It’s easy to blame life problems on heredity, saying things like: “I wasn’t given great genes.” or “Everyone in my family has had this disease, I’m bound to get it, too.” However, even if you weren’t given the best material at birth, it’s what you do with what you’ve been given that determines your walk in life.

Inborn vs Acquired Qi

Traditional Chinese medicine talks about two types of Qi, or lifeforce: inborn Qi and acquired Qi. Your inborn Qi is what you received from your mother and father at birth. It cannot be increased throughout your life, and once it’s gone, your life has reached its end. However, you can acquire new Qi by eating healing foods, practicing Qigong and maintaining a balanced body-mind-spirit system.

These practices help you accumulate your acquired Qi, which can increase throughout your life. It seems like a simple system, right? It’s all about balance. But problems (and symptoms) occur when that balance goes haywire. Think back to a time when you were thoroughly exhausted, yet you had a list of things that you needed to accomplish. So instead of resting, you kept pushing and pushing, asking your body to run on fumes. The body needs Qi to complete its daily tasks. When it has no acquired Qi in its reserves, it turns to inborn Qi.

Your Life is Like a Candle

A Chinese doctor once said, “Your life is like a candle–you can be born with a small candle or a tall candle. You have no choice in this. How you protect its flame is now up to you. If you’ve been given a long candle and you burn it carelessly, you will not last as long as a shorter candle that protects its flame. The better you protect your light, the longer it remains lit.”

Just take a minute and think about that: When you push your body to the brink of exhaustion, you are quickly melting away your candle. How will you protect your light?

 

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM

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