The ancient Chinese discovered that there were 8 signs of health:
1. Vitality. This means having a life full of energy. It should show in the way you walk and in the condition of your eyes. There should be a spring in your step and you should have the energy to do whatever is required for you to do.
2. Appetite. This means not only having an appetite for food when you are hungry, but also an appetite for new experiences (depending on your personal belief system this may even mean for sex). Perhaps a better term would be a lust for life.
3. Deep and Sound Sleep. According to the Chinese you should only need 4-6 hours of sleep a night. This does not mean that a way to health is to start cutting down on the sleep you need. Rather, it indicates that as you get healthier you will need less sleep. If you need 10-12 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis, however, you may want to see a doctor as this could indicate a medical problem.
Notice, too, that it is not just quantity of sleep which was recognized by the Chinese, but also quality. In this tradition "sound sleep" indicates a dreamless sleep. This, of course, is a misnomer. Perhaps it means a sleep with undisturbing dreams. Most of us have experienced nights where we slept and awoke feeling tired, have you? This is certainly not a sound sleep!
4. Good Memory. This is fairly clear and indicates that you should have both a good short-term and long-term memory. In a curious reversal of Western thought, the ancient Chinese believed that as you got older your memory should improve, not deteriorate. Old age was not seen as a cause of poor memory, disease was. Further, the Chinese believed that you should have a good memory of the past, present and future. Present memory referred to what we call short-term memory.
Past memory is long-term memory. Future memory is the ability to remember the plans we made, months and years ago, for our future. It also means that we should still be trying to achieve those goals.
5. Humor. We should have a good sense of humor to be healthy. We should especially be able to laugh at ourselves and the world immediately around us. As a friend of mine said, "Don't take life seriously ... you'll never get out alive!"
6. Infinite Giving. No, this does not mean that you should give away all of your possessions and money. Rather, it means that to be healthy you should be able to give of yourself to your friends and to those in need. Also, you should be able to give time and effort to yourself.
7. Clear Thinking and Precise Action. This indicates that a sign of health is the ability to quickly see through a problem, make a decision, and act on that decision without an undue length of time. Procrastination and fear are seen as types of diseases associated with imbalances in the body's energy system. There is also the implication that part of being healthy is having intuitive and psychic abilities which are correct more often than not, and our awareness and use of them.
8. Realization of Oneness. This is a state of utmost health. It is indicated by the having of all your dreams instantly realized. Perhaps another way of putting it would be that the healthiest person is a natural magician.