Mason and Tahnee come together on the podcast today to take a dive deep into the wonders of Qi, the second Treasure in the Daoist (Taoist) system. In the West most of us are familiar with the concept of Qi being energy, however the Daoists understood Qi in a more expansive context. Today we're excited to explore the philosophy and application of the Qi Treasure and to introduce our SuperFeast family to our new baby - The QI blend! Tune in to get the full download and learn how these beautiful Qi herbs can help you activate your potential and feel truly vibrant.
Tahnee and Mason explore:
Who are Mason Taylor and Tahnee McCrossin?
Mason Taylor: Mason’s energy and intent for a long and happy life is infectious. A health educator at heart, he continues to pioneer the way for potent health and a robust personal practice. An avid sharer, connector, inspirer and philosophiser, Mason wakes up with a smile on his face, knowing that tonic herbs are changing lives. Mason is also the SuperFeast founder, daddy to Aiya and partner to Tahnee (General Manager at SuperFeast).
Tahnee McCrossin: Tahnee is a self proclaimed nerd, with a love of the human body, it’s language and its stories. A cup of tonic tea and a human interaction with Tahnee is a gift! A beautiful Yin Yoga teacher and Chi Ne Tsang practitioner, Tahnee loves going head first into the realms of tradition, yogic philosophy, the organ systems, herbalism and hard-hitting research. Tahnee is the General Manager at SuperFeast, mumma to reishi-baby Aiya and partner to Mason (founder of SuperFeast).
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Hello, lovely people. I'm here with the lovely Tahns.
So we wanted to tackle one together on this beautiful Saturday morning. We're in the podcast room. We've had torrential rain overnight, so the Qi of the land is absolutely pumping. It's conductive out there. And we thought it'd be a really good, beautiful time to chat to you guys about the concept of Qi. Obviously we've got a little bit of an understanding in the West of what's Qi? Qi is energy, everything's Qi. And we wanted to go a little deeper into the nuance. We're going to talk about, Tahns is definitely going to be going in through everything that she's studied with yoga, Taoism, anatomy and all her, everything else, Tahns will go into it. Being an abdominal masseuse, being a Yin yoga teacher.
Tahns works with Qi a lot, and is developing a really nice understanding of this huge concept. And so we're going to be looking at what Qi is in the body. Going to be looking at how many different layers and variations there are. But also then we're going to be looking widely in the body, in the three treasure system of Taoism. That's a bit more of a macro view of what Qi is in the body. We're going to be looking at what it is, how to cultivate it, in that context. How Qi herbs work in the body, because one thing I think you guys, you should be understanding by now is that Taoism is appropriate for the lifestyle. Yes, We're talking about there's Taoist's, hermits in the mountains, just going on doing nothing but Qigong all day, living off one grain of rice. And then the rest is tonic herbs and spring water and constantly meditating.
But the concept of Taoism, they can cross over to a mother of four, simply being able to manage her health and her family's health through some very basic principles. So Qi can get incredibly complex when you go into all the different ways that it can be deficient and rebel in the body and so on and so forth. And so there's that clinical understanding of Qi, we can get a little into that, and how it's represented. But then there's a very accessible, I guess, conversation around Qi that we want to be having at the same time. So no matter how much time you have or interests you have, you're going to be able to get a dialogue.
Yeah, hopefully we keep it in the accessible realm today.
Well I like getting inaccessible as well because it's interesting and I think it's nice as well just to have that context for everyone to reaslise, you don't have to remember all this. And at any point that it gets, if you're dealing with something heavy internally at any point it gets too much and you reaslise you can't retain it, there are practitioners, and we like teaching you how to find particular practitioners. I'm down the rabbit hole when it comes to acupuncture and that. I'm down the rabbit hole of Rhonda Chang stuff and finding a practitioner that it's actually ... I think it's getting more and more difficult to find an acupuncturist that's actually practicing what Rhonda calls Yi, actual medicine that isn't layered over with Western, basically biochemistry or Western symptomology. But that's-
Or pathology. I'm studying Health Science degree, majoring in acupuncture at the moment actually. And it's interesting how little we really touch on the more shamanic aspects I suppose of Chineseedicine, which is definitely what I'm more interested in. And as someone who's received acupuncture for a long time, the people that are more versed in that are definitely, in my opinion, more effective practitioners for me. So yeah, it's interesting to think about that, and even in terms of when we're talking about herbalism, what we do at Superfeast, to taking a herb that has a lot of Qi, and has a lot of intention in terms of its cultivation, its processing, versus taking a lot of just things you can buy over the counter. I'm thinking about this little compressed tablets and all that stuff that are... You can take them and they can have an effect for sure. But I don't have the same connection to them that I do to the Taoist Tonic Herbs. It's a really interesting nuance for me and something I'm exploring.
But you can feel, in a clinical setting, it's more steely. It's more, and especially when it gets symptom, when it becomes pathology based, and symptom based, it's very much okay, this is the diagnosis and... Unfortunately it's going, it's starting with ... I think what we're talking about guys before we jump into Qi, and yes we're going to talk about the Qi blend, and Qi herbs and all these kinds of things. But these tangents are why we get the big bucks. So we're talking about if we start with, okay, you're having headaches, so we start with the symptom and then we go, hh, there's four different types of headache. There's going to be a hot headache and a cold headache, and a deficient headache.
And I'm not an expert on this, I'm just enjoying it because it's slightly anarchist from what the current Western Chinese Medicine looks like. It's not Yi, it's not medicine, it's not traditional medicine. It's washed into this Western approach where it's what's the symptom? Okay. Oh, you've got, gosh, I don't know, you're nauseous. Okay. Generally the pattern is it's going to be one of these four or five different types and we're going to find it and then we're going to treat you by hitting, via the dictation of what we know to use. If it's this type of nauseousness we're going to use these points and this herb.
So there's this tendency for a lot of practitioners these days to be, feel tickled by the fact that yeah, wow, I found someone had a headache and I had options in how to treat them because everyone's different. But it's still a textbook version of treatment. And just going through Rhonda's stuff. She's just, it's still not medicine. It's still not proper Chinese Medicine, based on the classics. The classics would be doing a 100% ... Well we don't know, you don't make any assumptions. We just go in and find what's going on within the Yin Yang-
Very, super individual. There's, what's going on within the Yin Yang, and what's going on within the five elements, the Wu Xing. And so in that sense, there's no rules ever. And it's hard, because it's hard to commodify that, it's hard to bring people into-
Well it's hard to systemise and teach that. And I think when you look at the history of anything that gets codified and systemified ... I don't know if that's a word. You lose a lot of the nuance that when you work one-on-one with someone and learn something in a oral tradition based on apprenticeship and just doing the thing with supervision. That was what really got lost in China when Mao Zedong came through and he really created these colleges, these places to go and study acupuncture. And you could do... Or Chinese Medicine I should say, not acupuncture, the whole scope of practice that they decided would be most useful for treating the masses of China. And that's what we've inherited. And there's people Rhonda doing amazing work, trying to keep the old tradition alive.
And I think that's certainly where you and I lean toward, in our interests. But I can sort of see how you have to learn, you have to go to school because there isn't really another way to do it. But then you have to take responsibility for actually going and immersing yourself in the art of healing, which is a really different thing. And it's the same with the Che Nei Tsang I do. I learned with Master Chia and I've had lots of friends go and study with him after receiving treatment from me. And they're Oh my God, when I got there it was totally different to what you do. And it's yeah, because I'm bringing my whole life of experience, all the things I've done, all the different trainings I've taken.
When I work one-on-one with someone I'm bringing that plus my own Qi and my own Je ne sais quoi, every individual has their own special gifts. So I think you can't ever copy someone else, but you can definitely learn from other people. And I think as long as we remember that these things are both a science and an art, then we can be really ... It's the same with the herbs. So we would get, people write to us and they say I have a headache or I'm exhausted. Well we can only give a general answer to that because we're not seeing you. We're not talking to you. We're not investigating your history and really our duty of care, to do that over the internet or the phone is not there. We can't manage and support that. But that's where a practitioner-
Well it's not even-
Well that's where a practitioner is so useful because that therapeutic process of sitting down with someone, having them hear you and witness you and mirror you, and then also treat you. I think that's really powerful, and especially if they're an educator or there's someone that's going to help empower you toward your own understanding. Those are the best kinds of practitioners. And if you find one, hold on because I have had people that I've worked with for five or six years because they've just done so much for me in terms of getting me to be my own practitioner. To become responsible and sovereign for myself and you outgrow them over time for sure.
There's probably three people I've outgrown but I really, I value them so much as teachers. I think that's just the constant journey of life is wherever you are in your path, find the people that can support and nourish you. Know when to let go, know what to integrate and transform it yourself. A lot of this stuff we're talking about today is really relevant to this. Qi, it's that ability, once we start to get everything flowing and harmonise then, if we're talking about treasures, we've got strong Jing, we've got strong Qi, then we've got strong Shen and we're really potentiated and in our Dharma in the world, to cross our traditions a little-
Well not cross, but put them next to each other. You can have them next to each other, it's fine.
Well they're actually very similar. And I teach yoga, definitely with a huge, I guess, eye on the Taoist tradition because I think what the Taoists do is describe the subtle body really well, and describe the alchemical processes that happen. The yogis talk about it as well, but it was quite secretive and because of Muslim invasion and all sorts of things it got a little bit lost. So it's really cool to look at it from both sides. And if you believe that we all are incarnated spirit, which is what these two traditions point to, and that the purpose of our lives is to fully embody our spirit in this physical form. It's not to ascend, it's actually to descend the spirit and to have that spirit fully animate and penetrate this organism and its expression in this life, that's Dharma.
That's this idea of us living our true path. And that could be everything from nurturing a child, to creating an empire. There's so many, and it doesn't have to always be a positive Dharma, because depending on our karma, and the things we bring, we may have different things we have to express. But I think when we look at this idea of potentiating the human, which is what we're doing here, at the end of the day it's yeah, we want to be really conscious of how we choose to work with people. The kinds of information we choose to integrate into our home practice, into our culture. It's something you talk about all the time, this idea of creating culture, and these are constantly slippery conversations. It's never black and white. It's never, I'm this, because this is the Yi Jing, right? Everything changes. The Book of Changes is the foundation of Chinese Medicine. It's this idea that nothing stays the same.
It's a good point. If you go and find a practitioner, you go, have you studied the Yi Jing?
Well yeah, I think it's definitely not, to my knowledge, taught very extensively in acupuncture school, in inverted commas. But yeah, I think this curiosity, but you can go study the Yi Jing, it doesn't have to be this mysterious, this thing. And if you're interested we'll put it in the show notes about the YI Jing. I'm just making a note to do that.
Well, I feel like, sorry to butt in, the reason that it's brought up a little today, because I think we're going to be talking about a lot of concepts of Qi, and within this system when we're coming from a Western system, and when we're interacting with, especially at the moment new waves of Chinese practitioners, sometimes we don't see a lot of effectiveness. I think that's fair to say.
And I think what I want to bring up is that one, we're not putting the complete expectation on you here to be able to immediately affect your own Qi. However, at the same time we're talking about, this is so beyond proven and effective. And just because... You talk about it as well Tahns, when women going through menstrual issues, which can be blockages of Qi and you go and see a practitioner and it doesn't work. You haven't gone to someone who's practicing Yi medicine, and that's just the reality. And Rhonda talks about this all the time, a lot of the practitioners... And I just want to make sure everyone listening is just, we're trying to give you enough space and opportunity, what I call, to activate the placebo.
These Qi herbs, whether we're talking about tonic herbs, or whether you know what, there's some more severe stuff going on. Maybe the general tonic herbs aren't going to do it and you need to go to a practitioner that's going to get a little more nuanced. These things, they just work. They work. For thousands of thousands of years they've been working in the most complex system. At the moment, now, even in Chinese Medicine hospitals in China, they've got a Heart department, the Kidney department-
The stroke department, I just found one last night, what I wrote you, I will tell you about this later.
Which is interesting, but there's no stroke in Chinese Medicine.
No, but they don't, they just say, if you come with these things, we can treat you as an individual in our hospital.
No, they don't. That's what's happening. Sometimes it's happening. They're not doing that a lot at the time. They're having, well I'm going to treat you for-
Oh, that's when they're mashing up the Western piece-
No, they're it's a Western thing, and the prejudice is, in certain instances Western Medicine is just going to be more useful. And more and more and more I see how amazing ... Don't get me wrong, I see how amazing Western Medicine is and how incredible, to an extent, drugs are and can be. And I can see how people need an institution. But that's the placebo of the Western Medicine. It's so compartmentalised and institutionalised and there's theoretically all these safety checks, which is an absolute bullshit... On its own it's amazing, but it's unwarranted faith that they're being given by the population.
But the whole prejudice, although the whole, subconsciously for a lot of people, even in these Chinese medical hospitals is that a lot of the time the Chinese Medicine just isn't as reliable. Where it's, from what I'm understanding, not that I understand it necessarily, but I'm awakening my own reality. You saying it's shamanic, and then shamanic is scary therefore that mustn't be effective, That must be very ambiguous and we're calling in spirits to do the healing verse... Of course that's not the case. The real old Chinese Medicine, especially in relating to what our Treasures are and nourishing our Treasures through Qi herbs and a lifestyle that's generating our own Qi, we're generating our ability to have our Qi go through phases of transformation constantly so we don't have blockages.
This is extremely effective and it's not this thing that's, well it's not actually, not as reliable as Western Medicine. Western Medicine might be really reliable to get you back to a somewhat normal state for the next couple of years without actually dealing with your core problems. And if you're going to go to real Chinese Medicine though, you need someone really working closely with you, and educating with you, and going deep into what your issue is. And we just don't have time for that in an institutional level.
Well I don't think it's unique to Chinese Medicine, but I think when you look at all of the ancient traditions, it was very much around community based model and individual personalised care based on diagnosis that really took into account the whole organism. So it's talking about symptom management, which is what Western Medicine is really good at versus healing or, you talk about with Rhonda's work. This idea of true medicine, which is more to do with... My teacher always says, you're trying to put yourself out of business as a practitioner. So you're trying to get the person to the point where they are self managing and they're sovereign in their health and they'd only need to see you maybe seasonally, maybe once every couple of years just to check in and make sure everything's going well.
And as educators, that's something that I'm really passionate about, for me anyway, I don't want to speak for you. But the more people expose themselves to different ideas without judgment, without needing to make something right or wrong, it gives you this capacity to hold, that F. Scott Fitzgerald quote, hold multiple opposing ideas at the same time. So the Chinese Medicine says there's a universal force that is animating and that turns this sack of fluid and chemicals into a body, And when it goes away, we become chemicals and fluid again, and we dry out, and we dissolve and we become food for the bugs and bacteria. Right? So this is the foundation of Chinese Medicine. It starts with this underlying idea of universal consciousness. Western Medicine doesn't have a underlying theory. It starts with pathology,
Well that's fine. But as long as it's kept in its little place over there.
Yeah. But that's what I'm saying. I think as a culture we have gone, Oh, okay, we're going to worship the altar of modern science, but we forget that it has limitations. And similarly, Chinese Medicine has limitations. It's great to have a sterile surgical environment to operate in a car crash situation-
Yeah, I know you know this, but I'm just trying to explain it for people that are listening. If I am in a car crash, I want to go to Western hospital for my immediate treatment and then I'd love to go to a Chinese doctor to maintain and improve my health over time. It's this idea of childbirth, in Chinese Medicine that's an opportunity to get healthier. And in Western Medicine it's, cool, you had a baby, see you later. We don't ever want to see you again, basically. They might check in on you for six weeks or however long the process is.
And so there's this two very different ways of looking at health, really. One is coming from a educative... And almost a faith based type of health that the natural state is health. That's what I feel is for me the big difference. Whereas Western Medicine is almost, things are going to break all the time and we're just going to keep patching them up. But it's the roof is going to collapse one day. You can't just keep putting screws in and polls in, and bandaging shit up and expecting it all to stay there. It's going to just all fall down one day.
And so that's where I think I prefer to sit in this idea that, we are by design, whether it's intelligent design or evolutionary design, I don't know, but we are by design healthy, and we are by design moving always toward health. And the only reason that ever happens is because our Qi gets blocked in some way. And it's either emotional or physical or mental, either we have a thought recurring that creates a blockage or we have an emotion recurring that creates a blockage, or we have some physical-
Mass. Yeah, that creates a blockage.
Yeah, or even the Qi blockages from parent to child, you'll see a hunch or something go from mother to a daughter and that's going to create-
Inherited, and that creates a blockage in an organ, that's going to create an emotional pattern or expression.
It's 11:11 everybody just letting you know. But yeah, I think, for me, just that idea even of inherited physicality is so interesting, because if learn how our parent thinks, and how our parent relates to the world, then we model that and then our bodies express that as well. So I find that really interesting when you look at, I used to teach yoga to people in families quite regularly and you would see that the genetic, it's not even the structure is inherited, it's the mental and emotional weight is inherited. And you would see that manifest, and you would see how they would react and respond in similar ways to things. And that's one of the things I love about yoga, is because it offers us this opportunity to hold space for ourselves, to examine that and decide whether or not we really want to carry that on.
Because, sometimes those things are great. Sometimes we have power house parents who are super rad and really give us a lot of gifts and help us to really express our own unique gifts. And sometimes we have people that really just pass on a lot of trauma, and a lot of suffering. And this idea of, and Chinese Medicine talks about this too, around the ages of 28 to 30 is this transition out of the ... Jung's work in particular is really interesting on this stuff. And he took a lot of that from the Indian and Chinese traditions. But this idea that we start to release our parents and we start to forgive them for what they couldn't offer us. And then we take responsibility for what we need to manifest to really fully become ourselves as we move into our 30's and 40's. And I think that's, we don't talk about that much in our culture. There's a lot of blame and there can be a tendency to just go to therapy and to stay in this loop. And I love therapy, don't get me wrong. I think it's really powerful, but I think you have to graduate from therapy at some point.
Well, this, a lot comes back to the concept of why you'd have a practice to cultivate Qi, and move Qi, and why you'd be moving every day and why you'd be working on your emotions, why you'd be taking Qi tonics, why your diet is appropriate for you to cultivate Qi. Because if you've got this Qi moving, Qi needs to transform, that's why if anyone, if you are relating to your body in a stagnant Western model, if you're trying to be optimal, if you're trying to be balanced. There's just no such thing as a stagnation. Everything is constantly moving and moving into these stages. Moving into that place when you're 30, or if you're going to therapy and you're identifying these patterns and things that you've picked up from your parents. If you're healthy, if you've got strong Jing foundation, and Qi is said to be in the Treasure system, the child Jing, if your Qi is moving, then you're going to be able to actually transform things internally. That's the alchemy. As long as you keep on moving, I think that's what you were leaning to as well.
Yeah. Well that's what I think is super important because I think sometimes people just keep bumping up against themselves and they get stuck. And that's what I mean about, sometimes these external things, therapy or yoga, or meditation, all these things, they can almost become traps where we continue to validate ourselves through the external thing that we do. You can see that a lot in the spiritual community where it's okay I don't the way I was brought up. I'm going to really change that and then I'm going to push back against that culture, instead of really integrating the parts of you that are really from that culture. And this is a lot to do with that shadow work that Jung talks about. But we need to have really strong Qi, and strong Shen to do that work.
And a lot of the time when we're pushing back against something all the time, we waste a lot of our energy and this is our Qi, and so we don't have a lot available for healing. Even for clear thought, it's this idea of when we're depleted, which can be exhaustion, that's Jing Qi, because this is always, this was really confusing for me when I was first learning Chinese Medicine, it was Qi, Jing Qi, this Qi, that Qi, Yi Qi, so many Qi's.
Gu Qi, Kong Qi-
But everything is Qi. Yes. Everything, you're Qi, I'm Qi, matter is Qi, the bookshelf is Qi.
The laptop is Qi.
Yeah. But then the force is Qi, and this is where the idea from yoga of Shiva and Shakti is really helpful for me, because if you think of Shiva as form and Shakti as ... I'm sorry, Shiva is consciousness and Shakti is form. So this idea of the union of consciousness and form is the expression of Qi in the manifest world. So we see in this 3D reality form because of Qi, and because of its interactions and from that Yin and Yang in the five phases, this is this snowball I guess of creation. And then when we want to transform our Qi, we have to really engage those two forces. We have to engage the Shakti, which is more the Jing. The Shakti is the reproductive force. It's that cellular force that regenerates and if you want to have healthy cells and not have cancer, and all of these things, it's, yes strong Jing, strong Shakti.
I actually read a really interesting study last night. This is a small tangent, but they studied, I think it was a hundred and something people who had Alzheimer's, and they were looking at the types of patterns, because you know how you were saying before that a headache can be Liver Yang, it can be this, it can be that. So they looked at the percentage of people with which patterns, and 100% or maybe, it might have been 99%, a hundred people of 110 or something, had a Kidney deficiency, basically a Jing deficiency. And then on top of that they had extra things. So it's 70% had a Liver thing, and this many had a Spleen thing and whatever.
But nearly everyone had a Jing thing. And I was isn't that interesting? We talk about brain function all the time, we talk about this ability to maintain the health of our brain, which is the sea of marrow in Chinese Medicine, which comes and originates from the Kidneys. And this simple study, just looking at the patterns of every person with that, every single one of them, nearly, had a Jing deficiency.
And what I was alluding to before, just so there's a clearness in tonality, having those kinds of patterns, just being recognised that normally if this, it's going to be a Kidney at the source of it. What is limiting and what Tahns isn't talking about is going, oh okay, so if you have Alzheimer's, we treat the Kidneys this way. That's a Western model. That's starting, so if you're going to an acupuncturist ... I'm not throwing shit at anyone, they're probably going to be able to be effective, but let's just say me going in my new cracked out, reading Rhonda Chang stage.
If you go to an acupuncturist and they're I treat diabetes, I treat Alzheimer's. That's what I specialize in. Just be careful because in that instance of we see a pattern most of the time with Alzheimer's, being there's a Jing thing. Well you can map that back to the sea of marrow that Tahns is talking about, being governed by the Kidneys and the Kidney Water. But then being able to go out, if there's rules that arise through studies, then you're stepping outside of medicine.
Australia is stepping outside of the Chinese Medicine. You need to be able to recognise patterns and then be able to make sure that you can go in and break all rules if necessary, in treating what's personally going on within that person's Wu Xing element. Because why is that going on within their Kidneys, for some it might be, they've been around too much Fire burning up their Water. There might be the Spleen, it might be a Spleen thing, Spleen might be-
Yeah for sure.
So anyway, just wanted to put that caveat just in case anyone was confused by my tonality before.
Yeah. Well I think, I guess if we can just make it clear that each individual gets treated, not the disease. There's no pathological identifying, often in the translations of the texts it will be febrile diseases. But at the end of the day we're looking at, what is this individual pattern, what is this individual treatment plan for the person presenting in front of us. And it will change in time depending on the season, depending on the state of their life, depending on all sorts of things. So how you would treat someone when they're pregnant is going to be very different to how you would treat them when they're not pregnant, because their body's operating in totally different states of-
Yeah. Which is really annoying for a Western mind.
Well, I think it is a different head. And I know for me it took, I think it took me a few years to really be able to put on a Chinese Medicine hat and-
You almost have to be in a bit of a parasympathetic state to be able to rest and digest actually what, the gravity of just that personalisation.
Yeah. Well there's a book that I read recently that I really loved, which I felt really encapsulated a lot of the stuff I learned and-
It's called Digesting the Universe, I brought it for you.
Yeah, that's right.
But yeah, he talks a lot about just this idea of literally digesting the universe. This capacity about bodies, not just to digest the food that we eat and the air that we breathe and all of these things. But also to digest our purpose, our emotions, the energy coming from the universe. That's the purpose of the human is to sort of be this bridge between heaven and earth. And it's a really powerful mission, I suppose. And where, I guess this gets pretty esoteric, and we probably should start talking about Qi a bit more, but it's this super important thing because it's well, if we're looking at why we want to be strong and healthy, why are we want to cultivate Qi?
It comes back to this idea of so we can really embody our full potential in our time here. So we aren't just fighting with ourselves and suffering. There's a certain amount of challenge involved in every life of course, but we can meet it with grace, or we can meet it with more pain and more suffering. And so I think this is, for me, this idea of the Triple Treasures is a really powerful one in terms of just how to best move through life in a graceful way, I suppose. Because it's Jing, that foundation, the form, the structure, Qi, the animating force, the metabolism and the movement of energy in the body-
Yeah, and emotions and thought. And then Shen, the ability to really be tapped into the higher source of consciousness or whatever, in the 3D reality. Not needing to go live in the astral plane. Because the Taoist Masters can do that, my teacher can go astral travel till the cows come home, but-
And then the cows are come home Master Chia, I'm bloody hungry mate.
Yeah. And my other teacher, Paul's teacher, he would do a lot of healing in the astral, he would work a lot with spirits and ghost and-
[crosstalk 00:31:45] that was?
Dr.Motoyama, I'll put his links to his books in the show notes.
So that's especially around karma.
No, he did a lot of work, actually scientific work in measuring the Meridians-
Oh that's right, he was the groundbreaking right?
Well his work hasn't been accepted by mainstream science yet, but he put people in ... I've got an interview with Paul coming up so I won't tell the story too much because listen to Paul. But yeah-
Paul Grilley that is.
Paul Grilley. Yeah, he put people in the Faraday cage and had the Taoist Masters on the outside and on the inside, so a Faraday cages impermeable to magnetic and electrical force. Right, so if you're in a Faraday cage, you're isolated, there's nothing can get through to you. And they had machines in there that would measure Qi, and they were able to see that the Taoist Master could transmit his Qi through this Faraday cage, which is wild because you can't send an electronic signal through there. You can't send a mobile signal through there, whatever-
Were they picking it up as an electrical signal?
They have really sensitive equipment that can measure Qi. So he divides this thing called the AMI, which measures the Meridians. And Paul and Suzee both had, they were both attached to it, and he could use this machine to tell what people's constitutional weaknesses were. So his was heart, Dr. Motoyama's, and he died of a heart thing in the 80's-
Well he predicted that before that?
Yeah, in his 40's of something, he was, ah that's my weakness, that's how I'm going to go.
That's even our acupuncturist, even just relating to what type of constitution are you? In that Charles Moss style of what's going to dictate, are you a Fire constitution, are you a Water constitution, and then associating that somewhat with where your constitutional deficiency is. That was an interesting thing for me. Where's your constitutional deficiency? If you're deficient there, that's essentially ... You're going to die of something, and that is going to be a dictation of what constitution you have.
Yeah. And I think what's cool when you know that is, this is what John, our acupuncturist says to me all the time, he's live in your element. So it's actually, even if it's your weak... Not that it's your weak spot, but you'll feel best in your element, but you'll also, that will be where you'll show imbalance as well. So I'm a liver constitution. And so for me, moving fast, being creative, thinking, ideas, those things will really stimulate me. Getting shit done, that's my constitution, and when I'm in that, when I'm full of blood and full of Qi and rested and juicy, my upward Yang can express. But if I start to deplete that, then I'll get Heat, then I'll get digestive stuff, then I'll get my Kidneys tapped out, which is all related to this Liver system getting overwrought. And me overdoing my constitution.
So it's learning to embody the gifts of your constitution without flogging your constitution, I suppose.
A fire person might be really charismatic and great at speaking and really enthusiastic and able to bring all the joy. But if they overdo it, they're going to get depressed and tapped out and want to hide from everybody. So there's this Yin and Yang, I suppose, of the constitution embodiment as well. But I love these ideas, Ayurveda has prakruti and vikruti, which are your foundational constitution and then what you're currently out of whack in. So I might go and get acupuncture for my Spleen if I'm out of whacking in my Spleen, but my underlying constitution is Liver. And often the acupuncturist will still treat the Liver Channel as well because ... and this is what Rhonda talks about a lot, if someone's a Livery person, you can treat the Spleen, but it's not going to do as well as if you actually treat the Liver and the Spleen, or just the Liver in some cases.
Yeah right, that's what Charles Moss talks about a lot as well. That's what, what's his name? That was-
Wellesley's, not Matt Wellesley-
I can't remember.
John Wellesley's maybe.
Wellesley, whether ... I'm not complete-
1. Wellesley he is.
The J stands for, Jay Wellesley. I'm unsure of the effectiveness of his work. All I know is the work, that Power of the Five Elements book by-
Charles Moss is super interesting. So I don't know whether it actually works too well, but I assume it does, in some instances. But their thing is find the constitutional deficiency, or typing, and then just treat it. And if you treat it, you're going to create such a dam release of Qi that it's going to essentially clear up other blockages. I think that's a very simplistic, I think however there's so much truth to be able to, you need to know where to go, where's the pinnacle point? Where's the king or queen pin that you can just hit? And then, at the same time, go and find where the almost symptomatic deficiency is, and then treat it that way as well. Until you can get back to that constitutional deficiency.
Yeah. Well I think this is where, if we look at Qi and for example the Qi blend, it gets interesting because ... So we have a culture of anxiety and overthinking and doing a lot and worry and-
Not being able to digest the universe.
Yeah. And at this particular time, especially, we've just had crazy bushfires raging through Australia, it's flooding now today, the M1 is flooded, which is the big highway near where we live. So this is within three or four months we've had a bushfire and now we're having a flood. And so these things challenge our ability, they challenge of Shen, right? They challenge our ability to understand and integrate, and so they can really deplete us, because we're trying to hold on and-
Make sense of these things, which really comes through our Spleen, Spleen Stomach pairing. I'm just going to say Spleen now because it's easier for me. But this Spleen organ, which is the digestion and transformation of the things that we take in, which is everything from food and water and stuff, but also information, ideas-
And heavenly Qi.
Yeah. And so when we're looking at how we use Qi herbs and what, it's with Jing, so many people are exhausted and they're burning the candle at both ends, so by working on the Kidney Channel, they get results. But if you understand your constitution, I'm constitutionally Liver, so I'll take Liver herbs all the time, and then I'll have things Jing and Qi herbs regularly, because they support the main organs that support or draw from my Liver. Right?
So just from my understanding of the elements, I just know that if I stay in that triangle, it really helps me to stay balanced. Whereas other people might be more Heart, Lung, Tiver people. So the different constitutions are going to have different combinations of formulas that work well for them. And if you look at all the longevity formulas, they were really working with the Triple Treasure herbs, the Jing, Qi, Shen herb's and they were working, probably in my opinion, with herbs that were good for their constitutions. You look at the guys that lived on He Shou Wu and Ginseng, yeah they were using these herbs to really bolster their capacity to hold Qi in the Meridians. And so what we're looking for is to get stronger.
And to get stronger is, I think of this as the great analogy that, I don't know who taught me this, but it's always stayed with me, You want to increase your capacity to hold more bandwidth. So it's if you dig a channel and run water through it, if it's only shallow and you put a lot of water through, it just floods out and you can get quite unwell from that, putting too much Qi in too soon. So people that do Vipassana and lose their marbles, which happens, they hadn't built the Qi capacity, the Pranic capacity to hold what they were-
What's coming through.
What's coming through, yeah.
The same with plant medicine, you see people just-
It's just getting electrocuted. It's just too much energy through a system that wasn't designed to hold.
Too much insight.
Yeah. And you can't integrate it because it's too much too soon. So what we look at with herbs and meditation and physical practice, and this is why if you look at Chinese Healing, it does include not just herbs, but Qi Gong, it includes breathing practices. It includes acupuncture, massage, meditation's, these kinds of things-
Yeah, because we have to work on the multidimensional experience in a multidimensional way. So just to meditate all the time is going to put you out of whack, but just doing exercise all the time and never meditating is going to put you out of whack. So you need to find the middle ground between all these things, and it's going to be a little different for each individual as well. But this is what we're looking to do. So when you start taking tonic herbs, you take a little and you just let your body adjust and you start to open up to that. And it's the same with QI blend, right?
This is going to nourish the Spleen, it's going to nourish the Lungs, it's going to support the capacity of the body to draw energy, which means you're going to have more available energy, but you don't want to go crazy hard on that at the beginning. You want to make sure that you just ease into that. And in time your body will get used to running more Qi through the Meridians. Which you can think of the Meridians if you need a physical analogy, as the spaces in between the tissues and the bones. So they're correlated to the fluids that run through the fascia.
And if you look up extracellular tissue, extracellular matrix, look up fascia, F-A-S-C-I-A, you can have a look at this gelatinous gooey substance that exists inside of the body. And the theory at the moment is that this is where the Qi runs, because when you look at the myofascial Meridians and what the Taoists, where the Chinese and the Taoists lay it out in the Meridian points, they correlate to these fascial lines in the body. And they're individualised to each person. So again, you'll look at an acupuncture book and it'll say, this point is too C-U-N, Cun from the midline or whatever, but that's going to be based on the individual's body and their size. So for someone who's a giant like me, it's going to be slightly different to someone who's really small and compact, their Meridian points will be closer together.
And it's just on account of that the scale of their body is different. And so you want to look at increasing your capacity to hold energy. And this is where we, in our lives, use movement practice. We use breathing practice, we use herbs, we use good food. We use rest, because all of these things allow the body to grow and change. And this is the purpose of life, right? Is to learn to be with change, be with the Tao, with the flow of life, and to become really capacitated and powerful and strong in ourselves.
And so I think this blend really excites me because I think, when we look at children, when we look at our culture of poor digestion and the amount of people that have crap digestion is just out of control. And when you look at this ability to digest life, and as a metaphor for digestion, it's well yeah, if you're having digestive problems, what aren't you digesting? What in your life, this was a huge one for me. I, in inverted commas, can't eat gluten and certain things and it's a lot to do with, for me it was a lot to do with working through the emotional as well as the physical stuff that was required for me to be in a capacity to digest and to receive and to take in nourishment from what I was eating.
And so when we work on our Qi, we work on strengthening the Organ Systems involved in that. And that's the Earth Element. This is, Rhonda talks about it as a soil, and it's tending our garden, it's creating a really fertile bed in which to plant the seeds of our Dharma to spring forth. And I feel it's a really foundational, if you look at a lot of the ways the five phases are drawn, the Earth is in the center. It's the middle of it all, and it's the beginning of the all, and the end of it all, we begin in the soil and we end in the soil.
And if you look at chemical matter, which is what we are, we're carbon based life form, the soil is full of carbon. It's this idea of composting, transforming the food with heat into nutrition for the body. There's our alchemical transfer-
In a big bag of bacteria.
That's the human body I'm talking about.
And soil, soil is bacteria, we're bacteria. There's a lot of correlation when you look at these analogies they chose were really, really good. They really encapsulated something that is so easy to understand and so simple, but has such depth. And that's what I find so inspiring about it. Because I feel like sometimes the more I learn, the more I reaslise how simple it is.
Well that's it, the simplicity is what there is. And that's why, it's an interesting thing. I watch my own Western mind, even to an extent wanting to go and carve it up and explain it. What does it mean? And what were they meaning by that? Ah, now it's almost validated, because I can see that correlation between soil and the human microbiota. And that's really interesting, I've made a mental connection. But in your mind, you're essentially going to be able to go take yourself further into a sympathetic state. You're not dropping down feeling, rest and digesting place, which is where healing happens. And so you see where this ineffectiveness of modern Chinese Medicine starts coming through because we need to make it all mental verse. Just being able to sit in the simplicity, which is where we're going to need to be sitting in our households working on our Qi for decades and decades and decades.
Does it make sense for us to go, right, I'm going to use these Qi herbs because I know that QI is an electromagnetic force and it gets collected in this part of this spleen, not the actual Spleen element, the actual spleen organ, and I have to know about the spleen organ and I need to know about its relationship to the pancreas. It's not realistic when you're just trying to enjoy your life and spread more awesomeness. To an extent, going into, specialisation is interesting and it's good, but the simplicity, what you're talking about there, is just, that's always what's going to make this accessible and then allow there to be consistency.
What you were talking about before with heavenly Qi, I think it's got everything to do with the Qi herbs. It's got everything to do with these herbs, Codonopsis, White Atractylodes, and Poria and Astragalus, in that humans being the bridge between heaven and earth is what, it's a core in many philosophies and it's a core Taoist belief, which is, just being a metaphor in itself. I don't mind it just been that. So we've got that relation, so it's Tian, Ren, Di, it's sky, human, earth, and each of those, they're Three Treasures in themselves. Right?
And so we see, same as with Shiva being that Yang and being that consciousness, and then that Qi, humanity being associated with that treasure of Qi. And then we see the Shakti being that earth and that Yin, it makes sense. It's the same as, Pachamama being mother earth and earth, and Pachacarma, that father son in the shamanic circles. But you can see then there's Three Treasures in, for sky we see sun, moon, stars, humans, we see Jing Qi Shen, and then for earth see water, wind, fire. So they've got their own Jing, Qi ,Shen.
But humans sit in the middle, We are most appropriately, if we're going to be a bridge, Qi is going to encapsulate us the most. And that's why you, we see ... that's why I'm excited to have more and more Qi blends coming through just in our little, and being able to educate about Qi and the cultivation and Qi and movement Qi in our little circle. In our little circle here, because Jing has been such a focus because everyone's been I need energy. Everyone's been so exhausted and so that's not a place to start. You need a foundation, you need an actual ... You need to be connected to say the gas, you need wood to burn in order to actually have digestion, or to have immunity. To have physicality, to have the possibility for your skeletal system to stay appropriately strong throughout your life, for your knees to stay strong, so you don't just start deteriorating, which we see.
Celebrating Western Medicine, but everyone's deteriorating at 60 years old. And that's well that's what happens, the thinning of the artery wall, that happens when you're 60, we can hold that off a little. But that's not what I believe is the normality. But at the same time that Jing, once you've got a lifestyle where you're not leaking that Jing, as we know, well where do we move? That's why a lot of the Taoists would be, Jing herbs would be there, in their circulation. The less stressed they were, the less they had to continue to take Jing herbs, you would take them every now and then.
Maybe water was, they have a Kidney Water constitution. And so that's why they enjoy it. And maybe sometimes they just putting a little extra money in the bank by taking a Jing herb. But a lot of the time you're going to see them sit. A lot of people sit, in their tonic herbal practice, on Qi herbs longterm. Okay, so why is that? Because it's the bridging force, it's that bridging Treasure. And yes, we're going to be talking about how digestion wise, the Spleen Earth system is what is taking in food, and able to cook and ferment our food. It somewhat controls that metabolic fire, and our ability to then extract what we need from what we're eating. Especially if you're eating a diet, something that's appropriate for you and your diet.
You were speaking to that before. It's why you've personally had to move away from a bit of a vegetarian diet, because you need lots of blood, and if you don't have lots of Blood, your Liver is going to be deficient in Blood because it stores, and you see things go wrong. That's why you can't go into this Chinese medical, Western compartmentalise, symptomatic external idea based of how to treat. The same way you can't go into external diets, this diet's correct, just with some nuance. You can't start with ideology, you can't start with institutional thinking. You need to start ... and you can't just go, offhand, but everyone's individual, everyone needs to personalise. Yeah, you do. But that's where you absolutely need to start with no prejudice in terms of how that person needs to live. Whether it's in a medical system or whether a dietary system.
But in that nature of us being that middle treasure, and that bridge, it's why, also with this lifestyle that we've got a movement practice that's moving out our Jing. We're increasing our ... What was the analogy you were using, in terms of you don't actually have the bandwidth. We need to slowly, with consistently, through a good diet, good Qi herbs, through our, whatever it is, you're own type of meditative practice, and breathing practice. Even just breathing well, they don't need to be real clinically done either, it's just a lifestyle that's hopefully not too stressed out. So you can breathe. You don't need to be this monastery, two hours a day practicing yogi.
I think that's another big thing, there's too much pressure. Find your own way. You can go your own way, with finding how to cultivate your Qi, without prejudice of what it's going to look like. So in that sense, we're in a rest digest place, so that we're able to actually digest the food that we're eating. But once we're in that place where our lifestyle is becoming extremely individualised, but it's visceral, it's felt. I'm moving, not because the CrossFit person or the Ashtanga yoga person, or whatever it is, they told me to move that way. I'm connected to my body and how I'm going to move myself and move my Qi. And that's going to increase your bandwidth. All of that, allows you to digest the universe because you're moving your Qi, and you're cultivating Qi, and that's all you need.
We don't need to theoretically understand the in's and out's of how the universe is working, in order to do this. It can't be done solely, or even in a dominant sense, in this mental framework and especially within a sympathetic nervous system turned on. Fight or flight, which we're all doing. We're all fighting. We're all fighting to justify our existence, especially with social media. Definitely feeling that come up in myself recently, trying to personalise more and more. Just nuances of it, but can you really just sit in a rest and digest place? Then you're actually going to be able to cultivate some Qi.
When you start cultivating your Qi, you're actually, and through the Qi herbs they're going to be focusing on your Spleen Earth and your Lung Metal, to make sure that you're getting a lot from your food, get a lot of Gu Qi from your food, and a lot of Kong Qi from the air that you are breathing. And then beginning to cultivate that electromagnetic charge within those organ systems, but then also unifying those two daily forms of Qi so that that can, in the Yang form, be distributed into your subcutaneous tissue, into your surface Meridians. That's known as your Wei Qi. And so that's what keeps you protected.
And then also down into your deeper Meridians, the 12 major Meridians and beyond. To actually nourish your tissue, or to nourish your organ system. Sorry. And in that sense, when you can get a lifestyle flow going down that route, you're drawing less and less and less and less and less on your Jing in order to get through the day. And more and more and more via your movement practice, breath, food, Qi herbs, right? You're drawing on, you're increasing your capacity and your bandwidth to utilise daily Qi. And the idea is, you get so good at that, which is, this is where the Taoism comes in, whether it's for everyone or not, but you can actually start then creating so much, and cultivating so much that then that can percolate down and start to be stored as Jing. Right? Because remember Jing is just Qi. They're not completely different things. It's just different-
It's our chemical form of Qi. I think there's ... I can't remember the numbers, but there's in one of the Taoists alchemy texts they talk about, it takes seven whatever's of Qi to and make one whatever of Jing, I don't know if you can remember the?
No. And the same with, that much to create Shen, it's this really huge process of refinement. And one of the things I think that's really important to think about, is that idea of exhaustion, if you're going through the day and by three or four you're completely knackered and you still have to push through. Let's say you have small children, we know all about this, you have to push through till eight or nine until they're finally in bed and you can start to unwind and rest. Then you've basically just used all your Qi by three, and you're now tapping into your reserves. And this is having to go into a savings account every week to live. You're going to run out of cash at some point. And that's when we hit that exhaustion that people contact us about.
Yeah. Can I talk to ... Because there's a nuance there that is, I think it's useful for people, just remembering, you, may have been working on your Jing for a long time that you might get to that three o'clock or that four o'clock and you feel fatigue. So for that fatigue or that fatigueness in your limbs, mental fatigue, that's more closely associated with that treasurer of Qi.
Yeah, like heaviness.
And even, if you imagine sagginess ... I don't know how to best explain this, but you know when you've been on a plane for a while and your feet get fluidy and heavy and swollen and stuff, that's because your Qi is stagnating, is not able to circulate, and you've run out of battery power, I suppose, to move your Qi.
And there is, don't mistake that for the fact that when you get to three to five o'clock, it's bladder time in the Organ Wheel, and that is a time for less intense energy.
Yeah, but that's where you would have a yoga nidra, or go have a cup of Qi, and do a meditation or something that recharges you.
Absolutely, do a ... That's what I did, I went live yesterday on Superfeast, and I was having a little rebound, and I had my afternoon Qi. But just to, you might have your lifestyle dialed in where you don't become exhausted necessarily. It might take a few months of you not really changing until you really actually start going, shit, I'm getting exhausted here. So in that instance, it's a perfect time to be working with these Qi herbs, right. Verse, if you are actually exhausted and you need external stimulus to give you willingness to get up and get going. That is a Jing deficiency, and you need to use lifestyle and Jing herbs. And that's when you potentially need to make big changes in your life in order to ensure that you're not leaking your Jing.
But it's almost, with Qi, it's almost a little harder, because the subtlety, you can't just do a 30 days of Qi and then completely change the direction of the way your emotional patterns work, and the way you've constructed your workflow and all these kinds of ... you can't just do, 30 days of Jing, people get off stimulants, get on Jing and then can feel completely recharged, in terms of what it's it changes their lives. My gosh, I'm not leaking Jing, you were able to do something.
Qi is, it's more subtle. It's more transformational and rewarding in the end, but it takes that little more consistency. It's less extreme, but the rewards of you altering your lifestyle in minute ways. Oh, I need to do a little less exercise, a little less, more of that exercise. I need to alter my diet. So this is where it challenges ideologies, right? So when you're Jing deficient, you open yourself up to ideologies, because you don't have a foundation of who you are, and what you are. But then once you've plugged that Jing deficiency, you've still got those identities externally attached to ways your parents lived, the way we live in the West, the way a liberal voter lives, a way a vegan lives, or a carnivore lives or whatever it is.
But in the Qi stage, when you're cultivating more and more Qi, you are personalising more and more for yourself. So you need to know yourself and understand yourself. And that can be confronting, because you need to know yourself emotionally. I'm definitely confronted by it, it's difficult work. You need to start understanding what's actually going to work for you. So it's going to challenge every prejudice that you had about yourself and every little external identity grab that you had. So just know, that's where you're really getting alchemical internally, when you get to this point when you can sit in the middle and cultivate that Qi. And when you do have that Qi flowing and cultivating, through these things that we're talking about, that's when you naturally, your flame gets bigger, and your light, your Shen, you can start actually really learning some deep things about yourself. And learning from life experiences and bringing that forth in your own wisdom, which is your Shen.
I think, what I'm really thinking about while I listened to you talk about that is, this idea, I think we were talking about it before, not in the podcast, but before we came on, but about, how basically the idea is to become a wise child. And if you look at a child, if they have an emotion and they're permitted to have it, it just gets expressed. They have a tantrum, they kick, they scream, it lasts for five, 10 minutes and then it's done. And then they're hey, can we go play in the muddy puddle, or whatever. And it's, that energy hasn't been stopped in their body and it hasn't created a blockage.
And what we do as adults, over time, and we learned this from childhood, and this is as a parent, something I'm super aware of is, how do I safely give space for expression while also maintaining boundaries around what's appropriate. You can't hit anybody, but you can go and punch a pillow, and be angry for a minute, that's okay. And we don't have that as adults. We don't have that ability, a lot of us, to express these ... Many of us are angry, or sad, or giving up. Or we're overwhelmed by grief, and how do we express that?
And this is a really interesting thing to start to think about, because you need to have an outlet and it needs to be healthy and safe, but it needs to be there. Anger is beautiful. Tantra is one of the best things to study if you have problems with this because it's ... And not the sexy tantra, that's a part of it. But it's more, your rage and your desire for violence is beautiful, as long as it's just, and as long as it's not hurting anyone. Go and punch something. Or the guy who wrote Digesting the Universe, in another one of his books, he's go get ... Don't do this because it's wasting food, but, get a carton of eggs and throw it against the shower wall, and get really angry. Or go smash some glass bottles in your recycling bin.
That's what we did in, what's her name, the Hoffman Process.
Which is a psychology...A couple of cathartic, good old classic.
But just to do that once, that's not really a practice.
But how many people, go box or do something, and again it's going to depend on your constitution. I'm Liver so that does tend toward frustration and irritation and things. So for me, punching stuff is good, but for other people it might be, to be able to scream in the car or whatever the thing is that gets that energy out of your body, because you can't always yell at your boss if they're giving you a hard time or you can't throttle your child if they're driving you nuts. But you can make sure they're in a safe space and go and express yourself in some way. It might be art, it might be writing, it might be putting on Rage Against the Machine, whatever.
But it's, find a way to get that energy moving because this is this idea of, the only time we get ill is when our Qi is blocked. That is the only time. And we're a bunch of tubes, where if we're Meridian tubes, if we're digestive tubes-
Yeah, blood tubes, we're just a tubular system and when they get pinched or over full, then we have problems. So we can have swelling and holding a fluid in a certain area, that's just Qi stagnating. Or you can have pinching, lack of blood flow and Qi to an area, and that's a deficiency. You just don't have enough Qi in that space at all. Or saggy, heavy, floppy bits, the Qi not getting there, it's not able to nourish. And you can look at the Meridian charts and look at where you're manifesting symptoms.
So you'll often see those face charts online of where you have acne or wrinkles is which Meridian. It's not that the Meridian is unwell, it's that the Qi isn't flowing well in that Meridian. So if you have a lot of acne, say on the side of the face, that could be because your Spleen Qi isn't being nourished. And so that would be your digestion. So that would be eating warm mushy foods, and nourishing yourself on a multidimensional level and taking Qi herbs, and getting more rest, and honoring that soil in you, that deep foundation that you need to create in order to plant some flowers and bloom. Right.
And you'll see this a lot with younger women and they're thinking a lot. They're worrying a lot. They're really worried about how they look, it's this anxiety around their bodies and they express this stuff on their Meridians, which is just because there isn't enough Qi and blood flow getting there to nourish the skin in that place. And so it's the same anywhere you see any dysfunction occur on the body is, it's just a sign that you could look at that and be more careful and more kind toward that Meridian. And that might mean expressing an emotion. It might mean, on a more physical level, that organ might be overwhelmed. Your Liver might be overloaded with toxins, in which case it would be a good idea to eliminate those from the environment, and take some time to give the Liver space to heal before you transitioned back to some of those things.
These are all things we can explore, but if you constantly have a sore lower back, your Kidney Channel needs support, your Kidney energy is telling you that it's low. And so how do you pop that up? Well you need to rest. You might need Jing herbs, you might need more water. You might need to deal with some chronic fear in your life. You might need to step into your own power as a healer and a wise person. These are all potential things that might be going on. And it's not just a sore lower back.
No. And then it's well, that's hogwash. That can't be dealt with in a 15 minute consultation, therefore it doesn't work.
Well, these people often go get surgery or, and this is, as a yoga teacher, something I'm super passionate about because you could basically x-ray everyone's spines and find something wrong with them. But most people don't actually have any symptoms. They have a wonky spine, they have no pain, they have no anything. But if you go and get yourself x-rayed by a doctor, they'll say, Oh look at this, yeah, L1 to L2 or L5 to S1 is looking a bit-
Better put some concrete in there.
Yeah, let's go and put a brace in your spine. Or some, those poles, those rods. I've met so many people that have had that from ... What really, and again, I don't want to say that this is the case all the time. I'm aware that there's nuance to everything, but a lot of the time, if you haven't tried moving your spine in all of its directions. If you haven't tried, emotional processing, if you haven't tried, things acupuncture and herbs first, try, it's worth that before you go and do an invasive surgery on your body. It's worth trying some other things. And I understand not everyone wants to try, so that's fine, but if you're curious and you're open to that kind of thing, explore that. Because how many people I meet that are challenged by just a really minor backbend because they're so afraid of that pressure on their back, and it doesn't take long.
It takes a couple of weeks of regular practice to stop feeling that fear. And that fear is so deeply correlated with Kidney energy. And our culture is a forward bending culture, let's start to bend back sometimes, and open up the front of the body, which is also the Spleen channel. Which, is a lot to do with what we're talking about today with the Qi. There's this really deep connection between, I see a really deep connection between the Kidneys and the Spleen in particular, and if you look at a lot of the patterns when you look at things like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and all of these kinds of things, which show up when the Spleen isn't doing its job well, and then the small intestine received the whole bunch of stuff that isn't well digested and it is kind of, well I can't do this. I don't know what to do with chunks of food. That's a lot to do with the Kidneys.
It's just literally how it's going down as well.
I really like to give the organs personality, because it helps me understand them. But the job of the Spleen is to cook our food. If you look at the symbol for Qi, it's a little fire and then a little pot, and then the little rice steaming away inside of it. That's what is meant to happen. We're meant to cook our food in our bellies. And that fire has to come from the Kidneys, the fire, the heat to create the transformation has to come from the Kidneys. So if we're tapped out on the Kidney level and our Spleen is exhausted because we're thinking and reading.
And people that read while they're eating and people are on their phones while they're eating, you're depleting your Qi, you're depleting your Spleen Qi. And then you're, so you're having to think while you're trying to compost.
Think with your Spleen.
Yeah. You're using all that Qi, and then you're going to have to keep drawing it from the Kidneys, and then the Kidneys are going to get sad. And then you're going to end up with a cold digestion.
Or, I think the other thing, because it's not always like you're going to end up with something. The other thing that can potentially happen, and I think for a lot of people in the Superfeast crew that are hitting a glass ceiling, is they will put a stop to the progression, and it's a lot of the time the plateau they'll experience. Hey, well I've built up my Jing, so I'm not exhausted. But where's the next very minor superpower.
Well, you've still got someone dipping their hand in every day to take some money.
Exactly. They're taking the herbs and say doing the movement and having the sleep, but as it comes up, then they'll take it down, up and-
But this is where you look at, and I'm not trying to pick on raw food, but it's a good example because out of appropriate climate, so the middle of summer for sure, a salad is probably going to be fine for most constitutions because it's bloody hot and it's cooling and it's going to do the job. But for winter time, for example, if you're drinking a green smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch and having a kale salad for dinner or something. You've basically just made your Spleen three times that day, heat everything up, which, it's going to run out of Qi at some point. It's going to ask the Kidneys for some, and over time that's going to get worse. And if you have a lot of Jing at the beginning, you can go on for a long time like that, because you've got a strong constitution and you'll be okay.
But in my opinion, and I've seen this in people that have been in the raw scene for a really long time, is they start to lose the muscle tone, which is one of the things that the Spleen does.
That's more of a Jing thing. I'm, just in terms of obvious signs of the Spleen, their skin loses its elasticity and they're muscle tone ... They get kind of loose muscles, you'll see them, they're slim and they often have really shiny eyes and things, but they're ... Which I think is because their Liver is quite happy, because it's quite cool. Sometimes that's not the case, but yeah. But they often get quite weak looking I suppose, or depending on their constitution, so that would be someone, I think more a Liver, a naturally Hot constitution, Liver Fire person.
But someone who's a little more cold, a Kidney constitution or something. I think they would actually, you see they can often blow out and hold onto a lot of Fluid. And you'll say that in the raw scene too, people, or people that are vegan and stuff, that they put on a lot of weight. And it's because the Spleen again, is responsible for fluid and responsible for the mass on the body. So that's just the opposite of, so there's two ways it can go, we'll either lose muscle tone or we'll get a lot of Fluids stored around that muscle tissue and stuff. They're kind of puffy looking thing, so that's again, the relationship between the Kidney and the Spleen not functioning well.
And that's a core function of Qi herbs and QI formula.
Yeah, to dredge that Fluid.
Is to dredge, I mean we've got a real gentle but very nice and effective, and if you can say it in the Western sense of people can get your head around it, diuretic in the Poria. But basically what we're looking at from the Poria, a beautiful Spleen tonic, especially in supporting the Spleen in transforming Qi and moving through that water. Especially the water, I think what happens a lot of the time is there's a Water Qi underneath the heart, accumulation underneath the heart. And so that puts a dampening on our spirit and that fiery energy and therefore, you add in cold, wet, foods like smoothie bowls and salads and all those kinds of things.
In that kind of storm, you're going to see an accumulation of Dampness within that Spleen Earth. And so your earth is going to become soggy. It's going to be like if we had this rain for two years, it just becomes soggy, and just becomes deficient. And therefore in that process the Kidney's can't regulate that Water, your Water regulation starts going down. So Poria, there's a reason why for many people it's one of the most appropriate longevity tonics. There's a reason why it's one of the most used herbs, completely throughout the whole, the extended Chinese Medical System. Then we've got the White Atractylodes, in the same elk, helping to move through Dampness within the Spleen.
And so this is why the Qi blend is going to be really good in combination for women. We've got I Am Gaia blend, being very foundational for supporting the building of Blood, the nourishment, the regulation in general of the elements, which then equates for our ability to regulate our endocrine system. But some women will still have ... Because Poria, that why I put Poria in the I Am Gaia, but they're not all Qi tonics. They are quite building tonics as well. And it doesn't have the ability, that blend, because it's very general nourishing and building to break through blockages of Qi, especially abdominal blockages. And especially blockages within the middle Jiao, the middle burner.
And so, you might still have a propensity towards not being able to really digest, maybe some loose stools still, or maybe still quite some bloating, because the I Am Gaia herbs, the blend didn't have the force to move through those blockages. Where the Qi for a time become a bit of the dominant blend in those women's ... And this the same for men, in that person's protocol to help hopefully move through some of those, that Dampness that you're experiencing within the Spleen. And the Astragalus as well is working, working on that level. It's got those Yang tonics as well to bring some of that Qi fire back, and really get it circulating so that it can get that Water metabolism. It's one of the core intentions, not just dredging that Fluid and the Dampness in the Spleen, but restoring the ability to regulate.
And so there are, the Atractylodes are also known for being able to, and a building of Qi in general, is enabling the body to produce Fluids and produce Blood. And so the intention there was to ensure that the blend wasn't going to be drying, and drying to the Spleen. And that's the beautiful thing about tonic herbs. So on that level, I think a lot of women are going to find that, and men, are going to find that useful. And then just remembering, there's that, the caveat, that again, these tonic herbs aren't necessarily clinical strength for when there's something, they're clinical grade, beyond, in terms of their quality, but it's not super aggressive. These are the superior herbs they can be used for the rest of your life in your diet.
They're not that regular herb or inferior herb category that Shen Nong laid down. So that's what you're going to be using clinically. So if you've got an intense blockage of Qi, or an intense blockage within your abdomen, we've got to be realistic about these Qi herbs, maybe that's not going to quite do it, because it's very emotionally wound up, or very physically wound up. And so that's where, more dredging herbs or even a bout on Bupleurum Peony blend, to ensure that you uncork that blockage in through the gallbladder, and so on and so forth. Abdominal massages are going to be useful. Not to say that the QI not going to be useful, but just nuances for everyone to reaslise, as you're moving along.
If it's not quite giving you that miracle result that you were hoping for. But what are the herbs helping you to reveal? It's a miracle that they're going to, even in their taking, get you thinking about what other options you have, or what you're going to need. And it might be a step along your journey of hope that you're actually going to be able to take your health into your own hands. So even if it doesn't work out exactly as smoothly as you would have liked, what has it revealed? What information through taking that herb are you going to be able to take to your Yi practitioner, your Chinese true medical practitioner or even your naturopath, and to understand yourself a bit more.
Yeah. And I think when we really, we think about this idea of Qi as an intelligent force, one of the things I think we need to really hold close is, the body heals itself. All we do is create the conditions for the healing to occur. So if you have surgery, they just chop out the blockage and stitch you back up, and the body finds its own way and the healing takes place. The doctor can't give you something to heal you. We can stimulate these processes in the body. We can stimulate blood flow to an area, we can, because we understand that when the blood moves somewhere the Qi goes with it. But it also needs to move out again.
And that's the same thing in the other direction, wherever the Qi goes, the blood will follow. And so, when we're looking at nourishing the skin, even though that's yes, a function of the Lung, it's also going to be, if we have strong Qi, that's going to make the skin glow and we're going to have beautiful healthy skin.
Well, which is a lot what these Qi herbs are, as Tahns said, skin's governed by the Lungs. We're talking about beautiful Lung tonics, Lung tonics here. And so this is where, I'm just trying to give you guys other little combinations. So the Lungs, lots of Qi and the skin, in the Lungs ... hope you don't mind me butting in Tahns. We're looking at an ability to regulate, that the skin can regulate, regulate how much it's sweating and how much it isn't sweating, how much it's detoxifying, has a lot to do with ... That's why the Qi herbs we use post-surgery, because it has a lot to do with bringing sores to fruition. You may want to go see a practitioner and not, but in general, if there's acne and that, bringing it to fruition and then healing that sore.
But as well as that, healing physical cuts within the skin, Astragalus, Atractylodes are primary, they're primary for healing. That's a huge reason ... so that's what, I'm just going to give you combinations. For that skin glow that you're looking for, QI is going to be up, Beauty Blend is going to be a primary, still because you could bring that flow in through that Liver system. And-
So you need healthy Blood and healthy Qi to have beautiful skin. You need an abundance of Blood and an abundance of Qi. Because, you've got to remember that how beautiful you look is not a priority over how well your organs are functioning. So if you have a little less Qi than your body would like, it's going to prioritise your internal organ function, over the health of your skin. Or how many Fluid gets out to your eyes so you don't get wrinkles or whatever. So a lot of the time people, and you'll see it, they hit their forties, and it's like bam, suddenly they're grey, they've got wrinkles, they've got a pot belly and it's ...
That's a couple of decades of you being flamboyantly generous with your Qi and your Jing, and that's your body's way of saying, Hey, we are now-
Well, we're out of resources. We need you to build back up, or ideally start 10 years ago or 20 years ago.
Yeah. That's a boss, or an owner of a company that doesn't listen to his team. Right? If it's hey, we can't handle that. If you try and go and do this project when, I've been this kind of boss, we won't be able to handle that, if you go through with this thing you want to do, with this project you want to do. And it will be fine, and fine, you get so far and then down the track, everyone's fed up with you, everyone's fed up with the fact that you don't respect that your actions actually affect other people, especially the Organs, especially the crew. And then, people leave or people lose their luster.
Well they just, yeah, give up for a while. But I think that's interesting to think about, as well as if you bloat after you eat, especially if you eat a lot of fruit and sugar. So one of the key flavors that nourish the Spleen is sweet, but it's sweet, not hardcore sugar, crazy sweet. It's pumpkin and rice and that sweet flavor from when you chew carbohydrates from a long time and your saliva amylase converts that into a sweet flavor, that's what your digestion likes. It doesn't like ... And even slow-cooked meat and stuff that has a sweetness to it. That's the kind of stuff that this cauldron of your Spleen loves. Right? Then again, you may disagree with me on this and that's fine, but this is what I understand from Chinese Medicine.
So when we are eating a lot of say fruit or sugar, or cake, starchy things that are really hardcore, intense, sweet, bam, into the system, that often will create bloating and dysfunction in the digestion. And so when we see that, that's a really great time to jump on the Qi tonics. You could have them before, as a preemptive, if you know. My acupuncturist always says to me, if you know you're going to go and eat cheese or a bunch of stuff that's not great for your digestion, have some ginger and Qi herbs beforehand, because it helps to just get everything strengthened.
Actually, you bringing that up. It's one of these things that in the Superfeast community, I'm sorry guys, I love you too much, but if you're doing, we were talking about smoothie bowls and juices and smoothies, excessively, talking about maybe if you're in Bali you can do it for so long, but then at some point in your body's like, give me a winter. But if you're doing smoothie bowls and smoothies and these kinds of things, this is the blend. As well as-
Yeah, put it in there, warm it up somehow.
As well as with the cinnamon's and the gingers.
Yeah. Ginger is, if you can't buy tonic herbs, buy ginger and brew it up. If you have the time, 20 minutes on the stove, great. It makes it really strong and potent and warming for your Spleen. I, one of the recipes I have for you guys with this is, it's really simple, but it's that, it's ginger boiled up with the Qi blend, as a either, pre or post digestive tonic. It's so simple and it sounds meh, but it makes a huge difference, especially if you have a tendency toward bloating or digestive discomfort in any way.
So, that is the same recipe I have. I've had cinnamon in mine as well as the Surfer's Tea. Remember we were talking of-
Yeah, if you get cold all the time.
Yeah. Just we're just talking to John, our acupuncturist and just, when I go for, especially the winter, if I have a wet suit on, I'm body surfing. I don't just have my calves dipping in the water like the surfers, my whole body is in there. And that coldness can start to creep in. And that's okay. Especially in my twenties, and I've got quite a firy constitution so I can come back pretty quickly. But talking to John, it was just the amount of surfers that he gets in there that have just completely cold and wet, wetness has just completely invaded them.
And he hit a couple of points of me after I'd been body surfing a lot and I it was still a bit chilly, and just the water just went, which is pouring out of my feet. It was just over, in a space of 10 minutes. He just hit me, and just, bang. And he was, you can't rely on that treatment. You need to actually push that out. And so I've only done it a couple of times because, probably because I haven't been body surfing that much, but one of the things for a surfer is just to brew up a strong ginger and cinnamon tea. Put a good heap teaspoon of Qi blend into a thermos and just have that ready. Before you go in have a couple of sips, and then have that ready for when you get out of the surf just to push that water off.
And that's where again, hot baths, just up to your belly button sitting in there until you sweat. Because we haven't really spoken about this, but in Chinese Medicine when Mase was talking about Wei Qi, which is this surface Qi that your body has defending you against external pathogens, and I'm doing air quotes, because it's a Chinese translation and what they identified, which is really wise as well as, that the elements affect us, especially in excess. So I'm sure you've all had the heat stroke, right? Where you go to the beach and it's crazy hot and you spend the whole day in the sun and you get home and you feel terrible. That would be a heat invasion. You've basically reduced your defenses so much by a constant exposure that your body has taken that heat in.
And so that results in sunburn, and it can result in those heat stroke symptoms where people get really, really unwell from the heat. And then wind is another pathogen. So if you go out in windy environments for a long period of time, that can really disrupt your energy, really hard. That's why people should wear scarves and things, because you'll get neck problems and chills and fevers and things. And similarly with cold, cold is a pathogen. Water is a pathogen. So if you're in water for hours every day, swimming people, that can invade, people that ice skate, I've heard some really interesting chats from people that were acupuncturist that used to ice skate as children, and they had cold in their bones because they'd spent so much time on cold ice.
This is where that whole, we met Wim Hof and had a cold plunge with him. We loved the guy, but-
But he does the cultivation exercise.
And this is what people don't reaslise. It's not just putting yourself in ice cubes every day. You've got to have that bandwidth expanding at the same time so that you're not just, your body has to be strong enough to force that back out again. And this is why, we get stronger from exposure. So yes, jump in for a minute or two at the beginning and build up over time.
Maybe not in ice cold, the amount, and not-
Well cold showers is how he suggest you start-
It's just everyone gets excited and goes in an ice-
Well it's, there's a lot of women I know who, well not a lot, but a handful, enough, and this is probably, this is out of hundreds that I've talked to, so it's not excessive, but you can't ignore the outliers in a system that. Women have just, for a while, it's become so cold that they've stopped their periods for a couple of months.
It's just cold invading the uterus, which is a super common diagnosis in infertility. So again, it's a personalized thing. You should go and see a practitioner, but just something to think about. If you have PMS or problems like that, warm up your uterus. Do steams, do hot water bottle, castor oil packs on your uterus.
I Am Gaia.
I Am Gaia, QI blend, massage, anything, hot baths just on your lower abdomen, up to your navel region, get it warmed up in there because you want to bake a bun in that oven. That analogy is a really good one, and it's from Chinese Medicine as well. You need to have a hot, steamy environment in there to raise a cake, that's what you got to do. If you open the oven door too many times when you're cooking a cake, you get a shitty cake.
Raise an embryonic cake.
Yeah. So we're basically baking a bun in our oven, and so we need to create that environment. So it needs to be warm, it needs to be moist, it needs to be dark. It needs to be constant and balanced and full of, eventually full of Blood. And so these are the things that are demanded of us when we're looking to conceive. So if you're not bleeding regularly or you've got weird periods or you've got PMs, they're all things to investigate as early as possible, because they're going to affect your ability to conceive later on. And they'll affect how comfortable your pregnancy is and postpartum and all of those things.
You mentioned Wei Qi.
So that's another thing about the Qi blend, is it's highly protective and highly immunological. So we mentioned that, through that process of tonifying Spleen and Lung, you're going to see the Yang, that amalgamation of the Spleen Qi is going to be sent up to the lung, and you're going to create human Qi, and that's going to then, the Yang aspect of that is going to then go in as your surface protector. And so we can talk about immunity there, as a side by side Western way to do it. But you can see through what they're studying with Astragalus and Codonopsis, and Atractylodes and Turkey Tail's in there, as a supportive immune tonic and Qi tonic.
Yeah, just to jump in, most of the mushrooms have a Qi function. So Mason's is an immunological blend, because of that Qi function of the mushrooms, as well as their Western immunological benefits.
And that's, actually another supporting herb in this Qi blend is the Gynostemma. Now it's just, it's a very well rounded, it's actually Jing, Qi, Shen and all five elements. It's actually one of these quintessential longevity herbs like Schisandra, but it's in there to create that real well-roundedness and it's immunological like crazy. But you're through studying a lot of these herbs, you see it's phagocytic action, it's natural killer cell action. So it's surface, but you really just associate that with that force field that you can generate to keep yourself protected. That's why this Qi blend, it's so Earth element based. So between seasons when there's a change in, like right now, there's a big change in energy and temperature and atmosphere, here it's a good time to be taking Qi tonics in order to make that transition. Because, it's an Earth element is between transitional periods.
Yeah, I think I said that right. And then likewise going into autumn that Lung season, it's going to be the one of the primary blends you're going to use to prepare your Lungs for the long winter ahead, in cultivating that immunity. That combination with the Mason's mushrooms is going to be probably, or if you've done have, maybe you've got an individual mushrooms a Chaga or a Reishi, whatever it is, additional Turkey Tail maybe, that can't hurt, this is going to be that ultimate immunological, the mushrooms are getting in there and really just working intrinsically with receptor sites within our body, and getting into that, bringing your regulation and that adaptation and that connectivity. They're working deeply on the Meridians and connecting the organs with each other.
Right? Keeping that Qi flowing, transforming moisture as well. And then you combine that with that, extreme surface immunity that you're going to be generating with the Qi blend. That combination is real wild, and I think it's going to be a favorite. I think it completes it. For a lot of women, as I said, you'll find that, I think this going to be, from the blend side of things, I Am Gaia and Qi will become a staple. And I think a lot of people are going to see that I'll move, once they've really done their work with the Jing herbs, this will be that next progression and you'll see it'll take up a real staple.
It will be the gift that keeps on giving. And the other point I just wanted to lay out there was, Qi herbs, when you are working out a lot and you're very athletic.
I was about to bring that up.
Oh good. What do you want, yeah go for it.
I was going to say, you can think of them like fuel for the mitochondria, you want to have the ATP production really ramped up, and that's where a lot of these herbs really shine, I think.
And for muscle building, they're just-
I think muscle building, muscle function, that ability for the muscles to respond, to be really plumped up and ready to go, huge demands on the body in terms of energy and Blood when we work out. So, yeah, anytime we're nourishing those Liver and Spleen channels, good thing. And usually Kidneys as well.
Well that's why I think for athletes, what I've done previously, I've had people on Cordyceps and Astragalus, as the athletic combo, and as well as you can be on anything, you can be on Schisandra and get this ultimate athletic, outpour. But Qi blend, and Cordyceps on its own, is probably going to be a primary athlete approach going forth. And likewise when I feel into that approach, it's always a good place for the elderly to enter as well.
And so in general you've got a real good Jing tonic in there with the Cordyceps, which is ... The elderly, you need a lot of Qi, you need a lot of spark in the machine, and you need a lot. You can see when your Qi is getting deficient, you mentioned, that you're a bit more susceptible to gravity and you come down, there's more prolapse occurring, so you can see if there's prolapsed postpartum, Qi herbs that are going to bring that upward lift.
Yeah, well Astragalus and Cordyceps are two of the main postpartum herbs as well. And you think about what postpartum is. You've basically run a marathon, dumped a bunch of blood and you need to recover. So those to start that process in terms of Jing, oxygenation of the blood, moving the blood and healing forces through the body and then down the track it's building Blood. It's nourishing with warm foods. All of the things that are coming out now as being essential to postpartum.
Guys, there's probably a couple of other things I could have mentioned. I didn't get into the-
World's longest tangent.
The fact that Qi also has a lot to do, if you do experience that mental fatigue, although when it comes to brain function, focus and thought, staying witty, things that we're just holding on now, I'm trying to say, what I'm trying to stay real sharp and be able to take all these points even though even gone for two and a half hours with his podcast, that is governed by Qi. Your ability to have thought and move thought. And so if you really, that's another element, where if you might be on Jing herbs in order to bring the foundation for your brain function, and then bringing in Neural Nectar to actually bring circulation to the brain and that synaptic connection.
But at the same time, if you want to layer a little more on, if you're experiencing mental fatigue, that Neural Nectar can be a direct herb, that day. It can help you, that week it can help you, but Qi can become more of that permanent staple in your diet, and that way you're going to have the accessible Qi daily to not get mentally exhausted, if that's occurring. I think I've covered all of my points. Anything else you wanted to go off on?
No, I think that's enough. If you guys have questions, by all means hit us up and we can do future podcasts about them. And yeah, we hope you enjoy the blend, it's going to be launching in February. We have delayed it just a little, because of Australia's bushfires. We just wanted to give everyone a bit of space to breathe.
And we also just wanted to make sure whether you're listening to this before or after the launch happens, we wanted to make sure that everyone was really educated about the blend. We've got a lot of herbs coming through and so we didn't want to have that feeling of here's another blend, very quickly, here's the sale. You need it. We don't want people to have that, I need this, I don't even really know what it really does or whether I actually do need it, or how it's going to work on my body. We want to ... you would have noticed that I've been doing a lot of chatting on Instagram, and in the newsletter about this, and of course here. Hopefully, so when it does get to that point where it's introduced into the range, that you're already really clear, rather than trying to order it, and then figure out as you go along.
I want everyone to be really clear, because I've got a lot of blends now. It always made me think of that Smithers when Malibu Stacy comes out and Lisa's like, no don't buy this new Malibu Stacy. It's just got a new hat on. I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it. And I'm aware that when we do a launch, sometimes it's I want it, I want it, I want it, I need it, I need it, I need it, but guys, I really want to make sure that you're connected to the intention of this blend. So, I think a lot of people will move onto this, being one of the primary blends and primary formulas that are in your diet. But I'd love for you all to hit the ground really running with it. So, yeah. Enjoy.
Hear from Mason (founder of SuperFeast) in the below video talking about: the magic of tonic herbs, which herbs you might like to try and how to take the herbs.