Phlegm is also called catarrh and is a symptom of many diseases. TCM differentiates phlegm into concrete and formless phlegm. Concrete phlegm refers to the visible, palpable and audible parenchymatous phlegm, whereas formless retention of phlegm refers to the various conditions caused by the retention of phlegm, such as dizziness, chest tightness, depression and epilepsy, characterised by a greasy coating on the tongue and a slippery pulse. It is called 'formless phlegm' because this kind of phlegm shows its symptoms but has no concrete visible form, and can be cured by methods of eliminating phlegm.
'Formless phlegm' can only be diagnosed by a TCM practitioner. Generally, a lot of people complain of catarrh which is visible. Visible phlegm can be further divided into Heat phlegm, Cold phlegm, Damp phlegm and Dry phlegm.
Symptoms: Green or yellow colour phlegm, accompanied by cough, chest infection, sore throat, red tongue with yellow greasy coating and slippery rapid pulse.
Clear away the heat and eliminate phlegm
Qin Qi Hua Tan Wan, She Dan Chuan Bei Ye
Symptoms: White in colour, profuse and frothy, accompanied by cough, flu or asthma. Generally feeling cold, with pale tongue with white greasy coating and slippery and slow pulse.
Warm the Lung, resolve the phlegm
Prescription: Xiao Qing Long Tang
Symptoms: Thick white phlegm, poor appetite, tightness in chest, white coating, soft, slippery pulse.
Strengthen the Spleen, dry the dampness to resolve the phlegm. Prescription: Er Chen Wan, Jian Pi Wan
Symptoms: Sticky dry phlegm, difficulty in getting it out, shortness of breath, red tongue, no coating, thirst, thready and slippery pulse, usually seen in cases of chronic asthma. Treatment:
Tonify the Yin, nourish the Lung
Bai He Gu Jin Wan, Chuan Bei Pi Pa Lu
Phlegm is characterised by an accumulation of dampness as a pathological product resulting from disturbances in water metabolism. TCM refers to phlegm as due to deficiency of Spleen Qi which fails to transport the body fluids to the normal channels, thus resulting in retention of phlegm. Phlegm usually affects the Lungs, causing a cough, asthma or difficulty breathing. It is said that " the spleen is the source of phlegm, the Lung is the container of phlegm." So when we treat phlegm, the emphasis is usually on the Spleen and Lung.
Improper diet is also a major cause of phlegm. Those suffering from catarrh should avoid eating foods which are fatty and greasy, such as cheese, cream, chocolate. Radishes and celery are excellent for resolving phlegm.
In October 2000, Mr Zhang, 40 years old, went to China on business. He consumed a lot of rich, greasy food, and drank much alcohol while he was there. In addition, he was suffering with a chest infection.
On returning to England, he noticed that he had green sticky phlegm stuck in his throat all the time. He needed to go to the bathroom to spit it out every few minutes. The phlegm blocked his nose, causing him to snore so loudly at night that his wife had to go to another bedroom to sleep. A month later, Mr Zhang came to my clinic for treatment. I prescribed She Dan Chuan Bei Ye to resolve heat phlegm and Yin Huang Kou Fu Ye to clear away the Lung heat. He took 1 tube of each and used them twice a day. 2 days later, he felt a lot better. As he wanted to get better quicker, he tripled his intake to 2 tubes 3 times a day. The phlegm cleared up completely and the snoring ceased, however, because he had overdosed himself, the cooling herbs caused him severe stomach ache and diarrhoea. He lost his appetite and felt very tired. When he came back to the clinic again a few weeks later, I told him to stop the first prescription and change to Xiang She Yang Wei Wan to warm the stomach and to stop the diarrhoea. He recovered well just in time for Christmas by Dr. ShulanTang. [email protected],qimagazine.com
With this issue I would like to introduce a series of
Iealthy Living Gong is a family of exercises that I created in 1996. The reason I created the Healthy Living Gong was to help beginners so that they are better prepared for the more advanced levels of Qigong and are able to do them better. Often I talked with some of my students and asked them whether they thought the standard of the more junior students was good enough. Many of them said they did not think so. They found that while people learnt the First 64 of the Wild Goose as their first form, although they could perform the movements, they would never be really good. This was because the body was not flexible enough and they did not know how to use the Dantian and allow the Qi to flow.
I also remember, back in 1988 when I came to the UK and started teaching Qigong, the very first thing I taught was the 18 Movement Taiji Qigong. Today you can find many books and videos on these exercises. The sad thing is that many of these people actually learnt these exercises from me and they made these books and videos without asking me or allowing me to check their movements and understanding, to make sure their standard was good enough and what they were doing was not wrong. In Chinese culture, you do not write a book about (or make a video) without asking your teacher's permission first and letting your teacher help you. What is even sadder is that some of these people have now passed away whilst relatively still young. I feel sorry that they were not humble enough to get it right and thought so soon that they were sifus now.
Taiji Qigong was created by Master Lin Hou Sheng. I learnt these exercises from his student, Lin Qing in Hong Kong back in 1982. That was even before I had met my teacher Grandmaster Yang Meijun, who is the 27th Generation Heir to Dayan (Wild Goose) Qigong. Today she is 105 and I am her only student in the whole or Europe.
Having practised the 18 Movements from 1982 to 1994 I found that the exercises were not challenging enough. They all had the same rhythm e.g. "Taiji Start" and "Opening the Chest" is the same. When you do "Pushing Waves" there is very little difference to "Flying Pigeon". All of these movements also have a kind of "dancing" attitude. They are very good for beginners, but once you have done them you need more.
I have been practising Qigong and Martial Arts for almost 30 years with some of the world's top masters, for instance my Dayan Qigong, Grandmaster Yang Meijun (who is 105), for Chen Taijiquan the head of the 19 Generation, Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang (who is 56), for Shaolin,
"How do w healthy an
ecome strong e when we are older?"
Grandmaster Wu Chunyuen (who is 75) and for Wing Chun Kuen, Grandmaster Ip Chun (who is 77). They all have amazing skill, but more importantly they are all very healthy and strong.
This has made me think how we become healthy and strong even when we are older. I disagree with the Western concept of health and exercise, going to the gym, just looking fit with strong muscles, a skinny body with no wrinkles, a strict diet and taking vitamin pills.
I agree with the Chinese way, eat healthily, whatever you like as long as it is organic, natural and in moderation, exercise daily, have plenty of fresh air, enough sleep and no stress. Also be nice to people, but not weak. When you think something is right stick with it and when you are not right, apologise. When you think about others, do not take advantage of them. Listen to your body, your body will tell you what is good for you and listen to your heart as this will make you a good person.
This means that both your body and thinking must be healthy. If you just exercise and your thinking is not right, even if your movements are good, you will still be ill. This is a fact of nature. If you do not apply the principles of Qigong to your thinking and life, it means you separate your body and mind so of course you will eventually be ill, whether it is now or later on.
I have found that when you want to be healthy, you need to keep your body supple and in good condition, your joints should be in good condition, your bones should be strong and your muscles should have a certain amount of strength.
This is why I feel that the Taiji Qigong is not enough to make you really healthy as people can hide various imbalances in the movements of Taiji
Qigong. Taiji Qigong is good for the beginners, but after that you need something which challenges you. For example, if you only use your right hand, you should use your left hand as well, otherwise it will be weak. Then you will become unbalanced and this will affect your health. If you cannot keep your legs straight and bend down to touch your toes then you need to work on it so that you can.
Our bodies are like machines. It should work when you press all the buttons, but if some of the buttons do not work, then it might start out as a small problem, but eventually it will become a big problem, so we need to fix it.
However, today doctors will tell you to just rest if you have a problem or injury. Actually, you need to work on it and make your body become normal again. So you can do exercise to heal your body and change your attitude.
So, Healthy Living Gong is based on all my experience from Dayan Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Quan and Wing Chun, also movements from everyday life, Chinese stories, animals and imagination, all to develop the body so that it is healthy.
There are three parts. Part 1 of Healthy Living Gong is mainly for relaxation and to balance the body. Part 2 is for co-ordination and fitness. Part 3 is for strength and power.
Many people who do Qigong are actually only at the first level, they are only relaxing themselves, but they are not fit (not meaning muscular), because they do not have strength when it is required. For example, if you need to move your furniture, if you want to take the lid of a jar which you bought from the supermarket. If something falls, are you able to catch it and hold on to it. This is fitness and this is part of being healthy.
If you think your Qi is strong, but you have no strength, then it means your bones are weak. It also means your Qi is weak. This is because at the end, when your body is full of Qi, it is stored in the marrow in the bones and stays there. Like a tree trunk become thicker as the tree gets stronger. You cannot have beautiful shiny leaves and a weak trunk. The trunk is like our bones and the leaves are our skin and hair, and the roots are our legs. Everything is connected and nothing is individual and separate.
So you should not forget that to be healthy your exercises have to include relaxation, good co-ordination and also fitness. This will make your body healthy, but also your thinking needs to be healthy and this is very important.
Here are the exercises of Healthy Living Gong Part 1.
1. Collecting Qi to the Dantian a. Stand still with your feet shoulder width apart, your knees slightly bent and your back straight.
b. Raise your left hand and shift your weight slightly to the left.
c. Bring your left hand over to your head.
d. Let the Laogong point pass the Sky-eye and then pass along the Ren Channel down to your Dantian.
e. As you lower your left hand down, shift your weight slowly to the right and start to raise up the right hand. Repeat for the right side.
f. Keep rotating your arms, as one hand comes in the other is going down, if one hand is at the Sky-eye the other must be at the Dantian, so your hands are always opposite and balanced. If you find that you cannot keep the balance between the hands, then it means that one side of your brain is stronger than the other.
As one hand rises breathe in and the other hand rises, breathe out. Breathe naturally through your nose, you do not need to think about your breathing too hard.
Your eyes shouldfollow the rising hand.
If you have done Swimming Dragon Gong, you will recognise that this movement comes from "Fostering Qi in a Circle ", however unlike Fostering Qi in a Circle, we do not walk. However, at the end of Part 1 there is a walking exercise that is similar to this.
Collecting Qi to the Dantian d
This is very good for co-ordination. In the West, externally looking good is the main emphasis for health. It does not consider the coordination, which actually plays a major role in health. If some one has clumsy movements, it means they will be prone to strokes and high bloodpressure in the future.
The brain plays a great part in our health. We cannot have good health without the brain being able to think clearly and control the movements of the body. For example, if you want to move your left arm, but only ever move your right arm, then your left side will be weak. When you want to move your weak side, it will not work properly and so the right side of the brain will have a problem.
When we are affected by active movements and strong emotions, the weak side of the brain will be affected. Then the brain will not be able to cope with this and this might lead to a stroke. So, good co-ordination is very important as it avoids imbalances in the brain and keeps us healthy and younger.
2. Separating the Fog to Look for the Clouds.
b a. Once again, stand naturally with the legs slightly bent. Cross your hands in front of your Dantian, palms facing upwards. Men should place their left hand over the right and ladies the right over the left. The Neiguan and Waiguan points should be close together.
b. Separate both hands out to the sides and turn the palms to face down.
c. The Hegu points face each other. Keep your elbows bent when you separate the hands, so the arms form a semicircle. As you separate your hands, straighten the legs.
d. Bring your hands back together, as before, and bend your knees.
As your hands open, breathe in and as they close, breathe out. Again, breathe naturally through the nose.
Lookforward and do not drop the head. Your mind should slightly think about the Dantian, but do not concentrate on it hard.
This movement is a little like Balancing Gong's "Opening and Closing the Dantian ", but the meaning is completely different. In the Balancing Gong, the hands form a full circle and the Hegu points face the Daimai points. In this movement the Hegu points face each other and the arms make a semi-circle. "Opening and Closing the Dantian " is good for opening and closing the Dantian. "Separating the Clouds to Look for the Fog " is good for the stomach and intestines, urinary bladder, sexual organs and women's menstrual problems.
As well as those mentioned above, this movement is good for the lower part of the body, from the Middle Dantian down to the
Wuyin point. This means it is goodfor the "Lower Warmer" (Lower Jiao) i.e. stomach, liver, intestine, small intestine, urinary bladder and reproductive organs.
It can help with illnesses such as constipation, illnesses with the reproductive organs especially for women, but will help men as well. It is also good for the breathing and asthma, insomnia and stress.
to be continued... byMichaelTse
As most of you will have read in the PO Box, it has been decided to close the Hawaii office. That does not mean to say America will be forgotten, rather the seeds that have been planted will continue to be nurtured in the hope that they will grow into strong trees and bear fruit.
Was this article helpful?