As the warm, moist air of summer begins to wane, the cool, dryness of fall begins to take its place. With it comes a seasonal transformation only seen and felt toward the poles of the earth. Green vegetation turns to yellows and reds and then finally to brown. As everything in the external environment slowly dries out, they prepare for the dormancy of winter. The Dryness of fall also has an effect on our internal environment as well and it's the lungs that take the brunt of the stimulus. This is when a Qigong Program for Fall is a great idea.
How does moisture affect the lungs?
For the lung to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, they need a moist internal environment to function efficiently. I went into great detail on the functioning of the lung in the article on Qigong Breathing, so let's keep it simple here and compare a happily functioning lung to the three bears.
For our lungs to function properly the environment cannot be too dry or too damp, it needs to be ……juuust right. A dried-out lung leads to a sore throat, dry cough as well as shortness of breath. In contrast, an overly damp-filled lung leads to a phlegmy cough, nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s the lung’s job to descend and disperse fluids. Its descending function gently allows for the downward movement of the lung’s misty nourishment to the other organs of the body via the water passage.
The kidneys help in this process by acting as an anchor for the lungs. As the lung propels moisture down, the kidneys help out by pulling fluid in the same direction. The descent of the lungs fluid is necessary for its paired organ, the large intestine, to move waste material out of the body to complete the digestive process. You need a little water to float the boat if you know what I mean!
Next, there is the lungs dispersing function. Not only does the lung descend moisture downward to the other organs, it also disperses fluid to the skin. As fluid moves to the skin, it regulates the opening and closing of the pores. It is this regulatory function that provides a protective barrier between the body and the outside environment.
What is Wei Qi
The field of energy affected by the mechanical process of opening and closing the pores of the skin is called the Wei Qi field. It’s this Electromagnetic field of energy that protects our bodies from external pathogens such as wind, cold, heat, dampness and dryness, as well as disharmonious mental and emotional energy broadcasted by those we come in contact with
What are the different levels of Wei Qi?
The Wei Qi field extends from the surface of the skin to a distance of roughly ten feet in all directions. Think of it as a bubble of energetic connection and awareness. Within one inch of the skin is the Physical Field.
At this distance, the energy is quite dense and organized. Anything penetrating this field will have a direct and profound effect on the physical body. It’s why touch is so powerful. Both good and bad!
As you travel outward to three feet, you extend into the Emotional Field. At this distance, the energetic field, although weaker, is still dense enough to generate a powerful emotional response on the body when penetrated. It is at this distance where much of human social interaction resides.
Think of how often you are within three feet of both people you know, as well as complete strangers. Each one has an effect on your emotional health and wellbeing. Not to mention your effect on theirs.
A person who is healthy and strong in mind and body will have a greater effect on someone in a weaker state. A stronger and more homogeneously organized energetic field will cause a harmonic effect on the weaker field causing it to change the frequency to one of a similar vibration.
Depending on the lead energy (strongest) in the room, this person can have quite a powerful effect on others they come in contact with. Depending on their intention, that effect could be a tonic or a toxin to those contacting the wake of the energetic field.
As you extend to ten feet, the field of electromagnetic energy becomes dispersed enough to produce only a slight awareness of contact with differing vibratory fields. This field is called the Spiritual Field. This is the limit of most people’s energetic awareness and conscious effect.
So how does all this affect us in everyday life? Imagine standing on a subway platform all alone. At the other end of the platform, someone walks up and stands waiting for the next train. If you’re not looking, you don't even notice them.
The stranger decides to walk in your direction and then stops within ten feet of you. Their proximity triggers your awareness as they enter your spiritual WeiQi field. You go back to what you were doing after taking a quick look.
Once again the stranger decides to continue to walk in your direction until they stop and stand on your left side within arm's length. Now at three feet, they have entered your emotional WeiQi field. This sparks a strong emotional reaction as you become urgently aware of their proximity.
Now depending on how you define their appearance, motives and possible intentions, the emotional response could range from one of sheer fright to sexual attraction. It’s all in your personal perception and expectations.
The last threshold to cross would be the physical WeiQi field. As the stranger touches your arm, your emotional response turns from fear to joy as you realize they are cherished classmates from years ago.
It is the health of the lung that facilitates the functioning of the different energetic fields. Accordingly, the dryer the external environment, the dryer the internal environment of the lungs, and the less effective the perceptibility of proximity. So depending on the season, this scenario plays out differently.
What is the effect of the Fall Season on the Lungs?
In accordance with 5 element theory, dryness in the external environment will have a drying effect on the internal environment of the body. Due to the fact that with every breath you take the lungs are in constant contact with outside air, a dry environment will affect the lungs first. It is because of this factor that the fall season can have a profound effect on the health and functioning of the lungs.
How Can a Qigong program for fall help the lungs?
During the fall months, it is important to periodically turn the focus of your Qigong practice to cleansing and strengthening the lung. Movements that focus on clearing stagnations in the lungs meridian as well as performing exercises that specifically strengthen the organ itself will go a long way to keep you and your lungs healthy.
By focusing your Qigong program for Fall on the health of your lungs, you can help to avoid the nasal congestion, cough and runny nose that often follows the season.
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