Nurturing the Natural Aging Process with


Some 2,000 years ago, the Chinese described the physiological stages of aging, as detailed in Huang Di Nei Jing, one of the bibles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The book is a classic that sets the pace for many of the practices and the health philosophy that came from Taoism. Some of the theories from this book have been adopted and encoded in TCM health practices of dao yin (breathing and limbering exercises) and du na (breathing gongs), as well as tai chi, neijia and qigong.

        TCM follows a seven-year cycle of stages for women because females are seen as yin and correspond to the number seven, which is an odd, or yang, number. This is yin within yang. TCM follows an eight-year cycle of stages for men because males are seen as yang and correspond to the number eight, which is an even, or yin, number. This is yang within yin.

        In TCM, the aging process is seen as congenital essence being used up while the ability to supply acquired essence declines. These two essences are what form human vitality. We inherit a fixed amount of congenital essence from our parents and obtain an acquired essence from ingested foods and fluids, which are stored in the kidneys and comprise the material basis for all of our functional activities.

        When kidney essence is exhausted, our physiological activities will stop and our natural life soon ends. By the age of 35 in women and 40 in men, our jing/essence will decline rapidly. There are methods of preserving essence based on diet, proper exercise that does not exhaust the body, a lifestyle devoid of overindulgence and calming mindfulness that bypasses negative emotions.

Lana Moshkovich, DACM, ND, MSOM, is the owner of Nirvana Naturopathics, located at 1500 Shermer Rd., Ste. LL29, in Northbrook and 20578 Milwaukee Ave., in Deerfield. For appointments, call 847-715-9044. For more information, visit


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