Qigong to Strengthen the Lungs
In both Western and Chinese Traditional Medicine, the lungs hold a very important place in our wellbeing. Qigong to strengthen the lungs is a great tool to improve your health and wellbeing.
The significance of our Lungs
Of the elements essential to our survival (food, water, and air), air is the one we are least able to tolerate a lack of. There is a commonly expressed ‘rule of threes’ that points to the importance of air for our survival: ‘three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without oxygen’. Nothing is absolute, of course, and some people have redefined these limits either through training or through circumstance and have broken the ‘rules’ with exceptional feats of survival. However, the point remains for most of us that well-functioning lungs and a constant supply of good quality air are essential for life to be on a good level.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the lungs regulate and control Qi to ensure the smooth movement of water and body fluids as well as the healthy functioning of the large intestines. They also hold a more esoteric significance, being the location of Po (the corporeal aspect of our Spirit). Po, which is formed at conception, exists in the background of our normal awareness fulfilling enormously important physical functions until the moment we die, when Po also ceases to exist. It is a truth that we will all ultimately pass away with one last exhale…
Yuan Qigong to Strengthen the Lungs
Though the quality and quantity of air available to us are factors requiring pragmatic life decisions, wherever we live we can strengthen the functioning of our lungs using Yuan Qigong.
The Methods 1, 2, 3, and 4 within the Yuan Qigong system have built-in phases that are designed to strengthen the Lungs, either directly or indirectly:
1. Gathering Qi in the lungs
For example, Tian Yuan (Gathering Qi), the first method of the Yuan Qigong, works with the Qi of the triple burner (Sanjiao). Increasing the quality and quantity of Qi in the area between the base of the sternum and the throat, improves the harmonious functioning of both the heart and the lungs and also strengthens the lungs.
2. Nourishing Qi in the lungs
The powerful standing form called Di Yuan (Nourishing Qi), the second method of Yuan Qigong, works with the Qi of each of the Dantians (chakras). Middle Dantian stores, transforms and distributes Qi for the healthier functioning of all the organs. As we build the quality and quantity of Qi in Middle Dantian, we can expect all the organs to work more efficiently, including the lungs.
3. Moving Qi in the chest area
Ren Yuan (Moving Qi), the third method, includes powerful postures and movements to relax, open, and strengthen the chest area and to clear and regulate the lungs. Movements like ‘Pulling the Bow String’ and ’Dragon Offering Pearls’ within the method open and strengthen the Qi channels (meridians) in the upper chest.
4. Strengthening the Lungs
In Xia Yuan (Strengthening the Organs), the 4th method, the pure Qi of the Yin and Yang organs is specifically worked on through sounds, colors, and hand postures. Not only does the Lung Section directly target the wellbeing of the lungs, but again, in working with Sanjiao, the function of the lungs is indirectly improved. Further support for the lungs is provided through increasing the quality and quantity of Qi of Middle Dantian (the energy center in the middle of the chest). Xia Yuan also creates awareness of the lung-related emotion of grief and sadness (a pattern of the heart), and offers the chance to address this pattern in the later Yuan Qigong methods, to further strengthen the lungs. The practice of the seventh method, Tong Yuan (Opening the Heart) - where the original pure, bright, Heart Consciousness is cultivated, is especially helpful in this process.
Powerful Healing Practice for the Lungs
For situations that require a focused transformation of lung health, the powerful supplementary Yuan Qigong practice of La Qi (or Pulling Qi) is indicated. Based on the following three fundamental theories taught within Yuan Qigong, Pulling Qi puts the power to directly improve lung health into your hands - literally!
Pulling Qi to Support Your Lungs
The theory of Qi
Everything in the manifest Universe is Qi - including the lungs, down to the finest physical structures. Qi is made up of three components: form, non-form (or energy), and information. Both form and non-form are constantly transforming from one to the other.
By Pulling Qi, with positive, uplifting information directed toward the lungs, their structure and functioning are transformed for the better. The practitioner then supports this in everyday life by continuing to ‘see’ their lungs as healthy, happy, clear, and bright!
The Theory of Jingshen (Heart, Consciousness and True Self)
Human Consciousness and the Awareness that arises from the True Self can powerfully interact with and influence Qi of the Universe and how it manifests or changes from form back to non-form. Through holding positive thoughts and paying close attention to the states that enable the Awareness of the True Self to arise, a practitioner can meaningfully strengthen the wellbeing of their lungs throughout their day.
The Theory of Totality
According to the Theory of Totality (that everything is One), a practitioner can, during their La Qi (Pulling Qi) practice, make a choice to unify their lung Qi with the primordial, undifferentiated Yuan Qi of the Universe in its fundamental movements of Open-Close. Since Yuan Qi has the potential to uplift all of life in a direct, wise, and benevolent way, profound healing of the lungs is then possible.
Hope you enjoy your practice!