Sunday, December 7, 2008

What are the Three Treasures of Tonic Herbalism?

What are the Three Treasures?

In Chinese medicine they say our bodies are made up of three main energies, which they call the three treasures. The three treasures are jing, chi, and shen. By understanding the three treasures, we can understand the workings of our own bodies more accurately and thus open the door to greater health and abundance.

By regulating and nourishing our Three Treasures, we will have a macro-control over our health without micro-managing the complex bodily functions. There is no way we could possibly micro-manage them, so we should not. We can nurture our body, tonify our regulatory mechanisms, and develop true adaptability that will allow the body to manage itself.

In our bodies jing is our reserve of life force and it determines how long we live and the power of our life. Jing represents essence or essential energy. It is stored in the kidneys. This is our primal energy, our “Prenatal karmic energy.” We tend to dip into our Jing when we become overworked, stressed, as well as from excessive behavior.

Chi translates as energy and blood, life essence. We get this from the food we eat and the air we breathe, that is why it is so important to eat healthy and breathe deeply. This is the energy we want to live on, on a daily basis rather than dipping into our jing. Chi is manifested as our day-to-day vitality and our innate ability to defend ourselves and ward off pathogens.

Shen translates asour spirit, our state of psychological well being, our wisdom, and our spiritual experience and radiance. It refers to our spiritual, emotional and mental well being. It is essential for our Jing and Chi to be strong so the Shen can flourish.

One way to illustrate this is to use the metaphor of the candle. The jing would be the dense physical matter of the candle, the wax and the wick. The chi would be the flame of the candle. The shen would be the light and the heat that is given off by the candle.

So then if you have a think and sturdy wax and wick, then you will have a large flame. If you have a large flame, then a large amount of light and heat will be given off by the candle. Thus we could say that the candle would be superior and radiant.

Another way to look at this would be:

First Treasure (jing) – savings account (we want as much as we can)

Second Treasure (chi) – checking account (this is what we want to live off
of so we don’t have to dip into our savings).

Third Treasure (shen) – how we spend it (and that said, if our 3 treasures
are not balanced we could go broke!)

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