I had a patient come into the office today in terrible shape. His thirty-seven year old son died suddenly four days ago. I was amazed that he came for his appointment…but also knew that because he was there that I could help him.
Of course, there was no way that I could bring his son back…but I could help him to deal with the grief from his loss.
I was not surprised that he had just come down with a cold…because grief damages the Lungs.
Ah, the Lungs, the Lungs. Our link to heaven.
They are also the seat of our grief, of our loss and of letting go.
There is a story in Traditional Chinese Medicine about the Lungs. The Lungs are thought to be these very beautiful and sparkling, porous membranes, the uppermost of our organs and therefore those which communicate most closely with heaven. It is believed that when the Lungs are moist and healthy, then all the treasures of heaven can rain upon us. What it feels like to have this experience is – magic. When it feels like we have our inspiration and our magic…as if everything we touch “turns to gold”…then we know that the link to heaven is clear.
When we feel worn out, uninspired, sad & disconnected -- it is time to treat the Lungs.
So, this morning, many of the points I used were to strengthen his Lungs, to release grief, to moisten the Lungs. I sent him home with an herb formula which included Lily Bulb, Astragalus and Ophiopogonis to strengthen the Qi and Yin of his Lungs….to aid in his difficult process.
The Lungs, interestingly, are also considered to be the “Metal” element, and are the most impacted in the Autumn…which would be -- now.
During the fall the air gets quite dry and many people develop symptoms of Lung dryness…which of course makes them more vulnerable to invasion of external pathogens.
The Lungs also link us with our ancestors, with “ghosts”, with our fathers and with our whole spiritual side – namely prayer.
The Lungs are also expressed in the condition of the skin…so when the skin is dry, the Lungs are exhausted.
Foods which nourish the Lungs include Lily Bulb, Pears.,,,especially Asian Pears and Lotus Root.
Here’s my Lotus Root obsession: it is extremely cool stuff because it has the dual medicinal quality of nourishing and moistening the lungs at the same time as gathering and expelling mucous it is thought of as prized and special.
It is a devastating thing when we lose someone we love to death. It is so painful to lose someone due to a breakup, a divorce. But we should remember…in a very small way, that there is help for us. There is a way to find our way back, a way to lighten our grief.
We again can have a beautiful and sparkling connection to heaven; we can get our magic back, we can gain perspective.