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:

34. Dazhuang Hexagram

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.

Spring arrives.

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.

The Five Organs’ Essential Elements

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?

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Moxibustion Qi is Like a Mother’s Love

In the old society thousands of years ago, there was no modern communication, no sufficient material supply, neither any good nor enough life supplies during the war years. The mere problem of water resources for survival in the wild for armies was a matter of the survival of not only the army but also the country.

But, in those ancient times, Taoists understood the breathing and circulatory system of Mother Earth, and they had very clever ways to determine the source of groundwater in those wild areas.

In ancient China, when marching and fighting, thousands of troops traveled long distances and carried large amounts of wormwood. Especially when they were in the northwest plateau and desert, they would first dig a huge deep hole, burn wormwood at the bottom of the hole, and observe the distant surroundings. After a while, they could see smoke coming out of other places. Then they dug deep at that smoking place, they knew they would definitely get water.

Why is it wormwood? How did the ancestors discover this? It is related to the knowledge of Chinese herbal medicine.

In ancient times, some great sorcerers had magical powers. Shen Nong tasted over a hundred grasses and picked out wormwood for some special body disease and pain treatment.

Taoism and Chinese pharmacology describe wormwood as ventilating. After the mugwort ignited, it sends out the warmth and penetrating. This warmth does not hurt, it is like a mother’s love.

This is the reason why moxibustion uses wormwood wool. Ancestors also discovered that the heat generated by the burning air of wormwood has the ability to travel through “spaces” both in the body of Mother Earth and in the body of humans. In the human body, it can carry heat energy to the “space” blocked by Yin Qi, and slowly dissolve the blockage. As a result, the Qi is ventilated, and the blood circulation is smoothened.

In Mother Earth’s body, they know the Qi and water circulation are inseparable like twin brothers, where the Qi reaches, where the water circulation arrives. Like mother, like children, because the human body has exactly the same energy Qi and Blood system as our Mother Earth.

Now, modern science is able to experiment that after the mugwort is ignited, its Qi can resonate harmonically with the human’s Qi, and its wavelength is the closest to the human body so that the human body can easily accept it, allowing the moxibustion Qi to penetrate deeper.

Why do we always call Qi and Blood together? It is because they are inseparable from each other. Where should this bring us to if we try to understand our Mother Earth’s Qi and Blood, our Mother Earth’s air breath, and water circulation? How this is related to climate change and environmental issues?

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Read the Book

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?

The First Yang Rises inside Mother Earth

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

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