the book is a short list of 24 simple pieces of advice for maintaining health. Purportedly these 24 points are from the writings of Yutog Yoidan Kongbo (708-?), a famous Tibetan physician. Later, in the 11th century, his writings were rewritten before becoming the four-volume Classic of Medicine that was then distributed and reprinted in subsequent centuries.

One of the great things about this excerpt is that it focuses on the basics of maintaining a healthy mind and body with simple and pithy advice. Chinese medicine practitioners like myself often forget that simple advice and easy to implement lifestyle changes are often more powerful and achievable than more specific Chinese medicine centered lifestyle advice. So it is wonderful to read these 24 simple points of advice for preserving health that consul a sense of balance and harmony, and letting natural bodily processes unfold without interference.

Yutog Yoidan Kongbo 24 points for Maintaining and Preserving Health: English [1]

  1. Have a clean and pleasant home
  2. Take the sun often
  3. Have adequate sexual intercourse
  4. Avoid carrying things that are too heavy
  5. Elderly people should avoid excessive fatigue
  6. Avoid excessive intellectual work
  7. Moderate the consumption of raw or cold foods and salt
  8. Observe body and foot hygiene
  9. Coat the body with oil evenly
  10. Wash regularly
  11. Bathe in thermal waters
  12. Wash your head with lukewarm water
  13. Move and massage your body constantly
  14. Take frequent baths in cold water
  15. Drink light wine and dress lightly
  16. Avoid extreme hunger
  17. Avoid extreme thirst and do not fight against the urge to vomit
  18. Do not hold back the sneeze or the yawn
  19. Breathe naturally
  20. Respect sufficient sleep time
  21. Do not delay the expulsion of sputum and saliva
  22. Do not delay the evacuation of stools and winds (farts)
  23. Drink and eat in moderation
  24. Observe hygiene rules

Yutog Yoidan Kongbo 24 points pour le maintien et la préservation de la santé: Français [2]

  1. Maison propre et agréable
  2. Prendre Souvent le soleil
  3. Rapports sexuels adéquats
  4. Eviter de porter des choses trop lourdes
  5. Les personns âgées doivent éviter une fatigue excessive
  6. Eviter l’excès de travail intellectual
  7. Consommation modérée d’aliments crus ou froid  et de sel
  8. Observer une hygiène du corps et des pieds
  9. Enduire le corps de l’huile de manière homogène et décrasser
  10. Se laver régulièrement
  11. Prendre des bain d’eaux thermales
  12. Se laver la tête à l’eau tiède
  13. Se donner le mouvement et essuyer le corps constamment
  14. Prendre fréquemment des bains dans l’eau froide
  15. Boire de vin doux et s’habiller légèrement
  16. Éviter la faim extrême
  17. Éviter la soif extrême et ne pas lutter contre l’envie de vomir
  18. Ne pas retenir l’éternuement, ni le bâillement
  19. Respirer de façon naturelle
  20. Respecter un temps de sommeil suffisant
  21. Ne pas retarder l’expulsion de crachats et de salive
  22. Ne pas retarder l’évacuation de selles et de vents
  23. Boire et manger avec modération
  24. Observer les règles d’hygiène

Notes:

[1] Se mantenir en bonne santé: methods traditionelles chinoises Li Jing Wei et Zhu Jian Ping (Beijing:(Editions en Langue Etrangeres, 2005) p. 50 to 58.

[2] Ibid.