Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Stevia - FDA Poll
Should stevia be approved as a sweetener by the FDA?
 
 
 
 
T
raditional Chinese Medicine
 

Diet and Lifestyle: The Basics of Good Health

© Bob Flaws, L.Ac.
 (Excerpted from Arisal of the Clear: A Simple Guide to Healthy Eating According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Blue Poppy Press, Inc., 1991)

Fire & Essence
The use of a candle as an analogy is actually quite accurate according to Chinese medical theory. Life is seen in TCM as a series of warm transformations. The root yang of the entire body is called the ming men zhi huo or the fire of the gate of life. This life fire is responsible for all activities and transformations in the body. We live only as long as this fire of life burns within us and we are stone cold dead when it burns out irrevocably.

This life fire is associated with or has its material basis in the Chinese idea of the kidneys. In Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the fundamental, first organ. They are called the xian tian zhi ben or former heaven root. This means they are the prenatal foundation of the organism, both its form and function. The original source of function is the life fire described above. Whereas the most essential material basis or pure substance is referred to as the jing essence or shen jing, kidney essence.

In Chinese medicine, there are two types of jing essence. There is xian tian zhi jing or former heaven essence. This is innate at birth. We are born with a finite amount of this former heaven essence. It is our endowment from our parents and the universe at large and it is stored in the kidneys. This former heaven essence is supplemented by what is called hou tian zhi jing or latter heaven essence. This latter heaven essence is manufactured out of the air we breathe and the food and drink we consume. Nutritive essence derived from food is transformed into qi and blood. Qi empowers function and blood nourishes form. As we move through each day, our activities consume both qi and blood. If, when we go to sleep at night, we have manufactured more qi and blood than we have used that day, this excess is transformed into acquired or latter heaven essence. Some of this latter heaven essence is stored in each of the five major organs of Chinese medicine -- the heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and kidneys. However the major portion of this acquired essence is stored in the kidneys which then form the Fort Knox of the body.

Every metabolic activity, every transformation within the organism requires both some life fire and some jing essence to act as catalyst and substrate respectively. If there were no acquired essence, we would be just like a candle. We would only be born with so much fuel and that would be used up fairly quickly. However, because latter heaven essence, derived from our diet, supplements our innate former heaven essence stored in our kidneys, this former heaven essence is capable of lasting a lifetime.

Longevity, Diet & Lifestyle
Chinese medical theory believes that the human organism is built to live 100 years. According to the first chapter of the Nei Jing, the premier classic of Chinse medicine, most people have enough jing essence to last 5 score years. Barring accidental death or infectious disease, we are designed to last 100 years as long as former heaven essence is not squandered by excessive consumption and as long as latter heaven or acquired essence is manufactured and stored to bolster and slow the use of former heaven essence. Since latter heaven essence is manufactured from the food and drink we ingest, it is no wonder that Chinese medical theory places such great importance on proper diet and promoting good digestion. Likewise, since acquired essence is stored in the kidneys at night when we sleep, it is no wonder why proper rest and sleep are important as well.

Add your comment   CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  Next   
About The Author
Bob Flaws, L.Ac. is one of the best known Western teachers and authors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the West. Bob has written, edited, or translated over 60 books and scores of articles on Chinese medicine over the last 17 years. He has taught at acupuncture and TCM schools and colleges all over the world and his books have been translated into several other languages.......more
 
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Our Sponsor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training - Level I
     February 18-May 20, 2014
     Los Angeles, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Wellness, Transcending, dimension!

Search   
Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.