In Chinese medicine, the emotions associated with the lungs are sadness, grief and loss. It is important to manage these feelings to improve lung health.
Coronavirus is a respiratory disease that damages our lungs. Understanding how lungs function, the role they play in the human body, and the emotions they associate with, will help us maintain healthy lungs and a better chance of survival in the fight against COVID-19.
How the Lungs and Their Partner Organs Function
Chinese medicine identifies 5 primary organs of the human body: the Liver, Heart, Kidney, Spleen, and Lungs. According to Chinese Medicine theory, all organs have a counterpart. The Lungs’ counterpart is the Large Intestine. Both organs have purification and eliminating roles. The lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through breathing, and the large intestine absorbs the water left in any undigested food matter and completes the absorption of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It also holds and eliminates waste material from the body. The large intestine also contains lymphoid tissue that produces antibodies to protect the body from harmful bacteria.
Roles Associated with Lungs
According to Chinese medicine, each of the Five Primary Organs plays a specific role in the operation of the human body system. The Lungs fill the role of prime minister. They house the corporal soul governing our body: the physiques and the physical demeanor. They also encourage mental discipline, order, and sensitivity. Healthy energy (or Qi) in our Lungs is associated with clear thinking, openness to new ideas, and good communication.
When you take good care of your Lungs, you will have a strong sense of reality; you will be reliable and dependable in interpersonal relationships; you will build and maintain a healthy body as well as an optimistic and positive attitude. People will love to be around you!
Emotions of Lungs
Emotion is a very strong energetic experience. It packs a lot of power. While modern medicine generally acknowledges the emotion’s impact on the body, Chinese medicine teaches us that each primary organ is associated with a specific emotion.
The liver is associated with anger.
The heart is associated with joy.
The spleen is associated with worry.
The kidney is associated with fear.
The lung is associated with grief.
In Chinese medicine, the emotions associated with the lungs are sadness, grief and loss. So, it is important to manage these feelings. While you need to give yourself time to literally catch your breath after a traumatic life event, it is important not to become debilitated by the event but learn to let go of harmful thoughts. Prolonged sorrow can weigh heavily on your Lungs and compromise your immune system causing all kinds of upper respiratory problems.
Six Steps to Support Your Lung Health Amid the Pandemic
- Make a conscious effort to breathe in the fresh air. Grow plants that clean the air and oxygenate our homes;
- Practice 30-min daily meditation (www.falundafa.org)
- Practice letting go and being open-minded. In the same way that lifting a heavyweight can leave you short of breath, carrying a heavy emotional burden can do the same. You must free yourself of that burden and be optimistic that, in time, something positive will come and help fill the void. A good way for detoxification of our thoughts is by exhaling through our lungs and letting go.
- Keep our living and workspaces free of dust, fumes, germs and other irritants; and use a humidifier when the air around us is too dry.
- Add more white-colored vegetables to your diet. White light is the airiest of energies. It is infused in mushrooms, leeks, onions, garlic, fennel, turnips, parsnips, and endive, all of which enhance your lung Qi and help you breathe easier. Allergy sufferers and those who get frequent colds may want to add some of these to their diet at the first signs of trouble, or as a preventative measure.
- Stay warm at night and do not set your alarm for earlier than 5:00 in the morning. Qi revitalizes the Lungs between the hours of 3 AM and 5 AM each day. Having restful and warm sleep at that time will help ‘clear the air’, at least internally.
Support and Maintain our Lung Health with Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine played critical roles in Asian countries defeating the COVID-19 epidemics. Acupuncture and herbal remedies focus on supporting and balancing the energy of our immune system and improving the functions of the primary human organs, especially, the lungs, to make our body stronger and enable us a better chance of survival in the fight against COVID-19.