Most people likely believe that the world’s oldest person must be, at most, a decade or so over 100. But apparently there was a man named Li Ching Yuen who lived to an amazing 256 years of age! This comes straight from a New York Times article. The article was published in 1930 and reported that Wu Chung-chieh, who was the professor of the Chengdu University, had presented the Imperial Chinese government records that dated back to 1827, where they congratulated Li Ching-Yuen on his 150th birthday.
Then, in 1877, records showed Li being congratulated on making it 200 years of age. It was a correspondent for the New York Times back in 1928, that reported how there were old men in Li Ching’s neighborhood who had grandfathers who had known Li. At the time, Li was an adult, and the grandfathers were small boys.
Turns out that Li Ching Yuen was a herbalist at the early age of only 10. He started picking herbs from mountains, then studying their effects for longevity. At around 40, his nutrition centered around herbs like lingzhi, goji berry, wild ginseng, he shoo wu, gotu kola, and rice wine.
Fast forward to the young age of 71, which would be the year 1749, and Li became a member of the Chinese armies. His position? Martial arts instructor!
Li certainly lived a varied life as he ended up marrying 23 times, and yes he had a few kids. Two hundred actually!
By the time he was 10 he had already been to Kansu, Shansi, Tibet, Annam, Siam, and Manchuria where he gathered herbs. He would go on to gather herbs for about 100 years, making an occupation out of it. Then, after that, he sold herbs that others had gathered up.
As far as a world record for living the longest, it turns out that there is indeed some controversy. But not as you would think. Turns out that one of Li’s students has stated that he wasn’t the only one to get past the age of 200. He claims that there was even a 500- year-old man who taught him Qigong exercises while giving him longevity advise as far as nutrition went.
Li stated just before dying that indeed he had done everything he wanted in his lifetime. So what’s the secret to a long lasting life? Li said it’s all about having a quiet heart, sitting like a tortoise, walking like a pigeon, and sleeping as a dog. That’s the secret!
A warlord named Wu Pei-fu took Li into his home so he could learn the keys to longevity. The above is what Li had told him. He also said that a calm and peaceful mind, combined with proper breathing techniques, is indeed the answer to a long lifespan. Nutrition must have also played a major role. But clearly the proper state of mind was key to his long life span.
Naturally this is tough to believe for many. We are not used to hearing about people living so long. But most of us also find it normal to be under some sort of constant stress, surrounded by pollution, eating fast foods which include sugars, GMO’s, processing, hormones, pesticides and more questionable ingredients. Of course there are all of our vices as well – drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc. All of these are recipes for a shortened lifespan.
Those who eat healthy while spending time in a calming manner, practicing meditation and breathing techniques, along with regular exercise, can indeed lead longer than average lives. Now imagine if you could live peacefully year round with absolutely no stress. No modern day worrying about every little thing. Hard to believe that could jack 100 years on our bodies, but apparently so!
The key seems to be doing the best we can to maximize not just our physical needs when it comes to exercising, breathing, and eating right, but also focusing on the mental peacekeeping requirements that will lessen stress as much as possible. If one could eat properly while eliminating the stresses altogether, then making it past 100 could be a cake-walk!
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