ANTI-AGING                  tao wisdom to live long  LIFE SPAN AND GENES
longevity  how to live long       wisdom in the art of living well

you just don't die       Life and living Everything Is A Miracle

ANTI-AGING                  tao wisdom to live long  LIFE SPAN AND GENES
longevity  how to live long       wisdom in the art of living well
Longevity Relaxation

Stephen Lau

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Longevity Relaxation Techniques

by  Stephen Lau


Disease is caused by stresses in life. Stresses may come in different forms: radiation stress from the environment damaging living tissue in the body; chemical stress from the environment, the food and water, as well as the pharmaceutical drugs; emotional stress releasing chemicals to impair the immune system; nutritional stress due to both the quality and the quantity of food consumed

All these accumulative stresses may adversely affect your overall well-being.

There are many simple longevity relaxation techniques and strategies to relax both the body and the mind.


The Time Factor

How to relax to relieve stress requires time. Yes, how to relax has to do with time: the past, the present, and the future. Your memories of unpleasant past experiences may intensify your present stress level; learn to let go of the past to reduce present or future stress. You may be confronting a crisis at the present moment; learn stress management strategies to cope with the present stress. Future stress is no more than a projected perception of the present state of mind; learn to use your
mind power to deal with stress, if not totally eliminate future stress.

You need to take time to find time to relax; in other words, you need to slow down. But, you also need time to finish your tasks and chores-that is, to meet your deadlines. So, effective time management
is also a component of stress management.

The Human Factor

How to relax has to do with nurturing the inner self, developing a positive attitude to life, and creating a peace of mind-the basic tools for relaxation techniques to reduce stress.

Relaxation has to do with having a holistic, practical, and honest approach to living. It involves the physical body, the mind, and the soul. Relaxation is not just about taking a holiday, going fishing, watching a movie, or reading a book.

Relaxation is an integral part of life, without which there is no stress relief. It is about learning how to deal with life’s natural flow, and how to go along with it-that is, going around life’s problems, instead of confronting them head on or simply avoiding them.

The human factor plays a pivotal part in the practicalities of living, such as eating, gentle exercise, and sleep, which are components of relaxation.


(1) Good Posture

Good posture is one of the fundamental longevity relaxation techniques. Good posture plays a significant role in longevity. Good posture enhances breathing. Healthy breathing not only provides ample oxygen to your lungs for long-term longevity health, but also nourishes, in the form of qi (internal vital life energy), different parts of your body for maximum growth and rejuvenation. Good posture contributes to breathing right. Incidentally, rodents, with the shortest breaths in the animal kingdom, also have the shortest lifespan. Therefore, breathing correctly is an important component of longevity living. But you cannot breathe right without correct posture. Learn the secrets of Tai Chi exercise
to improve posture as well as to optimize breathing.

Despite the importance of good posture for longevity, correct posture is often overlooked because there is no one constantly reminding you to maintain good posture. To successfully improve posture, you must develop an acute awareness for good posture at all times.

     Good posture means in any standing position, you body posture should be as follows:

     Your head is directly above your shoulders.

     Your chin is tucked in.

     Your ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line from a side view.

     Your upper back is straight, not slouched.

     Your shoulders, relaxed and straight, are flat against your back.

     Your pelvis is in a neutral position.

     Your knees are unlocked.

”Straightening up” (jamming your shoulders back, tucking in your tummy, and standing stiff) is not recommended for good standing posture: it does not align your body, and it is nor practicable due to the inability to sustain the posture over a long period.

Improve standing posture

This is how you can improve posture, in particular, standing posture: to stand up straight, you require a straight spine, straight shoulders, and no slumping.

These are the steps to improve posture:

Stand with feet hip-width apart (for better balance).

  Align ears, shoulders, and hips (Using a mirror for alignment).

   Unlock both knees (maintaining “neutral” pelvis; avoiding pelvis tilting forward).

    Pull in abdominal muscles.

   Inhale naturally.

    Exhale slowly while pulling belly button into the spine.

   Lift rib cage (straightening rounded upper back; expanding the lungs for deeper breathing).

    Realign head over shoulders (head not leaning backward).

   Unround shoulders (by rotating arms until palms facing thighs).

  Gently press shoulders down, away from the ears.

    Pull shoulder blades towards the spine.

    Stretch head upwards without tilting backwards.

Practice the above until correct posture becomes second nature to you. Develop your awareness of good posture at all times.

Improve posture to avoid debilitating back pain, neck pain, leg pain, and even headaches, which often interfere with longevity living. Due to poor body posture, all the muscle groups supporting the crooked spine become stretched and strained, causing wear and tear, resulting in in lower back pain. In addition, an arched back exerts undue pressure on the joints and nerves, causing joint pain and rheumatism. All these health conditions, often associated with aging, are due to incorrect posture. Therefore, improve posture to improve quality longevity living.

Improve sleeping posture

Sleeping positions intensify your posture. If you get an aching lower back after sleeping, do not assume that it is due to your mattress. Your sleeping position may be the culprit.
Any sleeping position may be ideal provided that your head should always align with your spine.

Sleeping on the back:

Sleep on a thin pillow-head leveling with your spine. Avoid pushing your head forward or arching your neck with your chin jutting forward.
Sleeping on the stomach:

This is not an ideal sleeping position, which may cause posture problems with your neck and your lower back.

If your must assume this sleeping position, sleep with a soft and flat pillow, and place a small pillow under your abdomen to avoid sagging your lower back.

If possible, learn to change your sleeping position.
Sleeping on the side:

Sleep on a firm foam (not cushy and soft down) pillow - head leveling with your spine, tilting neither upwards nor downwards.

Place a soft pillow between your thighs to avoid strain on the joints in your lower spine and your hip socket, due to stacking one knee on top of the other while sleeping on the side. If you row to the other side, learn to take the pillow along.
Improve posture to give yourself a healthy body and a healthy mind in order to sleep better. Of course, to sleep well, you also need an optimum sleep environment. Go to my webpage: Sleep Health to find out how to optimize your sleep environment in order to have natural sleep.

(2) Correct Breathing

The importance of the human breath cannot be overstated. Your body organs, including the liver, spleen, kidneys, glands, and digestive valves are all connected to the diaphragm, which basically moves the air circulation within the body when you breathe (not the chest) in and out. Breathing correctly relaxes both the body and the mind, and is another important longevity relaxation technique.

There are basically two types of breathing for longevity relaxation

Diaphragm breathing (the complete breath)

Diaphragm breathing (the diaphragm muscle separating your chest from your abdomen) is optimum breathing. Essentially, when your diaphragm goes down, you lungs fill up with air; when your diaphragm goes up, your lungs push the air out, expelling the toxic carbon dioxide. Incomplete breathing (when you use your lungs, instead of the diaphragm, to breathe in and breathe out) leads to accumulation of toxic wastes in the lungs and in other parts of your body organs and tissues. Diaphragm breathing is correct breathing to improve health and enhance relaxation. Without moving the diaphragm, you breathe only partially and therefore incompletely.

Just imagine you are emptying a glass of water: you emty it from the top to the bottom (when exhaling); you are filling a glass of water: you pour in from the bottom to the top (when inhaling).

Consciously change your breathing pattern. Use your diaphragm to breathe. If you place one hand on your breastbone, feeling that it is raised, with the other hand above your waist, feeling the diaphragm muscle moving up and down, then you are practicing diaphragm breathing correctly. Deep breathing with your diaphragm gives you complete breath.

This is how you do diaphragm breathing:

     Sit comfortably.
     Begin your slow exhalation through your nose.

     Contract your abdomen to empty your lungs.

     Begin your slow inhalation and simultaneously make your belly bulge out. 

     Continuing your slow inhalation, now, slightly contract your abdomen and simultaneously lift your chest and

     Continue your slow inhalation, and slowly raise your shoulders. This allows the air to enter fully your lungs to
     attain the complete breath.

     Retain your breath with your shoulders slightly raised for a count of 5.

     Very slowly exhale the air.

     Repeat the process.

Learn to slowly prolong your breath, especially your exhalation. Relax your chest and diaphragm muscle, so that you can extend your exhalation, making your breathing out complete.

To prolong your exhalation, count “one-and-two-and-three” as you breathe in and breathe out. Make sure that they become balanced. Once you have mastered that, then try to make your breathing out a little longer than your breathing in.

Diaphragm breathing promotes a natural, smooth breath movement that strenthens the nervous system and relaxes the body and the mind; it is an excellent physical and mental energizing exercise for total relaxation.

Alternate-nostril breathing

Alternate-nostril breathing is a basic yoga breathing exercise to balance the right side and the left side of your brain. The left side of your brain governs the right side of your body, including your speech and logical thinking, while the right side of your brain governs the left side of your body, including your creativity and intuition. Achieving balance and harmony between the two sides of your brain is critical to deep relaxation. You can balance your mental energy from the right and the left side of the brain through practicing alternate-nostril breathing.

     Place your thumb and ring finger lightly on your right and your left nostrils, respectively, with your index and
     middle fingers resting lightly on your forehead between your eyebrows. (See the illustration below)

     Exhale deeply through both nostrils.

     Press your thumb against the RIGHT nostril to CLOSE it.

     Breathe in through your LEFT nostril. Count 8.

     CLOSE your LEFT nostril by pressing down your ring finger. Now, both nostrils are closed. Retain the air,
     and count 4.

     OPEN your RIGHT nostril, and breathe out. Count 8.

  · With the LEFT nostril still CLOSED, breathe in through the RIGHT nostril. Count 8.

     CLOSE the RIGHT nostril. Now, both nostrils are closed. Retain the air, and count 4.

     OPEN the LEFT nostril, and breathe out with the RIGHT nostril still closed. Count 8

     Repeat the above process.

You only need to change the way you breathe to transform your physical and mental health for total relaxation! Learn to breathe right!

Regular exercises that focus on good posture and correct breathing are longevity relaxation techniques that should be practiced daily in order to prolong life and promote longevity health.

Stephen Lau

Copyright © Stephen Lau

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Stephen Lau

Alignment of the body, the mind, and the soul holds the key to the art of living a life of relaxation for longevity.
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