The Lung and the notion of Limits in Tradicional Chinese Medicine

Good morning Readers!

Today I’m here to write a bit about a little talked function related to the Lung in Traditional Chinese Medicine: the Notion of Limits.

Let’s recap some functions of the Lung for Oriental Medicine:

  • It is a power plant, capable of producing Wei Qi (defense energy) and Ying Qi (nutritive energy)
  • It is the main connection of the body with the external environment, capturing the energy of air through breathing
  • Controls breathing, skin and the passage of water
  • Is responsible for smell
  • Receive energy from the spleen

When we think of the Lung, we cannot ignore that it belongs to the Metal Element. Metal, in Chinese Medicine, is considered gold, the wealth found in the deepest part of the earth, and as we are talking about human beings, Metal is what is found in the most intimate part of us.

Observing its functions, we can say that the Lung captures the energy of air, joins it with the energy received from the Spleen and transforms it into energy that circulates in the most superficial region of the body, that is, in the Wei Qi, our defense energy, known as our immunity in Western Medicine. Therefore, we say that the Lung is responsible for our protection, not only of the skin, but also protection against factors that can make us sick (cold, heat, wind, dryness, humidity or perverse Qi).

However, whenever we study the classics of Chinese Medicine, we never associate an organ only with a physical function. All of them, without exception, have a psychic function. An easy-to-understand example is related to the Earth Element. Stomach and Spleen are responsible not only for the digestion of food, but also for the digestion of ideas. So it controls thinking, performing tasks, learning and reasoning.

The Lung would be no different. When we say that its energy rises to the surface and protects the being through the Energy of Defense (Wei Qi), we are talking about a force field that protects us from the factors of nature, but which also gives us the exact limit between what does us good internally and externally.

When the Lung is strong, we can give ourselves healthy limits, not accepting destructive criticism, toxic or abusive relationships, self-esteem is strong and we are able to know what we are able to tolerate, even in adversity, without letting ourselves get sick.

When the Lung is weak, we let ourselves be offended, we put up with people and situations that make us disbelieve ourselves, we feel weak and incapable and we become sad, not forgetting that sadness is the feeling that relates to the Lung when we talk about 5 Elements.

In other words, the Lung is the organ that gives us the sense of LIMIT. How far can we go, what can we tolerate? A two-way street. Both what comes out of us in relation to the other and the other coming to us.

In order to remain strong, well positioned in the face of life, to impose our limits without going over the other and without letting the other affect our life, the Lung must be strong. For this, breathing exercises, meditation, Qi Gong, Acupuncture and Therapeutic Food are indicated.

In acupuncture, some points are recommended to strengthen the Lung, they are: LU7, LU9, BL13, BL42. In auriculotherapy, the Lung points must be placed.

In Therapeutic Food, the individual must be aware if he is consuming at least one neutral food  to the metal element, per day, according to the table found in the link:

Remember when the Lung is weak and we no longer have limits, our deepest, purest inner self becomes sick. And we can become severely ill. The same will happen with our patients.

Reflect and strengthen your Lung every day. With limits, we will all live longer, healthier and happier.

I hope you enjoyed.

A big hug!

Prof. Fernanda Mara

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