Liu Zi Jue in Regulating Emotions

Liu Zi Jue is a traditional fitness exercise with respiration and Tuna as the major approach. It is mostly characterized in that the mutual promoting, restraining, subjugating, and reverse-restricting effects of the Five Elements are used to enhance the functions of tissues inside the human body. Respiration and limb Daoyin are used to fully trigger and mobilize the potential of the viscera in order to resist the invasion by diseases, improve the immune functions of the organism, and prevent premature decline with the aging process.

Theory of the Five Elements and Its Application

The Theory of Five Elements refers to the motion of five substances namely Wood, Fire, Metal, Water, and Earth. The traditional philosophy of China holds that nothing is single or stationary and that all things maintain a balance in the never-ending mutual promoting and restraining movements between the five elements. This is the basic meaning of the Theory of Five Elements and a major embodiment of the ancient dialectical materialism of China.

The promotion between the Five Elements means that Wood promotes Fire, Fire promotes Earth, Earth promotes Metal, Metal promotes water, and water promotes Wood. The restraint between the Five Elements means that Wood restrains Earth, Earth restrains Water, Water restrains Fire, Fire restrains Metal, and Metal restrains Wood. Subjugation is forced submission to control. It means that one of the Five Elements is so suppressed by another element that a series of abnormal reactions are caused, such as Earth being subjugated by Wood. Reverse restriction is also known as reverse restraint. It means that one of the Five Elements is so strong that it restrains the element that originally restrains it, such as Metal being reverse-restricted by Wood.

According to the Theory of Five Elements, the five Zang viscera and the six Fu viscera of the human body respectively belong to these Five Elements. For example the liver belongs to Wood, the heart belongs to Fire, the spleen belongs to Earth, the lungs belong to Metal, and the kidneys belong to Water. The promotion, restraint, restriction, and conversion between the Five Elements are used to analyze the physiological functions of the viscera and channels of the organism and their mutual relations. The subjugating and reverse-restricting effects between the Five Elements are used to explain their mutual effects from a pathological point of view. Therefore, the Theory of Five Elements is not only considered as a theoretical basis for traditional Chinese medicine, but also used to direct the control and prevention of diseases in clinical practice.

How to Use Liu Zi Jue to Regulate Changes in Emotions

Emotions originate from the five Zang viscera. Just as there are physiological promoting and restraining relations and pathological subjugating and reverse-restricting relations between the five Zang viscera, these relations also exist between the emotions. Therefore the promotion, restraint, restriction, and conversion between emotions can be used to regulate the emotions and thus to control and prevent diseases.

Anger is the emotion of the liver which belongs to Wood; the corresponding word is “Xu”. In daily life we frequently see “silent fury” when people dare not express their anger. A depressed liver will give rise to pathogenic fire which, if not dissipated in time, will result in diseases. Hyperactivity of liver Yang will subjugate Earth, i.e. the spleen and stomach. In this case we have to calm the liver and the stomach. Therefore we can use “Xu” of Liu Zi Jue to purge the liver fire in order to calm the liver. If a “great rage” causes the liver Qi to ascend and agitate heart fire, we can vocalize “Xu” and “He” to quench the fire in the liver and the heart. This is called cause-effect simultaneous therapy.

Joy is the emotion of the heart which belongs to Fire; the corresponding word is “He”. Over-joy will impair the heart. I once encountered a patient whose came from Indonesia to China for the first time after 30 years of separation from his family. His daughter went to welcome him at a train station. As they met each other, the father came out due to over-joy and was immediately sent to our hospital for emergency rescue. The patient was diagnosed as having an acute myocardial infarction and after the emergency treatment, his conditions gradually became stable. This was a typical example of the heart being impaired by overwhelming joy. Therefore it is important that we do not get too excited by over-joy whatever happens. And once you find yourself having tachycardia or discomfort in the precordial region, you should stabilize your emotions and spell “He” to calm the overexcited mind.

Anxiety is the emotion of the spleen which belongs to Earth; the corresponding word is “Hu”. After the Butterfly Lovers Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai separated at the pavilion, Zhu Yingtai knew that a beautiful and satisfactory matrimonial connection was gone and missed Liang Shanbo day and night, and thus “lost all desire for food and drink”. This was a typical example of the spleen impaired by overwhelming anxiety. In our daily lives and a society filled with heated competition, we may lose appetite and have bad sleeps due to our overstrained nerves. This is also an example of the spleen impaired by anxiety which causes diseases in the long run. Under such circumstances, we can put more emphasis on the word “Hu” while practicing Liu Zi Jue. This is because “Hu” acts on the spleen. It regulates the spleen and stomach and improves the digestive function. In addition, restless sleep at night is caused by mother (spleen) diseases and the daughter (heart). Therefore we can also add some efforts to “He” and adopt the cause-effect simultaneous therapy.

Sorrow is the emotion of the lungs which belong to Metal; the corresponding word is “Si”. In A Dream of Red Mansions Lin Daiyu and Jia Baoyu failed to get married to each other and Lin Daiyu finally died of a lung disease and the resulting hemoptysis. This was a typical example of the liver being tortured by Metal. As an orphan girl, Li Daiyu loved Jia Baoyu but could not fight for their love. Therefore she was unhappy all day long. The depression and gloominess impaired her liver and caused liver stagnation. And the hyperactivity of fire in the liver impaired the lungs. The long-term stasis damaged her lungs and as a result she finally died of hemoptysis. Therefore when we encounter great grief and depression in daily life, we must stabilize our emotion and must not let it continue for a long time. In the practice of Liu Zi Jue, we should frequently spell “Si” in order to release the pathogenic Qi from the lungs and relieve the grief. If the grief is accompanied by silent fury, we can do extra “Xu” exercise in order to dispel the “reverse restriction” phenomenon and reduce the pressure caused by liver stagnation.

Terror is the emotion of the kidneys which belong to Water; the corresponding word is “Chui”. Terror impairs the kidneys. 20 years ago I knew a patient who lived on Floor 2 of a building. One day a fire broke out on the first floor. He jumped off Floor 2 to escape the fire emergency and broke his calcaneus. Later he developed urination disorder which led to uroschesis. Therefore we used indwelling catheter for urine drainage treatment. After combined traditional Chinese and western therapies and psychological counseling, we gradually relieved him of the terror and after a month’s treatment, the catheter was withdrawn and he gradually recuperated himself. This was a typical example of the kidneys being impaired by terror. The saying “he is terrified to urine” is an example of urinary incontinence caused by terror. Therefore if we encounter great terror in life, we should first stabilize our emotion and then spell “Chui” to gradually calm the terrified mind.

The above-mentioned five emotions frequently occur in daily life. In order to alleviate these symptoms and reduce the pressure caused by changes in these emotions, we can spell the Liu Zi Jue words corresponding to the target viscera for self-regulation. For example we can spell “Xu” for a liver disease or “He” for a heart disease in order to balance the unbalanced viscus. If your spleen is impaired by anxiety and your bad appetite causes heart fire to flare up, you can treat both viscera by spelling “Hu” (for the spleen) and “He” (for the heart) at the same time. This is also an application of the cause-and-effect simultaneous therapy. Once you have violent emotional changes, you should first calm your own emotions and spell Liu Zi Jue words. At the same time you should actively take psychological counseling and corresponding medications.

Matters to Be Noted about Using Liu Zi Jue to Regulate Emotional Changes

Liu Zi Jue is an exercise focused on purging. Therefore it should be used with caution on asthenic symptoms. But no all asthenic symptoms are unsuitable for this exercise. We can use the subjugation or reverse restriction mechanism to treat some symptoms. For example, if the deficient spleen and stomach are caused by hyperactivity of liver fire, we can use the liver-purging method by spelling “Xu” (for the liver) to restore the normal state of the spleen and stomach. In this case the subjugation method is used for treatment. If the liver affects the lungs and lungs become weak, we can also purge liver fire by spelling “Xu” (for the liver) in order to eliminate the root cause, regain balance, remove the pulmonary symptoms, and restore the normal functions.

While using Liu Zi Jue to control and prevent some diseases, we can use long exhalation and short inhalation to purge the excess. But we should put some limits on both the number of breaths and the amount of each breath and should not take excessive breaths. Therefore we need to gradually increase the number of breaths; otherwise the vital energy will be impaired.

During the regulation of emotional changes, Liu Zi Jue does have some effect on self-regulation. But it is not the only approach. Psychological counseling and necessary medication should also be used.

Reference: The Important Role of Health Qigong – Liu Zi Jue in Regulating Emotions

Liu Zi Jue: Six Sounds Approach to Qigong Breathing Exercises (Chinese Health Qigong Associat)
by The Chinese Health Qigong Association
ISBN 1848190069

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