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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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Autumn is here in full swing, and that means the seasonal Qi becomes crisp and clear, and as seen in food crops, rely on this Qi force to become ripe and complete.

When one has a strong physical vitality, it means one’s Lung QI is high. Even our posture shows our sense of self-worth. An open chest (good posture) shows good physical/mental health; a poor posture (lungs collapsed) can mean can mean poor health, both physically and mentally.

When one has low Lung Qi, it means low vitality and a poor immune system. Breathing may be shallow and there may be respiratory problems. The overall circulation of one’s Qi may be weak.

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The Lung is associated with the phase element metal, the direction west and the season of autumn.   Typically, the Lung is sensitive to dryness as well as to cold and heat.

Just like a metal object absorbs the temperature of its environment in an instant, the metal organ (Lung) is most easily influenced by external extremes of heat or cold. The Lung Qi is nourished by breathing. Therefore clean, fresh air is important for a strong Qi in the lungs.

 

 

The Lung is receives its Qi from the air we breathe. The Lung is known as the Delicate Organ, which means it’s extremely sensitive to the influence of evil Qi. There are six excesses that can   influences   easily cause a state if imbalance in the Lungs.  These six are: Wind, Cold, Heat, Moisture, Dryness, and Summer Heat. Because the Lungs are usually the first to be attacked by external diseases, they are called the Delicate Organ. Other negative Qi are viruses and the quality or air we breathe. These disturbances     can   cause the Qi to stagnate towards the Lung. Coughing, asthma and congestion is the main symptom of a problem with the Lungs.

External conditions like environmental cold, heat, and dryness all have the potential to injure the fluid supply of the body and cause dryness symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, skin, body hair or intestines. The lung has a natural aversion to dryness, therefore harmed by dryness. Just as the leaves dry-out and fall off the branches, people’s skin can start becoming dry too. When the weather is changing from damp, hot summer into drier and chilly autumn, Lungs are the first organ to sense the change. If your Lungs are not able to readjust themselves to fit the new situation smoothly you will catch a cold

The skin is part of the Lung System. The Lungs control that part of the liquid metabolism which distributes liquid to the skin.Cleaning the skin, skin scrubbing will maintain the skin’s health and
help support the immune system. Wearing natural, loose clothing will help the skin breathe freely. Keeping the skin pores open is important, therefore deodorants are better than antiperspirants, as it allows the skin to breathe.

Lung Qi, constantly descends, moving water downwards, thus providing the rest of the organ networks with fluids.

The lung is situated in the upper burner, therefore is referred as the upper source of water. Should the Lung Qi fails to descend, it cannot open and regulate the water pathways and ensure the unobstructed transportation of fluids to the fluids.

Emotional states such as grief, sadness and melancholy affect the lung Qi. Should a person be sad, one’s Lung Qi will dissipate.

 

In Qigong practice, since the Lung’s belong to Metal, they are able to regulate heartburn. The Heart belongs to Fire. When the Heart has excess Qi, deep breathing is able to lead the Heart’s fire to the Lungs, and therefore cool the heartburn.

To increase Lung Qi, we can get a cleaner air supply and more proper nutrition. Going out to outdoors go to get cleaner air and thru foods since the color related to the Lungs is white, foods like radish, white meats and white mushrooms tend to have some benefits. Dairy products in many cases cause congestion and the build up of phlegm. Other foods that may cause congestion are like fatty foods, fried foods, and processed foods.

The Lungs are also self-detoxed at night after 11PM. So it is important to sleep by this time to allow the natural detoxing of the Lungs to happen.

 

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Yin/Yang in Qi Gong

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The concept of Yin and Yang has a deep meaning within the world of Qi Gong. Yin/Yang in Qi Gong practice, does not mean that there are two type of Qi. Qi is Qi. When one says that Qi is Yin or Yang, it means that the Qi is too strong or too weak. This means it is a relative, not an absolute. If the Qi is stronger than t is in the normal state, it is Yang, and when if it is weaker than this, it is Yin.

When discussing Qi within the body, the reference point is a normal, healthy status of Qi in a part of the body. If the Qi is stronger than it is in the normal state, it is Yang, and naturally, if it is weaker than this, it is Yin. Certain organs of the body are split into Yin or Yang organs. The Yin organs are the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen. The Yang organs are the gall bladder, large intestine, small intestine, stomach, and bladder. Generally speaking, the Qi level of the Yin organs is lower than that of the Yang organs. The Yin organs store Original Essence and process the Essence obtained from food and air, while the Yang organs handle the digestion and excretion.
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When the Qi in any of your organs is not in its normal state, you feel discomfort. If it is very much off from the normal state, the organ will start to malfunction, and you may then become sick. When this happens, the Qi in your entire body will also be affected and you will feel too Yang, such as perhaps feverish, or too Yin, such as weakness after diarrhea.

Your body’s Qi level is also affected by natural environmental circumstances such as weather, climate, and seasonal changes. That is why it is not advisable to practice Qigong when there is a sudden weather change (eg.thunderstorm) because your practice will interfere with body’s natural readjustment to the new environment.

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Not a time to practice Qi Gong!

Your body’s Qi level is also affected by your natural environments, such as the weather, climate and seasonal changes. Therefore, when the body’s Qi level is classified, the reference point is the level which feels most comfortable for those particular circumstances. Therefore each one of us is different and what feels best and most natural for one person may be a bit different from what is right for another person.

Breath is closely related to the state of your Qi, and therefore also considered Yin or Yang. When you exhale you expel air from your Lungs, your mind moves outward, and the Qi around the body expands. Therefore, one’s exhale is Yang, expanding, offensive and strong, while the inhale is Yin.

Emotion’s too have Yin and Yang. When one loses their temper, your breathing is short and fast becoming Yang. When you are sad, your body is more Yin, and you inhale more than you exhale to absorb the Qi from the air to balance the body’s Yin to bring back into balance. When you are excited and happy, your body is Yang. You exhale longer than you inhale in order to get rid of the excess Yang caused by the excitement.

The concept of Yin and Yang is a founding part of Chinese philosophy and medicine.
Within the universe it is believed that it is made up of 2 opposite forces, Yin and Yang. They must balance each other. This also applies to the human body. When the Yin and Yang in the human body lose their balance, sickness and even death can occur. The Yin and Yang forces of the earth can affect the Yin/Yang balance in the human body. Therefore, if you wish to have a healthy body and live a long life, you need to know how to adjust your body’s Yin/Yang, and how to coordinate your Qi with the Yin/Yang energy of heaven and earth.

Practitioners of Chinese medicine and Qi Gong believe that they must seek to understand the Yin and Yang of nature and the human body before they can adjust and regulate the body’s energy balance into a more harmonious state. Only then can health be maintained and the causes of sickness can be corrected.

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We will be doing a Baduanjin Qigong seminar, Saturday, Feb. 8th,  from 9-11am. Cost is $30.

Will be covering the standing series of Baduanjin

 

Location: 4850 Welllington, Verdun QC

 

 

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There wil be a Baduanjin qigong seminar June 22 from 9-11 AM.

Location: Club Kozak, 4850 Wellington, Montreal QC

Cost:$30

 

More info: info@clubkozak.com

 

 

 

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