The Three Treasures of Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, there are three energies in each of us that support and sustain a human life. They are called the three treasures—Jing, Shen, and Qi. Without any of them, you would not be here right now. Each is responsible for your health and not having enough of all three can lead to health consequences. Luckily over the centuries TCM has also found the best supporting herbs to support and replenish each energy for a long, healthy, and happy life.
“All disease and suffering arise out of the imbalances of the Three Treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen.” – Ron Teeguarden, M.H.
Jing: The Essence of Life
Jing is the first and often called ‘the ultimate’ treasure, which is given to you during your conception and birth. A baby born with a lot of Jing will be quick to develop and healthy through the developmental stages. Jing energy was here before you were born an will be here after you are gone.
As valuable as it is, Jing always comes in relatively small amounts (enough for up to a long lifetime).
To create more Jing in the body, tonic herbs can bring more life to you thus act as an anti-aging agent and add more years to your lifespan. If you are lacking Jing, you may feel exhausted, have sore muscles all the time, and battle simple illnesses often. Jing can leak from your body from an unhealthy diet, overworking yourself, drug use, lack of good night sleep, and behaviors that do not serve your soul such as: excessive partying and sexual activity.
The tonic herbs that can help restore Jing in your body are:
- Ho Shou Wu
- Goji berry
When you add more Jing, you also receive more Qi as two are closely connected.
Qi (Chi): The Life Force or Vitality
Qi, the second treasure, is your life force. In TCM, Qi drives the body while it is alive, and disappears when the person passes. It flows through the meridian points (pathways of energy flow in the body) and is responsible for regulating the body’s temperature, the immune system, and makes sure that all organs function properly. It has a lot to do with blood and other fluids that are responsible for purification and detoxifying of the body. Qi is a warm energy and the energy of movement. When you take Qi nourishing herbs or participate in movement techniques such as Qigong, your body is supposed to feel warm or even hot.
Plants and foods that add more Qi include any that bring fire to your stomach:
When you have or cultivate a lot of Qi, you also increase your Shen.
Shen: The Spirit
Shen, the third treasure, is translated into ‘mind’ or ‘spirit.’ It is not so much the spirit as in the soul, but more of a ‘inner light.‘ It is responsible for how you show up in life mentally and emotionally. It is the most subtle of the three treasures, yet as important, as it is responsible for your personality in this lifetime. You can often see how much Shen someone has by the brightness of their eyes. Because the mind and the body are directly interconnected, not enough Shen can cause both mental and emotional as well as physical ailments.
To balance Shen, you can take:
- Holy Basil – harmonizes emotions
- Silk Tree – restore emotional health
- Hawthorn – restores emotional wellness, feeling of well-being
- Rosa Rugosa – heals the emotional heart (also used as a flower essence)
Having an abundance of all three: Jing, Qi, and Shen, creates the opportunity to be the best version of yourself and to live a long and healthy life.