Methods for Nourishing Vitality and a Long Life

Yang Sheng Fa

Level Four of the Soma Dao Qi Gong Teacher Training

Most of the people I meet in the Qi Gong world who are also interested in studying human Health and Preventative Medicine, have experienced a personal health challenge and need healing, want to be more supportive of their friends and family, and/or are considering a career in Health Care.

If your Qi Gong journey has been inspired by a chronic personal health challenge, the ancient tradition of Yang Sheng Fa can help you support your health and healing in some very comprehensive ways. If you are interested in helping others, these tried-and-true methods of nourishing health, rooted in the oldest living system of medicine in the world, will help you have a good foundation in preventative medicine.

The Chinese characters for Yang Sheng Fa (養生法) describe feeding your leftovers to your goat, just in case you need to eat your goat to stay alive. Some aspects of Chinese philosophy are very pragmatic, but also respectful of the ebb and flow of one’s resources, one’s vitality, and one’s challenges. Yang Sheng Fa is a lifelong daily practice of self-care that involves all aspects of your life, even the humble and seemingly unimportant parts.  This approach to living a conscious and healthy life is all about balance, seasonal rhythms, and living a very long, conscious, and healthy life.

In many Spiritual traditions, especially the ones that focus on meditation, how you live your life, how you eat, your level of fitness, your emotional intelligence, and your ability to create comfort and ease, are all expressions of dedication to your Path. Also, because meditation is so profoundly meaningful and Spiritual Awakening so elusive, preparing for a long and vigorous life has always been the Way.

Combining your Qi Gong practice (and teaching) with a Yang Sheng Fa practice has always been a successful marriage in the history of Daoist Cultivation. The principles and practices of Yang Sheng Fa are rooted in thousands of years of experience, of both healers and those who have needed healing. A principle of Daoism, called Zi Ran, reminds us all that life is always changing, and so is the understanding of how bodies work, what slows aging, and what is causing the most common illnesses of the day.

Although I am very invested in the ancient healing wisdom that I have learned, I am also very passionate about staying at the leading edge of Functional Medicine, lab testing, and nutraceutical protocols. If you like science and are interested in a systems-based approach to healing, Functional Medicine is essentially Chinese medicine with a Microscope.

Throughout this Ten Week Healing Journey, I will share a balance of the old and the new, what has gone wrong, what works,

and most importantly, why!

This 10 Week Journey will cover the following traditional aspects of  Yang Sheng Fa.

  • The Yang Sheng Tradition – how much family folk medicine did you grow up with? Learning a seasonal, sensible, lifestyle, diet, fitness, and longevity tradition will hopefully turn you into your family’s ‘folk healer’. Weird herbs, teas, potions, and all. Most people who fall in love with the Yang Sheng lifestyle become really good cooks, fitness enthusiasts, meditation students, conscious communicators, and sexually much more playful and intimate lovers.
  • Chinese Medicine 101 – if you are ill and want to understand how to get healthy, you need to know what went wrong. To understand what went wrong, you need an understanding of how your internal organs, glands, systems, and enzymes work. You don’t need to become an expert; you just need a clear overview. The Chinese medicine model of organs, substances, and systems is very comprehensive and easy to understand. The differences with the modern scientific modal are minimal and mostly symbolic.
  • The Four Constitutions and The Five Taxations – if you are not healing from a condition but want to personalize your healing path as meaningfully as you can. If you have a Wind Constitution and spend all of your days in a chair, that is where you begin, and those are the specific conditions you need to balance, change, or support.
  • A Seasonal Diet – how much water you need in a day, the best proportions of fats, proteins, and plants, how much to eat, and what to avoid, are all determined by the seasons. Every food, herb, spice, and oil has certain energetic and healing properties. Over thousands of years, people have discovered the best combinations to promote health throughout each season of the year.
  • Metabolic and Spiritual Fasting – fasting is one of the oldest and most effective forms of healing. Today, in a world of excesses, fasting is becoming a real lifesaver. There are many styles of fasting and reasons to fast. There are also profound, deeply personal, and transformational experiences that occur with extended fasting.
  • Balancing Tone and Pliability in all of Your Muscles and Membranes – one of the most surprising things you will learn is how your muscles and fascia function as internal organs. They both work in different ways to regulate your metabolism, adapt to chronic distress, and maintain an effective immune system.
  • Detoxification and Healthy Fat Loss protocols – throughout the seasons of the year and seasons of your life, you may need to ‘change things up’ in some very specific ways, for enough time to restore your body’s natural ability to burn fat or eliminates toxins and wastes.
  • Fertility and Longevity protocols – there are countless factors in why some people can have many children and why others must try for years. There are some common themes that improve libido, fertility, and longevity all at once, for both men and women. If you commit to a Yang Sheng life and focus on longevity, you will live a very long life, and more importantly, you will be happy and healthy until your last day.
  • Finding Life, Work, Rest, Play Balance – balancing your Adaptive Resources and Erosive Influences is an equation that can be used to balance and heal any organ, system, habit, or schedule.
  • Seasonal Fitness strategies for young and old – depending on your interests, age, and where you live, what is available for fitness opportunities will vary. From a Yang Sheng perspective, what you do for exercise is not as important as what your body needs more and less throughout the year.
  • Sleep Hygiene – modern life, especially the overuse of screens, has changed the way we sleep. Chronic poor sleep has been linked with many chronic illnesses, not to mention the wear and tear on a person’s mind and soul. Sleep hygiene is a step-by-step sequence of changes that you can make to ensure that you are getting into deep enough sleep, for long enough, every night.
  • Mental and Emotional Hygiene – the Yang Sheng Fa tradition has some very wise and skillful approaches to a more mindful life, as well as an entire practice for developing Emotional Intelligence.
  • Conscious Parenting – the best way to make more healthy adults is to raise as many healthy and happy children as possible. Learning a few pointers from ancient indigenous cultures (Daoism) about raising children may just be what the modern world needs. I find these tools very helpful when you are learning to befriend your inner child as well.
  • Sacred IntimacyQi Gong and Daoist practice exist in reverence to the dynamic energies of Nature, the Sky, and the Land. These practices are just as deeply invested in the interplay of energies between sexual Beings. Just like Qi Gong has instinctual, intuitive, emotional, and existential qualities; so do sexuality and intimacy. Handed down for generations, these common sense and playful approaches to a healthier, more joyous, and loving sex life are some of the most popular things I teach.

Week One

This Week’s Topics:

Why Animals Practice Yang Sheng, Dao Yin, and Qi Gong

The Do’s and Don’ts of Vitality and Longevity in the 21st Century

The Evolution of the Human Diet

The Efficiency Dilemma

Morning Rituals and Neuroplasticity

Beginning Your Yang Sheng Journey

The first step towards abundant energy and longevity is to change some basic perspectives on health and explore a very common sense suggestion. We are all aware that improving our health requires getting rid of most, if not all of our bad habits.  That is definitely a good direction to go, but most people give up on their diet or health program if they can’t have any fun.

The simple wisdom of Yang Sheng Fa suggests focusing on the Do’s and then working on the Don’ts.  Said another way; start making as many good choices as possible with food, exercise, relaxation and supplements and then remove or limit habits and foods that are still interfering with your healing process – gradually but consistently. If you have a serious health concern then you will obviously have to take this step all of the way.

Fu Zheng Qu Xie

This four-word principle has summed up the essence of Traditional  Chinese Medicine and the most necessary step in healing.

Fu Zheng means to assist your adaptive resources and to bring yourself into a state of resolve.

Qu Xie means to remove erosive influences, pathogens and uncooperative states of being.  This simple equation is the guiding wisdom for this book.

Your Adaptive resources

Your adaptive resources include sufficient sleep, water, nutrient-dense food, close friendships, meaningful goals, creativity and silence.  Sometimes it is important to increase these resources by taking supplements such as herbal medicines, vitamins and nutraceuticals (medicinal nutrients), or by just simply drinking a little more water or learning to meditate.

Some Erosive Influences

Erosive influences include all of the obvious junk food, stimulants and intoxicants that you would expect would have to go during any cleansing or healing process.  Other erosive influences in life include stress from being in a hurry, being in conflict and being in relationships that are without harmony and love.  Even extremes of weather can be erosive if you are feeling a little weak and tired.

Week Two

This Week’s Topics:

The Ten Root Causes of Chronic Illness

Your Diagnosis is Just Shorthand

What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Do You Have Industrial Disease?

Gathering Healing Resources

Conserving Your Three Treasures

Loving Your Three Selves

Understanding Health, a Diagnosis, and Disease

Now that you are (hopefully) enjoying a new balance of Do’s and Don’ts, some nutrient-dense and Antiinflammatory meals, and making your mornings matter, it is time to look at the modern epidemic of Chronic Disease.

Today, when we are ill, our society’s focus is on finding what the illness is called. This diagnosis-centred approach to health creates the conditions for health care to become illness management. This pill goes with that problem or let’s cut out that gall bladder instead of changing your diet and repairing your liver. I am not blaming modern medicine alone. Modern society wants an easy fix and wants to enjoy a lifestyle that is never going to support even basic health, never mind abundant vitality, self-love, and longevity.

Most diagnosable illnesses can only exist if your body is in some state of dysfunction. That is the common sense of healing traditions that go back thousands of years and it is becoming the common sense of the most leading edge clinicians of our time. When you find the root cause of dysfunction, then you can confidently and accurately focus on restoring normal function and health to your unique physiology.

Regardless of the name of the ‘problem,’  the solution is the same.

We all need support and asking for help from a respected professional can go miles in giving you confidence that what you are doing makes sense. More importantly, receiving the benefit of the support of a team of like-minded people and forms of treatment will almost always be more effective than just following one modality.

Week Three

This Week’s Topics:

Ancient Wisdom and Seasonal Balance

The Four Constitutions

The Five Taxations (Wu Lao)

Rest, Silence, and Your Brain

Sleep Hygiene

Why Animals Play

Balancing Work, Rest, Sleep, and Play.  

Almost everyone has to work for a living. Balancing your work and your qualities of living is a dance that we all get to learn. The Yang Sheng Fa tradition has some insight into a seasonal approach to finding this elusive balance, as well as the true definition of rest, why play is a Human need, and how to get the most from your sleep.

While you are asleep, assuming you are sleeping deeply enough, your body is very busy repairing itself. So busy, in fact, that there is not enough energy for you to be conscious. Getting enough sleep and waking with the seasons is the foundation, or the limiting factor, in anyone’s health and in any attempt at cultivating Vitality, Fertility, and/or Longevity.

A good night’s sleep is like a tonic for both your inner Yin and Yang.

Real rest, technically, is lying down and actually relaxing your whole body while daydreaming, napping, or even meditating. That means no phone, no books, no music, and no interruptions for 30 – 40. If you fall asleep, your body may need some Yang Sheng practice, focused on repair.

Without play, some parts of your brain actually go into hibernation. There are countless ways to play. Some games you play alone, and some you play with others. Both are necessary and beneficial in distinct and important ways.

Week Four

This Week’s Topics:

Fitness 101 – Always Start Here!

Your Muscles function as an Internal Organ

Your Fascia and Your Acupuncture Meridians

Flexibility, Pliability, Tension, and Tone

How Fatloss Works – or Not!

Metabolic and Spiritual Fasting

Fitness, Fatloss, Fasting, and flexibility

Stronger muscles, healthy body fat ratios, and more flexible joints can ensure better health.

When your muscles and connective tissues are toned and pliable, almost every organ and system in your body improves. So does your mood, focus, and sleep. Your body also secretes more Human Growth Hormone (HGH).  If you exercise regularly and ask your muscles to work a little harder you will start secreting more and more of HGH. HGH is an essential substance that improves healing, tissue repair and looking younger. This is will become more and more important every decade after you are over 40.

When your muscles get enough exercise, especially through resistance training, your metabolism will speed up for 30 to 40 hours after each session of exercise.  This means you can eat some of those challenging carbs and still fit into your favorite clothes. Decreasing excess fat storage can be crucial in improving your health. For some people, this is not a concern, but for others, it can be life-threatening.

Fasting is one of the oldest forms of healing in the world. This powerful practice has survived the ages and terms like Intermittent Fasting and Extended Fasting are discussed everywhere where people are talking about health, disease prevention and treatment, and especially longevity.

Week Five

This Week’s Topics:

Your Metabolism and Momentum 

Distress and Eustress

Adaptive Overstrain, Resistance, and Exhaustion

Jing Shen – Essence and Spirit

Your Hormones and Your Health

Your Neurotransmitters and Your Mood, Focus, Memory, and Sleep

 Stabilize Your Metabolism

Chronic time and money pressure, emotional distress, pushing through fatigue, and worry, are all going to keep your physiology in a state of Fight, Flight, or Freeze.  Our bodies are not designed to fight or run away for very long, so the longer we tap into these reserves the faster we will age and the more we will increase our chances of facing debilitating and degenerative illnesses.  Besides the usual life stressors, the impact of over-using stimulants like caffeine and sugar, and intoxicants like alcohol and other harmful drugs, are a huge stress on your metabolism and physiological resources.

Your Adaptability  and Adaptive Resources make up your health.

How did you adapt to the last stressful event in your life?

What choices could you make to improve your sense of adaptability?

How in the balance of your Adaptive Resources and Erosive Influences in your Life?

How is your Metabolism?

When I meet new patients we often have a conversation about relating to their diagnosis less and focus on their relative Adaptive Overstrain and Overwhelm and their ability to bring more resources into their body and their lives.

This week will be a deep dive into how an Adaptive Overstrain effects each of your major hormones and neurotransmitters. Or, from a TCM perspective, your Jing (Essence) and Shen (Spirit).

Week Six

This Week’s Topics:

You are What You Eat and Don’t Excrete

All Disease Starts in the Gut

Digestive Juices (Stomach, Pancreas, and Gall Bladder)

‘Rotting and Ripening’- Your Microbiome and Candida

Rebuilding Your Digestive System

Good digestion is essential to good health.  Many of us have the understanding that after we eat a meal, any meal, we will digest and absorb all of the calories and nutrients – no problem.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Every organ in your digestive system can become overworked and every food you eat digests in its own way.  Eating large meals of starches and proteins at every sitting is the worst way to treat your poor overworked tummy, but that is what most people in the modern world do, all day, every day.

Your body can only heal as fast as it has the resources (nutrients and calories) to repair itself and the availability of these resources is mostly limited by your digestion. This week, you will be invited to fake a tour through each digestive function and organ, gain a clinical sense of what goes wrong, why, and what to do about it. As well, you will get to know the value of your Microbiome (your gut bugs) and chronic infections like Candida.

Week Seven

This Week’s Topics:

The Seven Layers of Your Immune System

Stress, Inflammation, and Immunity

Allergies and Hyper-Immunity

Chronic Infections, Aging, and Hypo-Immunity

One in Five People has an Autoimmune Condition

Healing a Confused Immune System

I like to say that the immune system has boundary issues.

There are layers and layers of immune system interaction with the outside world, with your food, with the waste products from digesting your food, with the waste products of detoxification, and with the constant and necessary processes of tissue repair.

Sometimes one of these layers becomes overactive and you may experience an allergic reaction. This is called Hyper Immunity.

Sometimes a layer or boundary becomes weak, and you may experience an infection that becomes chronic, or it may go deeper into your body. This is called Hypo Immunity.

Sometimes the layers stop communicating normally and the immune system attacks its own body. This is called Autoimmunity.

This week, you will have a chance to learn why 75% of your immune system is in your gut, and how your emotional states can determine the mood of your immune system. Again, what goes wrong, why, and what to do about it will be the focus.

Week Eight

This Week’s Topics:

Why Liver Pâté is Medicine

Your Three Detoxification Pathways

Traffic Jams, Hypertension, and PMS

Reversing Fatty Liver Disease

Liver Qi and Emotional Intelligence

Hello, I am Your Liver

The eighth step is to make your liver’s job a little, or a lot easier.  A common way to think of the liver is like a sponge or a filter that removes wastes and neutralizes toxins from your bloodstream. With this understanding, we would never want to eat the liver of an animal because it must be full of waste and toxins.  A more accurate way to see the liver is like a chemical bank account that is full of all of the nutrients, anti-oxidants and detoxification enzymes that are necessary to deal with the wastes and toxins of day-to-day life. Pâté anyone?

In Tradition Chinese medicine (TCM), your Liver has the responsibility of Dredging (Shu) and Draining (Xie). This describes the function of your t three Detoxification Pathways. These pathways have all evolved to Dredge – or extract as many nutrients as possible from your food, and to Drian, or remove toxins by putting them inside fat cells prisons, and then turn the into chemicals that can safely move through your elimination organs. 

This week you can learn about the importance of equal effort with these pathways, as if they were all separate conveyor belts, trying to move things into and out of your body at the same pace. This is actually how Liver Cleansing works.

Week Nine

This Week’s Topics:

You Have 100,000 km of Veins and Arteries

Your Inner Pumps and Filters

Swamps, Gels, and Stem Cells

Cleansing Your Kidneys, Lymph, Lungs, and Skin

Improving Elimination and Circulation

This week, you can learn how to repair your almost endless vascular system, Lymphatic System, and your Interstitial Fluids, which support tissue repair with stem cells, if your body is not full of tissue waste from chronic inflammation, incomplete detoxification (every cell has a tiny liver), as well as how your body maintains the internal organ resources needed to do this everywhere in your body at once..

Better Circulation and Elimination are top priorities in the modern chronic disease epidemic. Chronic inflammation, obesity, Diabetes, and many other chronic conditions, all harden your arteries, cause water retention, and all are made worse with a modern diet.

Your kidneys, liver, lymphatic system, gallbladder, as well as your lungs and skin, are all working 24/7 to keep your body clear of waste products. By assisting these processes you will lose weight, improve your health, and live a much longer life.

Remember to always drink some water first thing in the morning – EVERY DAY!

In TCM, it is said that your Liver and Kidneys share the same resources. This refers to all of the nutrients, biochemistry, and other bank accounts and energies that determine the trajectory of your life.

Also, remember to always eat a Nutrient Dense Diet. 

Week Ten

This Weeks Topics

Your 60 Trillion Cells

Cellular Villages

Cellular Communication

Is Cancer a Normal Process?

Inner Alignment and Your Heart Torus

Cellular Health, Quantum Feilds, and Coherence Meditation

For the tenth and final week, you and your 70 trillion cells (little yous) can finally eliminate any stored waste and toxins. Every one of your trillions of cells has to flush its toilet every day. Pardon the imagery, but if you have been overfeeding your cells, or feeding them poorly, that is 70 trillion messy little toilet flushes every day that have to go through your liver, kidneys, and other elimination organs – even if their bank accounts are on overdraft.

This week, your journey ends with a commitment to your long-term cellular health, and an honest inquiry into how your state being affects your epigenetics, and your long-term health outcomes.

As a participant, you will receive:

Returning to an Ancestral Diet

(500 recipes from around the world)

A Personal Consultation with Dr. Michael Smith

When you are ready to ask some important questions!

Maximize your Health and Get the most out of your efforts.

Ten Steps to Abundant Health

(A 300-page course manual)

Ten Weeks

Tuesday, March 14th – May 16th, 2023

6 PM – 8 PM PST 

Recordings of the Live classes are usually available for streaming or download within 24 hours. 

$647

$497

Yang Sheng Fa can improve many aspects of your life!

Each week, the information you learn can support your personal health and your ability to support others. If you are a clinician, therapist, teacher, or another kind of healthcare professional or coach, you will have a common-sense framework to support those in need. Putting these principles into action will change your life.

For the rest of your life!

Pay in Full

$497

Pay $997 in Full

Two Payments of $250

$250

Two Payments of $250