Chinese yoga is qi gong, which is a very effective way of eliminating heat and dampness during the season of summer. In Chinese medicine, heat and dampness are considered external pathogens that can cause health conditions like digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, severe inflammation, chronic fatigue, and excessive weight.
What are the causes of heat and dampness?
1. Drinking ice or cold beverages that slows down or stagnates the flow of spleen energy.
2. Steroidal drugs and antibiotics
3. Chronic and internal diseases such as kidney disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
4. Too much exposure to hot weather forcing the body to extinguish the internal heat by producing phlegm, mucus, or dampness. Hence we may feel too heavy, sluggish, or tired to move our bodies.
Chinese yoga is well known to help dispel heat, boost metabolism, and eliminate damp stagnation of the spleen.
1. Deeply exhale deeply and inhale taking a deep breath in that fills your lower stomach.
2. Envisage the chi or energy of your spleen, housed under your left rib cage.
3. With your mind, feel into areas that are heavy and gray. At the same time, mind the areas that are dry and light.
4. With the open palm of your right hand, tap lightly the part under your left rib cage, and do a brushing down motion of any stagnant energy towards your legs and out the feet. This helps free blocked energy and enhances the circulation of blood to the spleen.
Throughout the day, perform this self massage at least nine times.
The spleen, in Chinese medicine, is considered to be the converter not only of foods but of a person’s life experience. This explains why sometimes, when we are “stuck” in our lives, there is usually dampness residing in our spleen causing patterns of disharmony that makes it difficult for us to let go of bad habits.
From the viewpoint of the soul, we may be holding onto old emotional wounds and injuries that go as far back as early childhood or even our past life experiences that tend to manifest in our energetic bodies. By strengthening the spleen, we give ourselves the chance to convert those wounds and heal ourselves in a profound way so that we can generate new experiences from a healed soul.
Our spleen likewise plays a major role in our capacity to center and ground our energies, which is quite difficult to do when we are busy.
But if we give ourselves just a little time to practice Chinese yoga with the intent of investing our spleens to help ground our energy, it can assist us to be more focused and productive to the tasks at hand.
Finally, heat and dampness is occasionally associated with mental states such as struggle and anxiety. This is the reason why when experiencing these emotional states, the energy of our spleens become overworked.
Thus, the physical state of our bodies can affect our minds while our minds can affect the physical state of our spleen.
For example, drinking cold beverages or eating raw, cold, oily, or heavy can lead to stagnation in the spleen energy that may reveal itself as dampness.
Chinese Yoga Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can free and stimulate spleen energy.
1. Exhale deeply and fully, intentionally contracting the lower stomach to exhale all the air from your lungs.
2. Deeply inhale so that the air fills into the middle of the area under your rib cage (dan tien) flooding the spleen with oxygen. Visualize the spleen being filled with yellow light as you do so.
3. Perform exhalation and inhalation pattern nine times, deliberately making each pattern longer, fuller, and deeper.
After you have finished the exercise, sit for a little while and reflect. Open your mind to insights that may come, in which you may be holding patterns in your mind, body, and life. And bear in mind, that with regular breath work and Chinese yoga, you may be able to release those patterns.