What “Yang Qi” is and Why It’s The Key to Longevity

Emperors, physicians and monks for centuries have sought the secrets of longevity. And in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the secret of longevity is referred to as yang qi.

What is Yang Qi?
There tend to be two different perspectives regarding what qi is. One perspective views qi as a literal force that is emitted from certain things and has a definite impact or influence on other things. This force can be applied for various healing and intentional purposes. The second perspective views qi as a function, a complex integration of the body’s various systems, including the cardiovascular, lymphatic, electrical and nervous systems. In essence, this view recognizes qi as vitality.
In the Tao te Ching, Lao Tzu pointed to this obvious vitality in children when he asked, “Why can a child scream all day, and yet his voice never grows hoarse?” More specifically, this raw vitality we see in children, when they’re running around with so much energy and shining eyes, is known as yang qi. The opposite of yang qi vitality is apparent when we see people sick, frail and near death. The thousand-yard stare, the glassy eyes, the lack of luster and moisture in their eyes and skin: all of these signs clearly reveal a dramatic decrease of yang qi in the human body. Even those of us who have little experience with TCM naturally recognize what health looks like. We can feel it because it has its own, palpable, robust presence that deeply affects how we experience and express our lives.
Yang qi includes all of the practices associated with preventative medicine, exercise, diet, and even the integration of values that give purpose and meaning. For example, in Dan Buettner’s “blue zones” research, more than half of the health factors discovered were things like community, relationships and family, where meaning and purpose played a profound role in personal vitality. Though many of us focus on strengthening vitality through nutrition and supplementation, it is now obvious that the relational aspects of our existence play a huge role in invigorating ourselves spiritually and emotionally. In essence. yang qi is the integration of all these factors into a combined whole with resulting power and vitality that are greater than the sum of their parts.
How to Assess Yang Qi
The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, an ancient Taoist text often considered to be the “Bible” of longevity, clearly points out why many people look aged and weary long before they’ve reached the ripe old age they’re capable of reaching. In terms of TCM’s yin and yang principles, as a society, we tend to be overworked and under-rested. We tend not to harmonize ourselves with the four seasons, while we eat bad food and indulge with too much alcohol.
We can break all this down to bare essentials, like yin and yang, doing and not doing, work and rest, or vocation and vacation. In America, many of us work 50 to 60 hours or more per week, often with little or no vacation time to offset and balance the stress of work and life. As such, for many of us, one important way to increase vitality is to increase vacation time. With increased vacation time we often see vitality increased in the form of improved mood and energy, reduced stress and renewed perspective and enthusiasm. All of this positively impacts yang qi and physical health.
How to Boost Yang Qi
So, the first way to increase your vitality is to increase your rest and rejuvenation. The second way to boost yang qi is to apply yin and yang to the food you eat by eating a better diet. For example, applying the yin principle to your diet by eating less food can significantly boost yang qi by decreasing the load on the body’s digestive duties. Scientific studies have shown a correlation between decreased caloric intake and increased longevity. If you tend to be inactive and overweight, applying the yin principle to your eating habits, while also applying the yang principle to your exercise routine (or lack thereof), will positively impact your vitality.
For others, yang qi might be best served by expanding your horizons and leaving a soul-crushing job that squashes your natural joie de vivre. By continuing to stay in such a job, you might be relying heavily on a sugar-filled, processed fast-food diet to augment your brain’s pleasure centers and thereby derive some pleasure from an otherwise dreary existence. Or, you might even “let off steam” on the weekends by overindulging in alcohol and participating in questionable activities.
Balance is a dynamic, numinous relationship between doing and not doing, working and playing, increasing and decreasing, giving and receiving. By reflecting on these principles in each aspect of our lives, we can help engineer a greater balance between these principles and thereby increase yang qi in everything we do.
Of course, focusing on our diets and nutritional supplementation is a great way to increase yang qi. TCM has made great strides in increasing yang qi through the use of powerful tonic herbs that help restore and build jing, qi and shen. Ginseng, for examples, possesses biochemistry that deeply supports individuals suffering from chronic anxiety and depression. By incorporating the use of these kinds of herbal compounds, it is possible to systematically restore and increase deep vitality in the human body.

Quantum Technology for Replenishing Your Primal Jing Essence

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