Greetings Dear Readers,
Here’s a great Qi Gong workout for the winter season. Winter in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a season governed by the Water element. It is a time to be like water and “go with the flow” of life. Water has a downward-moving direction. Similarly we need more “down time”, time to rest and relax when our energy is at it’s lowest.
Still waters run deep. The Water element in TCM is associated with the Kidneys, one of the most deeply set organs in the body. Similarly, the Water season of winter is about going deep inside one’s being to uncover one’s truth. It’s about the inner journey. One’s truths are like treasures which are hidden deep within. Imagine yourself sitting by the fireplace and reflecting on your most deeply held beliefs about life, the universe and your role here on Earth. Meditation is a great way to go on this journey and many Buddhist traditions have meditation retreats scheduled right at this time. So, let’s put on the snorkeling gear and dive in!
The Water element is also associated with the deepest layer of tissue in the body, the bones and joints (Metal rules skin, Wood rules tendons, Fire rules blood vessels, Earth rules muscles). This Qi Gong set called Yi Jin Jing (translated as “Tendon Changing Bone Marrow Washing”) is specifically designed to strengthen the bones and joints. As Raymond Bullock describes in Essential Traditional Chinese Medicine 1, “Marrow Washing uses the water path [the Chong meridian], thereby cooling excessive yang qi after which it nourishes the brain and strengthens the spirit.” These movements develop one’s muscular strength as well as the will, known as the zhi (say “juh”) in Chinese. The will is the spiritual level manifestation of the Water element. As with all Qi Gong, it is done with a suppleness and grace that brings peace to the spirit and harmony to the body. It’s only 6 minutes long so it’s easy to fit into your morning or evening routine.
Have you tried Yi Jin Jing for any bone or joint issues? Love to hear your comments and questions.
1. Bullock, Raymond. Essential Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2003.