Category: 5 Essential Elements
Summer – Fire – Heart
The summer solstice is the most northerly day of the year, and it is the extreme northward movement of the sun. On this day, the northern hemisphere receives the most solar radiation, nearly twice that of the southern hemisphere. After the summer solstice, the altitude of the sun at noon began to decrease day by day in the area north of the Tropic of Cancer and its north.
Mother Earth’s self-temperature control and regulation system is the most effective and scientific regulation system that has been deposited and tested over billions of years. It will not increase the surface temperature to the highest while the surface is getting the most sunlight. Instead, it presents a lagging slow temperature change process. While the atmosphere and the earth’s surface are continuing to absorb the sun’s heat, the center of the earth no longer emits energy. It begins to absorb and restore energy. Or, it is cooling down inside for its Yin to develop now.
We can intuitively understand such energy changes with Six-Yao Hexagrams as shown in the below figure. When Mother Earth’s external surface and air are warm, hot, getting enough Yang energy from the sun, its internal is cooling down with the first Yin rises.
Let’s try to interpret the Yin and Yang energy change process from a philosophical perspective. Does it mean that when Yang is at its peak, Yin will be produced in Yang? When something develops to an extreme situation, a new opposite thing will naturally sprout out within it?
An undeniable fact is that the sun, the earth, the moon, and nature, day after day, year after year, are proving and repeating this unchanging cosmic law. Is this law suitable for humans? We need to understand that humans are part of nature. Humans cannot live without the sun, the moon, the earth, and nature.
What if humans relocate to another planet? Does that mean humans will be escaping from the control of nature? Or, escape from the control of the universe? Or, human beings control the universe?
Now we will talk about the fire that we need to cook our life of water. But before we dive deep, we must understand that the fire of Li not only just means human heart, it has a broader meaning, including head, brain, eyes, mind, thoughts, and souls.
But, talking back, we never took the human heart, head, and mind as two independent and unrelated things. When we say that we are putting someone or something in our heart, it is not that our heart is physically big enough to hold someone or something, but that we put people or things in our minds. The heart and the mind stand for the same meaning in many cases and this does not differ due to differences in Eastern and Western culture or religious beliefs.
Human heart carries the fire Li energy.
Chinese medicine has a saying that the heart is “the king of the kingdom of the human body”. In the early stage of the human embryo, the heart started to work. At the end of life, it is the heart at the last moment of work. The heart never stops working in human life. It never stops the blood circulation to transport fresh Yang Qi, oxygen, and nutrients to every cell of the body and transports the exhaust gas and waste materials away from the cells. As part of the human body’s fluid system, blood belongs to Kan water.
This Li fire never stops in human life, just like the human body has its own water all the time. We only need to maintain them at an excellent performance level.
Human heads, thoughts, minds, and souls are Li energy too.
Human thoughts, minds and souls reflect as human emotions intuitively. Through the action of the cranial nervous system, human emotions are connected to the secretion of body fluids and hormones in various organs of the human body. Together with the action of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, it controls all physiological and physical changes in the human body.
To fire the Li energy well, means to well control human emotions to produce hormones that are good for the body, but not toxins fluid that is harmful to the body. This fire is under the control of our hearts.
From the heart’s point of view, it silently cooperates with the changes in human’s emotions at the speed of the heartbeat; it gets nervous because of fear, or relaxed because of joy and happiness…
The “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” points out that the heart is “生之本，神之变也”, indicating that the heart is the foundation of life, and at the same time it is in charge of people’s spiritual mind activities. It tells that the heart governs blood vessels and controls the blood system of the whole body.
Clinical studies have found that when people feel angry and desperate, the body secretes a large number of stress hormones such as cortical and adrenaline, which leads to neurological dysfunction, hyper-function of the sympathetic nervous system, and increases the heart rate, and results in high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, waist and back pains, decreased saliva production, faster but shorter breathing, frequent urination, and other phenomena. It also affects the activity of white blood cells and reduces human immune function.
From a Chinese Medicine point of view, it relates to emotions of joy and hatred. Hatred hurts the heart. The general hatred is sent out from the inside of the heart, while the Qi it produces is gathered inwards, which is particularly likely to cause a series of diseases such as panic, heartbeat, coronary heart disease, and so on.
The human body has two meridians related to the heart: the heart channel and the pericardial channel. The heart channel is related to the mind; the pericardial channel is related to the controls of blood. 11 am – 13 pm, when the two heart meridians are on duty, it is the most critical daily time for heart care. About half an hour after a meal, if the pericardium is properly massaged, it can increase the blood supply to the heart and effectively protect the heart. This method is a good health-care trick suitable for everyone in need.
Noon is also when body Yang Qi is strongest in a day. 15-20 minutes of napping is a good opportunity to balance and relax the body and save energy for people who cannot sleep early at night. But too long napping will disturb the body’s biological clock and cause insomnia at night.
The tongue is the organ that the heart expresses in the five senses. Heart disease usually causes symptoms such as tongue inflexibility and tongue curling. Slips and often wrong words are also signs of lack of heart energy. “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” states that if the heart is sick, the cheekbones will become red.
Heart disease can also be manifested in sudden redness in the center between the eyebrows. If the pattern is like a lantern, there may be a sudden illness. It is not a good thing that the center between the eyebrows is black. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, it is quite a lot of kidney water that prevents the heart-fire function. Now, we can completely understand that this is a very dangerous signal. We must be careful about the color changes of the center between the eyebrows in our daily lives.
Sweat is the liquid discharged from the skin after body fluid is vaporized by the transpiration of Yang Qi. The secretion and excretion of sweat also depend on the opening and closing effect of Qi on the body. When the skin sweat holes are open, sweat is excreted; when the sweat holes are closed, there is no sweat. Because sweat is transformed by body fluid, blood and body fluid come from the same source, so there is a saying that “sweat and blood have the same origin”.
Sweat can reflect good or bad health, and it is wise to be vigilant when sweating is abnormal. Since sweat and blood are closely related in physiology, they also influence each other pathologically. As far as the relationship between sweat and blood is concerned, excessive sweating can drain blood and damage fluid. On the contrary, if the body fluid is weak and blood is insufficient, the source of sweat is insufficient. Excessive sweating consumes the Qi and Blood of the heart, so profuse sweating can also hurt people’s Yang Qi. On the contrary, when the heart’s blood is insufficient, it can also cause pathological sweating, spontaneous sweating, or night sweats.
When we are caring about how our life fire cooks our life water, there are some factors we should watch: the fire burning efficiency, a red fire or blue fire, and the smoke the fire produces. Is the smoke transparent, colorless, and tasteless, or black, choking and poison? Human life’s quality is reflected by not only how this life fire cooks its own water, but more importantly, if it gives healthy warm energy to the world instead of leaving harmful poison damages to the others.
“The heart governs the spirit”, “etiquette corresponds to the heart/mind”, to nurture our heart, we must nurture our virtue. The highest state of nurturing the heart lies in cultivating the mind, which in the final is to purify the soul.
Here let’ share a story of how heart medicine saves an “over-happy” heart.
In the Qing Dynasty, a scholar who got the No. 1 scholarship in the National Selection Exam was too happy and went crazy and couldn’t stop laughing.
A famous doctor said to him after seeing: “Your illness can’t be cured, and you only have ten days to live now. Go home quickly, or it will be too late. When you pass Zhenjiang city, please go to visit Doctor Xu, he will see you again.” At the same time, he wrote a letter and asked the scholar to give it to the doctor Xu.
When the scholar arrived in Zhenjiang city, his illnesses from laughing wildly healed already. Doctor Xu opened the letter: “This scholar is ecstatic from ‘over-happiness’, resulting in his mind and heart cannot be closed back. As there is no medication that can cure him, I made him panic and melancholy with alarm words to open his heart and expected him to be cured when he arrived in your city of Zhenjiang ”.
Long Summer – Soil – Stomach and Spleen
When we use the earth soil element from the Five Essential Elements to analyze the earth’s structures and its related life systems, the soil means the crust and mantle layers of our Mother Earth.
Between Mother Earth’s core, the fire, and surface, the water and air, lays the soil, the crust and mantle layers. Use a metaphor to compare this to how human life’s fire cooks its life water, the soil plays a safeguard role as the container of water, prevents the fire from directly burning the water into vapor, and also prevents the water from directly extinguishing the fire. The better quality the container has, the longer and safer the cooking can last.
No matter in what season, no matter at what stage of energy cycle change, it has the same important role. Ever since Mother Earth’s acquired life started, the soil started its important role.
Since humans live in the middle of the sun and the earth, are they supposed to or are they playing the role of protecting the sun and the earth too?
Chinese medicine tells that spleen and stomach together are playing this soil role on a human body. They represent the foundation of a human’s acquired life.
Modern people’s living conditions are getting better and better, but their stomachs are getting worse and worse. From Chinese medicine point of view, the stomach cannot be separated from the spleen. The “spleen” in Chinese medicine has the function of digesting and transporting nutrients. Therefore, the spleen and stomach are collectively referred to as “the foundation of acquired nature”.
The spleen and stomach are the key to the biochemistry of Qi and Blood in the human body. Deficiency of the spleen causes all kinds of diseases. Chinese medicine tells that the spleen and stomach have four fears:
- They are afraid of cold food;
- They are afraid of raw food;
- They are afraid of overeating;
- They are afraid of being angry.
Why do Chinese people think the stomach does not like cold food? Why Chinese people drink warm water even in summer? It is because they know how human life energy changes in the human body. And this human body life energy change process follows the same rule and pattern as our Mother Earth’s energy change processes.
Because they know, for example, in summer, when the outer environment is so hot and humid when people feel their body is so hot, deep inside their body, Yin Qi is rising quietly. Yin starts in the middle of extreme Yang! So, when people drink cold water, eating cold food, their body will very quickly absorb these cold Yin energies. Excessive Yin will either damage their body’s Yang Qi, or be stored in internal organs, joints, or in the belly. Once the Yin Qi is rooted inside the human body, it will be extremely difficult to move it out.
When the excessive Yin Qi is in internal organs, it blocks the organ functions. When it is in the joints, it disables people’s activity capabilities. When it is in the human abdomen, since our reproductive system is born to like to be supported and surrounded by warmth, our body will produce a lot of fats to surround the abdomen and waist to safeguard the reproductive function. Our body’s north, Kan water, in the abdominal area, always needs to be safeguarded in warmth while our body’s south, Li fire, head, is okay to be naked in winter.
When Yin energy quietly rises inside the human body, while the outside of the body is hot, people are having poor digestion, poor appetite, and easy diarrhea. This is why humans normally lose weight in summer. The root cause is because of the body Yin Qi and improper eating habits. In China, many people enjoy eating hot pot in the hot summer. It is not a bad choice.
In winter, while the internal body life Yang Qi is rising, humans also need a lot of heat to resist the cold winter, they naturally get a good appetite and good digestion. Winter is the season when the body gains weight unconsciously. What is the feeling of eating ice cream in winter? The ice cream in the malls is not selling well in winter.
Thinking it from another point of view:
The most suitable temperature for human stomach digestion is the body temperature 36.5°. In the hot summer, when Yin Qi sprouts in the body, and when large glasses of iced drinks and raw food are poured down to the stomach, the momentary psychological pleasure is satisfied, but all the problems are left to the stomach and spleen. Should they consume the body’s energy, Qi and Blood, to heat the food before digesting them? Or should the stomach and spleen change their original characteristics to work at a lower temperature? This refreshing choice of iced drink and raw food does not need to go through the brain, but the stomach needs to grow an effective brain, plus a fast temperature regulator, plus a quick powerful heater so it can barely complete its basic functions.
The same situation only happens once, not a problem; occasionally, small problems; frequently, big problems. What is the result of the big problem? Is it the stomach-ache? Ha! But the interesting result might be the human’s getting fat, a weak and unhealthy fat. Or, humans will get skinny and sickly, based on different people’s different Qi and Blood circulation weaknesses. Therefore, it is recommended by traditional Chinese medicine doctors to eat fewer fruits and raw salad, avoid icy drinks and eat more protein-rich cooked foods, grains, eggs, noodles, milk…
Take a further step, outside the nervous system, the stomach is the organ with the most nerve cells in the human body. It is very sensitive to external stimuli and is the largest “emotional organ” in the human body. “Anxiety hurts the heart and lungs, and depression hurts the stomach and intestines.” Once a person is depressed, it is easy to cause his loss of appetite, fullness, and nausea, or go to the other extreme and overeating. This is a huge harm to the stomach and intestines. Chinese medicine also believes that the liver grows the spleen. When the liver is not depressed, the spleen is not weak. Therefore, to nourish the spleen and stomach, you must control your emotions, do not get angry, and minimize your temper.
To have a healthy stomach, Chinese medicine tells us: every day at 7-9 am, the stomach meridian is on duty. With active Qi and Blood flowing through, it gives a good time to nourish the stomach. The best thing we should do is to eat a good breakfast on time. Although in real life, it is a busy time between 7- 9 am for people to rush to school and work and it is easy to neglect breakfast.
From traditional Chinese medicine’s point of view, human gastrointestinal activity is strongest during 7-9 am, and the support of food will make this gastrointestinal meridian compensated by Qi and Blood. On another hand, this is the time the sun rises, when the Yang Qi between heaven and earth occupies a dominant position, as well as in the human body. Eating breakfast during 7-9 am makes it easiest to digest and absorb, and strengthens the body Yang Qi.
Furthermore, why is there more and more Gastric Ulcer? Scientists had one experiment: by hanging a monkey and stimulating it to keep it in constant anxiety, soon the monkey has a gastric ulcer. Scientific experiments, electroencephalography, X-ray, and biochemistry were used to study the cause of this disease on this monkey and scientists found that the occurrence of gastric disease is closely related to the overexcitation of the cerebral cortex and autonomic dysfunction.
Why do humans get a gastric ulcer? It is because of no fresh blood in the stomach! And fresh blood is the best “cure” containing antibodies, phagocyte cells, and nutrition. But why is there not enough fresh blood in the stomach? “The Emperor’s Yellow Canon” says: anger hurts the liver. If a person is constantly angry and complaining, the liver slowly accumulates turbid gas. As the liver and gallbladder are connected, the turbid gas will be transmitted to the gallbladder, then to the stomach.
Excessive thinking and unsuccessful thinking will affect the normal operation of Qi, and the Qi will be out of balance, resulting in Qi stagnation. This leads to abdominal distension, nausea, loss of appetite, and dizziness. When people think endlessly, they inhibit gastric acid secretion. When they are angry, it stimulates gastric acid secretion. That’s why “anger” prevails over “over-thinking” and “missing”.
Think about everything in the world, each has its own laws and walks in its own way. We should be happy when we live between heaven and earth. Grateful for the world, give us life; grateful for all things, provide us with the necessities of life, and give us happiness. Always think about the good of others, be grateful, kind, and happy, so that the mood will naturally open, the liver will naturally be smooth, and the spleen will be healthy. This is also the way to nourish the spleen.
The mouth is the organ that the spleen expresses in the five senses. People with spleen disease will have yellow lips or yellow around the lips, peeling lips, bleeding and other symptoms, which are caused by excessive Yang Qi and dry fire.
The thinner part of saliva protects and cleans the mouth. There is more salivation when eating, and it can also moisturize and dissolve food, making it easy to swallow and digest. If the spleen and stomach are not in harmony, it often leads to a sharp increase in salivary secretion.
Do we ever care about Mother Earth’s stomach? Does Mother Earth get angry too? Does she have a digestive problem?
Autumn – Gold- Lung
At the end of summer, the earth’s Yin Qi has risen to the surface. At the beginning of the autumn, Mother Earth is already completely in a state of energy convergence. The Yang Qi in the air began to slowly converge, and the air became dryer and cooler. Sensitive birds began to fly south, and animals began to store food in their bodies or dens for the winter.
The Six-Yao Hexagrams can vividly describe the changes of the energy inside and outside the earth during the three months of autumn as shown in figure 26 below. At the end of the autumn, the whole earth is full of cold Yin Qi inside and outside, in a convergent and introverted Kun Hexagram status. The energy is deeply hidden in the depths of the body, implicit, stable, and calm.
From a human’s point of view, autumn is the harvest season. But from the plants and nature’s point of view, autumn is the season of killing. Nature does not resist this killing. Instead, it gives this life-end killing season the color of gold. Nature returns its Yang energy back to the universe without reservation and returns its body back to Mother Earth, the mother Kun. The falling apples, while ending their lives, while dedicating their body to nature, also carry the hope of new life in its core back to the mother’s body soil too. Kun is the mother of a new life. When the Qian Yang energy is ready, a new life will restart.
We know now that in the human body, the lung represents the golden autumn. Do we know how our Mother Earth breathes?
Chinese medicine describes the lung as the great prime minister under the heart king and above all the cells.
As for humans, without food, they can live for months; without water, they can live for days; but without air, they can live barely for minutes, even seconds.
In Taoism’s concepts, Qi does not only mean the oxygen and carbon dioxide the humans inhale and exhale, not only mean the oxygen and carbon dioxide our blood carries to and from each of the human cells, it also includes the invisible Qi in the body invisible spaces of meridians.
The Yin Qi and Yang Qi, two forms of energy, are essential to human life. If we compare the human body to an electric bulb, the Qi is like electricity, the Yin and Yang energy currents. The bulb does not light up without electric power. And the electric power provides the bulb the energy to heat up, to light the dark. The innate characters of the bulb, its electrical parameters, are important in determining its lifetime, the level of brightness, the heat it generates…
While Mother Earth’s surface air is getting drier and colder in the season of falls, the lungs should be the most vulnerable. It is the bridge of the air in and out of the human body. And besides, the lungs “balance, govern, and control the vitality of the body”. They are like the prime minister to a kingdom. If the whole body is weak, it indicates a lung problem.
The nose is the organ that… Read More
Spring – Wood – Liver
About 75 days from the day of the winter solstice, the Six-Yao Hexagram pattern of Mother Earth’s energy change cycle will be changing into like this:
This is a Hexagram called Dazhuang. The internal 3-Yao are all Yang and the external 3-Yao is getting its first Yang. When using it to analyze earth seasonal and monthly nature changes, it tells: Mother Earth’s Yang energy is above its surface now.
But, at this time, the air is still cold, just as shown in this Hexagram that the top two Yao are still Yin, cold. The up-rising heat from the earth’s surface meets the cold air, producing the first thunder of a new year. The cold air meets the warm air, and also produces sufficient rainfall. This is the time in a year when the Yang energy of the earth system begins to surpass the Yin energy, and all things arise continuously with this strong and uprising Yang energy.
Unfortunately, humans are living in cities, buildings, houses, apartments, warm and safe, and they are not able to feel this change on Mother Earth’s surface. But, hibernating animals can feel it. When the warmth reaches their hibernation dens, they feel it and wake up. It is not the thunder that wakes them up but our Mother Earth’s rising warmth. Although kids really enjoy the story of a spring thunder awakening the sleeping animals and awakening the world, logically it does seem like that.
How valuable is this warmth on Mother Earth’s surface? It is like uncountable tons of fertilizer added into the fields. The vegetation is recovering. And it is the best time for the crops to be planted. All things begin a new round of vitality.
Among the Five Essential Elements, spring corresponds to the wood. It double emphasizes that wood is very strong in spring. Please refer to the figure below to further understand the relationships among the Five Essential Elements and the five internal organs.
There are no thunders in winter, because there is no hot air to meet the cold air in winter. Mother Earth is capable of preserving her energy. If thunderstorms happen in winter, there must be something seriously wrong with our Mother Earth’s body.
What does spring wood do with human health?
“Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” states that the liver stores blood and regulates the flow of Qi and mental emotions. Blood, Qi, and emotions! The most essential life elements are mentioned here. Chinese medical scientists call the liver the “traffic police of the human body”. No more vocabulary can better express its importance.
When a human has healthy kidney water and a fluid circulation system, when human has strong Yang energy and knows how to use the powerful energy, they normally have a soft temper and a healthy liver, and happy life. But in our real life, there are many friends who are in a bad temper, they are always like burning woods, burning from their inside to outside, and spreading the bad atmosphere around their body to people around them.
Being the “traffic police” of the human body, the liver has the greatest influence on human emotions. When a person encounters accumulated pressures from accidents and contradictions, he can hardly feel happy, as is called Liver Qi Stagnation.
While the liver is supposed to regulate the flow of Qi but instead it gets stagnated by pressures, it hurts itself very deeply. As a result of Liver Qi Stagnation, men may become increasingly addicted to cigarettes and alcohol, dumb or irritable. Women might have irregular menstruation, insomnia, constipation, spots on faces, easily to get angry and fat, and loose hair.
With the Liver Qi Stagnation, people sometimes cannot control themselves in losing temper and they have to let that bad temper out to release their stress. When we encounter people with Liver Qi Stagnation, we need to calmly let them vent their tempers and try to understand them, help them find the source of pressure and reduce their stress.
There was an old historical story: Zhou Yu’s Qi was blocked because Zhuge Liang and Zhou vomited blood to die. This Qi is the “Liver Qi” as described by Chinese medicine.
Liver Qi stagnation damages the spleen. If the damage is not resolved in a timely manner, it produces garbage – phlegm and turbidity.
Along the meridian channels, the garbage flows. When it flows through the thyroid, it might become a thyroid nodule; when it flows into the uterus, it might become a uterus fibroids; when it flows into the breast, it might become breast hyperplasia; when it flows into the stomach, it might become a gastric tumor; when it flows into the liver, it might form a liver tumor…
TCM has an interesting metaphor about tumors in the human body:
Tumor, the Trash Can in a Room?!
Many cancer patients’ condition deteriorated after they learned the truth that “A person is always defeated by his mind, not by the harm the outside world has done to him”.
Each room has a trash can to temporarily store trash. If a room is clean, it is because someone cleaned it and the trash can was emptied in time.
A tumor is like a trash can set up by the body to keep it clean. Healthy people’s bodies are full of upright Yang Qi and can clean up the waste in time. Healthy people give no chance for the tumor to grow, so they are healthy. However, when Yang Qi is insufficient, it lacks the ability to remove the waste out, and the body temporarily stores the waste in “a trash can” to prevent the garbage from entering the blood.
So, in dealing with the tumors, is resection a good choice? Who would think that when there is too much trash in a room, the best way is to throw away the trash can?
Cancer is often found spread already after removing the tumor. TCM thinks: it’s because after throwing away the trash can, the garbage is everywhere in the room.
TCM advises: don’t be afraid nor panic about cancer, but ask: What unthinkable knot in your heart has left a mark in your body? Do you have any unrelieved emotions that are crushed in your heart? Do you have bad habits? Untie your heart first.
Remember that modern medicine statistics also tell, 80% of diseases are related to bad psychological habits. That’s what the Liver Qi Stagnation is about.
Traditional Chinese medicine points out that the eyes are the organ that the liver expresses in the five senses. Generally, people with liver disease will have blue eyes. If a child is frightened, blue veins or bruises often appear on the bridge of the nose, which is also related to the liver.
The liver opens up at the eyes. Tears have the function of moisturizing and protecting the eyes. Under normal circumstances, the secretion of tears is moisturized without spilling, but when foreign particles invade the eyes, tears can be secreted in large quantities, which can clean the eyes and eliminate foreign particles. Under pathological conditions, abnormal tear secretion can be seen. Tears are the way for the body to remove harmful chemicals under stress. When people hold back their tears, their bodies will not be able to detoxify naturally, which will eventually affect their immunity, memory, and digestion.
If the liver has insufficient blood and biased Yin Qi, the secretion of tears is reduced, and the eyes are often dry; if the liver meridian is hot and humid, tears in the wind can be seen. In addition, in extreme sorrow, the secretion of tears can also increase significantly, and the sad tears can bring out anger to heal the liver from Qi stagnation.
Modern medical research has found that when a person is angry, it can cause arrhythmia, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and neurasthenia. These factors can cause liver cell damage. When a person is angry, he breathes up to 40 times per minute, while when he is sad, he breathes only 9 times. This dropping of breathing rate can stabilize the mood. Experienced TCM used sadness as a cure to treat sick people in deep anger. While the human Yang Qi energy arises from the human abdomen area, where the kidney and the reproductive system are, and climbs alongside the back spine, arrives at the liver, where will it reach and impact next? After winter and spring, which internal organ corresponds to the summer?
Winter – Water – Kidney
On the day of the winter solstice, the sun almost hits the Tropic of Capricorn. It is the day the northern hemisphere has the shortest day and the longest night. Astronomy stipulates that this day is the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. After the winter solstice, the direct sunlight position gradually moves northward, and the daylight in the northern hemisphere gradually increases.
The winter solstice time for the northern hemisphere for the year 2020 was 17:55, Dec 21, 2020.
If someone intends to discuss the homology of Eastern and Western cultures, this may be another supporting viewpoint: No matter how the lunar calendar of China is different from the solar calendar, no matter how the intercalary months of the lunar calendar alternately change, the winter solstice of the 24 solar terms is always around December 21-22, which is of hourly difference because of the earth’s rotation angle year to year. This is about the Chinese Yin and Yang calendar’s long and complicated history that the New Year began on the winter solstice day in the Xia Dynasty, 21th century BC – 16th century BC.
Why did ancestors use this day as the first day of a new year?
Because it is the day Mother Earth starts to emit her thermal energy outward from her core in a year. Before this day, she was absorbing and restoring her energy. It is the day Mother Earth’s body starts to get warmer and warmer from internal to external. It means before this day, Mother Earth is completely in a Kun energy status. Starting this day, her Yang Qi starts to rise inside although her surface is entering the coldest days. It is also the day plants are completely restoring energy back into their roots; animals are in their complete deep hibernating sleep in their dens, birds are in the south…
The figure above also shows how “Yi Jing” Six-Yao Hexagrams explain this energy change. Out of the cold body, Yang Qi is arising from the bottom.
How about the Yang Qi in human body?
Noticing or most probably not noticing, starting this day, the human body Yang Qi energy automatically rises inside, just as what is happening in their Mother Earth’s body. Like mother, like son.
How important is this Yang energy? It is the most important energy in the human body for self-heal. It is invisible, but it is originated from the universe, from the sun.
Where does it rise from in the human body? It arises from the deep northern ocean in the body’s abdominal area.
Where does it rise to? Normally it rises up alongside the back spine… It can be conducted to the places wherever the body needs it.
It is the best time to use this Yang energy to replenish the Yin energy, because there is Yang in Yin and there is Yin in Yang.
Remember when Mother Earth’s northern hemisphere starts her Yang energy to rise outward, her southern hemisphere is starting to absorb and restore the thermal energy inside, meaning Yin energy arises over there. Only through that Yin replenishment should the Yang rise in the northern hemisphere. Suppose both hemispheres emit the core energy at the same time, losing a balanced energy pattern over time, it could be dangerous for Mother Earth.
On the human body, although it is time for Yang Qi to rise automatically, it must have a healthy Kan to support this Yang’s rising up. The body needs a healthy water system to support Yang Qi’s rising from its deep sea.
This leads us to the topics on the kidney. Generally, from the perspective of modern medicine, the kidneys excrete metabolites and regulate the endocrine. However, the kidney in TCM’s point of view is not simply this single organ, the left kidney and the right kidney, but also includes the water, blood, salt metabolic systems they control, as well as the endocrine function and hormones they generate.
In Chinese medicine’s eyes, the kidney is:
- The innate root and driving force of life
- The innate foundation of the human body
- It plays a vital role in warming, moisturizing, nourishing, and stimulating the internal organs
- Kidney deficiency will weaken vitality, and various diseases will follow
- The treatment of many visceral diseases should start with the kidney
Here follows some detailed information:
- The kidney is the main switch of the human body’s water and fluid. If the function of the kidney is weakened, symptoms such as edema, or excessive nocturia, enuresis, urinary incontinence, or oliguria, or urinary obstruction may occur.
- Kidney deficiency leads to empty bone marrow. Empty bone marrow leads to soft bones. Soft bones lead to numbness of the waist and knees, tooth loss, bone hyperplasia, intervertebral disc herniation, arthritis, cervical neuralgia, and even dizziness, tinnitus, forgetfulness, slow response, wrinkles, loss of energy, and loss of hair.
- The life activities of the human body cannot do without breathing. According to common senses, breathing is done through the lungs, but is it only through the lungs? In fact, in breathing activities, the kidney also plays a vital role, “the lung is the master of Qi, and the kidney is the root of Qi”. If the essence and Qi in the kidneys are insufficient, there will be no depth of breathing and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, shortness of breathing, or breathlessness will occur.
- The essence of the kidney is closely related to human reproductive function. Entering puberty, the essence and Qi in the kidney are filled to a certain extent, and the fine substances that promote and maintain reproductive functions are produced to promote the development of puberty. With the deficiency of kidney Yang Qi, it manifests as impotence, premature ejaculation, and nocturnal emission in men; women suffer from irregular menstruation, dysmenorrheal, infertility, etc.
It would be easy for us to understand these descriptive words now concerning its importance in stimulating the life Yang energy. Kidney, to some degree, represents the deep see in the north abdomen Kan, which innately has the Yang in its middle to nourish all the organs and the whole body.
The “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” says that the “Kidney corresponds to winter Qi”. The focus of health preservation in winter is to focus on nourishing the kidney.
Chinese medicine believes that black food has the effect of nourishing the essence of the kidney. Eating more black food can firstly enhance physical fitness, secondly prevent disease, and thirdly delay aging, so eating black food is recommended. “Black five categories” of five foods includes black rice, black beans, black sesame seeds, black dates, and walnuts.
Starting from the basic theory of “life lies in exercise”, nourishing the kidney and correcting deficiency through exercise is a positive measure worth promoting.
The ear is the organ that the kidney expresses in the five senses. The ear diseases are all related to the kidney. There is a saying in the “Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon” that people with kidney disease have symptoms of deafness and tinnitus. Why is aging people‘s hearing getting weaker? Because they are having weakening kidneys, they are having weakening water energy and fluid-related functionalities. As a result, they are having less Yang energy.
As part of the north of the body, the human reproductive system has a very close relationship with the kidney. This reproductive system is the true deep sea for the Yang Qi energy. When Yang Qi is getting stronger, human reproductive capacity gets flourished. The adequate Yang energy of young adults can be reflected in their vigorous sexual abilities.
How important it is to allocate the amount of Yang energy from the fountain of the vitality of human life! How much is allocated to the heart and brain? How much is allocated to the health? How much is allocated for the leisure life? How much is allocated to personal lust? And how much is allocated for the reproduction of a healthy and excellent new generation? What the new generation can inherit is the mind, the thoughts, the wisdom and the health.
The fluid of the kidneys is the thicker part of saliva. In addition to moisturizing and dissolving food, making it easy to swallow, and cleaning and protecting the mouth, the thicker part of saliva also nourishes the kidney essence, because it is transformed by the kidney essence. It is part of the most essential water that our life fire is boiling. The golden water comes out from the middle of the Li. Qi Gong and Yoga practitioners often emphasize swallowing body saliva to nourish kidney essence, to nourish the whole body.
Panic is a person’s emergency response to sudden external stimuli. When people are frightened, urinary incontinence might occur. Because of panic, the physiological functions of the kidney produce urine, and various water-soluble substances that need to be eliminated are eliminated from the urine.
“Thinking over fear”: In a panic state, there will be spasms, uneven breathing or deepening and speeding up, blood pressure rising, and heart rate speeding up. When people are thinking, they can reduce gastric blood flow and inhibit gastric acid secretion. This is a natural reason why people will try to calm themselves down when they are in panic if they have a good sense of self-control and a wise mind. With knowledge on how their water energy works and how panic damages their kidney functions, they can gather more self-control when they encounter shocking situations.
Here it is talking about winter and kidney, how about spring, summer, and autumn? How about the other important organs? How does the human water and life energy work through all the seasons for human health? What do all these have to do with the human mind and spirits?