Managing and Preserving Jing for Health and Longevity
By Lillian Pearl Bridges
The foundational principle of Chinese Medicine is the concept of “Jing”, which is often described as our constitutional makeup. Jing includes all physical inheritance along with the talents and abilities and potential that has been passed down from ancestors. It can also be described as the unique and personal mixture of strengths or predispositions for deficiencies in physical, emotional and mental abilities combined with an equally unusual assortment of personality traits. Each person is born with an intrinsic amount of Jing, or inherited constitution. Jing is like the battery that each person is given to live from for the rest of his or her life. People’s batteries may be different sizes, but they all start out fully charged. Likewise, some people are born with very strong constitutions and others start out with more delicacy. However, what is most important is how well you guard this vital energy no matter how much energy you start out with.
Therefore, protecting and safeguarding Jing is one of the most important teachings of Chinese Medicine. Overuse of Jing leads to injuries and illnesses and preserving Jing, which enhances health and encourages longevity. So the first thing to find out is how much intrinsic Jing you have and then look for clues about how you are managing it and Chinese Face Reading has just the clues to help you find out.
The best way to measure Jing is from the cartilage of the upper ear. If you grasp it firmly between your fingers and then pull it a bit back and forth, you can get an idea of how stiff and strong it is. Ideally, the ear cartilage should be fairly stiff, but with a slight ability to bend. This means that there is a good amount of inherent Jing. Softer, thinner and more flexible ears have less strength, but are still considered healthy. The difference is that people with very strong Jing get sick less often, if they get sick at all and have the ability to live longer than people with ears that are flimsier. However, this is only if they take care of their Jing. Medium ears still give a fairly strong constitution, but the person who possesses these ears gets sick easier and more often. This is not to say that they will die younger, for if they manage their Jing well, they may in fact live longer than someone who has very strong ears. This is because Jing Management is the most important aspect of longevity.
Many times, people who have strong constitutions don’t pay attention to the warning signs and allow minor problems to become big problems. People who have been sick more often in their lives usually know not only how to take care of themselves when they become sick, they often know how to defuse an illness by taking good care of themselves when they feel the initial symptoms. This is preventative medicine and a crucial aspect of good health. So, it is actually much less important how much Jing you started out with than how well you take care of it.
However, everyone has to use Jing over a lifetime. The key is to not overuse it too fast or illnesses or injuries occur at too young of an age. I call this “Jing Blowout.” Jing is supposed to be used gradually and whenever it is overused, it is necessary to make Qi to buffer the use of Jing. And, ancient Chinese Medicine has only two ways to make Jing and other ways to preserve it.
The first way to make Qi to preserve Jing is by eating food. Good food transforms into energy, but not just any food will do. The ancient Chinese believed that a line on the bridge of the nose between the eyes indicated the need to eat appropriately for your body’s needs. I was taught by my Chinese Grandmother that food had to excite the palate and energetically expand with a kind of joy when you eat it because it tastes so good and feels so satisfying. It could really be any kind of food, but your body had to want it at that time and you had to provide it. She believed that you didn’t need to eat a lot of it and that it didn’t make you gain weight because it was so right for you. It is also very different from the kind of craving that you have based on emotional needs, where you can’t eat enough and then feel somewhat sick afterwards. Instead this kind of eating is satiating and enjoyable. It also makes more energy to live on so that you don’t have to use up more Jing.
The second way to make Qi is to by breathing. A marking across the philtrum between the nose and the mouth is a sign that this kind of Qi needs to be made. This is not just regular breathing, breath only transforms when you get to the place called the “time between breaths” where you don’t need to breathe in so deeply for a short while and inspires creativity and spirituality. Only then does breath transform into Qi. Now there are many ways of breathing deeply and all are good, but I was taught a very simple method that involved breathing out longer than you breathed in to detoxify the body and fully oxygenate the blood. Singing was a very natural example of this better kind of breathing. And, when you breathe this way for only a little while, it gets you back into the present numinous moment where anything is possible and the upwelling of creativity emerges. This is such a necessary place to live for all creative people.
Finally, in order to preserve the most Jing and QI, it is necessary to live a more regular life with adequate rest and sleep. This is much more important than most people realize and the entire beginning of the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Chinese Medicine is devoted to this topic. The kidneys, which are associated with Jing need to be laying down to rest and the brain and the emotions need to be quiet. If enough rest and sleep is not achieved, then it is important to meditate and take breaks from acitivity.
Although these ancient tips for health and longevity are easy to understand, they are much harder to put into practice. If you try to live this way, I guarantee that you will feel more energetic and hopefully live longer too.
Remember to always consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before embarking on any treatment, it’s your health and it’s IMPORTANT. www.naturalcures.com/disclaimer