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"If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve."
- Lao Tzu

Stress Depletes Jing and Qi

chinese character for kidney jing, essence Mental stress is caused by having a perception that something is going to harm you, physically or emotionally. Studies suggest that 70-90% of all doctor's visits are due to stress [1]. The underlying emotion that drives stress is fear. In TCM and Qigong, fear harms the kidneys. The kidneys house essence, also called Jing. Jing is the fundamental building block of matter. [2] Jing is converted to energy, Qi, and stored in the lower dantian until it is needed for mental and physical activities. When we are under chronic mental stress, which is always driven by fear, we can significantly reduce our reserves of Qi in lower dantian and Jing in the kidneys. This creates an imbalance in our body's energy system, leaving us weakened and not able to handle real life crises. This depletion of Qi stored in the lower dantian, reduces the amount of energy to power the body's energy system.

In physiology, we know that stress leads to the release of powerful hormones that increases our heart rate and blood pressure and shuts down our immune system and our digestive functions so that our body can prepare for fight or flight. This is great short-term when you are threatened, for instance, by a big dog. But, when it is caused by chronic mental stress because of our circumstances, then it takes a toll on the body and the mind. Stress can lead to adrenal fatigue. Stress causes tightness and resistance that restricts movement of muscles, blood and energy in the body. It causes inflammation that is the source of so many chronic diseases.

It is very difficult to replenish the Qi and Jing. It takes a conscious choice, effort and dedication long-term, but it can happen. It is challenging to overcome because one may have significant weakness and fatigue. They will likely be emotional and very irritable. It may require lifestyle adjustments to diet and nutrition, sleep, exercise, work, and play. It will take time.

Dedicated daily practice of Qigong can help to relax the mind and body and to restore the depletion of Qi and Jing in the body. Qi can be acquired through breathing and other Qigong practices. When you acquire more Qi than the body can use, it is stored in middle dantian. With practice, you can lead this Qi to the lower dantian. Over time, the Qi will nourish the body. Eventually, if you are not depleted or stressed, your body will convert the extra Qi to Jing. Thus, restoring the kidney energy system.

It is possible, but stress must be reduced or completely eliminated. I suggest addressing the root cause of the fear to reduce or eliminate the stress. In fact, you should address the root cause of your fears before stress rules your life and depletes your Qi and Jing. Start today. Ask yourself, "What am I so afraid of that causes me to feel or act that way." Most of the time, the fear does more to harm your body than the thing you are afraid of. Let fear go and know that every thing will be OK, no matter what. When the fear starts to show up, take a deep breath and send it a Hoala blessing. All is well.


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