Four Seasons Qigong & Food as Medicine
YMAA Boston Special Class

Focus: Summer (Heart Health)

Summer Qigong Set—Heart Health:

1. Forward and Backward Swing Arms (Qián Hòu Shuǎi Bì) 前後甩臂
2. Left and Right Turn Windlass (Zuǒ Yòu Lu Lu) 左右轆轤
3. Feudal Lord Pulls the Bow (Bà Wáng Lā Gōng) 霸王拉弓
4. Immortal Pushes the Stone Tablet (Xiān Rén Tuī Bēi) 仙人推碑

5. Large Roc Arcs Its Wings (Dà Péng Gǒng Chì) 大鵬拱翅
6. Large Roc Spreads Its Wings (Dà Péng Zhǎn Chì) 大鵬展翅
7. Sway the Head and Swing the Tail (Yáo Tóu Bǎi Wěi) 搖頭擺尾
8. Baby Bird Receives the Food (Yòu Niǎo Shōu Shí) 幼鳥收食
9. Crane Shakes Its Wings (Bái Hè Dǒu Chì) 白鶴抖翅

This 8-week course will be half theory and half exercise focusing on the summer season Qigong exercises (heart health) as well as a discussion of eating properly to treat illnesses and prevent disease in the late summer & autumn.

Four Seasons Qigong is a well-known traditional medical Qigong practice in which one learns how to regulate the body from one season to the next to avoid common illnesses. This Qigong specializes in training the five internal Yin organs; heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen, which correspond to the four seasons of the year.

It is believed that when we get sick, it is often due to the body’s difficulty in adapting to the changes from one season to another. For example, when Fall arrives, it is easier to catch a cold, and when Summer comes, the heart can be too excited. By practicing Four Seasons Qigong, you are able to adjust your body’s Qi during the change of seasons so your health can be maintained.

Food as Medicine: Healing begins with an optimal diet and balanced overall nutrition. Chinese food therapy is a practice of healing that uses natural foods instead of medications to correct imbalances and disharmonies in the body’s Qi (vital energy). Eating properly according to the seasons can treat and prevent illnesses and disease.

Jul-Aug 2020 |
4 Seasons Medical Qigong (Summer)

Hosted by YMAA Boston

4 Seasons Qigong & Food as Medicine Course
Focus: Summer (Heart Health)

  • Use the Lung-Metal to subdue the Heart-Fire
  • Seasons (Organs):
    Summer (Heart)
    Late Summer or All Seasons (Spleen)
    Autumn (Lung)
    Winter (Kidney)
    Spring (Liver)
  • Six Healing Sounds (Liu Zi Jue)
    Heart (Joy): 呵 HE sounds like “hah” or “haaaw”
    Lungs (Sadness): 呬 SI sounds like “shi” or “tzzz”
    Liver (Anger): 噓 XU sounds like “shu” or “shooo”
    Spleen (Worry): 呼 HU sounds like “huh” or “whooo”
    Kidneys (Fear): 吹 CHUI sounds like “shuee” or “chway”
    Triple Burner (Emotional Harmony): 嘻 XI sounds like “see” or “seee” (like a hiss without the “ee”)
  • Summer Qigong Set—Introduction to Exercises #1-4
    • 1. Forward and Backward Swing Arms
      (Qián Hòu Shuǎi Bì) 前後甩臂
    • 2. Left and Right Turn Windlass
      (Zuǒ Yòu Lu Lu) 左右轆轤
    • 3. Feudal Lord Pulls the Bow
      (Bà Wáng Lā Gōng) 霸王拉弓
    • 4. Immortal Pushes the Stone Tablet
      (Xiān Rén Tuī Bēi) 仙人推碑
  • Review Healing Sounds, Seasons, Emotions
  • Triple Burner “Organ House”:
    Attic – Heart & Lungs
    Kitchen – Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gall Bladder
    Basement – Large & Small Intestines, Bladder, Kidneys
  • Tongue Diagnosis:
    Red tip tongue (heat) and thick white coating (cold)
  • Day and Night—Yang (heat) – Yin (cold):
    Sunrise (Yang growing) -> Midday (Extreme Yang) ->
    Sunset (Yin growing) -> Midnight (Extreme Yin)
  • Four Seasons—Yang (heat) – Yin (cold):
    Spring (Yang growing) -> Summer (Extreme Yang) ->
    Autumn (Yin growing) -> Winter (Extreme Yin)
  • Summer Qigong Set (Exercises #1-4)—Angle Variations
  • Review Day and Night (Yin-Yang):
    • Sunrise (Yang growing)
    • Midday (Extreme Yang)
    • Sunset (Yin growing)
    • Midnight (Extreme Yin)
  • Review Four Seasons (Yin-Yang):
    • Spring (Yang growing)
    • Summer (Extreme Yang)
    • Autumn (Yin growing)
    • Winter (Extreme Yin)
  • Qigong: Inhalation Longer than Exhalation
  • TCM Tip: Heart Qi Deficiency
    • Symptoms—palpitations, spontaneous sweating, chest pain, tiredness, fatigue, pallor (pale face), nervousness
    • Tongue—central crack extending to the tip
    • Food as medicine—carrot, sweet potato, date
    • Advice—eat small frequent meals and cooked food
    • Reference: Healing Foods for TCM Heart Patterns | AcuPro Academy by Clara Cohen
  • Summer Qigong Set (Exercises #1-4)—Inhalation Longer than Exhalation
  • Review Day and Night (Yin-Yang)
    Review Four Seasons (Yin-Yang)
  • Intro to 5 Elements (Color) & Seasons (Organs):
    • Spring (Liver)—Wood (Green)
    • Summer (Heart)—Fire (Red)
    • Late Summer or All Seasons (Spleen)—Earth (Yellow)
    • Autumn (Lung)—Metal (White)
    • Winter (Kidney)—Water (Blue/Black)
  • Qigong: Gently Holding the Breath (end of Inhalation)
  • TCM Tip: Heart Yin Deficiency
    • Symptoms—excessive dreaming, night sweats, hot, red cheeks, easily stressed, memory loss, insomnia
    • Tongue—red tongue
    • Food as medicine—mung bean, cucumber, apple
    • Avoid—coffee, alcohol
    • Reference: Healing Foods for TCM Heart Patterns | AcuPro Academy by Clara Cohen
  • Summer Qigong Set (Exercises #1-4)—Gently Holding the Breath (end of Inhalation)
  • Review:
    Six Healing Sounds (Liu Zi Jue)
    Day and Night (Yin-Yang)
    Four Seasons (Yin-Yang)
    5 Elements (Colors)
  • Four Seasons Qigong General Theory:
    1. Herbs & Food as medicine
    2. Healing Sounds
    3. Breathing
    4. Meditation
    5. Exercises
  • Intro to Organ—Element Relationships:
    • Liver—Wood (Green)
    • Heart—Fire (Red)
    • Spleen—Earth (Yellow)
    • Lung—Metal (White)
    • Kidney—Water (Blue/Black)
  • TCM Tip: Heart Blood Deficiency
    • Symptoms—pale face, pale under eyelids, pale nails, fatigued, insomnia, memory loss, excessive dreaming
    • Tongue—pale tongue
    • Food as medicine—sprouts, leafy greens, spirulina (blue-green algae), legumes, mushrooms
    • Avoid—drink lots of fluid
    • Reference: Healing Foods for TCM Heart Patterns | AcuPro Academy by Clara Cohen
  • Summer Qigong Set—Introduction to Exercises #5-9
    • 5. Large Roc Arcs Its Wings
      (Dà Péng Gǒng Chì) 大鵬拱翅
    • 6. Large Roc Spreads Its Wings
      (Dà Péng Zhǎn Chì) 大鵬展翅
    • 7. Sway the Head and Swing the Tail
      (Yáo Tóu Bǎi Wěi) 搖頭擺尾
    • 8. Baby Bird Receives the Food
      (Yòu Niǎo Shōu Shí) 幼鳥收食
    • 9. Crane Shakes Its Wings
      (Bái Hè Dǒu Chì) 白鶴抖翅
  • Review: Kathy’s “2-4-5-6” TCM Theory
    • “2” – Day and Night (Yin-Yang)
    • “4” – Four Seasons (Yin-Yang)
    • “5” – Five Elements (Colors)
    • “6” – Six Yin Organs (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lung, Kidney) + Pericardium (sac around heart)
  • Intro to Yang-Qi and Yin-Xue (Water-Fire Analogy)
    Yang-Qi (Yang-Energy)—Fire, Heat
    Yin-Xue (Yin-Blood)—Water, Cold
  • Intro to Mother-Child Creation Cycle:
    • Wood burns, thus nourishing Fire
    • Fire produces ashes, thus creating Earth
    • Earth contains minerals, which condense to make Metal
    • Metal heated and cooled produces condensation of Water
    • Water nourishes the growth of trees, which create Wood
    • Reference: Introduction to the Chinese Five Element System | Five Seasons Medicine by Jane Barthelemy
  • TCM Tip: Heart Yang Deficiency
    • Symptoms—palpitations, cold body, water retention, fatigue, chest pain, weak and slow pulse
    • Food as medicine—(red) lamb, liver, cinnamon; (white) garlic, onion, barley, oat
    • Avoid—avoid raw foods
    • Reference: Healing Foods for TCM Heart Patterns | AcuPro Academy by Clara Cohen
  • Summer Qigong Set (Exercises #5-9)—Breathing practice
  • Review: Kathy’s “2-4-5-6” TCM Theory
    • 6 Yin Organs (Solid)
    • 6 Yang Organs (Hollow)
  • 6 YinYang Organs Pairs
    • Wood “Green team”: Liver (Yin)—Gall Bladder (Yang)
    • Fire “Red team”: Heart (Yin)—Small Intestine (Yang)
    • Earth “Yellow team”: Spleen (Yin)—Stomach (Yang)
    • Metal “White team”: Lung (Yin)—Large Intestine (Yang)
    • Water “Blue/Black” team: Kidney (Yin)—Bladder (Yang)
    • Fire “Red team”: Pericardium (Yin)—Triple Burner (Yang)
  • Intro to Kathy’s “Organ House” Analogy
    • Attic – Heart, Pericardium, Lungs
    • Kitchen – Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gall Bladder
    • Basement – Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Kidneys, Bladder
  • Intro to Hand-Yin Meridians (Lung, Pericardium, Heart)
  • Summer Qigong Set (Exercises #5-9)—Variations
  • Review: Kathy’s “2-4-5-6-8” TCM Theory
  • Intro to 8 Principles of Differential Diagnosis:
    • Yin-Yang
    • Cold-Hot
    • Deficiency-Excess
    • Interior-Exterior
  • Review of 6 YinYang Organs Pairs & Elements (Colors)
  • Review of Hand-Yin Meridians
    • Lung—Chest to Thumb
    • Heart—Chest to Inner Pinky
    • Pericardium—Chest to Middle Finger
  • Conclusion:
    • We are part of nature, humans are nature
    • To maintain health and prevent illness, we need to live in harmony with nature
    • 4 seasons arise from Yin and Yang balancing each other
    • Nature provides food as medicine to balance the seasons
    • Summer (Extreme Yang) we need to Inhale (Yin) longer than Exhale; Autumn (Growing Yin) we need to Exhale (Yang) longer than Inhale
    • Autumn set same as Summer set, but we Exhale longer
    • To harmonize the Heart, important not to focus on the Heart but focus on the Lungs and breathing
    • Key: Use Lung-Metal to Subdue Heart-Fire