Autumn Lungs and the 100 Day Gong | episode #025 transcript
by Maria Furlano, DMQ/DCTM (China), MTOM, L.Ac.
Introduction: Welcome to the art of tuning in podcast with Maria Furlano sharing insights, tools and conversations to inspire your energetic well being.
Hello, and welcome. Thank you for joining me. I’m Maria Furlano. It’s so great to have you here today at the beginning of autumn, which I actually love. I love the season of autumn and the change of the season and the leaves and the crispness in the air. And it always reminds me, I think, because of school, of a fresh start.
This is the time when our lung health is really important to take care of. And of course, it’s important all the time. But I want to talk a little bit today about why the fall, why the autumn impacts the lungs and what we can do to help support ourselves a little more and also share with you something that I’m doing that you might want to partake in.
But first before we jump in, as always, I’d like to breathe and reset our energy just for a moment. If you’re new to the podcast welcome. I always take just a moment at the beginning to reset our energy, calm our nervous system. And you can do this anywhere, you’re going to breathe in through your nose and you’re going to exhale through your mouth. And what you want to do is inhale nice and long, but you want your exhale to be even longer than your inhale. And today we’re going to do something slightly different than we’ve done in the past and celebration of our new autumn time, I’m going to ask if you’ll breathe in through your nose, the feeling, the understanding that you have of integrity. And I’ll explain why breathing in through your nose integrity and exhaling out your mouth. All that doesn’t serve you at this time in your life. So again, just inhaling through your nose, the thought the feeling the understanding of your own integrity, allowing that to fill your lungs, and then exhaling all that does not serve your energy in any way. Exhaling right out your mouth. Again, when you’re ready, inhaling through your nose, the feeling emotion, understanding of integrity, the vibration, the frequency of integrity, filling your lungs, and exhaling out your mouth nice and long. All that no longer serves you. And you can continue to do that as long as you want to.
Frequency of integrity and our Lung energy
So I’ve spoken before on other podcasts, that in Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong each organ has an emotional system that’s connected with it. And we have our acquired emotions and we have our congenital emotions and acquired emotions are emotions that we acquire throughout our lifetime from our different experiences and events that have happened to us. And everybody’s different, of course with what you’ve experienced or taking on. And our congenital emotions are the emotional energies that that organ is said to contain the virtues of that organ. And with the lungs, we are born with the virtues of integrity, and speaking up for what is true. So the lungs are also connected with our throat chakra. And the acquired emotions that the lungs take on during our experiences are several and they include grief and sorrow and sadness and shame and guilt. And all of these emotions that we may experience, you know, we may have a loss of someone that we love, we may feel guilty for something that we’ve done in our life, we may not be able to speak up for our own integrity, we may feel blocked in our throat, all of these emotions impact the lungs, and they actually depress the Qi there, the energy.
So when we talk about depression, you’re thinking pushing down the emotion of depression is also a pushing down, you feel very tired, you feel very depressed, right? You feel like you can’t move forward, you feel often very compacted. So our lung energy is really important because it actually is a huge part of our immunity protection and within Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong, the Fall is actually the time our lungs are most vulnerable.
So what this means are that the lungs are considered to be a very sensitive organ and They’re mostly affected by wind and cold, which is why all we say and Medical Qigong practitioners and Chinese medicine practitioners will always ask you to cover the back of your neck. And this prevents the wind from entering your neck. And it’s really important, it’s something that you can do, just using a even a light scarf if it’s not that cold, just to keep yourself healthy as we continue to move into cooler weather.
And you also want to keep your feet warm. And I say that because I actually live in Southern California and so many people, as we’re changing seasons, they’re still dress like it’s summertime. And so it’s great if you can dress in light layers as the temperature shifts and change so that you can actually protect yourself as the as the weather, the energy, the frequency, the vibration of the weather and the temperature shift and change. And I say that because it’s really important to understand that our internal energy of our body is also shifting and adjusting. And it’s really important to honor that.
So I’ve talked before a lot about the importance of our Wei Qi and “Wei Qi” again means protective energy. The Wei Qi i think is probably my most favorite thing because the “Wei Qi” is like a shield. It’s like your own personal shield and our lungs circulate this “Wei Qi” which is a defensive protection, and the stronger our Wei Qi is it really protects us from getting sick. So this “Wei Qi” (this protective energy) it circulates on the surface between the skin and the muscle layer. And its circulation actually warms the body when our “Wei Qi”, this protective energy is weak, we’re more prone to frequent colds and this “Wei Qi” is activated by the strength of our lung energy. So whenever we change seasons, it also means our internal energies also changing and transforming. So depending upon our physical and emotional health, some seasonal transitions are easier for people than others.
So one of the emotional energies that I talked about before that the lungs carry his grief. And if you’ve been having a lot of trouble letting go, dealing with chronic pain, because that can bring up a lot of grief. Or in a healing phase from the loss of some kind, a loss of a relationship or a death of a loved one, our lung energy is more vulnerable because of the emotional stagnation. So it’s completely normal to need to process emotions, especially grief. But with all that’s been happening in our world, especially these last several months. Grief is something many people are dealing with on a daily basis just from the world events and grief takes time to process this isn’t something that you’re supposed to just instantly dissolve. But moving the energy and the lungs moving the energy with your breath using specific techniques to break up the stagnation really helps us to keep our immunity strong and decrease our stress levels. So I wanted to talk to you about something that we use in Qigong which is called a “100 Day Gong” and I’m going to actually be beginning this inside my online studio membership, The Art oOf Tuning In and if you want to visit that and look at all the details you can visit TheArtOfTuningIn.com and see all the information for the studio but starting on October 6, I’m going to actually be creating a “100 Day Gong” within the studio and I want to talk to you a little bit about what a Gong is in Medical Qigong and why it’s such a transformational practice.
100 Day Gong
First of all, Gong means cultivation and skill. And so whenever we choose to practice a Gong, which is a set of movements or exercises, and breathing and visualization techniques, we are cultivating our energy we are creating skill of energy flow in our body. The reason Gong’s are generally consisting of 100 days are because the hundred day mark is considered to be a real maximum benefit when you’re shifting your energy. It’s said that the first 40 days of a practice is when we release physical, mental and emotional energy patterns.
Then the next 60 days our energy is actually integrating and it’s stabilizing to support a new form of energy that’s moving through our body. And because we’ve taken the hundred days to actually integrate and gently shift our energy, it is so much easier to maintain energy. And to continue the shifts of transformation, we’re actually building new patterns. And as you know, when we build new patterns, it takes time to integrate those patterns.
I’ve had many private clients and past students who’ve spoken to me about wanting to really increase their ability to be more consistent in not only their Soul/Mind/Body practices, but their self care in general. So this hundred day Gong challenge, or as I like to call it, an exploration is a great way to do this consistency to get consistent, because you’ll actually have a touchstone within the studio membership with me, and with other members to help really stay on track.
I’m also going to give two options within this Gong practice inside the studio, because I know that many people are really having difficulty managing time in their lives. And I want you to be able to have a real winning moment with this. So normally, it’s suggested that doing any kind of Qigong practice, that you really should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes all the way up to an hour, 75 minutes, sometimes 90 minutes, because energy is really moving and transforming. But even though energy takes time to begin to circulate and balance itself, what’s really important about this Gong practice inside the studio is that we’re building consistency. And as I’ve talked about in other episodes, it’s really important that we allow the energy to come into our lives, meaning that even if it’s five minutes a day, it’s so much more beneficial than not doing anything.
And so I’ve designed this so that you can integrate it into a busy lifestyle and have the choice to either do a short practice in its they’ll range anywhere from from five to 15 minutes, all the way up to the choice of a longer practice, which will include probably anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes, and you have that choice, every week, every week, you’ll be doing a new set of exercises to focus on and you’ll be able to move on to something new the next week.
So again, we’re building consistency. And the entire focus is going to be on lung health, large intestine health, so that we’re building that energy. And when we move into the wintertime, we have stability, we’re building energy for a kidney energy, which is in the wintertime, which is what I’ll talk about when we get there.
Guilt and Lung Energy
So the other thing that I really want to bring up at this time about the lungs is the energy and the emotion of guilt. Guilt can sit in the lungs, and I bring this up, because when we want to increase our self care when we’re worried about health out in the world, and we really want to take care of ourselves and we’re not doing it, it can bring up a lot of guilt. That guilt is a frequency, it’s an emotion and it eats away at us. So it’s really, really important to design your life so you don’t have guilt. You don’t need to be doing a lot of things in order to care for yourself. You just need to be mindful and conscious of what you’re doing. And loving yourself. Breathing in that integrity. Breathing in that frequency, that vibration of what integrity means for you. Allowing yourself to exhale, what you don’t need through your mouth, allowing your throat to relax, allowing your lungs to open, stretching, reaching for the sky. Really opening your chest every day is a really important practice to just integrate especially as soon as you wake up the lung time and the large intestine time is in the morning time. So what we do in the morning really sets us up for the rest of the day.
When we open our lungs in the morning. It actually opens the energy circulation throughout all of our acupuncture meridians. So the morning time is really essential to open and release and begin activation of our lungs. I’ve talked about tapping the chest. On some videos on social media I’ve put tapping the chest while you’re walking, it helps to open the lungs helps get out any phlegm that’s needed. If sometimes you cough that’s great. It’s a great thing, get it out, get moving.
But I also want to talk about at the end of your day, so many people now spend a lot of time on the computer a lot of times on their phone, we used to spend a lot of time driving to work and all of those postures, bring our shoulders forward, bring our arms forward and close off our chest and our throat. At the end of your day, it’s essential that you also stretch, open your chest, open your throat, open your chest, open your lungs, take deep breaths, and move your body in the opposite direction. So don’t be folded and contracted forward. But actually stretch back this is really, really important because even when we sleep at night, we tend to curl up most of us and we are closing our chest. So all of these actions that we take constrict the flow of energy in our lungs. So our posture is so essential to lung movement to lung vitality, our breath breathing correctly in our diaphragm and opening our lungs and breathing fully to our full lung capacity is also essential to the health of our lungs. Our attitude, our thoughts, moving through these emotions that sit in the lungs, the sadness, the grief, the guilt, all of these things, letting them go, dissolving them, allowing them to heal, strengthens our lung energy, and then in turn, strengthens that “Wei Qi” that surrounds our body so beautifully as a protective shield.
So I hope that just gave you some good reminders today. If you’re ready to jump in and have some support with 100 day Gong that focuses on the lung energy beginning October 6, please go to TheArtOfTuningIn.com. You’ll find all the information there to learn more.
If you have any questions, reach out, connect with me. You can email me I’m very happy to answer them. But I wish all of you a beautiful autumn, a beautiful week. Thank you for being here and I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you for tuning in. If you’d like to learn more and elevate your energetic well being I invite you to visit TheArtOfTuningIn.com where you can learn all about our online studio. I look forward to meeting you there.