Have you heard of the 'Three Treasures'?
Taoist sages who developed Chinese tonic herbalism developed the theory that all humans have Three Treasures within them. Three fundamental energies that deeply impact our health, wellbeing and vitality in our Earthly life. These are treasures that should be protected, balanced and nourished to ensure quality of life. Keeping them abundant and preserved should be our goal.
TREASURE 1 - JING
Jing is our life essence. Our primordial life force. The giver of life. Our life quality and expectancy relates closely to our Jing energy. Jing is that energy that keeps us going through life’s trials. It’s our regenerative and reproductive capacity. The deepest source of energy that we possess. It’s associated with longevity, youthfulness, vitality, mental energy and optimal immunity and fertility. Jing is believed to be the power behind our courage and will and is stored in our primary organs – our liver, heart, spleen, lungs and particularly the kidneys. Jing is youth-giving, vitality-nourishing, creative, sexual and athletic power.
Jing is depleted through extremes, stress, reckless behaviour, chronic drug and alcohol use and overwork. Too much alcohol, burning the candle at both ends, long term medications, too many late nights, too much social media, stress associated with childbearing and child rearing, sexual excesses – these are all Jing leakers.
You can replenish your Jing through black foods, through refining your discipline and will power. Take up a hobby that nourishes discipline, creates strength. Seek out black foods such as black rice, charcoal, Eucommia bark, black seed oil, He Shou Wu. These foods will help to create cellular repair, renewed energy and function within.
TREASURE 2 - QI
Qi (pronounced chee) is our everyday energy and vitality that flows throughout our meridian system. We acquire it through breathing and eating so it is deeply connected to the lungs and the spleen. So we must breath well and eat well to activate and nourish our Qi. You can enhance your Qi through breathwork, meditation, acupuncture, diet, exercise and herbs. To have good Qi allows us to respond to everyday changes in our environment, to have an adaptive immune system and to have glowing health.
It's linked to our blood circulation too. As well as healthy flowing energy, we need healthy flowing blood to be at our best. To have blockages in our blood circulation or our energy meridians makes us less adaptive, less energised and
Qi is depleted though too much time indoors, poor quality foods, shallow breathing, lack of movement, sedentary lifestyles etc.
Qi is enhanced through exercise, yoga, pilates, proper alignment and breathing, organic, fresh wholefoods, mediation, tapping, meridian work, acupuncture and acupressure. We like red foods for Qi – beetroot, goji, schizandra, raspberries, strawberries. These all enhance our daily flow and vitality, our blood and our circulation.
TREASURE 3 - SHEN
Shen is our connection to the natural and spirit worlds. It is the light of life. The divine. Shen is about your state of mind and level of consciousness. It rules over our emotions, our heart health and is related to our clarity of mind. When we have good Shen energy we feel at home in the World, we discover wisdom, happiness, compassion, fulfilment and love. It helps to create calm, peace and a feeling of ease in our lives.
Emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety, frustration and worry will through our Shen energy out of balance. Lack of connection to the Earth, lack of a spiritual practice, will create Shen imbalances.
To help balance Shen, spend time outside in nature. Ground yourself on the Earth. Spending time gardening, or walking in the woods, swimming in the sea or natural bodies of water. Practice deep and intentional breathing. Drink spring water, go foraging, eat wild foods and herbs. Develop a spiritual practice.
When we keep the 3 treasures in mind and learn to nourish, protect and preserve them, it helps keep our bodies, minds and spirit healthy and in a place of balance.
The theory of the Three Treasures can help give us a framework from which to work when we feel that balance is off in our lives. It can be a starting point to note where there is imbalance in our lives and give us a path to walk on the road to rebalancing and regenerating ourselves with certain foods and activities that we can incorporate into our daily routines.
Take a look at where you are today. Do you feel your Three Treasures are in balance? Or, like most of us, is there an area where you could do with strengthening your Three Treasures?