Here are some handy tips on good health compiled from the Traditional Chinese Medicine point of view.
Qi and Health
Qi in the concept of traditional Chinese medicine is an info-energy that forms and sways everything in the universe, and it is in the ocean of the qi that everything exists. As your body is structured and maintained by qi, the quality of the qi within you and around you determines how healthy you can be.
Yin-Yang and Health
There are two kinds of qi, yin qi and yang qi.
According to the Book of Virtue, when an abstract reality evolved into an intangible existence, a united qi splits into two, with the passive part being yin and the active part being yang, and the two balance each other in motion ever since. Yin and yang as the two sides of one coin, complement one another, each being essential for the functioning and well-being of the whole. Thus a quality qi means a qi that has achieved a good balance between the yin and yang two forces.
Five Agents and Health
What Are Five Agents?
There can be numerous ways to categorize and analyze ourselves and the world around us. Some mainly focus on tangible subjects that are measurable with physical instruments, such as science; some take a holistic approach to both tangible and intangible existences that can only be discerned by those whose sense is able to crack into the invisible even abstract realms, such as Four Elements theory (earth, water, fire and air) from Buddhism, or Five Agents formula (earth, water, fire, metal and wood) by Daoism. Since Chinese culture, including and in particular traditional Chinese medicine, has a deep root in the Daoist conceptual system, Five Agents becomes the de facto method to study and describe the world.
How Five Agents Relate to Shape & Colour?
According to the Five Agents theory, each of the Agents corresponds to a certain shape and colour:
When qi flows through objects in certain colours and shapes, it has been rendered in a certain way, with some attributes being emphasized, while other traits are filtered out. So within each yin qi and yang qi, there are five different qis patterned by five agents.
How Five Agents Relate to Your Internal Organs?
Kidney ——> Water
Liver ——–> Wood
Heart ——-> Fire
Stomach —> Earth
Lung ——–> Metal
Relationships between the Five Agents
By principle, when qis channelling from five agents keep in good balance, they can form a nurturing circle, and you are in good health; but when the balance is tipped, a conflict between the qis with different properties would occur.
Blood and Health
While qi is information-based intangible energy, blood is substance-based tangible energy, which by essence is a condensed qi. The state of your physical health mainly depends on two factors: sufficient energy level from qi and blood, and efficient channels for energy to flow through.
Energy and Health
Sufficient qi and blood are generated from three sources: a) eating the right amount of the right food; b) sleeping during the right hours for the right amount of time; b) doing the right exercise in the right manner for the right length of time.
Energy Circulation and Health
There are two kinds of illnesses: one is caused by weak energy, which makes you look very ill but the problems can be easily fixed through medication; the other is caused by obstruction of channels, which could make you look robust and full of energy, but the danger of a sudden collapse might be impending.
The most common cause for congestion of circulation is an internal temperature that is lower than normal, while the low internal temperature is usually caused by sluggish energy flow, and the sluggish flow is again caused by weak qi that is not strong enough to push the blood through. So after all, it is the weak qi that causes circulation problems.
One of the most likely results of energy circulation problems is the development of tumours, a lump consisting of debris and junk that should be transported out of the body system by blood, but a sluggish flow is unable to move them around. Over time, these debts and junks accumulated into a chunk that further blocks the channel and obstructs the energy flow.
Emotion and Health
Anger pushes qi up, which hurts your liver and causes energy flow congestion in your brain; sorrow presses qi down, which hurts your lung and causes deficiency of qi in all your internal organs; anxiety tightens qi into knots, that hurts your stomach and causes digestion problems; fear defuses qi away, that hurts your kidney and depletes your energy stocks; shock stirs qi into chaos, that hurts your heart and makes you unable to control your body functions.
Activity and Health
Overusing your eye drains your blood; sleeping too much diminishes your qi; sitting all the time weakens your muscles; standing too long injures your bones, and walking excessively damages your joints.
Food and Health
Your body can only process a certain amount of food and needs a certain amount of nutrition. Overeating produces garbage, and garbage obstructs energy circulation, which is the main cause of aging.
Bearing in mind the storage space in your body is limited, therefore it is a good idea to maintain a certain degree of hunger so you can have enough room to accommodate qi.
Time and Health
According to yin-yang theory, each year from spring to winter is a complete yin-yang circle, and each day from early morning to late night is also a yin-yang circle, thus within a day, we can experience four seasons.
Winter in a Day
Hours between 9 pm and 3 am are considered to be the winter season of the day, which is dominated by Water Agent. If you fail to refill Water through good sleep, you can harm your kidney, a water organ and your energy reservoir; when your kidney is bruised, you’ll lose your vitality.
Summer in a Day
Hours between 11 am and 1 pm is the summer season of the day, which is dominated by Fire Agent. If you can preserve Fire through a quick snooze or short sitting meditation, you’ll be able to strengthen the power of your heart, a Fire organ and the engine of your body system.
Exercise and Health
Why You Need to Do Physical Exercise
Yin is the foundation of yang and yang is the utility of yin. Yin is nourished by meditation, while yang is strengthened through exercise.
Pros and Cons of Physical Exercise
Although exercise can increase the flow of the qi and blood, it also consumes energy, therefore exercise should be done according to your particular physical condition.
Meditation and Health
Meditation Is the Way to Nourish Your Qi
The improvement of the subtle circulation within your body cannot be gained by physical exercise. It can only be achieved through meditation.
Meditation Is the Way to Clean Up Your Mind
Chaos in the physical system is the cause of most illnesses, while physical chaos in most cases is caused by mental disturbance.
The key to having a healthy body is to have a tranquil mind. When your mind is clear, your Qi flows smoothly; when your Qi flows smoothly, your blood transfusion is adequate; when your blood transfusion is adequate, your life essence is sufficient; when your life essence is sufficient, your spirit is vigorous; when your spirit is vigorous, your defense against virus attacks will be robust.
So if you want to fix the problems in your body, address the issues that trouble you in your mind first.
The Key to Clean Up the Mind Is to Let Go
The best way to resolve the issue in your mind can be summarised in two words: Let Go. If you can let go of everything from your mind, the illness will be unable to cling to you. Once you do not mind of losing, you’ll have nothing to fear; once you have nothing to fear, your mind will be at peace.
Medication and Meditation
Medication can only help manage the symptoms of illnesses. If you want to resolve the root cause of your illness, you’ll have to work with your mind through meditation.
However, meditation should not be a substitute for medication, unless you are almost immortal.
Sickness and Health
Sickness doesn’t always mean a bad thing.
Sometimes you get sick because your body is trying to adjust and fine-tune the system. In this case, the problem will go away by itself, and after that, you can feel much healthier than before.
Also, if you practice meditation, when your cultivation reaches a certain level, some old illness may manifest, which is, in fact, a very good thing. Deal with them calmly so the deep-rooted problems can be resolved without further delay.
Karma and Health
Causes and Consequences
The real scientific attitude is to fully acknowledge the relationship between the causes and the consequences of our actions, words and thoughts.
Body, Qi and Consciousness
Most people try to keep healthy by nourishing their bodies; a smart guy will try to keep healthy by nourishing his qi; a truly wise man will try to keep healthy by nourishing his consciousness.
The Ultimate Way to Keep Healthy
If you want to live longer, you should know how to recover from illness; if you want to know how to recover from illness, you should know how to utilize your qi; if you want to know how to utilize your qi, you should know what your unique natural properties are; if you want to know what your unique natural properties are, you should know who you really are beyond your temporary physical shelter.