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Chinese Secrets of Health and Longevity

by: Bob Flaws

Boulder CO: Sounds True Audio 1996, $59.95, Paperback
ISBN: 1-56455-380-9

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 1999 Issue: 6(4) page(s): 20

Though available in paperback, this set of nine hours of information authored and presented by an internationally known Chinese medicine practitioner trained in acupuncture, massage, and herbology at China's Shanghai College of Medicine is a set of audio tapes. Currently, Flaws lectures at schools and conferences throughout the English speaking world.

The tapes discuss what is qi and how to build up yours, and how to store any excess. The author also discusses, among other things, how to stop illness before it starts, and how to learn to relax. Listening to them, one learns not only about the how's of traditional medicine, but also some relationships with that, and ideas and practices of western medicine. Two tapes are about qiging exercises to maintain health, breathing exercises, and more.

Listening in the car, as we did, was excellent for the first four tapes whose titles include: An Introduction to Chinese Medicine, Diet Therapy, Lifestyle Modifications, and Techniques for Emotional Health. The last two tapes are called Dao Yin Self Massage, and Chi Kung Exercises. They are not to be listened to without a floor mat and lots of time. The car was a dreadful place to hear them, the bedroom worked much better as these go through each exercise and allow time to practice each of them, one by one.

The initial four tapes are an excellent introduction to the Chinese science of longevity called xian xue. Flaws is relaxing to listen to, clear and concise, too, as he advises about the need to understand links between environment, daily behaviors including lifestyle and diet, and health. He speaks slowly and clearly, and provides appropriate pauses to allow time for thought.

The tapes were developed as a course in: Discovering the Tao of Better Health. As such, they teach the listener about viable strategies for not only better health, but hopefully ways to assure longer life. In them there are appropriate focii on how to eat for maximum energy, how to regulate sleep, sex, and exercise, how to reduce stress, and how to improve emotional balance.

The part of the course on the qigong exercises is, along with the rest of the materials, part of Chinese traditional beliefs. While the ideas presented sometimes offer comparisons to western beliefs, all the thoughts and suggestions are basic Chinese Traditional Medicine.

Flaws has published many books, most under the label of the Blue Poppy Press, which he founded, including The Tao of Healthy Eating (1997). Some of the information can be found there and in some of his almost sixty other volumes. Listening to the information designed as a course is another great way to learn.

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