Everything you need to know about the Chinese wellness trend of Yang Sheng

It’s Chinese New Year, which is a perfect time to take stock of your life and see where you can make any potential improvements. As the year of the pig kicks off, you could do much worse than look into the Chinese wellness trend of Yang Sheng.

This is a school of thought which is growing in popularity in the West. It focuses on preventing illness rather than curing it, and is all about living in a way which boosts everyday health.

As with many types of Chinese medicine, Yang Sheng is a holistic approach – focusing on your mind and body at the same time. Here’s everything you need to know about applying the principles to your daily life.

What’s it all about?

Yang Sheng is all about self-care. Its principles date back to around the 4th century BC, so you can be sure it doesn’t have specific bits of advice about taking a digital detox – but it’s still relevant today.

Yang Sheng means to nurture or nourish life, and can be traced back to ancient Taoist philosophy. At its core, it’s about balancing your ‘qi’, otherwise known as your life force or energy. The idea is that this will help reduce stress in your mind and on your body.

How can you apply it to your own life?

Yang Sheng might be rooted in ancient philosophies, but it can still be applied to your everyday life now. The qi is associated with your blood flow, so Yang Sheng encourages carrying out daily rituals which can help boost this.

It’s about regulating stress levels through both mental and physical practices. This could include yoga, reiki, meditation or breathing exercises like Qigong – which is a method of cleansing your body and re-energising your qi.

Yang Sheng is also making its way into the world of Western beauty and wellness. Take the Hayo’u Method – an English company set up by Katie Brindle, which takes its inspiration from Yang Sheng and Eastern medicine. It advises tackling stress through daily rituals. For example, this could involve Gua Sha – the self-massage technique of using a jade roller on your face. This Gwyneth Paltrow-approved method promises to help reduce inflammation and boost blood flow. As an added bonus, it claims to reduce wrinkles and lines by plumping up your skin.

Hayo’u also advises simple physical movements inspired by Yang Sheng which they say will help reinvigorate your body and relieve tension all over.

The hope is that by adopting simple physical movements, massage techniques and meditation practices in your daily life, you also reduce the  likelihood of falling ill in the future.

- Press Association

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