His thirty-seven year old son died suddenly four days ago.
I was amazed that he came for his appointment…but also knew that because he was there that I could help him.
Of course, there was no way that I could bring his son back…but I could help him to deal with the grief from his loss.
I was not surprised that he had just come down with a cold…because grief damages the Lungs.
Ah, the Lungs, the Lungs. Our link to heaven.
They are also the seat of our grief, of our loss and of letting go.
There is a story in Traditional Chinese Medicine about the Lungs. The Lungs are thought to be these very beautiful and sparkling, porous membranes, the uppermost of our organs and therefore those which communicate most closely with heaven. It is believed that when the Lungs are moist and healthy, then all the treasures of heaven can rain upon us.
What it feels like to have this experience is – magic. When it feels like we have our inspiration and our magic…as if everything we touch “turns to gold”…then we know that the link to heaven is clear.
When we feel worn out, uninspired, sad & disconnected — it is time to treat the Lungs.
So, when this man had his acupuncture this morning….many of the points I used were to strengthen his Lungs, to release grief, to lighten the burden of the grief, to moisten the Lungs. I sent him home with an herb formula which included Lily Bulb, Astragalus and Ophiopogonis to strengthen the Qi and Yin of his Lungs….to aid in his difficult process.
I asked him to please share the formula with his wife, who surely needed it as well.
I asked them to eat pears — and lotus root — both which strongly nourish the lungs.
The Lungs, interestingly, are also considered to be the “Metal” element, and are the most impacted in the Autumn…which would be — beginning around now. During mid-to-late August, September and October the air gets quite dry and many people develop symptoms of Lung dryness…which of course makes them more vulnerable to invasion of external pathogens.
(So please consider, in addition to hand-washing, that nourishing your Lungs might also be indicated as part of self-care.)
Moreover, the whole concept of “everything you touch turns to gold” links directly to the concept of the Lungs as the most precious Metal element. The Lungs also link us with our ancestors, with “ghosts”, with our fathers and with our whole spiritual side – namely prayer.
The Lungs are also expressed in the condition of the skin…so when the skin is dry, the Lung Yin is exhausted.
Now back to my favorite subject: Food.
Here’s my Lotus Root obsession: it is extremely cool stuff because it has the dual medicinal quality of nourishing/moistening the Lungs while concurrently gathering and expelling mucous.
It is prized and special. In asian art and culture, you often see the Lotus represented in an inspired way – because it so strongly affects the Lungs – it is therefore thought of as our link to heaven.
It is a devastating thing when we lose someone we love. We should remember…in a very small way, that there is help for us. There is a way to find our way back, a way to lighten our grief.
We again can have a beautiful and sparkling connection to heaven; we can get our magic back, we can gain perspective.
In a time of so much grief in the world, we need to care for our lungs.
By caring for our Lungs, we can keep on living.