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TCM And The Lung

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In Chinese medicine, the task of the Lung is to serve as a boundary between the outer and inner world. The internal environment has to be shielded by a clear boundary that both defines and defends the individual. Waste materials can be excreted and essential materials can be taken in across this boundary. Oxygen is the most obvious and important material that the Lung takes in; but as we shall see, in Chinese medicine, the Lungis more than the respiratory system. It also has to do with renewal, breath and boundary.

The Physical Domain of the Lung

Renewal, breath and boundary are expressed at the physical level as the colon, skin and the lungs. In Chinese medicine, the Lungpertains to the entire respiratory system and includes the sinuses and the nose. Oxygen is taken in across the Lung’s boundary and excreted as carbon dioxide, a waste material. The Lung is mainly responsible for the governance of Chi and vitality in the body since most energy comes from the air we breathe.

The pores are viewed as the doors of Chi and the skin is like an external Lung. In addition, the skin exchanges and breathes substances from the external environment. The healthy function of the Lungs is considered as a part of Lung function. Beneath the skin is the wei chi or protective energy that’s believed to circulate, and defend the body against infiltration of pathogenic elements.

The colon, which in Chinese medicine, is the paired organ of the Lung, is responsible for elimination and release. The colon and Lung together is associated with the protective boundary’s strength and with immunity. Pathogens can infiltrate the colon and the Lungs, via the digestive and respiratory systems,are responsible for keeping intact the integrity of these systems so that they won’t be infiltrated by invaders. The defensive energy of the body, from the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, is the wei chi and is directly contingent upon the strength of the Colon and Lung.

The Non-Physical Doman of the Lung

The physical expression of the Lung as the boundary between its environment and the organism,at the psychological level,can be viewed as some sort of an individual’s personal boundary. A clearly marked psychological boundary can help us know who we are and lead to powerful relationships. When we have a powerful sensation of boundary, we can learn from experience, via the boundary, and externally communicatethrough it; the boundary is responsive and flexible, cool to receiving ‘positive influences and filtering out ‘negative’ influences. It enables us to be optimistic and gives us a sense of self value. It also allows us to be receptive to what we want and ‘no’ to what we don’t want.

The spleen, on the other hand is archetypally associated with the mother, while the Lung is related archetypally to the father. It is traditionally the father teachinghis son the value of self-worth and assists him to leave home and find his place in the world. Boundary can be taught by good fathering, and aids in separation and individuation from the mother. Therefore, the Lung is concerned with respect and self-esteem both for themselves and for others. Taking our place in the world, believing in our own self-worth and knowing who we are aspects of the Lung’s domain.

It’s also believed that the Lung is where the Po or corporeal soul resides. The bodily soul is the soul’s most tangible and dense aspect that dies at death with the body. The role of Po or the physical rhythms of the body makes us realize our physical body, of the physical factors of our bodily life and of our own aliveness. Po, which means, vegetative soul, belongs to the realm of pure sensation and the material realmof pure sensation. The Hun, is Po’s counterpart. It resides in the liver that in turn belongs to the conscious and spiritual world, that resides in the Liver, the Hun belongs to consciousness and the spiritual world.

A Healthy Lung

Physical strong vitality is what plentifulLung energy expresses. In the chest of a healthy Lung, there is a sense of fullness and softness. Recuperating from sickness is often effective and quick. The immune system is boosted, therefor recuperating from a condition is effective and fast, the person with a healthy Lung will sport a glossy skin and a fresh and bright complexion.Usually, the breath is pleasant and clear.The gaze of a person’s look is bright, his gestures are expansive and clear and his presence,strong and clear. A person manifesting strong Lung energy often elicits a response of respect and admiration respect in each other.

When the Lung is in dysfunction, it is because it is either blocked or weak. Lung energy that is weak physically will reveal an unhealthy immune system and low vitality. The person’s breathing may not expand to the lower area of his Lungs. There may be respiratory problems in the lung’s lower region. The flow of blood and chi may be weak and the skin may look unhealthy and weak. In terms of emotions, there seems to be sadness and constraint, probably due to low self-esteem. The person may not have enough self-esteem and there seems to be a failure to open other people’s boundaries and to respect the boundaries of other people. Dignity can lead to false pride, which leaves a person feeling alone and separate. It can be difficult to claim a place in this world if you’re experiencing Lung dysfunction.

Nourishment of the Lung

The act of breathing nourishes the Lungs. Swimming, active exercises and taking in lots of fresh air is the best way to optimizeLung energy. Expansive movements that physically widen the chest can be also helpful. This is meant to release, bring tone and to stretch and release the muscles that are contracted around the rib cage. Through voice, it is quite possible to strengthen the Lung and you can also learn things such as learning to protect your voice or by singing.

Theskin is a component of the Lung system that can be enhanced by brushing. Using a brushless comb or rubbing the skin with a clean soft towel can help preserve the health of the skin and promote the immune system’s strength.Putting on natural fibers will help the skin to freely breathe; sometimes, going naked (when weather and circumstances permit) will allow to help the skin breath. The skin can be nourished through moderate sunbathing, but overexposure can be dangerous.

The Lung is enhanced emotionally by respect. Knowing how to really care for what we do or who we really are will give respect from the people surrounding our lives. Exploring deeply the things and the people that we value, and looking for ways to manifest values in the world, can help us open our Lungenergy.

In the external world, we can give meaning to our environment by correcting the way we live and by cleaning up our environment so that we can externally support the function of the Lung and simultaneously give clarity to both our mental and emotional life. The aesthetic life of a person is to attend to order and beauty and is an external expression of the Lung, making art of both life and our everyday environment that can help nourish and support the Lung.

Lastly and metaphorically, the role of the Lungas the keeper of boundaries can also extend to the limits concerning our physical home. The domestic manifestations of Lung energy can include a well-designed exterior, clean windows, good security and properly maintained fences.

Foods that Nourish the Lungs

Aneating style that positively supports the Lung, concerns food aesthetics and a high regard to food in everyday life. A delight in eating’s simple rituals and a high regard for the value of food can help increase support for the Lung.

Chi is governed by the Lung, and so a food plan that focuses on the nourishing of the Lung will involve several kinds of Chi-rich fresh foods and ‘Chi tonic foods’. A meal with lots of organic and fresh vegetables some with some grains and sprouted seeds can be very healthy to the lung. Protein is also important to the lungs, and a longing for protein usually means a deficiency in LungChi. All in all, thebest protein is white meat, beans tofu and other low fat protein products for the lungs.

The lungs can also be strengthened by eating dairy produce (when tolerated). However, in most instances, this can cause a buildup of phlegm in the Lung and can lead to congestion.You can minimize dairy and instead use sheep or goat products. To stimulate the function of the lungs and open the lungs, eating certain pungent tasting foods can be helpful. Foods to avoid are the ones that can lead to congestion. This would include denatured or processed foods and fatty and rich foods.

Finally, light colored and white foods our good for the lungs; therefore foods like white meats,white mushrooms and radish are beneficial for the health of the Lungs.

Emily Farish Acupuncture
400 S. Jefferson, Suite 203
Spokane, WA 99204
Phone: 509-217-9262

Written by Valerie

April 30th, 2019 at 2:28 am