(Five elements – 5)
As in the post in which I have discussed the Earth element, I will also in this one made some remarks about YinYang pair of meridians or organs related to Metal element, and show and explain the use of few important points on them. I will show and explain few Qigong exercises that can help establish balance in organs and space for them. By doing the exercises you can open meridians and help regenerate and strengthen tissues surrounding the organs, and organs alone.
First let’s look at the Lungs. Lungs are the organ that is somewhat empty in their nature as they are pretty spacey, so they might seem like a Yang organ. For those who are unfamiliar with YinYang theory, Yang organs/meridians are empty like bladder, intestine… But Lungs are Yin. Why are they classified as Yin? The first things that come on my mind are the capacity for intake, absorption of Qi and oxygen, cooling down the fire of the heart or emotions as Yin quality, and so on.
Lungs meridian is a Yin meridian of upper limbs. It begins in the level of middle triple burner in the height of Ren Mai 12(RM-12), descending to transverse colon, going up to stomach, passing the diaphragm and entering the lungs, the organ that it belongs. Then it splits into two branches which ascend towards throat, from where they spread horizontally to sub clavicle regions, right and left, and connecting with the point Lu-1, from where begins the superficial path of meridian.
From point Lu-1 it moves up towards the clavicle, then it turns and goes down over deltopectoral groove, then it goes down on the inner side of the arm, or Yin side of the arm. As seen on the picture. It ends on the thumb, in the inner corner close by the beginning of the nail. One branch goes from Lu-7 on the radial side of pointing finger towards beginning of the Large Intestine where they unite.
The Lungs meridian is treated in the cases of illnesses of respiratory system, in cases of disturbance of autonomic neural system (parasympathetic and sympathetic), when there are problems with skin (disturbed perspiration, secretion of sebaceous glands, disturbance in growth of hair and nails).
It is treated also in cases when there’s pain in frontal side of shoulder and in the rest of the path of meridian, tickling sensation or warmth in palms. There might be also some psychological disturbances such as sleeplessness, psychological overwhelm, sadness, irritability and anxiety.
Three points on Lungs meridian
These three points are really important and many times used in the practice of Acupuncture, various massage techniques and in Qigong :).
Lung 5 (Lu-5 or Chize)
It is situated in the middle of the elbow bend, when the arm is half bent and the palm is turned upside. It is located on the lateral side of tendon of biceps. I will only mention few indications: cough, bronchitis, sore throat, tennis elbow, pain in mouth, sadness, night fear…
For me this is the first point that will come to my mind after being clear about that there’s something wrong with the flow of energy in the Lungs. This is the point which will, at least in my experience, start opening and releasing stagnation in the area of lungs. It will also bring healthy new Qi into my chest and lead away the fiery Qi of the Heart.
Lung 7 (Lu-7 or Lique)
This is an important point since from here the meridian of Lungs connects with meridian of Large Intestine. It is also an opening point of Ren Mai or Conception extraordinary vessel and connecting point with Yin Qiao Mai or Yin Stepping extraordinary vessel. I covered this point in one of my previous videos about extraordinary vessels, so please check it out (Lung 7 and Ren Mai Extraordinary vessel).
Lung 9 (Lu-9 or Taiyuan)
This is a tonification and a source point. It is located in the end of frontal wrinkle of the palm, on the base of thumb, on lower edge of radial apophysis :).
Indications: Respiratory insufficiency, bronchitis, asthma, heart arrhythmia, insomnia, anxiety…
Large intestine is very often “the shameful organ” or the part of ourselves that we are most ashamed of, because it is dirty. Of course it is dirty, all that needs to be eliminated comes from there, and is released out through the daily secretion, if your digestion is healthy, vibrant and you don’t have problems with a shame J. Be aware that we are complex beings, and all emotions can have influence on us, shame from ugly, dirty, stinky and loud part of ourselves can cause constipation. Remember the travelling constipation? Similar phenomena, fear of dirty foreign toilets… Try not to be harsh to yourself either – being harsh about many things in your life can also cause your bowels to strike. In my experience the lightheartedness is the best, for your heart as well as for your bowels and then again, even for your mind.
Lightheartedness will help you be opened for acceptance, your metal won’t freeze, and you will feel secure with yourself and about changing your ideas and concepts, I guess that is why we travel.
Where it runs
Large intestine meridian is a Yang meridian of upper limbs. It begins on a pointing finger 0,1 cun behind the radial corner of fingernail and runs up the radial edge of pointing finger. It runs up on the upper lateral side of the arm to the shoulder and further over frontal edge of acromion and further to the 7th cervical vertebrae to Du Mai – 14 (Du-14) point where it joins all the primary Yang meridians. From this point it runs down to supraclavicular cavity, connecting with Lungs meridian, then it penetrates Lungs and diaphragm and continue down to Large Intestine.
Collateral branch runs from supraclavicular cavity up the lateral side of neck, comes to face and enters a lower gum. Other branch encircles upper lip and unite with homological branch in the point DM-26 or Renzhong, a big point for reanimation. From here left branch goes to the right side and right branch goes to the left side ending in point Li-20 where it connects to the Stomach meridian.
Indications for treating this meridian
Its main function is regulation of organic bodily fluids. Heat in the body, dryness of mouth, toothache, pain in the ears, diarrhea, gases in bowls, depression, oversensitivity, loss of self confidence, loss of will …
Large intestine 4 (Li-4 or Hegu, Great eliminator)
This point is great in the cases of constipation that is why it is called also Great eliminator. It is source point for Large Intestine meridian. It is not hard to find it, since it is a pretty big area. Remember you are looking for the most sensitive spot in area, or just see picture.
This is one of the most frequently used points in acupuncture but also in other techniques. Stimulation of this point influences all Yang meridians. This is a “big point” for all illnesses of head such as rhinitis, sinusitis, headaches, migraine… There are many other indications… It should never be stimulated in pregnancy, since it can cause abortion.
Large intestine 11 (Li-11 or Quchi)
This is a point for tonification of Large Intestine meridian. When you bent the elbow, the point is in the middle of bend. When the arm is extended the point is in the central line that connects radial end of elbow bend with epicondyle.
In my experience, sometimes Li-4 is not usable and it has no effect on energy level as it should, it simply doesn’t respond. In those cases I also use Li-11, sometimes in combination with Bai Hui (Du-20), just to open the flow.
Indications: obstipation, affections of nose, mouth, ears, teeth, eyes, painful menstrual cycles, hypertensions…
Both points are really important and are worth remembering.
Qigong exercises for Metal Element
As you already know, every element has its own sound vibration, which stimulates its harmonious movement. In the case of metal this is an SSS sound. It is the same sound as when you are emptying the tire of your car or imitating the sound of snake. I make this sound silently, whispering and I do it the same when I am treating the rest of the elements.
In case of Metal you can also use the sound for Fire element or sound Haaa. This sound can be used in the cases of frozen Metal element, when the grief or sadness is becoming too strong and we need a stronger stimulation of Fire element, to melt down the Metal, so that we can start accepting the changes or simply we start to change again. If we don’t change we don’t live, we are not opened to our environment, we are closed inside. In this case we use a principle of controlling cycle, remember the post about Five elements (Introduction) where I speak about the natural cycles.
Tapping Lung meridian
Tapping the Lung meridian is very simple way to stimulate the Qi flow there. Start to tap the meridian in the internal side of elbow. Go downward the arm toward the thumb and then return upward toward the shoulder area. Then continue tapping from shoulder downward to the thumb. Repeat at least six to eight times.
Then tap Lung meridian also on your other arm. Maybe you can feel that particular points of the meridian are more sensitive or even painful. Notice the difference after doing this exercises more times.
When you have finished let go your hands down. Stand in a normal posture, close your eyes and breathe slowly for few minutes. Notice the feeling in your arms. You can feel warmth, feeling as if arms are a bit inflated, tingling… Let the energy to flow and harmonize.
Exercise 1: Swinging arms forward and backward
You stand in a shoulder width apart and you lift your arms in front of you to the shoulder height. You start to swing down and backward and then raise them again in the starting point. You should do this movement in a relaxed way for at least few minutes up to 10-15 minutes.
This simple exercise opens the shoulder joints and allows the Qi to flow out from the chest area. It influences the flow in Lung and Heart meridians located on the arms and benefits greatly related organs, lungs and heart.
If you are not able to stand you can do this exercise also while sitting on the chair.
Exercise 2: Pulling the bow
Stand in a shoulder width apart. Your arms are located in front of the body, elbows are flexed. Palms are in the height of eyes and are turned away from the body. You inhale and then while exhaling you push arms, still flexed, backward. Your upper arms stay in the shoulder height and your palms clench in a soft fists. You remain in this position and inhale by keeping your attention on the posterior part of lungs. Then return in the starting position while exhaling. Relax. When exhaling you can use sound for Lungs, SSS… As I have already mentioned with other exercises you pronounce it softly.
Repeat this exercise at least six times and slowly increase the number to at least ten repetitions.
When you do this exercise be gentle and listen to your body. Don’t use force, don’t tighten your muscles.
Exercise 3: Exercise for Lungs
You stand in a shoulder width apart. While inhaling the arms are going sideways and above the head. Exhaling you lower your arms in front to the height of clavicles, the palms are facing down.
You start the exercise by inhaling and moving your arms out, palms still facing down. In the ending position you turn your palms up and while exhaling you bring arms again in the midline position. Repeat this movements.
When you breathe you can imagine white, shiny light filling your lungs. Do ten or more repetitions. A simple and very relaxing exercise for Lungs.
(A video with exercises is coming on YouTube soon. Subscribe (free) on YouTube Channel PetarSmiljanaQigong if you want to stay up-dated about new videos).
May the Qi be with you!
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