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published: 1/20/05
updated: 12/16/13

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Chinese Longevity Rituals

Longevity practices - rituals and lifestyles aimed at gaining a long life or even immortality - have long been a part of Chinese religion. Even before the development of Taoism, several "hygiene schools" were teaching various techniques for achieving longevity. These practices later became a central part of religious Taoism, in which the pursuit of immortality and the Immortals is central.

Chinese rituals intended to achieve longevity include alchemy (magical medicines), breathing exercises, sexual techniques, special diets (usually excluding grain), exercises, and meditation.

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