Stretch the Body, Stretch the Mind

From TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine)’s point of view, meridians and Qi and Blood circulation are complementary. Healthy meridians lead Qi and Blood to be smooth, and the internal organs will become healthy. Good Qi and Blood circulation promote meridian functionalities.

Stretching is a method of independent health management besides meditation.

With proper stretching, people can dredge meridians and strengthen the circulation of Qi and Blood, thereby improving various acute and chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gynecological disease, heart disease, prostate disease, bone misalignment, and pain due to contraction of the muscles.

Taoism has a saying: “For every inch of tendon extension, the life can be extended for ten years”, Longevity usually has soft tendons and bones.

If you often feel pain in the waist and neck, numbness in the hands and feet, and minor physical problems, from the perspective of Chinese medicine, this is probably due to contraction of the muscles and tendon. Facts have proved that after long-term adherence to stretching exercises, the pains are reduced or even disappeared and the body gets flexible.

There are many things in life that require tender wisdom from a gentle body and a gentle heart. There are a lot of words, a lot of anger, a lot of suffering, a lot of desires, many emotions in life which require tenderness and gentleness, to bring people balanced energy.

Soft and gentleness are a kind of mind, a kind of comprehension, a kind of life, and a kind of wisdom of rules. The beginning of yoga practice in meditation and stretch requires gentle wisdom. If the human heart is not gentle, then the body exercise will be rigid and hard. In yoga, the mind is to connect and command the breath and the body.

Human life is about energy. This energy’s open switch is at the heart, a gentle open heart. Understand the wisdom of a gentle heart, it is easy:

  • To walk around in life, be able to bow down, work diligently, and show quality speechlessly;
  • To appreciate the beauty, texture, and connotation of yoga practice;
  • To accompany human health and mental growth from the beginning to the end;
  • To help human regain strength and increase self-confidence and they will take better care of their health, physically and mentally;
  • To make them master of regulating emotions, and the master of their own life.      

Maintain a warm and gentle heart, focus the soft mind on the breath, the human breath will guide the Qi and Blood flow through their body. Through Yoga meditation, deep, slow, and soft breath, and stretching practices, humans will gain a soft body, soft breath, and a softer heart.

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Depression: Lack of Life Fire Energy

The World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that depression will become one of the most popular diseases in the world in the next few years, second only to ischemic heart disease.

We have to admit one truth, that heart and mental diseases are the top killers to human’s health in nowadays. Are we recognizing that they are all related to our fire of life energy problems? Does it mean humans generally are not having a balanced fire and water energy? Is their fire energy too weak to cook their life water to a certain level of temperature? Are they lacking their life energy?

Energy is invisible. From the whole Mother Earth nature system’s point of view, the total energy level is at a certain conservation point. If this human body system’s fire energy is generally weak now, where did the missing fire energy go to on earth? If human society’s fire energy is weak, then their total water energy must be excessive. Where on earth lacks this water energy then?

With the overwhelming sweep of the digital network era, social development has entered an acceleration track. From the first industrial revolution to the fifth industrial revolution that human beings are talking about, the efficiency of human society has gone from the roaring speed of steam locomotives to the digital space-time speed of 5G and AI. Unconsciously, human beings are discovering that our living space and time are being rapidly compressed by the fast pace of technology. While new technology is inevitably controlled by a very small group of people, the vast majority of people have to passively follow the development of the digital age and fall into the rapid competition of the objective material world. There exists a strong contrast between the compression of resources and the subjective consciousnesses’ staying in its place or even getting degenerated. As a long-term accumulative result, the development of the spirit lags behind the development of the material, which draws out an invisible and insurmountable gap, manifested as the mankind-depression.

How amazing it is that nature has its power in auto- balancing the energy system of the universe!

Putting words in another way, the internet-based 5G and AI carries huge high-efficiency energy. They are not only simply carrying energy at a material level, but invisible high-efficiency energy at the information level, at the intelligence level. They are fast, powerful, and dominating the world. They have the potential to challenge the human brains and take over the human brain’s responsibilities.

What does this mean? Does it mean human fire energy’s responsibilities? Their basic electric and heating characters are typical fire energy’s specialties. If we look back calmly, we would realize that the human world’s energy is highly concentrated on internet-based high technology over the past ten to twenty years. What water does this huge fire energy fire then? While that huge powerful fire energy is accelerating, there is excessive water in the human body which is lacking fire energy now. How can humans balance their world’s fire and water energy?  Is the high technology energy aiming to fire the human waters?

Leave the energy theory aside, let’s go back to look at the problem of human depression.

Modern medicine treats the body and mind as two things. While, Chinese medicine calls the physical and mental body the unity of form and spirits, or body and mind. It tells us, depression is due to the body’s Yang energy is not enough and the human spirit, consciousness, and mental abilities are declining. Here let’s take two examples from our modern science and businesses for easy understanding:

Our first example is the computer. We know that a computer can install high-level operation systems and run high-level programs with good RAM[2], CPU[3], HDD[4], and the compatible motherboard. A set of matching RAM, CPU, HDD, and motherboard determines the function and price of a computer. With the old low version of any of the RAM, CPU, HDD, or the motherboard, let alone run high-level programs, you cannot even download or install too much. This set of matching versions of the hardware provides a solid qualified platform for high version soft programs to run, to manifest. A computer is a perfect combination of its hardware and software systems. Its hardware system is its body, while its software system is like its mind, its soul, its spiritual quality. They are like its Yin and Yang energy. They must match each other for a better life of the computer. The same principle works for smart mobile phones. Do we doubt that iPhone 4 is not able to support IOS14.2?

Another example is about the modern supply chains. The best balancing point in a supply chain in gaining the best cost control and the best service level is to maintain the connection between supply chain planning and execution systems synchronizing with the data and process levels in serving different customers and clients. Ignoring or focusing on any party will break the balance of the entire supply chain. In another word, the supply chain is a unity of its fulfillment planning system and consumption execution system.

If we take the internet world for example, there would have endless arguments we can talk about.

But all these words are trying to tell that the human body and mental systems are relatively connected and united. The body energy and spiritual energy of humans complement and support each other. They both form up the human’s life energy system. Similarly, when a person’s life energy is low:

  1. Things around him might become obstacles: He got problems in digesting food and got emotions in most physical activities and complex sports.
  2. His body disease occurs, such as high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, tachycardia, or arrhythmia…
  3. Emotionally, his consciousness, thinking, and social interaction are being closed. He intends to only accept certain things that he is willing to accept and starts to refuse things that he used to like.

Now, he unconsciously becomes a “compressed person”: his body, mind, and spirit are compressed; his time, space, society, and life, as well as everything around him, are compressed even when he didn’t necessarily realize it. Briefly, his fire energy of life is blocked. Either his fire is too weak, or his fire and water cannot interact. His fluid circulation system is going abnormal, which is shown in his hormone secretion, his blood circulation, and his breathing, then his digestion functions start to get abnormal. He becomes a patient of insomnia, phobia, anxiety, hypochondria, obsessive-compulsive disorder, neurasthenia, neuropathic vomiting, etc. Simply state it, a disease of depression.

The current medical view is that depression and psychological problems are caused by changes in the chemicals in the brain. From some point of Taoism’s view, this is correct, as it reveals that this is a problem related to the human brain, but it only looked at a tiny point of a big problem. Therefore, they think people with depression and certain mental illnesses are diagnosed to take drugs that inhibit these chemical elements or stop their minds from working. But the effect is not very good. How can it be good??? To stop the minds from working, it’s like trying to put out the fire when their fire is very weak already!!! This seems to be different from using drugs to repeatedly and intensely stimulate the excitement of the human brain and contempt for cheerful neurotransmitters, but are they all trying to conceal the emptiness of the human spirit? So, where does all human energy go?

For a person as a whole, his life attitude and lifestyle, his emotions, thinking, cognition, and behavior patterns just simply change due to changes in these chemicals? Could it be the other way around? Could it be that their thoughts, minds, and spirits have problems that have caused these chemical changes? That their fire energy of life is not strong enough to ignite their brain’s full functionalities? And as a result, that has caused their brain’s degeneration which is shown as the chemical changes?

People are easily brainwashed and worship authority. Whatever the popular media says, what the doctor says is what they think it is. When the doctor tells you that you are diagnosed to have depression and need to use antidepressants to control it, most people’s response is to take the medicine as soon as possible to cooperate with the doctor, and repeatedly strengthen and tell themselves in their minds: “I have depression”.

But, in the face of depression, it is impossible to treat depression without investigating and finding its root cause. In the eyes of TCM, it doesn’t make much sense to analyze the types of depression and the diagnostic criteria. They ask: What is behind the psychological problems? TCM thinks that it’s about a person’s physical and mental health. They think it is about how much you know about yourself; about whether you are willing to understand the true self, about whether people are willing to understand this real-world, about if people want to understand what’s wrong inside them; about if people want to understand how to deal with the problems; about if people want to understand how their mind and body are exchanging between their inner and outer world.

Everything comes back to the heart, where the body Yang Qi energy sublimates into spiritual minds and thoughts, the higher level of the human fire energy of life.

Disease and health are problems that everyone will encounter. Both traditional ancient medicine and modern medicine are revealing that most diseases generally start from the emotional body, which is manifested in the physical body as stasis. Usually, mental and physical problems cause emotional stasis; eventually manifest as disease.

The human body is wise. Not only does it respond highly sensitive to what it absorbs, such as food and water, it also responds equally sensitively to emotions, feelings, and thoughts. The body is the communication tool between the human and the conscious mind and soul. The soul communicates with people in many ways, specifically through intuition: including subtle emotions, hunches, and whispers of the mind.

Whenever people are seriously disturbed by emotions, they have to find their cause and meaning. As long as people calm down and listen inward carefully, the soul will tell them the answer. If people resist or deny their emotions, their soul will speak to them through their bodies. When the soul expresses itself in the form of the disease, how can people understand its language? They may not know its message sent through the disease, but in fact, it has been a long time since they started denying emotions.

Understanding the spiritual meaning of disease is an inner journey of exploration, by which people can gradually restore their communication with the soul.

Incredibly, when a person possesses the ability to clearly answer the above questions, he is less likely to fall into depression, because even if he is uncomfortable and unhappy with big emotion now, he knows: this is a necessary thing in life as life is all about all kinds of ups and downs, joys and sorrows, happiness and anger…, full of tastes and colors.

The same is true for physical health. When a person’s body is not very good for a while, knowing it is a normal process of life, he will not panic looking for a doctor or medicine. But he reflects if he is too closed in his life circle or insisting on something necessarily requiring persistence and he adjusts his diet, sleep, and exercise. With these positive shifts, soon, his physical and psychological problems will get better, even disappear.

Before people know it, their water energy and fire energy have started to intersect and they are returning back into a state of Tai or Jiji.

The Hollow Spine

Since humans began to walk upright, their bodily functions started to change, their vision started to change, and their relationship with the world also started to change. The human spine had evolved from being parallel to the ground to being perpendicular to the ground, marking a new milestone in the history of human civilization.

It took a long time for the human spine to evolve into an upright state. If it can only take some people a few decades of a lifetime to degenerate their spine back into a curved state that cannot naturally extend upward, it strongly announces the degeneration of their personal life, their healthy disappearance, and sicknesses.

On the contrary, a person with an upright flexible spine, regardless of age, is bound to sufficient Yang Qi, fast hands and feet, a flexible mind, and unlimited vitality.

Let’s observe the spine from the energy perspective. The spine is strong, firm, upright, and is a representative of Yang energy. According to the Yin and Yang theory, since there is Yin in Yang, is there Yin in the spine? The masculine spine, born hollow, is a passage and container for nerves, Qi meridians, and spinal cords. They are as hollow as the long bones of the human limbs that bear the weight and strength. The center of the masculine bone is hollow to accommodate the bone marrow with hematopoietic function. Blood, nerves, serving as the human body’s Yin-water energy system, nourish and regulate all the balance and development of the body, and develop the growth of the Yang energy out from the middle of the human abdomen area.

Empty space, be able to hold everything, is filled with the mysterious code of life.

From YiJing’s perspective, the spine connects to the deep sea of the north of the human body at its bottom and connects to the very south of the human brain at the top. As human life lies on the life water energy and the life fire energy, life quality is reflected in the spine’s health status.

For an elder, with his spine flexible in turning sideways, flexible in bending sideways, flexible in bending forwards and backwards, he could be like a newborn baby, be able to hold his feet to bite his toes at any time, and he must be a benevolent person, a kind person, and a longevity too.

The human bones are connected by ligaments and other tissues from the sacrum, coccyx, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical vertebrae. The health of the spine is largely determined by the flexibility of these tissues. Newborn babies are soft and moisturized, and elders have lost a big part of their water at the end of their lives and their bodies are no longer flexible. The process of keeping the body healthy is actually the process of keeping the body flexible.

The connection between the spines is like the connecting shaft between the animal and the cart in ancient times. This is the original intent and purpose of ancient Yoga. If Yoga is regarded as an exercise to train the bone and muscle systems, it is not what Yoga originally meant to be.

Traditional Chinese medicine has an old saying, “下医身体,中医气血,上医心” – ordinary doctors treat the body, medium doctors treat Qi and Blood, and first level doctors treat the heart. While in our daily life, we are the first-level doctor of ourselves who can treat our own body, treat our own Qi and Blood, and treat our own heart, unaffected by time, space, status, power, and wealth, equipped with knowledge and wisdom. And we are our only doctors who can determine to what level we can treat our health. Taking good care of our spine’s health is a secret shortcut in maintaining our body’s physical health.

After Yang Qi rises at the bottom of the spine, in the deep of the north sea of the human body, from the abdomen area and the reproductive systems, it will first reach the low back waist. Low back waist pain is an invisible attacker that has a wide and long-term impact on human health. There are different reasons for low back waist pain. An intuitive conclusion from the perspective of Chinese medicine is that the circulation of Qi and Blood around the lumbar spine has been obstructed for a long time, some Yin Qi stuck at the waist, and the meridians are not smooth.

For people in chronic waist pains, when meditation practice brings up their Qi and Blood energy, the energy will naturally climb up through the meridians along the back spine and it first reaches the waist area. When it is trying to break through the blocked Qi and Blood in the waist area, there will be some waist pain coming out first. This is a very good sign. Sensitive people can feel it and should conduct it positively through continuous meditation and back spine stretch.

Blocked Qi and Blood cause chronic pains, and to kill these chronic pains, it has to take some pains.

The waist, kidney, and the belly button where the human life connects with its mother’s before birth, are at the same area on the body, which is related to the vitality and creativity of life. The solar energy in the water of human life represents the natural vitality and creativity of human beings. Taking care of our waist, kidneys and reproductive system is related to personal health and human development. Taking care of our waist, kidneys and reproductive system is the foundation of taking good care of our water of life and fire of life energies.

The Yang Qi climbing up along the back spine, after passing the lumbar, above the belly button, it arrives at the bottom of the thoracic where the stomach, spleen, and liver are. This is the area where body Qi connects directly to the external energy supplies that come from nature to supplement the human body’s needs at the material level. Maintaining a good digestive system means having good materialized connections between the human body and nature.

Then the Yang Qi energy continues to rise and begins to touch the perceptual side of the world. At this stage, love from the heart becomes an unconditional link between self and the world. Through perceptual contact with the world, humans begin to experience the diversity and complexity of the world with their hearts, through love, or on the contrary, hatred.

As there is love, there must be hatred. The relationship between love and hatred is like Yin gives birth to Yang, and Yang will produce Yin. Neither of them can exist without the other’s existence.

In a world full of love, mankind is full of joy, gratitude, happiness, and meaningful true self-love. The heartbeat is consistent and resonates with the frequency of the world, and the positive energy of love emits a warm light brightening the world. It fires more love.

And at the same stage in this perceptual world, negative energy as the inseparable opposite of love also begins to emerge. With the appearance of hatred, humans have a series of complex feelings, such as sadness, anger, jealousy, betrayal, fear, loneliness, etc.

How does Mother Earth deal with her energy at heart? Mother Earth loves her children unconditionally.

Humans eat her, use her, dig her deep to obtain coal, extract her body oil, use her essence stores and natural gas Qi, destroy her soil, pollute her water resources, harvest from her but excrete to her, dump the garbage to her, consume, pollute and destroy her air… maybe also think of “leaving” her by collecting energies and resources from her which in fact is destroying her…

She accepts everything humans do to her with a broad heart. She provides her air for human’s breath; she provides her skin soil to grow food and green forests; she provides her water, oil, and blood for human to drink and live… She washes pollution with clean water, digests garbage with soil, filters and reproduces air with plants… She gives her core energy to support human society’s development; she gives her resourse for human’s dream of immigrating to other planets. After endlessly giving and accumulating too much negative damages in her body, will Mother Earth get sick too?

Read More on spine health and Mother Earth…