Exercises for Strengthening Spleen Qi
The different organs of the body each have their own energetic signatures, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM. This means that particular habits and emotions negatively affect each organ. Spleen qi suffers if you worry, oversympathize with others, study excessively or eat junk food, according to Michael and Lesley Tierra. The couple are herbalists and doctors of acupuncture at the East West School of Planetary Herbology in Ben Lomond, California, and authors of "Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine." Replenish spleen qi by seeking emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual fulfillment, and using spleen-strengthening qigong exercises to clear stagnant qi.
TCM associates spleen qi with the element of earth and the color yellow. To heal your spleen qi, connect these aspects by performing what Deborah Davis, doctor of Chinese medicine and qigong teacher, calls an attunement to the earth element. This attunement is best done barefoot, Davis notes in her book “Women’s Qigong for Health and Longevity." Stand in your yard, garden or other outdoor area, with your spine straight and your arms resting at your sides. Relax, feeling the energy of the earth move up through your legs and pelvis. Breathe deeply. Feel and imagine a golden yellow light moving up your legs, filling your bodyand radiating out through your belly. This meditation should take five to 10 minutes.
Light abdominal massage stimulates the free circulation of spleen qi and eliminates stagnation. Perform this exercise standing or sitting with your spine straight. Place your right palm on your upper abdomen. Inhale fully and gently. As you exhale, massage the abdomen with your palm, moving in a clockwise direction. Use the breath to whisper the sound “hu” as you exhale. Repeat 10 to 20 times. In addition to strengthening spleen qi, this exercise promotes good digestion, according to Xiangcai Xu, professor of Traditional Chinese Medicine at Shandong College in Jinan City, China, and author of “Qigong for Treating Common Ailments.”
Circling the Qi Ball
One of the keys to strengthening spleen qi is to engage in smooth, continuous movement. This exercise targets spleen qi. Stand with your weight evenly distributed on both feet. Hold your hands in front of your torso, with the right hand on top of the left. The palms face each other as if you were holding a basketball, and your fingers point at 45-degree angles away from you. Turn to the left, continuing to hold the ball. Turn to the right, rotating your invisible basketball so that the left hand is on top. Turn back toward the left, rotating the ball so the right hand is on top. You’ll know this exercise is working if you experience increased bowel activity and you have improved appetite, state Gao Yun and Bai Yin, qigong masters at the Qigong Natural Health Center in Taiwan and authors of “Qigong Healing Energy.”
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