The 4 Pillars to Cultivating Health

The 4 Pillars to Cultivating Health

 How to take care and improve yourself

 Most people come to the school in China to improve their health. It could be their stomach, one of the major organs, sleep patterns, knees, joints there are so many reasons why people want to start a Kung fu or Tai Chi practice to improve their health.

 There are two different way of training.
  • Training for fighting and learning applications.
  •   For health
There are two different training's
  •  Training the physical body
  • Training the internal body

Even kids today need to improve their health. Too much screen time weakens them. Adults lose their health from their job, the big city and fast paced modern lifestyle. People have lost their life balance and are just living for the material. It isn’t possible to keep the traditional ways of training at the school because everyone comes for different reasons. When you start training Kung Fu or Tai Chi you must decide your purpose. Why do you want to train? Is it for flexibility or coordination? To  strengthen  your body? Do you want to train Qigong, Tai Chi or Kung Fu?

I train to keep my body flexible through Qigong and Tai Chi. Through Training you will find your way very clear. As I have found mine. Only you can help yourself.

The best Kung Fu is basics. Without basics there is no Kung Fu, just body movements.

The four pillars to cultivating your internal health:

A lot of people don’t know what they should eat. People drink cold water in winter. Most people outside of China don’t know how to drink hot water. You must know what is good for you and what is not good for you.

Over eating can happen because you drink cold water which disconnects you from your stomach and your digestion. Food high in protein makes your insides hot and you need to drink more water to cool your body.

Kidneys are yang energy, most people have weak yang energy. This is why they are always tired. Kidneys are the power and source of life. The life force comes from the kidneys and yang energy.

If you want to take care of your kidneys you have to change bad habits around the foods you eat.

“All sickness comes from the mouth” a Chinese proverb

Too much protein will make your farts stink!!

You must figure out what food is good for you and know your limits. Your organs are your own employees. They work for you for life.

We need more fire in the kidneys as they are the managers of all the other organs.

Each organ has a colour associated with it. To promote healthier organs:

  • ·      For the liver eat green
  • ·      For the lungs eat white
  • ·      For the heart eat re
  • ·      For the kidneys eat black

If you can’t drink boiling water then drink it warm. Too much tea and coffee hurts the kidneys and can affect your sleep. Some people are still able to sleep, everyone is different.


This is the next aspect to reflect on for internal cultivation. Many people have irregular sleep patterns. People don’t sleep enough and then they need stimulants to wake up.

According the Traditional Chinese medicine there is an organ body clock. A time when each organ needs to rest. It is best to be asleep by 11 pm until 5 am. If you wake up at the same hour repeatedly at night then you must look to see which organ rules that hour.

It is also important to take a nap after lunch to allow your body to digest without putting extra effort. Of course, we have lost this tradition in the modern world.

Eat light before bed so it is easy to digest and won’t affect your sleep.

Exercise (training)

A lot of the traditional training is gone. Before students would have to hold positions longer to improve.  Even in the traditional Chinese classes they don’t hold the positions as long as they would in years before. Holding the basic stances for a long time builds strength and improves your practice.

Today at the school we are not just training the movements but we are also training the heart to have good energy. Through this training you improve yourself as a person. You develop pure energy that you can use to change peoples’ lives around you.

Masters are doctors without medicine.

If it doesn’t improve your energy, then it isn’t good training. The best Kung fu is basics!! A Daoist training returns the physical body to a baby’s body. The tendons, ligaments, muscles become more flexible.

When you have a flexible body then your mind and emotions become flexible.

The fourth pillar is behavior or another word would be attitude.

This is a reflection on how you do relationships. How to be a good person and treat everyone and everything the same. Be open minded and look at all sides of the story. Nobody is bad, nobody is good nobody is perfect.

Training the physical body is the base to keep the balance to become a whole and wise person. Do you always complain about someone else? Think about what you are doing yourself. Do you always think you are never wrong? We are never always right and we are never always wrong.

Develop a good heart. Do good things so people feel your energy and they will like you. Create balance in your head and in your heart. Cultivating good energy is your training.

  • Ming Gong = Physical body training
  • Xing Gong = spiritual training

Practice 70% Ming gong and 30% Xing gong because we live in such a materialistic world we must train our physical bodies in order to train our spiritual bodies.

When you train your spirit and your internal mind this brings understanding. You need understanding to “think around” a subject. This means to look at all sides. Yours, mine and the objective truth. When you are able to ‘think around’ a subject you improve your Qi Energy.

There are 3 meanings to the word Qi. We know it as life and breath that flows through our bodies. But also, means transformation. When you are able to train your internal mind after training your physical body so you can ‘think around’ a subject then you have improved your Qi transformation energy.

This is transcribed from a talk with Master Yuan in Wudang, China