《黄帝内经》Huang Di Nei Jing (Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine), Bible and earliest extant canon of Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM), is generally believed to be compiled in the Period of Warring States (476-221 BC). It is composed of two parts, Su Wen (Plain Conversation) and Ling Shu (Pivot of the Soul), each containing 81 chapters.
Su Wen (Plain Conversation) discusses the principles of yin-yang, cultivation of health in different seasons as well as the physiology and pathology of viscera and meridians (energy channels in the body); Ling Shu (Pivot of the Soul) mainly deals with traditional therapies. Both fascicles seldom mention specific treatment with drugs, just discussing viscera, meridians, diet and the compatibility between drugs based on the theory of Wu Xing (five elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth).
Temper the heart first, followed by the application of external treatment and
dietary therapies, and use medicine as the last resort.
The most capable doctor eliminates root causes of lurking diseases;
The less capable doctor wards off diseases prior to the onset;
The least capable doctor treats disease after the outbreak.
The vital energy (Qi and blood) flowing in the body’s meridian system determines a man’s life and death, and severity, curability and root cause(s) of a disease.
When zhengqi (positive energy in the human body) is kept in, evils shall not enter.
In ancient times, people who knew the Dao followed the law of Yin-Yang interactions, applied health preservation techniques, restrained themselves in diet and drinking, kept regular hours and avoided exhaustion. Thus they were physically and spiritually healthy, lived to the end of their natural lifespan, and passed away at over 100 years of age.
By contrast, today’s people drink liquor like water, proceed to have intercourse when drunk, go after desires as normal pursuits, burn themselves out seeking satisfaction and pleasures, and disrupt the body’s normal functioning. Thus they deplete their vital energy, dry up their essence, and age at a mere 50.