The Five Causes of Illnesses
QiGong is just another way to look at life. It is
seldom at odds with other philosophies, but, it does often have it’s own
unique ways of addressing things. At its core is the concept of Qi- the energy
of life. Without an understanding of Qi, QiGong won’t make any sense. The same
goes for Yin and Yang. Yin, Yang and Qi are not unique to QiGong, however, they
are generally foreign to most western ideas of the human body. As you will see,
some of what Emei Ling Ji QiGong (and Chinese Medicine) views as causes of
illness can be directly related to what you probably already know about human
health. Emei Ling Ji QiGong takes things a bit farther, though, with what it
knows to affect health. All of the 5 causes are related in that they are all Qi
affecting the health.
First, there are External Influences. The 6 Qi’s from earth
are: Wind, heat, damp, dry, cold and fire. They describe the various atmospheric
conditions that continuously affect our bodies. The intensity of each influence
varies throughout the day, month, year and from year to year.
You were probably told when you were young not to play
outside in the rain or you would get sick. That’s simply an example of the
Cold and Damp External Influences invading the body and causing an illness.
If Wind enters the body, Qi will flow erratically. It will
stagnate Qi in one place and then quickly move to another. Maybe you will have
shoulder pain today and your knees will hurt tomorrow. Tremor and convulsion are
also symptoms of Wind in the body.
If Heat or more properly named, Summer-Heat, enters the body,
you may find a high fever and profuse perspiration. Heat opens the pores of the
skin allowing Qi and body fluids to escape. Qi becomes deficient and body fluids
and Yin are damaged. Summer-Heat usually occurs along with Dampness.
If Dampness enters the body, you may feel sluggish- your arms
and legs feeling heavy, or you may accumulate fluids, develop edema or skin
eruptions. Dampness is heavy and tends to settle downward to the lower portions
of the body.
If Dryness enters the body, you may experience dry, cracked
skin, nose and mouth. If it settles in your lungs, you may develop a dry,
If Coldness enters the body there is often an aversion to
cold and the body, in part or the whole, may feel cold to the touch. You may
also have chills and a mild fever with little or no sweating. Cold causes
constriction of the Qi. Cold at the surface tends to close the pores of the
skin. Deeper inside the body, Cold may cause cramping.
Invasion by Fire produces symptoms similar to Heat. Fire
differs from heat in that heat can produce dampness whereas Fire can produce
dryness. If Fire enters the body symptoms of heat and, most likely, dryness will
be present. Fire tends to affect the upper portions of the body and damages Qi
and fluids. Fire also promotes Wind in the body as well as nosebleed, localized
redness and swelling and sores. Fire may also cause insomnia, restlessness and
delirium because of its effect on the heart and shen (spirit).
Each of these External Influences has it’s own effect.
However, one influence rarely exists without one or more other influences
tagging along. For instance, when cold enters, dampness and wind often enter as
well. This may well manifest some symptoms from each of the individual
influences. Cold might produce shivering with an aversion to cold. Dampness may
be indicated by the presence of mucus. Wind may produce aching all over the
body. In addition, after any of the External Influences invade the body, they
will sometimes change their nature. For example, cold may turn into heat after
remaining in the body for a while.
All of the 6 Qi’s exist in nature. We cycle through them
yearly (as well as them daily, weekly and monthly.) If a person is already weak,
these seasonal changes may invade and cause illness. If a person is strong, that
person is better able to adjust to these normal seasonal changes and no problems
occur. This is the normal response of a healthy immune system.
However, these seasonal changes can occur at times other than
normal. When they do, we see cold spells in summer or hot spells in winter or
spring beginning earlier or later than normal. These things can surprise the
immune system and thus cause illness.
Second are the Psychological Influences. Lately, stress has
become recognized as a factor in so many types of illness. QiGong has long
recognized this to be the case. It goes so far as to define a relationship
between the types of stress and the organs that it affects. All of the stress is
related to the 7 Emotions. They are: Anger, Happiness, Worry, Sadness, Fear,
Over-Thinking and Shock. The stress results from your emotional response to
situations and conditions. When things don’t go right, you may get angry or
frustrated or you may worry about the problem or over-think it or just be sad
about it. All these things are your responses and that is what QiGong looks at.
An individual’s emotions have a very big effect on his
physical well-being. Each of the 7 Emotions directly affects a specific organ.
Anger affects the Liver by causing the Qi and blood to rise up. Too much
happiness weakens the Heart by scattering the Qi. Worry and over-thinking
affects the Spleen and digestion by causing the Qi to stagnate. Sadness and
grief harm the Lungs by weakening the Qi. Fear damages the Kidney by causing the
Qi to descend. Shock disorients the Qi of the Heart, Spleen and Kidney.
Emotions may affect the body concurrently with any
combinations of the other 4 causes of illness. Also, consider that an imbalance
of Qi in a particular organ may also be the cause of certain related emotions or
The third cause of illness is related more to lifestyle and
is considered non-internal and non-external. The major points in this category
are related to the balance of work and rest and to diet.
Too much physical labor can deplete the Qi. Symptoms of
weakness, lassitude, mental fatigue and possible damage to muscles, tendons and
bones with joint and back pain may develop.
Too much mental work can damage the Heart, blood and Spleen
Qi resulting in insomnia, amnesia and digestive problems such as loose stools.
Too much sexual activity can exhaust the Kidney Jing
(essence) causing weakness in the legs, dizziness, ringing in the ear and
Too little physical labor can affect the flow of Qi and
blood. It can also damage the muscles, tendons and bones and cause weight gain.
It also damages the body’s defensive ability.
Eating too much food overworks the Stomach, Spleen and
Intestines resulting in retention of food with abdominal fullness, passing gas
with a foul odor, acid reflux, vomiting and diarrhea with foul odor.
The food we eat should contain an appropriate mix of cooked
and uncooked foods as well as a balance of the 5 flavors. Too much or too little
of any one, over time, will tend to cause imbalances.
Too much cold food damages the function of the Spleen and
Stomach. Hot, dry food tends to cause heat and dryness in the stomach. Excessive
greasy foods cause carbuncles. Too much sour food adversely affects the Spleen
Qi. Too much salt damages the Qi of the bones and weakens Heart Qi. Too much
sweet damages the Heart and Kidney Qi. Too much bitter weakens the Stomach Qi
and the function of the Spleen. Too much spicy/pungent weakens the muscles and
Poor quality foods result in toxins accumulating in the body.
The forth cause of illness is referred to as Ultra 3D Energy
Fields. This category consists of the various energy fields in your vicinity.
Before going any further, I would like to say a few words about Qi.
Qi is the energy of life. It is the energy that our bodies
run on. It is also what our Shen or spirit is made of. And, at the other end of
the spectrum, it is what our Jing or substance of life is made from. You may
know Qi as energy, but, everything is energy. The lighter, ethereal Qi is what
we may usually think of as Qi, but, there is also a heavier, denser Qi that
becomes the substance. Both are Qi. Each are at opposite ends of the Yin/Yang
Having said that, Ultra 3D Energy Fields consist of a couple
of different types of Energy Fields. One is a non-intelligent energy found in
various places inside and outside of houses. It tends to manifest as dark balls
of Qi. They don’t move much and just hang around wherever they happen to be.
Feng Shui addresses this type of problem by promoting the flow of beneficial Qi.
Feng Shui can also predict the appearance of these harmful Qi fields. So, even
if you can’t see the Qi directly, you can still use Feng Shui to recognize the
existence of the harmful Qi and to remedy it as well.
Another type of Energy Field is what you would call ghosts
and spirits. These entities have intelligence and may seek to cause harm or may
wish to help. In either case, it is best to separate yourself from them. Even
well meaning ghosts are considered extremely Yin. This extreme Yin can adversely
affect the healthy growth of children (who, by nature, should be Yang). They may
have less of a negative impact on adults, but, it is never a really good idea
for the living to mingle with the dead. They are no longer living, but, have
remained behind for some reason. They need to resolve that matter and continue
on in their own cycle of rebirth.
Disruptive and destructive ghosts and spirits can cause
severe problems. They can seek to take control a person. This seldom happens,
but, can. The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to leave them alone. If
they are in your living area, it is advisable to remove them, but, this should
be handled by someone who knows how to do so without causing additional
The fifth and final cause of illness is known as Karma. Karma
is Cause and Effect. What you did in the past will return to affect you in the
future. There isn’t really any good Karma or bad Karma. Karma is Karma. There
is no vengeance involved; No emotion. This is just the universe responding to a
stimulus. If you mistreat someone, you will likely be mistreated yourself. If
you are kind, you will be treated kindly. Maybe this is the universe’s way of
Some people continuously suffer health-related problems. When
medicine doesn’t seem to help and there isn’t any apparent reason for the
illnesses, the cause may be Karma. Very often, the really severe diseases,
particularly in very young children are the result of Karma. Karma is
accumulated over a span of lifetimes. It is not simply the period between birth
and the disease to consider. Since we can not easily know what happened to a
person in a previous life, it is not easy to recognize this as Karma.
These first 3 causes of disease are the same as described in
any Chinese Medical text. The last 2 causes are more unique to Qi Gong. Some
styles of Qi Gong don’t recognize the first 3 as causes at all. Rather, they
look at all disease as being caused by Karma. Emei Ling Ji QiGong recognizes all
5 of these as contributing factors in the cause of disease and addresses each in
an appropriate way. Any single illness may be attributable to a single cause,
however, the other 4 causes may well play a role in the illness, as well. An
isolated winter cold may not mean much at all, but, continued colds all year
long, year after year may have a root in Karma or Feng Shui. Although treating
the current cold may be the appropriate immediate action, the long term solution
to the continuous stream of colds may be to affect the Feng Shui of the living
or working space of the individual or to improve the Karma of that person.
Illnesses can be a complex interaction of all 5 of these causes.
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