Greetings Dear Readers,
According to TCM, all things in the universe are a mixture of Yin and Yang. Yin is moist, dark, cool, quiet, female, still and substantial. Yang is hot, energetic, male, bright, fast, exuberant, and non-substantial. Yin refers more to our solid and substantial aspects such as our form, our bones, muscles and body fluids while Yang refers more to our body heat, energy, and movement. Yin energy allows us to relax, rejuvenate, rest and recuperate. Yang energy gives us energy, speed and drive.
The aging process is a gradual decline of both Yin and Yang. Yin deficiency is very common in our modern society where we have seen an over-emphasis on all things Yang. There is a celebration and fascination for all things loud, fast, flashy, being very fast or being very busy all the time. Since we are not always abounding with Yang, we rely on unnatural ways (caffeine) to be more Yang (energetic) as our modern media dictates. When we push ourselves over our limit our body cannot easily replenish our Yang Qi so it dips in to our savings account, our Yin energy. Over time we burn out of both Yang and Yin. When the Yin (cool, stillness, substance, moisture) is missing we see dryness, heat, restlessness and loss of body mass. In Western medical terms Yin deficiency can appear as attention deficit disorder, diabetes, hot flashes, insomnia, osteoporosis and anxiety to name a few.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the five most important organ of the body are the Yin organs, the Lungs, Kidneys, Liver, Heart, and Spleen. Each organ is said to contain an essential Qi which promotes the smooth harmony and functioning of the corresponding aspects of the body and mind relating to that organ system. Each of the five Yin organs has both a positive energy when it is strong and clear and a negative energy if it is congested, weak or toxic.
Qi Gong is an excellent way to keep the organs healthy and strong . An ancient qi gong set called the “5 Yin Organ Exercises” will do just that. This is a set I’ve done regularly, often daily. The benefits I experienced included a sense of groundedness, better digestion, less tension and positive mind.
The following videos demonstrate how to do the warm-up, the exercise for each organ and the closing exercise to gather the Qi inwards.
The virtues of the Lungs are honesty and integrity. When the Lungs are weak or have negative qi, a person can develop sorrow or an overly rigid personality.
The virtues of the Kidneys are will power, wisdom and fearlessness. A person with weak Kidneys may become unmotivated because energy or drive is lacking. There may be fear, confusion or paranoia.
The virtues of the Liver are compassion, creativity and generosity. If the Liver is weak or stagnant the person may develop anger, hostility, impatience, blocked creativity or timidity.
The virtues of the Heart are joy and a sense of order. If the Heart Qi is weak or stagnant, the person may experience chaotic thoughts, mania, or be easily startled or anxious.
The virtues of the Spleen are trust, intellectual thought and empathy. If the Spleen Qi is weak the person may experience mental fatigue, worry, obsessions, or feel disconnected from others.
Like all Qi Gong exercises, it is done at a slow gentle pace with mindfulness of the breath and the dan tien (inner space four finger widths beneath the navel towards the centre of the body) This Qi Gong set can be done each day, 12 or 20 times for each organ exercise.
May you receive much Yin energy nourishment.
Yours in health,