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The most loved season is here, summer! The organ that is associated with this season is the Heart. As a rule, the Heart is very sensitive in the summertime. The Heart is in the Yin channel, and when the summer Yang arrives, it can increase the Qi level of the Heart and therefore cause issues to one’s health. Any disturbances that are considered harmful to the Heart are more severe during the summertime.

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Heart

The emotion connected to the Heart is happiness. Although happiness is viewed as something positive, sometimes too much of a good thing can cause harm. When one is excessively happy, they tend to be very excited. This over excitement causes an increase of Qi to the Heart. This causes an excess of the Heart Fire. This is illustrated by fever, delirium, fast heart beat, profound restlessness, insomnia, a bright red face and a red or blistered painful tongue. The color of the tongue reflects the condition of the heart blood.

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The main functions of the Heart are correlated with the Shen (spirit) and the blood vessels. The Heart governs the blood vessels and is responsible for circulating blood through them.     Shen (spirit) refers to the function of processing all incoming sensory and emotional information and supervising the body&mind reaction to it. Therefore, some forms of emotional distress, dizziness, palpitations, and shortness of breath.

Almost all the issues and disorders of the Heart are correlated with excess. There are four major types of Heart weaknesses. They are Deficient Heart Qi, Deficient Heart Yang, Deficient Heart Blood and Deficient Heart Yin.

Deficient Heart Qi has symptoms of by general lethargy, panting and shallow breathing and frequent sweating.
Deficient Heart Yang has symptoms of a swollen, with bluish-green color, and the limbs are cold.
Deficient Heart Blood has symptoms of restlessness, irritability, dizziness, absentmindedness, and insomnia.
Deficient Heart Yin has symptoms of flushed feelings in the palms and face, low grade fever, and night sweating.

Bitter is the flavor with direct connection to the Heart. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine,bitter taste  can clear heat from the body, especially from the heart. When someone has excess heat, the body will show symptoms such as ulcers in the mouth, red face, emotional, heart palpitations, anxiety, insomnia and dreaminess. Usually the urine is dark or yellow. The tip of the tongue can be very red or burning, with a bitter taste in the mouth. Sometimes the origin of the heat comes from the liver or gall bladder. Eating some bitter foods can make your treatment more successful such as: bitter melon(ku gua),   mustard leaf and other bitter green vegetables.

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Ku Gua (bitter melon)

Qigong training, such as Baduanjin Qigong, during the summertime, will help regulate the Heart.

 

 

References: The Root of Chinese Qigong, Dr Yang,Jwing-Ming,1997

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As most of us living in a cold climate area we are all happy that spring is here .As with all the seasons, each season is related to an internal .Spring is related to the liver organ. It is also related to one of the five elements :the element wood. Its related emotion is anger.

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Visualize what happens in the spring. Nature is renewing itself from the inside out. The earth uses its force at work to push plants, flowers and leaves to grow outward. This force is energy. This energy is Qi. Without Qi, nothing can grow, and nothing can live. One can use nature’s renewal in the spring to renew and heal ourselves from the inside.

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Anger: a great destroyer of our lives and the liver

Among the seven human emotions, anger is of an intense nature. It can dry up the blood and disrupts one’s soul. Due to this, it greatly affects the nourishment of the liver. Controlling one’s anger will make one’s liver healthier.

 

The Wood Elemental Qi is characterized by its willpower to go straight to where it wants to go. Should it not be blocked nor suppressed, the movement in the vessels will be smooth.

 

Since the purpose of the liver regulates the Qi flow in one’s entire body. It influences the dynamics of the other organ networks, particularly the digestive system. It passes bile into the intestines, helps to transport food essence, and aids the unobstructed movement and metabolism of water.

Our nails can be a visual notice to the quality of the liver blood. Dry and brittle or extremely pale nail beds can indicate a poor quality of liver blood. While pink nail beds and firm nails indicates a healthy state of the liver blood.

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The eyes: gateway to our soul and liver

The eyes are considered to be the opening of the liver. The liver channel branches out to the eyes. Both liver Qi and liver blood flow maintain proper eyesight. A person’s eyesight may serve as an indicator for liver function.

 

A deficiency of liver Qi may cause someone to be indecisive and aimless, causing one to be fearful, have a panicky disposition, and have difficulty making decisions.

 

How can we do this “spring cleaning” for ourselves? Practice the natural healing methods seen in Qigong, special foods for healing if needed, lifestyle changes as in a healthier diet, and a more conscious and balanced mental state.

 

Diet  is an important part in regulating the liver Qi. Sour flavor, like pickled vegetables etc., is directly linked with the liver network. If used properly, sour foods can be a benefit to the liver. But as always, never in excessive use, as it harm the liver system. Bitter foods , such as kale, are also good to cleanse the liver.  Reduced or no consumption of alcohol, highly sweet foods & drinks, highly processed foods(even “healthy foods”) and high fatty/fried foods. A special detox program is not really needed, as the liver naturally detoxes  itself. Just cutting out the foods and drinks, mentioned above, will be enough.

 

References: Keep Fit the Chinese Way, 1991, by Hu Bin
The Root Of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity,&Enlightenment,1997, by Yang Jwing- Ming

 

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Winter is now in full swing and it is important to talk about the kidneys,as they are the organ related to this season.

The kidneys are important for the regulation of our bodies Original Essence or Jing.
Since the weather is cold now, the surrounding air is also Yin and the  Qi levels of the kidneys are diminished.

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Kidneys in traditional Chinese medicine

Will, determination, and   memory are attributed to the kidney.Should the  kidney Jing becomes exhausted, it shall result in a weak will and poor memory  .

The kidneys are  in charge of water.Fluids reach the kidney after they have been absorbed by the stomach, raised upwards by the spleen, and moistened downwards by the lung

The kidneys are responsible for ones bones too.An ample amount of  kidney Jing, makes both the bone (supporting the body) and the brain (supporting the mind)   at a level of ideal energy. On the other hand, a low kidney Jing will bring about frail bones and a dull spirit.

Since the teeth are also part of are bone structure, they also rely on the nourishment of the kidney. If the Jing is plentiful, the teeth are firm; if not, they become loose or fall out.

Ancient texts often consider the head’s hair to be a direct outgrowth of the brain, which would relate it to the kidney. The growth pattern and general luster of the hair is an important indication for the condition of prenatal Jing( the condition of health we are born with).

F ear is the emotion connected to the kidneys . When one is living in fear, it weakens the kidneys. Fright, in a long-term notion turns into fear. Should one be abused (any sort), and becomes ongoing, this leads to fear of when this abuse will happen again.

 

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Living in fear damages the kidneys

 

Edema (fluid retention) is usually a sign of toxins accumulated in the kidneys. The body can naturally detox the kidneys. The kidneys naturally detox from 5pm-7pm. Therefore even light exercise during this time can aid the kidneys eliminate toxins. Types of fungus and kelp are considered  good food for the kidneys. Eating them at dinner time while also help.

It is also believed that slight increasing the  intake of salt, taken during the water season (winter) contributes to preserving the kidney against the cold.However,excessive consumption of salty foods is discouraged, as it will harm the kidneys.

When this happens, the Qi flow will be sluggish and the back will become sore and ache, especially the lower back. It is important that the kidney area be protected so that Qi will not be lost out of your body. One method is to wear warm clothes, especially around the waist. The other methods to improve Qi circulation in the kidney area, is to learn Qigong, such as Ba Duan Jin, and massage techniques using the Qi in your hands to help circulate the kidneys.

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Kidney massage

 

Reference: The Root of Chinese Qigong, by Dr.Yang,Jwing-Ming

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