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Keep Your Head Cool and Your Belly Warm

Keep Your Head Cool and Your Belly Warm
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I would be foolish to ask, “Do you want to be healthy?” After all, health is the most basic standard for determining your quality of life, and maintaining your health is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Your health is a great blessing for your loved ones and your community, too, since it is the foundation of all the good and beautiful things you do.

You can borrow money and knowledge from others, if necessary, but you can’t borrow health. And you can’t share your own health with others, no matter how much you love them. Whatever you’re seeking to achieve in life right now, you need to base your efforts on your health, not anyone else’s.

Are you striving for better health? You may be trying different things, such as eating better or exercising more regularly, or maybe you’re trying to fix bad habits like smoking or excessive drinking. How’s that working for you? Are those efforts bringing you satisfactory results? Do you feel healthy? Or is the gradually deteriorating state of your body causing you to struggle?

I’d like to introduce a principle that can serve as the cornerstone of your efforts to attain better health, whatever your state of health right now. I call it the “Golden Principle of Health.”

Like health, certain principles, or causes, lie behind all natural phenomena. You might also call these principles “natural laws” since they are intrinsic to the way the world works. The reason the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, for example, is that the earth rotates. And the natural law of gravity makes apples fall from their trees. We did not artificially create such natural laws, nor can we change them however we’d like. They have always been there, existing before humans discovered and named them.

Universal principles lie behind our health, too, and failing to live in harmony with them gives rise to illness. With so many people sick these days, illness may seem normal, and it may seem like you have to do an awful lot to keep yourself healthy, but good health is the most natural condition of life. In other words, being healthy is what’s normal. So, to regain and retain good health, you need to understand the principles of health and live according to them.

“Keep your head cool and your belly warm.”


This is the Golden Principle of Health that I’m going to tell you about. Having a cool head and a warm belly is a good thing; everyone understands this intuitively. Haven’t you heard expressions like “keep a cool head” and “build a fire in your belly”? You’re unlikely to welcome the flushed face that comes from rising anger or the fevered head that comes from having the flu. You probably put a cool towel or ice on your forehead to lower your temperature at such times. You do this because your body tells you what it needs. When you have a bad cold and your whole body is shivering, you don’t guzzle cold water or gobble down ice cream. Instead you reach for a bowl of hot chicken soup, or you drink a cup of lemon honey tea—ginger tea in the East—to warm the belly.

An old legend about the eighteenth-century Dutch botanist, chemist, humanist, and physician Herman Boerhaave suggested that this wisdom has been around in the West for quite some time. Dying, he left a sealed book in which he was said to have written the greatest secrets to good health. Many were curious about its contents, but opening the book supposedly revealed text on only a single page. Written in the book was the following: “Keep your head cool, your feet warm, and don’t fill your stomach.” What’s fascinating is that the legendary Chinese doctor Bian Que is said to have left behind those same words about 2,500 years ago. Keep your head cool and your belly warm; these are universal words of wisdom that apply in all times and places.

No matter what physical or mental issues you may have, if you apply this principle in your daily life, you’ll be able to make progress toward improving your health. As a universal law and principle, this applies to everyone, everywhere. You’re healthy when you follow this principle, unhealthy when you don’t. If you keep ignoring this principle, you may have to pay a hefty price later.

To maintain your health by applying this principle, consider it as important as social distancing, wearing a mask when going out, and frequently washing hands during the coronavirus pandemic. It works best when you make it a daily habit, like eating, brushing your teeth, and washing your face.

In my new book, Water Up Fire Down: An Energy Principle for Creating Calmness, Clarity, and a Lifetime of Health, you will find detailed explanations and applications of this health principle. The book will be officially published on November 9th and is available for pre-order now. Learn more at WaterUpFireDown.com.
Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
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