dmattwads

Zang Fu

Recommended Posts

I'd like to hear other people's personal experiences with the Zang Fu (the five main yin organs and their corresponding elements). I'll share what I know and have experienced and would be interested to hear your knowledge and experiences also.

 

The five Zang heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidney, and the five Fu, small intestine, large intesting, gall bladder, stomach, urinary bladder. The five elements, fire, metal, wood, earth, water.

 

1. Heart/Small intestine pair, fire element (pericardium/triple warmer):

Positive emotional attributes: Love, joy, compassion, patience, peace.

Negative emotional attributes: over-excitement, hate, cruelty, haste.

Mental function: healthy interaction with the outside world.

Sound: Haaaaah

 

In my own experience and observation I have found heart blockages to be central to relationship issues. My father is a very hard hearted person, and has had a lot of relationship issues in his life. A few years ago he also had a heart attack, and I beleive the two to be connected. I have had my own issues and most of them tend to be a lack of true love in my heart ( which is a hard thing to admit to one's self). Our society promotes high stimulation, constant excitement, but does not foster true love and compassion. Thus it is easy for our hearts to be full of its negative attribute (being overly stimulated) and lacking in the more positive emotions of real love. We tend to equate sex and lust (stiumlation) with love. Both are heart issues, just as the north and south poles of the earth are both magnetic poles, but totally opposite from eachother.

 

2. Lung/Large Intestine pair, metal element:

Positive emotional attributes: Courage, pride, healthy boundries.

Negative emotinal attributes: Sadness, sorrow, greif, low-self esteem.

Mental function: Cultivation, discrimination.

Sound: Sssssss

 

The lungs, and particuarly their emotion of sadness has probably been the most problematic emotion I have dealt with in my life. When I began Qigong originally it was because I was severely depressed. I felt constant sorrow, and my breathing was usually quite shallow. Additionally I did not think and feel too highly of myself. This also produced relationship problems because since fire (of the heart) melts metal (of the lungs) I subconsciouly hoped that a relationship and love (heart issues) would make me happy (end the sorrow of the lungs). But natrually stimulation and excitement did not melt away my sadness, but rather scorched my lungs and only made my sorrow worse. I also had poor boundries and had a very difficult time telling people NO. This is currently the organ system I am working on now. I am working to increase pride (self respect as opposed to arrogance) and remove sorrow. I am also working on letting go of things that are not good for me, since the other metal element organ is the large intestine (emotional constipation). I also used to get colds often and easily and my skin was not very clear (since the lungs are connected to the nose and skin as well), but this has begun to improve as I have been working on the lungs.

 

3. Liver/Gall Bladder pair, wood element:

Positive emotional attributes: Kindness, forgiveness, generosity.

Negative emotional attributes: Anger, frustration, feeling "stuck".

Mental function: Planning, decision making, strategy.

Sound: Shhhhhhh

 

The Liver was one of the early ones I put a lot of emphasis on due to my short temper. In the past I was quite short tempered with those closest to me, such as my kids, which naturally made me feel quite bad. I also had a very difficult time making decisions and planning things. Since I have worked on the Liver my temper is way more mellow and patient, and I am more decisive than I used to be. I feel more kind in general. Used to if I saw a homeless person holding a "will work for food sign" I would feel angry and think to myself "bum". Now when I see one I often feel more kind hearted towards them, and even gave one a dollar last week, which felt quite good actually, even though I am quite strapped for cash myself. Dandilion and Milk Thistle are good liver cleansing herbs that I have had good results with.

 

4. Spleen/Stomach pair, earth element:

Positive emotional attributes: Trust, openess, sympathy, comfort.

Negative emotional attributes: Worry, pensiveness, ungrounded.

Mental function: clear thought process, study/learning.

Sound: Huuuuuuu

 

My wife and my mother tend to worry excessively. They also both have metabolism problems on oppposite ends of the spectrum. My wife is overweight, and my mother is underweight. The fret and stress and ponder and worry about everything, yet in a non-productive way. I constantly tell both of them to work on their spleens lol. I also used to be more pensive about problems such as finacial difficulties (which I always seem to have) but as I have worked on my spleen I worry less, and trust that things will be ok more. Ginger is a great herb for the spleen and stomach.

 

5. Kidney/Bladder pair, water element:

Positive emotional attributes: Calm, Gentle.

Negative emotional attributes: Fear, paranoia, phobias.

Mental function: Will power, wisdom.

Sound: Chooooooo

 

One thing I notice about American society is that people are paranoid lol, and that calmness is a very rare characteristic. In our society we are scared of everything. Scared of the terrorists, scared of burglars, scared of loosing our homes, our jobs, our money. Scared of accidents, scared of diseases, and on and on. Seveal years ago I had this general paranoia of being out in public, and of random people. Of course it was unfounded, but so is most fear. As I worked on the kidneys this has faded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would feel angry and think to myself "bum"

 

Hey now, is being a bum such a negative thing? :lol:

 

...I like your exploration! One thing I noticed is that you only focused on the negative emotions associated with these organs. What about the positive aspects?

 

PS-

 

My favorite source for TCM information on the organs are these web pages (if you scroll down a bit, under the "Properties and Functions" sections):

 

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/kidney.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/liver.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/heart.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/lung.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey now, is being a bum such a negative thing? :lol:

 

...I like your exploration! One thing I noticed is that you only focused on the negative emotions associated with these organs. What about the positive aspects?

 

PS-

 

My favorite source for TCM information on the organs are these web pages (if you scroll down a bit, under the "Properties and Functions" sections):

 

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/kidney.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/liver.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/heart.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/spleen.htm

http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/lung.htm

 

Well the positive emotions are something very effortless.. Nothing much to work on there :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think about it the virtues of the organs and the negitve aspects are really the same thing, just opposite poles. You have the Liver/Gall Ballder which are resonsible for decision making, planning, and kindness. These are all good things obviously, yet if you feel stuck in making good plans most likely you will feel frustrated, or if your more yin then perhaps hopless. Frustration and hoplessness are symptoms of depression which is often associted with the Liver meridian. I believe that if you can remove the blockages which for instance in this case prevent you from making good plans, then once those blockages are gone, then you will by default begin to plan well. Also using the Liver as an exmpale, if you are full of anger, then there is very little room for kindness, yet if you can remove that angry energy from your liver, then kindness will be what remains. Of course it is good to increase the virtues of the organs as well. What I do often when I combine practices, I might breath in with the inner smile focusing on the positive virtues in that particular organ. So with the liver I might breathe in kindness, decisiveness, ect... as part of the smile. Then on my exhale with the healing sound I visualize and feel all that I want to get rid of going out on the exhale. I breath out anger, confusion and frustration with the Shhhhhh sound.

With the Lungs if we have a good degree of self-respect and courage then we will not feel bad about ourselves and go around feeling sad and gloomy.

In the case of the heart its negitve emotion is usualy caused by an excess. So if the positive emotion of the heart is Joy, then if we over do it then we get into over-excitement. See the connection? Same thing just different poles.

In the case of the spleen, if we are full of trust that life will work itself out, then it would be rather difficult to worry. Yet on the other hand if we are full of worry, then we need to get rid of that emotion that is taking up space in our spleen so that trust can by default fill up the space we make.

With the kidneys if we are very calm, gentel and wise, then it is very difficult for us to be irrationally fearful. We will feel calm, not paranoid. If we are full of wisdom then we will realize that most of the things we worry about are groundless.

So I think it is important to be balanced in our practice. Just as we exhale we should inhale. Just as we remove negative energy, we should fill ourselves with positive virtue. In my own experience I have mainly used the inner smile on the inhale to focus on increasing the positive, and the healing sound on the exhale to remove the negative. I have been doing this a lot lately, and have found it to be extremely effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites