In Blog, Lifestyle

Pique Tea, a Wahls Protocol® Seminar sponsor, offers the world’s first Tea Crystals designed for health benefits like improved gut health, intermittent fasting, and reduced stress.

Simon is a Harvard and Stanford educated Daoist healer, tea master, and Qigong and Taichi practitioner/teacher. He was born and raised in Hong Kong, the no. 1 ranking country for life expectancy globally.

Simon will talk about how tea and breathwork facilitate your union with nature – nature at large and individual true nature.

He will explain a 3 step process for: 

1) Detoxification – Honing your innate ability to detect and ward off environmental toxins – whether in food, skincare, household cleaners, scents, fabrics, and other day-to-day items – that cause oxidative stress and genetic mutation.

2) Awareness – Honing your innate ability to detect imbalances and blockages in your body, mind, and spirit. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, blockages lead to disease.

3) Healing – Honing your innate ability to heal yourself. First by turning inputs such as air, food, liquids, sounds, sights and thoughts into healing substances; then by using your mind to release tension and open blockages.

Read the transcript here:

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Well, welcome. I’m so glad to have you and to know that you’re coming back to our seminar again. For all of our listeners, why don’t you tell us just briefly about your company and how you got so into health and healing.

Simon Cheng:

Sure, absolutely. So I’m the founder and CEO of Pique Tea. We make a product called tea crystals. I’m sure many of you have tried. It’s a tea that is unique on three parameters. It’s highly concentrated in active ingredients. It’s a triple toxin screened for pesticides, toxic mold and heavy metals. And also it provides a very high level of access to the active compounds that you don’t … There’s no brewing required, there’s no steeping. It’s very bioavailable and absorbable.

And I got into this business because of my personal health journey. I had a whole bunch of issues. Staples in both lungs, a screw my jaw. That’s how I ended up. And needless to say, that led me to think very seriously about my own health and selecting kind of a more holistic approach that was plant-based, that was based on breathwork and meditation and using healing foods to derive wellness. And never looked back.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Well, you look like the picture of health now, so …

Simon Cheng:

Thank you. I’m 42 this year. My wife reminds me all the time. So … Keep it that way.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Well, you look great. Now can you tell us a little bit more about detox and how your tea fits into improving our detox?

Simon Cheng:

Yeah, so it’s not so much the tea in and of itself. It’s really everything that I do. So this question is an interesting one that ties into our awareness, which is something that I’m going to talk about shortly, but it goes into really how do you get rid of all the toxins that we’re surrounded by. And these are intangible and tangible toxins. So everything from the stuff that is in the air that we breathe to the foods that we eat, to the materials that we wear on our skin. Having a awareness to all of these things is really kind of the first step towards being able to heal yourself, so to speak.

Now to give you an example, if you were to buy a piece of frozen fish that comes in a box, every time you go to the market, you’re not going to be very in tune to what fresh seafood looks like versus if you went to the docks or a farmer’s market and bought a fresh piece of fish. If something was three days older, you’d know immediately it smelled funny. You’d know immediately. Same thing goes with vegetables. Same thing goes with tea. If you never open your windows, you frankly will have no idea what fresh air smells like. If you’re surrounded by deodorizers and Christmas trees hanging in your car and you’re burning candles and spraying Febreze all over your home, you’ll have no concept of fresh air, it smells like.

Now all of these things, the chemicals in our skin products, the chemicals that are in air fresheners, the toxins that are in stale food and stale vegetables, all of those things contribute to poor health. In the same way that toxic thoughts, toxic emotions like anger, sadness, grief, fear, rage, all of these things have a way to contributing to negative health. And so really my whole health practice is not just about having the best tea and the best foods and the cleanest products and fresh air and light, natural light and all of these things. But also getting rid of, a lot of kind of negative influences, be they emotional, be they people be they thoughts and so forth.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Now, you’ve mentioned breathwork a couple of times. Do you want to tell us your theories about that? And how [crosstalk 00:03:42].

Simon Cheng:

Yeah, absolutely. So the specific type of breathwork that I practice is called medicinal breathwork. It’s something that I coined. It’s a process that I teach. It’s based on Qigong meditation, which is a traditional Chinese medicine form of meditation. It’s about 5,000 years old. It’s as old as is as it gets, as Buddhist meditation. It’s very similar yogic meditation. So those who practice yoga may have practiced something called Pranayama. Well, Qigong is basically the Chinese parallel to that.

And it’s different from a lot of the Buddhists, kind of spiritual TM, transcendental meditation type sort of practices. Because it’s not about spiritual faculties, it’s entirely about your physiological process. So how you circulate energy in your body as you practice it, you become more aware of blockages that are in your body. Blockages in TCM, traditional Chinese medicine are understood to be what leads to disease. So if you have blockage, you have tension in an area of your body. If it’s a muscle, if it’s an organ, if it’s a part of your body and there’s no energy flow there, then bad things are going to happen in that part of the body.

So to give you an example of how this works, last Friday I woke up feeling completely exhausted. I had been on a two week trip, came back, had a super intense week. We’re launching a really big new program at Pique. And I’ve been basically completely inundated. And I woke up Friday just not wanting to do anything. Luckily, I had an appointment with my acupuncturist and she said, “Hey, you know what? You have basically low to zero energy and I recommend that you cancel everything you have planned this weekend and stay in and rest and if you don’t have, you’ll probably get sick.”

And so that’s exactly what I did. I spent the whole Friday in bed, I canceled all of my plans, I’m sure I upset a lot of people, but I woke up Monday morning feeling like brand new. Completely brand new. Now this is something that a lot of people wouldn’t do because we’re so used to driving ourselves into the ground to hustle, to make more money, to do this and please other people and not cancel plans and want to please relatives and friends and loved ones. But the thing is is that when you do that, you got a cold or you get a sore throat, and then the flu hits and you get a fever and all those things, if they keep recurring or are happening chronically, then that’s when the big diseases come.

Now how do you kind of preempt all of that and understand the energy levels in your body and basically practice prevention? As it’s supposed to be done. And it’s through awareness. And so my meditation, my breathwork practice has allowed me to become very, very in tune to the energy levels in my body. The level of exhaustion at the end of the day, when you’re feeling normal and you’re just ready for a good night’s sleep, is very different when you’re depleted to the point where you’re about to catch a cold. Now most people can’t sense that difference, which is why they get sick and end up having to spend days in bed and not going to work for many, many days.

So it’s all comes down to kind of awareness.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Does tea play into this awareness somehow?

Simon Cheng:

Absolutely. Absolutely. So tea and … Meditation is just a practice to develop awareness. I can be meditative when I’m drinking this or I could be watching my favorite TV show and calling my mom at the same time while drinking this. So if I’m just focused on drinking my tea or brushing my teeth or talking to my wife, it’s a much higher level of concentration and awareness I’m bringing to that activity. And so the way tea ties into this, it’s always been hand in hand with meditation. For as long as he has been around, it’s existed in monasteries and temples and in tea ceremonies in Japan and Asia, all over the place in India. When you have a moment with your family in Asia, you drink tea together.

It creates that sense of awareness. That sense of intent, that sense of kind of presence, so to speak, because it’s a very contemplative drink. Now, is there some magical kind of aura around tea? No, it’s actually very scientific. The reason tea does that is because of a very specific set of compounds in it. It has caffeine, which we all know about, and it has L-theanine, which is an amino acid that fewer of people know about. Now, the interaction of these two ingredients is very special. L-theanine is like nature’s sedative. It’s been called nature’s Xanax. It’s nature’s chill pill. It actually calms you. Now when you take something that sedates you in combination with something that actually stimulates you, like caffeine, you become aware and not teamed or drowsy. So you become activated your mind, but in a calm and relaxed way. And that’s why people love to drink tea and meditate or love to drink tea and do mindful things. And most kind of spiritual people tend to drink a lot more tea than they do coffee. And that’s just simply that the kind of scientific makeup of tea enables that.

One more special thing about caffeine and tea is that it’s actually bound to the polyphenol compounds catechins. So imagine caffeine compounds and catechin compounds. They’re bound together into a big molecule. Now, when that goes into your body, it’s harder to break up, digest and absorb the caffeine than if you were to say, take a caffeine pill or drink a red bull or have a cup of coffee or an espresso. And that’s a good thing because it means the caffeine gets released over a longer period. Hence the kind of time-released effect of caffeine. And so wonderfully, you get the caffeine over maybe three to four hours, four to five hours versus all at once. And so you stay alert for a longer period, which is also very, very wonderful.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Excellent. Excellent. Sun Goddess Matcha. Want to say something about that?

Simon Cheng:

Yeah. Absolutely. So that is kind of the tea that we recommend most for any sort of … Certainly for meditation, but any sort of mindful activity. And the reason for that is because matcha has the highest levels of L-theanine of any other tea out there. There’s a huge misconception about matcha and this is based on a study that is completely misquoted all the time. And it’s that matcha has, I don’t know, like 300 times the antioxidants of all other teas. It’s completely untrue. And this is coming from somebody who sells matcha. So I’m not giving you a misinformation. It’s absolutely impossible for that to be the case because L-theanine amino acid turns into catechins, it gets converted into catechins during photosynthesis. Which means that if you have high L-theanine, you can’t also have high catechins, you can only have one or the other.

And so what the Japanese have done with matcha, they invented matcha. Japanese loved the umami flavor in matcha. That’s the savory Parmesan cheese, soy sauce, miso soup, beef Ragu, that’s the flavor of umami. And the way you get that is by preventing photosynthesis from happening. So the amino acids just linger. Amino acid is the taste of tamarind. I mean that’s basically umami. And so you want all that umami in there. You basically shaved the matcha plants. So it’s very well known. Matcha tends to be shaded. It’s one of the only tees that they actually put a shade over it to stop the sun from hitting the leaves to stop photosynthesis. So all the umami stays in the leaves, which means a very high levels of L-theanine. Hence matcha is wonderful for meditation. It makes you super, super calm.

The other thing matcha’s good for is that it tends to be brewed at a much lower temperature. So generally speaking, you really don’t want to brew matcha super hot boiling water. 180 degrees is way too hot. People use about 120, it’s kind of like lukewarm, almost like a chicken soup that you’ve left around for 15, 20 minutes. That’s the idea because the hot water extracts a lot more caffeine out of the powder. Makes it very bitter. So bitter matcha is no good. You want the umami kind of savory, salty, premium matcha. So also warmer water. So again, less caffeine is extracted. So you have all this L-theanine and very little caffeine. So it’s just very, very relaxing to drink.

Of course, one of the nice things about the Sun Goddess Matcha, which is the one that we make, is that it’s also, in addition to being screened for toxic mold, pesticides, heavy metals, which is our traditional triple screening, we also screen for radioactive isotopes. It’s one of the very few T’s that we get from Japan, and because of that, we want to be extra mindful of not having any sort of radioactive contamination.

Also, the really wonderful thing about Sun Goddess is that it’s sourced from a unique part of Japan. So Japan is like this long island chain and it’s sourced from right at the Southern tip. It’s the Southern most tip of the Japan island chain. It’s next to Okinawa. It’s as far as you can get from civilization in Japan. It’ completely pristine. It’s grown in the mountains, it’s organic. Very, very rare to get organic ceremonial grade matcha, so it’s very clean, very pure. We do a ton of testing on it and it’s a wonderful, wonderful product.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

That’s delicious.

Simon Cheng:

And it’s delicious. It tastes great.

Dr. Terry Wahls:

Yeah, it is very wonderful. I love that product.

Do you have any other thoughts about Eastern medicine and longevity that you’d like to share with our tribe?

Simon Cheng:

Yeah, absolutely.

So I mean it goes back down to the approach to health that I talked about that starts with awareness. It’s like the whole idea … So Hippocrates says, “Let food be thy medicine.” The converse of that is that food can also be your poison. As we’re finding out in society today. And it’s not just about process, it’s really about process and purity and freshness and all of those things. And it’s not just food … If you’re wearing a ton of synthetic fibers with synthetic dyes that are very toxic all the time, touching your skin day in, day out, it’s not good for you in the same way that skincare products are coating your skin that are toxic, that the things that are in the air.

So, I mean, cutting all of these things out is really the first major step towards preventing disease. I mean, ultimately to live long, you need to not have the disease.

About Simon Cheng:


Simon Cheng CEO Pique Tea

Simon Cheng is the Founder & CEO of Pique Tea. He is a graduate of both Harvard University and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also the youngest member of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Roundtable. He spent the last 10 years learning from foremost experts in Qigong and Taichi from all over the world. He is fluent in Classical Chinese and supplemented his teachings with classics on Daosim and Qigong

Simon suffered from a series of health issues in his youth that left him with staples in both lungs and a screw in his jaw. Celebrating his 30th birthday with a tube for delivering antibiotics directly into his heart valve, he said “NEVER AGAIN” and took back control of his health.

After a three year journey all around Asia and N America studying with masters of medicinal plants and breathwork, he healed himself and has never been healthier and happier. Pique Tea Crystals is the culmination of everything he’s learned about medicinal plants and breathwork, which he now seeks to share with the world.

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