Interview with Master Yun Chung Chiang and the secret to keep your body young

August 18, 2015 Updated: August 18, 2015

Martial arts master Yun Chung Chiang enjoys great health, is very active, and looks much younger than his age.

Epoch Times met with Chiang in El Cerrito, California, and it was surprising to learn that he will soon be 95 years old.

Dr. Chiang’s skin is tight with very few wrinkles, his voice is strong, and he can answer questions clearly. He still has his original teeth, and at the end of the interview, he used them to eat some dessert with us.

He is the founder of the Wen Wu martial arts school and is famous for martial arts, Chinese painting, calligraphy, and Chinese medicine. His painting Black Hawk was chosen by President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the White House collection.

Dr. Chiang studied martial arts from an early age, including Tai Chi, Hsing I, Shao Lin, Pa Kua, and White Crane, with famous masters such as Kuo Lien-yin, Wang Chih-ch’ien, and Ch’en K’ai-shan.

He began teaching Tai Chi at the University of California, Berkeley, before opening the Wen Wu School of Martial Arts in 1973. He has taught over 50,000 people since then.

Martial arts is one of the main reasons Dr. Chiang is still so healthy at age 94. He said that he continues to practice martial arts every day for three hours until he is soaking wet. Sometimes he just holds one posture for three hours.

He said the sweating makes “all the garbage from the body go out.”

How are these slow movements different from jogging, running, or other physical exercises? What is his secret for keeping his body so healthy?

Dr. Chiang explained that Chinese culture is more focused on the internal, whereas Western culture is focused on the external.

“When you move, [your] body sweats, but not like puffing through a hard workout,” Dr. Chiang said. “That gives long life … like Tai Chi or yoga. The organs do not get damaged. At the same time, the toxins in the body are eliminated with the sweating.”

The profound Chinese culture also plays an important part in his health.

He explained that there are different elements in people’s bodies, such as water and fire. If these elements are in a balanced state, the body will be healthy; otherwise, it will be in poor health.

For example, when a person is angry or anxious, the fire increases and the water decreases, creating an imbalance which invites all kinds of health problems to emerge. The key is to maintain an internal balance, Dr. Chiang said.

Chinese martial arts, or Gong Fu, also shows the wisdom of Chinese culture. Though its movements are slow and rounded, it gives practitioners internal health and a healthy body as a result.

Dr. Chiang said that Gong Fu is very beneficial because it not only strengthens one’s body, but also helps restore balance. “Especially Tai Chi—you have to be really quiet and relaxed, and the qi will go down.” When qi descends, the fire goes down, and it will let the water ascend. The water nourishes the body.

“I am 94 now; no wrinkles, no dark spots, because water goes up,” he said.

In Chinese medicine, different organs correspond to certain elements. For example, he explained, the kidneys control water. When the fire is down, the kidneys will drive the water up.

Dr. Chiang said that under the tongue there is a point called the “heaven wheel.”

“The water comes out from there, and this water originates in the kidney,” he said.

He explained that when people get old, they get thirsty and have dry skin because water cannot go up. Like a locomotive engine, there is no more water to service it, so the train will stop. As the fire goes down, that will boil the water, and then the water can go up.

Dr. Chiang is also known for his in-depth knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. His teachers were the best in their field.

In 1970, Dr. Chiang studied acupuncture with Dr. Ts’ai Ma-Cha and Master Yang Chieh-feng, and learned prescription and pulse-diagnosis from Dr. Hu Wen-tao. In 1973, Dr. Chiang founded the Chung Hua Clinic of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.

He continued his medical training in 1975 with Dr. Yu Chen-chou, the ninth-generation heir among the physicians of Chinese emperors. In 1984, he received his Ph.D. and O.M.D from SAMRA University of Health Sciences.

Later in 1992, he also received an honorary Ph.D. from the Hawaii Institute of Technology. Dr. Chiang has successfully treated thousands of patients, including celebrities, authors, and actors.

One of his famous patients was Annie Potts, a well-known American actress and Designing Women host star. She was diagnosed with infertility by Western medicine doctors.

When her case seemed hopeless, a friend of hers, writer Henry Miller, told her to visit Dr. Chiang in northern California. She did, and after Dr. Chiang’s treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbs, she had a healthy baby named Jake.

The medical journal Alternative Medicine Digest covered the story. According to the article, Potts had tried all kinds of fertility therapy, including Clomid (clomiphene citrate, a drug prescribed to reverse “ovulatory failure”).

She had suffered from side effects such as abdominal discomfort, uterine bleeding, breast tenderness, depression, and dizziness, according to the article.

After she started treatment with Dr. Chiang, it took four months to have her body balanced and strengthened through energy pathways with acupuncture. Dr. Chiang also prescribed Chinese herbs for fertility, and he treated Annie’s husband as well, the article reported. After a few months, she was pregnant.

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