The following is a short excerpt from the forthcoming book ‘Use the Power of Tonic Herbs’.
To get a free copy of the book once it’s released, become a Lion Heart Herbs customer. You can visit the store Here.
You can find an abundance of Jing building herbs Here.
Jing is your Reserve or Adaptive energy.
All of the energy you need for your everyday life should come from chi. But what if that’s not enough? If we get chi from what we digest and from our breathing but we don’t get enough food, are there reserves of energy we can draw on? If we don’t get enough oxygen for a short while because we have to run away from a sabre tooth tiger, is there a reserve?
There is a reserve of emergency energy, known to the Taoists as jing. Jing energy is what you tap into if you don’t have enough everyday energy. Jing energy is finite; we are born with a certain limited amount. It’s like a battery pack given to us by our parents. Some people have more, some have less. The most we ever have is when we are born. We use it up as we go through life, and when it gets depleted, we notice aging. When it runs out altogether, we die. It’s almost impossible to replace lost jing, other than by taking Taoist tonic herbs.
Jing can also be described as sexual energy, animal magnetism or charisma. When someone is cool and calm and you can trust them in a crisis because they’re solid and grounded; that’s jing. People with high jing seem to have a talent for gracefully and effortlessly dodging the bullets and are not thrown off track when things don’t go to plan. When someone has mental energy, is really sharp and on the ball; that’s jing too. When someone is present and aware, right here and now instead of being off in their own thoughts, that’s jing. When someone has high endurance, that’s jing.
Three elements of Jing
There are three main components to jing. One is endurance, which is related to your body’s capacity to heal and build yourself back up again – in Western terms, relating to your bone marrow and stem cells. One is your sexual energy, relating to your hormones. The third is the mental energy, which relates to your levels of neurotransmitters.
What I notice is some lucky people have lots of all three kinds of jing; they’re hard working and full of endurance, they’re sexy and charismatic, and they’re on the ball. Others don’t have as much jing and it’s as if they’ve made a choice to divert what they have into some areas more than others. For instance one person may be sexy and charismatic but then they’re done. Another may be very sharp and on the ball but will tire easily. A third may have endless endurance but lack qualities of sexual attraction. We really want to have as much jing as we can so we can have high levels in all three areas.
The important thing is to be able to rate yourself, to assess how well you’re doing in each of these areas. Then you know if you need jing herbs or chi herbs or whatever else. You can use this information as a diagnostic tool for you to apply to yourself.
Rebuilding your reserve energy requires more than just taking tonic herbs. First you have to stop using up your jing so rapidly, otherwise it’s like trying to fill a leaky bucket. You need to plug the leaks, which means addressing your alkalinity, hydration, mineral levels and essential fats.
Stress and jing
You should only be dipping into your jing energy in emergencies or special situations when it’s temporarily difficult to get enough chi for immediate needs. If you call on your reserve energy every day as a normal way of life, then it will soon get depleted. This is the situation a lot of us get into. It happens because many of us experience a lot of stress in our day to day lives and at the same time we are eating processed foods depleted of the nutrients we need and breathing too shallowly to get enough oxygen. It’s little wonder so many of us feel tired much of the time.
Jing could also be called adaptive energy because the higher your levels of this energy are, the more you can adapt to and cope with whatever life throws at you without undue stress. This is vital energy – evolutionary science tells us that survival depends not on how strong you are or how clever you are or how pretty you are, but how adaptive you are. We may hate having nuclear power plants and pollution in our environment, but the reality is they are here, and the better we adapt to them, the better our chances are that we will survive, and that our children and grandchildren will survive.
Someone with high energy and lots of jing will be alkaline, highly mineralised, well hydrated at a cellular level, and they will have high levels of essential fats. We will look at each of these aspects of jing; alkalinity, hydration, minerals and essential fats in more detail later.
All jing herbs work on the kidney organ system which includes the brain, the central nervous system, the bladder, the bones, the kidneys, the adrenals, the reproductive organs, and the tendons and ligaments. You may find that if you have a problem with one of them, you’ll have a problem with most of them. You may think you have a whole list of problems; you have a bad memory (brain), you tend to pee too frequently (bladder), you have stiff joints or osteoporosis (bones), lack of endurance (kidneys), you tend to get stressed too easily (adrenals), and you have hormone problems (reproductive organs). In truth you only have one problem – your jing!
Persistent Tiredness Relates to Depleted Jing
Energy for day to day is chi comes from food and oxygen (ATP) and is what we should be using daily. Normal tiredness happens when we get low on chi energy. Exhaustion all the time for no apparent reason is down to being low in jing energy.
In the Western world, ‘alternative’ medicine tends to focus mainly on healing and cleansing the liver and bowel. In Chinese medicine the focus is healing the kidneys. This is because the kidneys are the root of the body, the source of the body’s energy. The kidneys are the main place where jing is stored. The tonic herbs are especially good at replenishing lost jing because this is so fundamental to good health. Other than certain very advanced meditation practices, tonic herbs are the only way to replenish lost jing. This is why they are so beneficial and important for every over-stressed Westerner who feels tired all the time
Jing is mainly stored in the kidneys so strengthening them is the first step to take when you want to rebuild your energy from very low levels. You can take kidney tonic herbs to achieve this. When your kidneys are stronger, they will be able to store your reserve energy more efficiently, so recharging them will be much easier. When your kidneys are strong, every cell of your body will be able to hold a greater charge of energy.
Jing is like a battery pack given to us by our parents; it’s our original energy, there as an emergency reserve.
What causes depletion?
It is our spleen organ system that has the ability to take in nutrients and it’s the lungs which take in oxygen to create chi. Poison, pollution, bad food, drugs, stress or trauma, negative thoughts etc anything that knocks you off balance whether large or small external or internal results in our spleen and our lungs being unable to create enough energy to get us through the day. Someone who pushes themselves too hard and burns the candle at both ends won’t be able to supply all their energy from chi. We may also be sabotaging our digestion by eating poorly and sabotaging oxygen by not breathing properly. If there is not enough chi available then our body taps into our jing, our reserve energy. It comes from the adrenal glands which kind of squeeze the kidneys to release some jing.
Jing is precious
The most jing you ever have is when you are born. When it becomes depleted you age, and when you totally run out you die. Don’t waste it or let it leak out or you risk becoming tired, or may even age prematurely and live a shorter life.
If you have a big reserve of jing from your parents you will be able to get away with abusing your body without ill effect for longer than someone who was born with a smaller reservoir of jing. Ironically, those with a small buffer zone are sometimes better off because they have to clean up their act earlier to cope with low energy, whereas someone with large initial reserve is older when the crash comes and it is harder for them to change their habits.
Why it’s tempting to ‘spend’ jing energy
Getting jing energy is pleasurable. The rush from an adrenal scary experience can be a real pleasure. You feel like you can leap mountains in a single bound. When we have a fear or stress experience, the adrenals will make the kidneys release a bit of jing and we feel great. All peak experiences, whether negative or positive are ultimately down to adrenal energy. If the fearful situation is resolved or there is a positive outcome of some kind, the body turns the fight or flight hormone adrenaline into noradrenaline that makes us feel good. It might also turn it into dopamine which is our reward neurotransmitter and also makes us feel great. So even good experiences can drain our energy if it’s adrenal based.
Concentrate on the kidneys first
There is very little that can replace jing energy. Perhaps the reason it’s limited in amount and difficult to replace is because Mother Nature knows we all have to die at some point. One way to replace it from the Taoist point of view is to take the Taoist Tonic Jing herbs. Another way is advanced meditation practices.
Kidneys relate to the brain and central nervous system so the kidney system affects all thought processes and all processes relating to the central nervous system, the sex and reproductive organs and the spleen. Kidneys and related systems don’t have the same ability to repair themselves that for instance the liver has. One of the kidneys main jobs is to preserve the acid-alkaline balance of the blood. This relates to our adaptability and ability to come back from a knock down. An acidic diet of processed foods and meat places a lot of stress on the kidneys. They will do whatever is necessary to keep the pH right and buffer excess acid. They will even take the drastic step of pulling nutrients from bone teeth or organs to do so.
Dr Robert Young’s work on alkalinity is worth a look, for more information on the acid-alkaline balance.
Chronic Fatigue, ME and Fibromyalgia
Tiredness is natural if you have worked hard. Tiredness means ‘job done,’ and as a result there is more melatonin going round your system and less serotonin. This is your body’s signal that it’s time to rest. Conversely, exhaustion including adrenal fatigue, thyroid deficiency, fibromyalgia, ME and chronic fatigue isn’t natural or easy to recover from. There’s a chain reaction. The kidneys in the Taoist system are the roots of the body. When the adrenals and kidneys are drained, many other systems then go out of balance as a knock on effect ie lungs, liver, heart and spleen as well as the kidneys themselves. With these chronic illnesses of exhaustion, it can be difficult to know where to start sometimes, but you always need something like the Rejuvenate tea, or any good jing kidney tonic herbal formula. Start with the kidneys, as weak kidneys are at the root of many problems.
If you are acidic you are more likely to have inflammation. Inflammation is pain. It makes you want to close in and shut down instead of being open and loving and grateful. If you are alkaline, openness and a loving attitude come more easily.
Can’t be bothered? Shift the pattern instead of beating yourself up
When you are depleted, it’s no good beating yourself up if you don’t go to the gym when you know you should. When you are not depleted you have energy and naturally feel like you want to go, without having to force yourself. Forcing yourself to do something you should be doing never works. Drink tonic tea consistently for a period of time and you will naturally feel you want to do these things.
When people have been thrown off balance, the issue isn’t so much what they SHOULD do, because everyone knows what they should be doing. The problem is they don’t feel like doing them. Drink the teas to start with and then you can shift out of the cycle of energy deprivation and recharge the batteries. But you have to also stop the conscious depletion of the batteries by eating toxic foods, not getting enough rest, negative thinking etc. The tonic teas will help seal the leaking of jing energy that happens unconsciously but you have to deal with the conscious bad habits yourself
Tonic tea won’t stop the depletion from conscious bad habits, it will just replace jing to some extent. A tea blend like Serenity on the other hand – which is all about shen – will change your feelings about how you live. You may start to find you want to stop pushing yourself so hard and you will be less inclined to do the things that deplete you in the first place. The two teas in combination will make a big difference.
Teas alkalise in a more permanent way than green juice. Green juice is still necessary and valuable but is not enough on its own to provide permanent relief from depletion. It buffers an immediate imbalance. The tonic herbs strengthen the kidneys so that there’s less of a need to buffer because there’s more of a balance maintained by those strong kidneys. Green juice then means they have to work even less hard. Your need for massive amounts of alkaline substances reduces a lot when your kidneys are stronger.
A person can go into their forties and fifties in good health despite eating acidic food/stress/drugs or whatever, and are able to do so because of the strength and optimal functioning of their kidneys. When the kidneys are functionally strong, their need to rob the body to gain alkaline minerals to buffer acidity is reduced. So you don’t need to take in alkaline foods, drinks and supplements to the same degree to stay in balance.
Ideally you will eat alkaline foods and have strong kidneys bolstered by Taoist Tonic herbs. Then you’ll have a reserve to meet any challenges. Just green foods on their own will not get you back into balance.
Leaking jing and why stimulants deplete us in the long term
A person with leaky kidney syndrome ie someone who is leaking jing tends to be overwhelmed by things easily, tends to not have clear boundaries, is emotional or emotionally demonstrative, can’t rein in their instincts especially sexual instincts, needs to pee frequently, is thirsty, and fairly sweaty. Someone like this will often use stimulants to get through the day; sugar, caffeine, cigarettes, cannabis and so on.
Stimulant drugs contain poisonous alkaloids which, as the name suggests, are very alkaline. They temporarily create an extreme alkalinity to balance over-acidity in the body. They stimulate the adrenals to squeeze the kidneys to release some jing energy, which of course makes us feel good temporarily.
For example – you have a coffee which makes the body react with alarm because coffee is a poison, and so adrenaline is released to burn off the poison and excrete it by the most appropriate means. If you injected the caffeine from an average Starbucks coffee straight into the blood stream you would die instantly, that’s how toxic it is. Because you have released adrenaline you feel more awake and alive temporarily, you feel good. You get the reward neurotransmitter dopamine and feel like you’ve done something good. The same thing happens to some extent when you eat something a food that your body has an intolerance to, like gluten. Hence the creation of addictions to foods you’re allergic to or intolerant to. This is a good example of how, just because something feels good in the moment, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you in the long term.
The right shen tonic herbs such as the Serenity formula helps you move away from the short term thinking. When someone is very acidic and stressed through diet and lifestyle, their world view becomes blinkered and narrow. It can also be focused and goal oriented so it’s useful to some extent during a busy day but when you get home you want to relax. Temptation to do the alkaloid thing to allow you to relax can become extreme at this point. If you give in and have a coffee or whatever, this alkalizes you temporarily by draining your jing. While we are under the influence of this, our alkalinity becomes extreme but when it wears off we return not just to the level of acidity we were at before but we are more acidic than before. This is how addiction is set up. It’s also how food intolerance is created, because we need more and more of the same substance to reach the alkaline state we are striving for.
To find out more about overcoming Jing Depletion, check out my program The Easy Exhaustion Cure
If you’re an action taker and want to get started straight away replenishing your Jing, the Rejuvenate Tea Blend is a great place to start, Here
Remember to leave any questions or comments below, I always love hearing from you!
Elwin is also the Founder of Complete Detox Academy, Taoist Health Academy, the Health Coaching Institute and High Energy Academy, as well as the author of 'the Easy Exhaustion Cure' and 'the 4 Step Safe and Effective Detox Action Plan'.
Elwin is highly Enthusiastic about empowering people to feel Energized, Joyful and Alive, Naturally and Sustainably, and has worked over 5 years with over 1000 clients towards this goal. Elwin is particularly passionate about working with clients who are highly committed to reaching high levels of Health, Energy and Wellbeing, by natural and sustainable means.
Elwin has always been interested in Health since childhood. With a mother who had cancer 4 times, and a father with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Elwin is determined to get to the Root Causes of what really creates Disease, and what it really takes to have Outstanding Health and Wellbeing. After suffering from Health Challenges all his life, Elwin became determined, in 2007, to 'Get his Energy back or Die Trying', and, with this level of Resolve, made rapid progress, after a few false starts, which led him naturally, organically, after many requests, to dedicate himself full time to helping others get the kind of Results that he had achieved.