Aging

According to the Nei Jing, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, Chapter One, The female essence (jing) goes through seven your cycles. Seven is considered a harmonious representation of natural cycles: there are seven days in a week, four cycles of seven complete the phases of a full menstrual cycle. There are seven spirits; seven stages of development, and seven vibrational frequencies.

  • 1 x 7: A girl’s Kidney energy becomes prosperous at seven years of age.
  • 2 x 7: Her menstruation appears as the ren (sea of yin) channel flows and the chong (sea of blood) channel becomes prosperous at the age of 14.
  • 3 x 7: Her Kidney qi reaches a balanced state, and her teeth are completely developed at the age of 21.
  • 4 x 7: Her vital energy and blood are substantial, her four limbs are strong and the body is at optimal condition at the age of 28.
  • 5 x 7: Her peak condition declines gradually. The yang ming channel is depleted, her face withers and her hair begins to fall out at the age of 35.
  • 6 x 7: Her three yang channels, tai yang, yang ming and shao yang, begin to decline. Her face complexion wanes and her hair turn white at the age of 42.
  • 7 x 7: The ren and chong channels are both declining, her menstruation ends, her physique turns old and feeble, and she can no longer conceive at the age of 49.

Notice that there is a peak from age 28 – 35; thereafter her jing declines. What the jing cycle doesn’t define for us, but what is at least as important is that as the jing declines, there is an increase in shen, or spirit. So, while we still work to enhance the essence during the decline, the shen, must be attended to. If you focus on the jing during the last three cycles of seven, it sounds pretty dismal. Her face withers, her hair begins to turn white and fall out. Her complexion wanes. Her physique turns old and feeble. But also notice, that while they highlight the decline, she is still able to conceive until her menstruation ends. What keeps this process going during the decline? Her spirit. Life is created through jing and shen, essence and spirit. While Chinese herbs and lifestyle changes may help enhance your jing, the shen is your internal state of consciousness, and cannot be neglected in this process.

The rise in shen could be represented by inner wisdom; a sense of completion and giving up needs of the material world. This is a state of spiritual health and wholeness. Feeling empty and unfulfilled depletes both the jing and the shen. Daily meditations, gratitude for what you already have, and feeling a lightness in your heart allow you to live in a state of abundance, nourishing to both the jing and the shen.

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