Unbelievably, Li Ching Yuen was a man who lived for 256 years. Hence, according to a New York Times article from 1930, Wu Chung-chieh, professor of the Chengdu University, presented Imperial Chinese government records from 1827 congratulating Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday. Additionally, back in 1877, other documents which were discovered later on showed him congratulating Li on his 200th birthday. A correspondent of the New York Times, in 1928, wrote that a lot of old men in the neighborhood of Li claimed that their grandfathers knew Li Ching when they were only little boys, and, that he, at that time, was an adult.
Li Ching Yuen began his career as an herbalist at the age of 10. He picked up herbs in mountains and learned about their power for longevity. What’s more, around 40 years, his nutrition was primarily based on herbs like lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shoo wu, gotu kola, and rice wine. Furthermore, at the age of 71, in 1749, he became a member of the Chinese armies as a teacher of martial arts. Additionally, he was reported as a loved figure in his community. Amazingly, he married 23 times and fathered more than 200 children! He learned to read and write at an early age, and by his tenth birthday he had already visited Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam, and Manchuria to gather herbs. This was his primary occupation for 100 years; afterwards, he began selling herbs that other people gathered.
As one of Li’s disciples claimed, he was not the only person over the age of 200. Moreover, according to him, there was a 500- year-old man who taught him Qigong exercises and advised him about his nutrition in order to help him extend his lifespan.
On his deathbed, Li said that he had done everything he wanted to do in this world. Maybe, these words could be the potential answer to longevity. When Li was asked what the secret to longevity was, he said that a quiet heart, sitting like a tortoise, walking like a pigeon, and sleeping as a dog would do the trick. Li said this to Wu Pei-fu, the warlord, who took Li into his house in order to learn the secrets for longevity from him. What’s more, Li held the view that a calm and peaceful mind, in combination with proper breathing techniques, is the solution to a longer lifespan. Although his nutrition obviously played a major role in his longevity, Li attributed his long years of life to his state of mind.
Even though this story seems amazing, some people remain skeptics considering the fact that the average lifespan in the west is between 70-85 years, and the thought of someone living over 100 and over 200 years is really difficult to grasp.
However, it is important to know that some people experience no stress whatsoever; they do not breathe polluted city air and include physical activity regularly. Additionally, they exclude sugars and flour from their diets and consume only organic food without fatty meats, GMO foods, antibiotics, alcohol, and tobacco. On the contrary, the American diet is mainly based on junk foods that only contribute to the detriment of the overall health, and thus, our lifespan decreases. Some people also spend a lot of time in nature and under the sun, meditating and practicing breathing techniques that have amazing effect on the improvement of physical, emotional, and mental health. When we spend time under the sun, we immediately feel energized and we call this a vacation. But, imagine spending your entire lifetime in the mountains, under the sun, surrounded by nature? Your entire life would be a vacation.
To sum up, if we do everything as it should be done, celebrating our 100th birthday would be a common thing, because, when we treat our bodies properly, who knows for how long can we live?