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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Asthma: Suffocated Love

 Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the respiratory system. The common symptoms are wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.

 We often find that some patients with asthma are in a stable condition, but once they are frightened or stimulated, their situation becomes unstable, which can cause asthma attacks. Such attacks are even more serious than pathogen invasion. Drugs can solve the causative factors of inflammation, but they can’t control people’s emotions, neither can they solve the problem from the root cause.

 Analyze the pathogenic mechanism of asthma: In the case of human emotions receiving tension or intense stimulation, part of the nerves is excited by conditioned reflex, causing single bronchospasm, airway secretions increase, insufficient ventilation, and eventually an asthma attack. It can be seen that mental state is an important cause of asthma.

When people’s spirit is good, the Qi and Blood are vigorous, and then the body’s own mechanisms are regulated and stabilized, asthma attacks will be greatly reduced.

As we always mentioned that more than 80% of physical diseases are related to psychology problems, so what does TCM think about the psychological causes of asthma?

Some eastern medicine thinks: asthma is a reflection of suffocated Love. Unfortunately, most of the cases of asthma originated in people’s early child age, with the feelings of “I have no power to breathe for myself” as a young child. In this saying: Children with asthma have an “overdeveloped sense of responsibility”. They feel guilty for any “errors” that occurred in their environment and feel that they are worthless and need to punish themselves.

When the people around the child or the external environment unconsciously instill in the child “you must be responsible for this matter” for a long time, and the young heart subconsciously repeatedly practice and condemn themselves “Why am I not effectively responsible for this matter”,“ I must be responsible for this”. After a long-term effect of time, long time unhappiness and sadness because of this “lacking the capability of responsibility” gathered in the lung, damaging to lung’s Qi and Blood functionalities slowly, as the result, the child caught the disease which is called asthma.

When a family does not support this asthma child in changing the way of overemphasizing too many responsibilities to the child, changing the living environment is sometimes useful – children with asthma will “get rid of” the disease when they go to school, get married, or leave home by leaving those mental hurts far behind.

But, if someone touches their “old switch” at a later time, they will fall ill again, instead of reacting to the current environment, they react to their childhood environment buried in their deep memory.

Eastern medicine also says: Heart disease requires heart medicines.

In our daily life, we always care for and love people around us, sharing their happiness and unhappiness, sharing their responsibilities will potentially reduce asthma cases. And it is important that we review ourselves to reflect if we are putting too much responsibility on ourselves and on the people around us, especially our young children. Heart medicine is the best antidote for heart diseases. It is better for the doer to undo what he has done.

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…