Just spotted this extract from Eva Wong’s lovely book,
The story tells of Shen Nong the Herbalist..
…Seeing Shen Nong’s sincerity, the boy said, “Perhaps I can help you. What is it that you wish to learn?” Shen Nong said, “I’m puzzled by the fact that in ancient times people lived long and healthy lives but nowadays they get sick easily and often die before their time.”
The boy replied, “In ancient times people knew how to take care of themselves. They rose at sunrise and rested at sunset. Never exerting themselves, they lived simply and had few desires. Knowing that it was better to prevent illnesses than to try to cure them, they ate healthy foods and did not expose themselves to excessive heat or cold. And when they got sick, they new how to apply the appropriate remedies.
Today people hardly pay attention to their health: they don’t eat properly, they don’t rest sufficiently, and they squander their life energy by indulging in excessive sexual activity. Worse, when they fall ill, they don’t know the correct treatment. Consequently, illnesses that can be cured easily often end up being serious or fatal.”