Lin’an Pengzu Health Culture

Traditional Chinese medicine culture (Pengzu Health Culture) is a culture centered around Pengzu’s unique techniques in guiding qi, regulating and nourishing therapy, chamber health, and dietary health.

The teachings and health techniques of Pengzu have had a significant and long-lasting influence. Throughout the ages, the works of Daoist or medical literature have sporadically preserved Pengzu’s health preservation teachings. Pengzu’s health preservation methods are recorded practices of late primitive society’s healthcare. Its content can be roughly divided into several aspects: Pengzu’s nourishing techniques, Pengzu’s qi guidance techniques, Pengzu’s breath control techniques, Pengzu’s chamber techniques, and Pengzu’s cooking techniques. Particularly noteworthy is Pengzu’s role as the founder of cooking, respected by generations of chefs with successors. Although many of Pengzu’s original culinary methods have been lost, some have been preserved and passed down.

The core of Pengzu’s longevity and health culture lies in Pengzu’s unique techniques in guiding qi, regulating and nourishing therapy, chamber health, and dietary health, which are considered treasures of Chinese culture. Its “suitable body, enlightened spirit, unified will, guiding heart” eight-character principle supplements and nurtures the human body both physically and emotionally, thus promoting health and longevity. Therefore, it holds significant value for scientific research.

Historical Origin

More than four thousand years ago, during the Shang and Yin Dynasties, there was a virtuous man named Pengzu. Originally holding an official position in Pengcheng (modern-day Xuzhou), he grew weary of the hustle and bustle of the world and decided to resign from his post, seeking a secluded place for health preservation. He chose the picturesque and resource-rich area below Tianmu Mountain, a quiet place known as the Eight Gorges and Sixteen Bays (also known as Baigang Ridge), as his new home.

Pengzu lived a simple and peaceful life in this paradise-like place. According to historical records, Pengzu married forty-nine wives and had fifty-four children, which was extremely rare in that era. Even more astonishing, legend has it that he lived to the ripe old age of eight hundred, a marvel in human history. His longevity and health preservation methods filled people with admiration and curiosity.

Pengzu spent his twilight years in peace, passing away after a long and happy time in the Eight Gorges and Sixteen Bays. Upon his death, he was buried in the beloved Baigang Ridge. In commemoration of this long-lived man, later generations renamed Baigang Ridge to Baibaili, symbolizing the hometown of the eight-hundred-year-old man.

Today, this place has become part of Panshan Village in Jincheng Street. Although Pengzu’s figure has long since departed, his legend and health preservation methods still echo in this land. Whenever people pass through this ancient and mysterious land, they will remember the eight-hundred-year-old long-lived man and his wisdom of health preservation.

Basic Contents of Pengzu Health Culture

Pengzu’s health preservation methods are a brilliant pearl in Chinese health culture. After generations of inheritance and development, it has accumulated into a profound Pengzu health preservation culture, which condenses the essence of four major techniques and five major principles.

The four major techniques cover various aspects of health preservation. The health preservation techniques teach people how to adapt to nature and live harmoniously to achieve physical and mental health. Culinary techniques focus on cooking methods, emphasizing the nutrition and taste of food, allowing people to enjoy delicious food while nourishing their bodies. Chamber techniques explore the harmony and health of married life, aiming to improve people’s quality of life. Feng shui techniques pay more attention to the influence of living environment on people, guiding the selection of suitable living environments to assist in health preservation.

The five major principles point the way for people’s health preservation. First, it explicitly states that health preservation is not equivalent to simple nutrition intake but rather a comprehensive lifestyle. Secondly, health is not directly equivalent to longevity; true health is the harmony of body and mind, not just the length of life. Thirdly, there is no necessary connection between exercise and longevity; moderate exercise benefits health, but more exercise does not necessarily lead to longer life. Fourthly, the four major factors affecting health are clearly stated: reasonable diet and nutritional balance are the foundation, body conditioning and maintenance are equally important, correct breathing and regulation of the four qi can improve the quality of life, and the proper use of chamber techniques also contributes to physical and mental health. Finally, Pengzu health culture presents a bold idea: under ideal health conditions, people may live up to 170 years.

Primary Value

Pengzu’s four major techniques and five major principles have not only opened up a new chapter in Chinese human life studies but also provided valuable historical documents for the study of human health, longevity, reproduction, and living environment. This unique health preservation culture has had a profound impact on various academic fields in China and even globally.

In the long river of China’s five thousand years of civilization, Pengzu’s health preservation culture has always been highly respected by all walks of life. In Daoist culture, Pengzu’s health philosophy has become one of its core ideas, giving Pengzu a pivotal position in Daoism and even being revered as one of the founders of Daoism. In China’s culinary industry, Pengzu is revered as the ancestor by chefs. His culinary techniques not only focus on the nutrition and taste of food but also incorporate health preservation concepts, allowing people to achieve health preservation while enjoying delicious food.

The influence of Pengzu’s health culture is not limited to China. Internationally, its unique health philosophy and methods have also received widespread attention and research. Countries such as the United States and Japan have even incorporated the content of Pengzu’s health culture into their relevant textbooks for study and research.

It can be said that the value of Pengzu’s four major techniques and five major principles is not only reflected in its unique health preservation methods but also in its provision of new research perspectives and thinking directions for multiple fields such as medicine, nutrition, sports, diet, etc. This health culture not only enriches China’s traditional culture but also makes a significant contribution to the research on human health and longevity worldwide. Its influence in China and the international academic community is self-evident.

Protection Measures

To promote the development of the health preservation industry, during the 2015 First China Pengzu Health Preservation Culture Festival, four themed cultural activities were held: the National Health Product Expo and Negotiation Meeting, the Elderly Care Culture and Aging Industry Achievement Exhibition, the Pengzu Health Preservation Culture Experience Tour, and the Pengzu Health Preservation Lecture. These events provided a high-level platform for resource integration for thousands of health-related enterprises and distributors nationwide.

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