Healthy Holistic Living

6 Japanese Rules for Those Who Want to Become Stronger and Healthier


If you were told from a young age that you wouldn’t live past the age of 20, would you submit to your fate, or would you fight to be as healthy and strong as possible in the time that you have left? For this Japanese engineer and Aikido teacher, giving up was never an option, and it is that resilience that led him to some thought-altering discoveries, all of which will change your life for the better.

The Power of the Nishi Health System

Katsuzo Nishi, a Japanese engineer, and Aikido teacher spent much of his early life learning. In addition to being the chief technical engineer for Japan’s first subway project, he studied all forms of health and preventative medicines around the world. He experimented endlessly and critiqued his work harshly in order to ensure that his methods would lead to a healthier, stronger body.

According to Katsuzo Nishi, health depends on four equally important factors that must remain in harmony with each other:

  1. The skin condition
  2. The food quality
  3. The status of the limbs
  4. The psychological state

Nishi Shiki (Nishi Health System) was founded in 1927, but the exercises and health practices are all relevant for people worldwide today.

The 6 Laws of the Nishi Health System: Improve Your Help With These Simple Exercises and Adjustments

  1. Heisho  

2. Sleep with a hard bed and a rounded pillow (kochin)

A curved spine can create problems for the internal organs, and because many of us spend approximately one-third of our lives sleeping, it’s important to pay attention to our posture even while we sleep. Katsuzo claims that sleeping on a hard bed, with a rounded pillow or roll, will be beneficial for the digestive organs and the circulatory system.


If you choose to switch to using a roller instead of a pillow, you may choose to wrap it in a few layers of fabric, to begin with, as some people can find the adjustment to be uncomfortable. As you get more used to the roller you can remove the fabric a little at a time.

2. The goldfish exercise (Kingyo Undo)

Start by lying down on your back with your hands behind your head. Keep your feet flexed, perpendicular to the floor. Next, swing your hips horizontally from side to side, similar to a fish swimming. Do this for 1-minute intervals.

3. Improve circulation (Mokan Undo)

Begin by lying down on your back on a hard, flat surface. Place a solid roller under the 3rd and 4th vertebrae of your neck. Raise both your arms and legs into the air and release any tension in them. Finally, shake your arms and legs for 1-minute intervals.


4. Join palms and soles (Gassyo-Gasseki)

Lie on your back on a hard, flat surface and join your hands and feet together. Then, slide your hands and feet horizontally 10 times. When finished, rest with your hands and feet are drawn in for about 2 minutes before repeating the movement.

5. Core Pendulums (Hifuku-Undo)

Sit down Japanese style (on your knees). Swing your upper body, centering on your hips, for about 10 minutes. When you are in an inclined position, pump your abdomen. When you are in an upright position, shrink your abdomen.

Katsuko speaks highly about the importance of incorporating these exercises into a daily routine to increase strength and health within the body. The exercises that Katsuko focuses on in Nishi Health System are one aspect of a greater practice, which combines exercise, proper diet, skin, and the psychological state. This work shows just how connected each aspect of the body is, and how important it is to continue to work on each part of ourselves so that we can remain healthy and live longer.


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