Preserving "jing" Life Essence for Longevity & Fertility
Chinese medicine says the 3 treasures of life are Qi (energy, your gasoline) Shen (mind, or spirit) and Jing, life essence, your battery.
Jing is our primal life force, our genetic stock. It determines our potential for a long and healthy life. A person with an abundance of Jing will most likely be healthy, strong and resilient.
Jing "leaks" naturally as we age, but there are many things that are up to us in order to make the most of our life reserve.
What is your life essence?
In Chinese Medicine, Jing is a substance inherited from our parents, akin to our genetic endowment, or constitutional strength. Its strength determines a large part of our growth, development, and aging.
The kidneys are the source and the house of your constitutional strength. Some people are born with a better constitution. For example, they don't get sick as often, or are much more able to bounce back after illness. This strength is called kidney Jing.
The "Kidneys" houses your life essence
Then ancient Chinese included the following functions with the "kidneys"
the structures and functions of the renal kidneys
the adrenal glands and their secretions and hormones
the reproductive glands (gonads) & associated sex hormones such as estrogen
the bones & the bone marrow (the source of stem cells)
most aspects of the brain & mind
sensory organs, notably the sense of hearing
the autonomic nervous system that controls fight or flight
read more: tips for taking care of the kidneys and adrenals in the winter
Signs of Jing 精 depletion
Because Jing determines our reserve of life, it also determines our ability to transmit life and reproduce.
With low or burned out Kidney Jing, people may experience :
lower back pain
premature hair greying
poor memory & concentration
hearing loss, tinnitus
vision loss, macular degeneration
Burning the candle at both ends: what depletes your life essence
In short, what consumes your Jing life essence is:
Being overly busy
Lack of sleep
Stimulant drugs, coffee
Physical trauma like accidents
Excessive sexual activity in men
How to nourish & slow down the decline of Jing
Prevention is the way
Because Jing is your innate inherited battery, it is really difficult to replenish. The normal course of life goes toward depletion, so preventing it from burning out too fast is way more efficient.
Live, sleep & eat with the seasons
We are a part of nature, and as such, cannot behave separate from it. By following nature's cycles in our own bodies and habits, we extend our energy reserves.
Food is the first medicine, the fuel that allows us to keep going. Eating appropriately, in harmony with the seasons, is one of the best way to preserve our battery !
There are many recommendations that come from the 5-element theory, which you can look up in our seasonal living category.
Classics of Chinese medicine advise certain foods for certain seasons. For example:
Winter, the "water element" season, is the time to slow down, eat warming soups, take care of your kidneys and adrenals and favor black colored foods
Spring, as the "wood element" season, is the time for boosting the liver in its detoxing functions, and for eating green colored ingredients
In the summer, which is the "fire element" season, prefer cooling foods and drinks, as well as bitter ingredients in order to support your Heart
In the late summer, the 5th season corresponding to the "earth element", take care of your Spleen and Stomach with warming orange ingredients (think pumpkin spice!)
Fall, the "metal element" season, is when we need to care for our lungs and large intestines, fight off dryness, declutter and detox, and support our immune systems with white colored ingredients
Make a conscious effort to live life at a gentle pace, as hard and demonized as it is in our modern culture. Cultivate inner quiet with :
slow walks in nature
unplugged and alone time
Qi Gong or restorative yoga
plenty of sleep
Essence tonifying & replenishing foods
In general, the foods which nourish offspring will replenish your Jing, as well as some animal organs and tissues.
Eggs from chickens or ducks
Fish eggs or roe
Bone marrow, particularly from pig spine
Animal organs like brain or kidneys
Seaweed and algae
Chinese medicine for Jing
Although acupuncture does not directly boost Jing in the body, it can harmonize the body to prevent leaking. Some points are great at tonifying the Kidneys, the house of our constitutional strength. They are often used for longevity and fertility treatments.
Chinese herbal medicine can also nourish Jing . Through preventing stress from frying our nervous system, adaptogens can slow down the exhaustion of Jing
Other herbs that are great for Jing tonification, which are often part of fertility treatments include:
He Shou Wu
Shi Hu, Dendrobium
Nu Zhen Zi, Ligustrum
Gui Ban, Tortoise Shell
Wu Wei Zi, Schizandra
Du Zhong, Eucommia bark
Lu Jiao, Deer Antler
Please look after your Jing, one of our treasures, by moderating your lifestyle and eating well.
No matter where you are in your journey,
if you need support, we can help.
In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Los Angeles- Pasadena area community to help you find the right integrative and holistic care for you.
On our website, you can learn more about our services, and book an appointment.
If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.