Chinese Medicine - Maintaining Health in Your Physical Body
Our physical body is an object made up of cells and organs grouped as one. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) determines we have vital energy called "Qi" that serves to keep us alive within our body. This is often referred to as human energy fields or prana and is the vital force that governs the day to day change.
The Energy Fields in the Body
Known across many philosophies such as the Qi Energy System or the Chakra System, energy fields are believed to exist at various levels. Such as physical, etheric, astral, mental and pure spirit or casual. TCM suggests that Qi flows through the body via energy channels called meridian lines as a non-tangible energetic system. The etheric body is seen as the closest association to the physical system with the meridian lines forming an interface between the physical and etheric. We access this interface through acupuncture points that flow along the meridian lines.
For a visual representation of the meridian lines please refer to this video.
Your Constitution and How it Impacts Your Health
While Qi governs the day to day change in the body the Jing is our "essence" that governs long term change. There are two components of Jing.
The first is called the Congenital Jing. Formed in the act of conception it is the basis for prenatal growth and nourishment of an embryo. It fixes the constitution and characteristics of a person that they will take through life.
The second component of Jing is postnatal and is obtained through ingesting foods and is called the Postnatal Jing. Both of these components form the Jing energy in your body. Commonly called your Constitution.
The kidneys govern our constitution and are associated with the water element (refer to the previous blog article for an explanation on the elements). They are the most yin of all the elements and are the body's most important reservoir of essential energy. Like with a plant in a pot the resources in the pot are not infinite. When they are used up the plant will no longer have nourishment. The plant relies on the storage of resources for its nourishment.
Our kidneys are the foundation of yin and yang and govern our energy by:
Storing your life essence, Jing
Being responsible for reproduction
Creating and filtering blood
Controlling water balance
Housing our will and control fear
Ensuring the growth of our hair and bone
Ways to Balance Your Physical Body
Maintaining harmony in the physical body is a daily practice and changes just as often. Depending on the season we will require different activities. Below are some suggestions to start with:
Take light exercises such as walking, swimming or dancing
Allow time for relaxation such as having a bath or reading a book
Rest the body properly by turning off devices an hour before bed
Meditate and do yoga 1-2 times a week
Eating warm, cooked foods from organic vegetables and meats where possible
Chewing your food well and eating slowly
Getting acupuncture for back and health issues
In the final article under Robyn's residency, she'll focus on the emotional body. How it is impacted through external and internal forces as well as our constitution and ways to seek balance and harmony.