Deficiency of essence and qi
Essence is stored in the kidney. "The kidney is the congenital base of life." If renal essence is deficient, life will age prematurely. The deficiency of essence and qi originates mainly from congenital insufficiency, excessive sexual life, exhaustion of diseases, physical overstrain, etc.
The diet is the source for the human body to obtain nutrients. Malnutrition includes the two aspects of insufficient ingestion and malabsorption. Insufficient ingestion is seldom seen in modern people while malabsorption is more common. If the nutrients required by the human body cannot be instantly supplemented, this will affect the health of human body, speed up ageing, even result in death.
Impairment of the five zang organs
The heart stores spirit and controls blood circulation. It is the dominator of vital activities. If the heart suffers from diseases, it will affect blood circulation and mental functions, consequently accelerating ageing. The liver stores blood, governs smoothing and regulating the flow of qi and blood, regulates emotions, promotes digestion as well as regulates blood volume. If the liver suffers from diseases, it will affect various physiological functions of blood, emotions, digestion, etc., accordingly giving rise to ageing of the human body. The lung dominates qi of the general body. Deficiency and impairment or obstruction of the lung qi may affect the functions of the general body. In these cases, ageing manifestations like unendurance to physical labor, gradual functional decline of respiration and blood circulation will occur.
Excessive emotional stimuli
If persistent emotional stimuli or sudden violent psychic trauma occur beyond the range of adjustment of physiological activities of the human body, it will cause disorders of qi and blood inside the human body, functional disturbances of viscera, meridians and collaterals, thus speeding up ageing.
Maladjustment of work and rest
Overstrain and overrest are both harmful to health. The so-called overstrain refers to not only excessive and heavy mental labor and physical labor, but also abnormal life style such as frequent sexual life, excessive food ingestion and recreation, etc. On the contrary, excessively comfortable life is not good for health and longevity, either.
Ageing is closely related to heredity. Good heredity results in strong physique full of vigor and insusceptibility to ageing. Conversely, poor heredity brings on wan and sallow complexion and listlessness. Consequently, ageing will occur early or acceleratively.
Dramatic changes in social position may bring about mental and physical impairment to people. Thus, premature ageing will appear. Besides, rich life is replaced by poverty or respectable status is followed by low one, both of which may result in premature ageing, even death at a young age. Also, irrational social systems, unhealthy social customs, backward ideology, intense and acute competition for existence as well as complicated interpersonal relationships may all result in metabolic disorders of the human body, giving rise to premature ageing.
Residents in mountainous areas with cold climate possess relatively long life; dwellers have relatively short life in flatlands and low-lying lands as well as in the south with high temperature throughout the year. Besides, environmental pollution in cities is more serious than that in rural areas, this can affect health and promote premature ageing.