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THE COURAGE TO BE HEALTHY

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HEALTH?

Health means to stay alive in this environment no matter how harsh it is. Health means survival. So, what shall we do about our health? We work on it. But we will not work alone. We work together and contribute to each other’s health, no matter if it is for the body, mind, soul, or heart.

Movement is your prescription for health. When you move, you reduce your risk for several diseases such as cardiovascular disease (heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke), cancer, mental illness (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s), arthritis, and the list can continue. By moving, you can also keep in shape, which will help your mobility and flexibility. As a consequence, your mental health will improve. Feeling better, having high self-esteem, being aesthetically beautiful, happy, and living a life without medical issues is a treasure and a gift you have to give yourself every day!

Shaolin Ancient Head Massage
Shaolin Ancient Head Massage
Shaolin Ancient Eyes Massage

WHY HEALTH BECOMES A LIFE TASK?

Thinking of movement as exercise, how much importance do you give to the health and mobility of your neck? You can live without limbs and even a part of your trunk, but you will not survive even a second without your head and neck. So then why not taking care of them as you train your eight pack abs or bulky shoulders?

The head and neck is a fascinating world of body connections through acupuncture meridians, Qi and blood flow, and the golden liquid called saliva. Have you ever thought about what pressure you put on your neck when you read a book or browse your mobile feed for news? It is equal to almost 15kg hanging from your neck! Can you feel the tension and stiffness at the back of your neck? Or the pressure and fog in your brain? Those are consequences for the lack of proper blood flow and Qi to your neck and head area.

By implementing a daily set of simple neck movements, fun ancient Shaolin massage, and techniques for the face as well as Qigong stance practice combined with breathing, you can feel more energized, healthy, beautiful. 

The face is the reflection of your body’s health. Face mapping is a potent tool for understanding underlying medical issues in your body. The world of neck and head interconnects to the body. When you practice Qigong for the head and neck, training your teeth and massaging your face actually train the overall body and the internal organs. 

Shaolin Quan stance
Wing Chun stance
Shaolin Quan stance

SHAOLIN IRON FINGER TECHNIQUE

A straightforward exercise that you can practice daily is Shaolin Iron Finger. You can practice it on the way to the office, in the airplane, car, waiting, or even in the bath-tub! 

How will you do this? Very easy – start by tapping the fingers from both hands together. The more you practice and progress, you can change to a different surface such as wood or even stone. Here, in the Shaolin Temple, we use a little bag filled with sand for beginners and adjust the content as the student gets more advanced. 

Why do you need to do this? It is because the fingers correspond to the internal organs and acupuncture meridians. Each finger has a meridian passing through and makes the connection between the brain and the limbs. When tapping, we stimulate different nerve centers in the brain to keep meridians, Qi, and blood alive. 

People often say: “When the ten fingers are connected, the mind is cleverer!”. Tapping can prevent dementia in older people. There is not a right or wrong practice or for how long to do it! If you have more time, do it longer.

Shaolin Iron Finger Technique
Shaolin Iron Finger Technique
Shaolin Iron Finger Technique

HOW DO YOU BEGIN TO TRAIN?

You can start by just being aware of your posture. If you have a correct posture, the blood and Qi will flow freely, and you will feel great. Shifu Shi Yanjun, an expert in traditional Martial Arts, put together a set of simple and fun activities which can bring the Temple life and monks wisdom in your own home!

What is the significance of health preservation?

It is to make you live longer, healthier and happier.

What is the secret of longevity?

Life has a schedule, is regular.

What is the secret of health?

Life lies in healthy exercise.

What is the secret of happiness?

Let the burden down, and you will be happy. Learn from the past and move on!

Dr. Rhea Du

Dr. Rhea Du

International Shaolin Cultural Exchange Ambassador of Shaolin Temple Yunnan