Signs and Symptoms of Lung Qi Deficiency
According to ancient Chinese medicine, Qi is the essential life force that every being has. Each organ is tied to physical, emotional, and spiritual functions, and if one of them is not functioning properly this may affect other parts of your body resulting in an overall imbalance detrimental to daily life. In this article I'm going to discuss the Qi of the lungs in particular.
Emotional Aspect of the Lungs
The lungs are associated with mental clarity and communication, open-mindedness, positive self-image, and the ability to relax and experience happiness. When you are experiencing a time of grief or when the lungs are experiencing an imbalance, you will feel a sense of alienation from your community, have difficulty with loss and change, depression, have trouble detaching from the past, and may feel a deep sadness that does not dissipate.
Signs and Sources of Lung Qi Deficiency
If you are experiencing coughing, frequent colds, shortness of breath, aversion to cold conditions, weak voice strength (straining to talk), sweating, runny nose, pale complexion and tongue, as well as fatigue, you may have what the Chinese would refer to as Lung Qi Deficiency.
This condition can be due to physical aspects such as a lingering respiratory condition, inherited respiratory weakness (genetics), smoking, bad posture, lack of proper exercise, experiencing poor ventilation.
To treat Lung Qi Deficiency, I would recommend a holistic approach. To start, let's go over some diet recommendations and foods to avoid. Generally you want to eat warmer, cooked foods and avoid cold, raw ones. Next, I'll share some recommended herbs to help aid the lungs in getting their vitality back.
Oats, barley, rice, pumpkin, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, taro, cooked whole grains, carrots, parsnips, squash, corn, peas, stewed fruit, leeks, garlic, onions, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, walnuts, chickpeas, black beans, daikon root, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, molasses, dates, figs, pear, cardamom, almonds, miso, cucumber, celery, banana, apricot, mustard greens, broccoli, chili
Foods to Avoid / Restrict
Ice water, wine, caffeinated tea, ice cream, smoothies, refined sugars, high doses of Vitamin C, seaweeds, chocolate, nut butters, dairy, tofu, Swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, raw vegetables, wheat grass, sprouts, wheat, citrus, raw fruits, salads
Massage, acupuncture, breathing exercises, and meditation can also all be beneficial towards strengthening the Qi of your lungs. I personally press Lung 1 and Lung 2 acupressure points (located just below the clavicle) along the lung meridian and use the massage technique of tapotement (tapping) to help relieve any issues I may be experiencing with my lungs. If you would like to learn more about using acupressure points, both of these books are very helpful: Acupressure's Potent Points and Acupressure for Emotional Healing.