Published: 11/26/2014 - Updated: 07/31/2021
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
In Chinese Medicine, the lungs are closely related to the large intestine (a Yang organ). Lungs are considered to be a Yin organ, organs that are attributed a greater propensity to being weak because they are more exposed to external pathogens. In this case, the lungs are one of the most susceptible organs to the outside world, which is why they frequently react easily to the climate, the air, etc.
The lungs are a Metal element. Their energy is vital and, in conjunction with the large intestine, it is in charge of body communication with the outside.
- Manages Qi (vital energy) movements, which move from the lungs to the rest of the body. It follows a disperse, descending, and circulatory movement, which is intimately related to the pectoral area.
- In charge of carrying energy by means of respiration to other organs and systems.
- Helps eliminate impurities, allowing exhalation or releasing impure or contaminated air.
- Regulates bodily water and fluids, moving water vapors downward to the kidneys.
- Regulates the exterior body, influences and controls functions in areas of the body that are in contact with the exterior, like the skin, sweat glands, hair, etc. Regulates skin moisture and its resistance to climatic factor.
- The lungs have their door in the nose and throat, and they house the vocal chords. When lungs don’t function properly one experiences problems with the nose, breathing, the throat and vocal chords.
- In charge of warming skin and muscles and protecting the body from external pathogens.
- In Chinese Medicine the lungs are the advisers that help the heart determine its “political orientation”. So the lungs help the blood circulate and they help energy circulation throughout the meridians.
Symptoms of deficient or weak lungs
Yin type symptoms
Nasal obstruction, pallor, weak pulse, thin and broken voice, spontaneous sweating, white coating on the tongue, mucous-producing cough, shallow breathing, dyspnea, aversion to cold, rhinorrhea and nasal obstruction, weak pulse.
Yang type symptoms
Thoracic pain, hot palms, sensation of heat throughout the entire body, dry mouth, lack of saliva, throat and mouth dryness, evening fever, burning sensation in the precordial area, night sweats, sensation of heat in the palms and soles of the feet, rapid and thin pulse.
- Dry, aged, or raspy skin.
- Skin is considered to be the “third lung”. Excessive sweating or the inability to sweat is also related to lung functioning, as well as skin problems, related to an excessive amount of toxins due to the body’s inability to eliminate them.
- Cough, dyspnea, and problems like asthma, hemoptysis, odynophagia, thoracic pressure, etc.
- Pain in the supraclavicular fossa, shoulders and back, the anterior edge and middle of the arm.
- Red and swollen nose (lung with excessive toxins). People that drink a lot of alcohol tend to have a red nose because the alcohol rises to the lungs to be eliminated, which inflames teh nose and makes it look red. In addition to alcohol, other chemical products like disinfectants, cleaning products, soaps, fabric softeners, bleach, etc., affect lungs.
- Dilated pores and blackheads in skin. Blackheads in skin are accumulated toxins that have not been able to be evacuated, which warns of stagnation in intestinal elimination.
- Itchy nose.
- Dandruff: dandruff is one way of removing bodily toxins. Not only does it emerge on the scalp, but also on the eyelashes, eyebrows, etc.
Emotions and the lungs
Feelings like sadness and depression are associated with lung functioning. Whenever you feel sad and desperate, it’s like not wanted to live. Oxygen is the primary carrier of life in the body, and being constantly sad or depressed sends a message to the body of not wanting to “inhale” situations, people or experiences that surround you.
Apathy, lack of motivation, chronic tiredness and lack of energy are related to deficient lungs.
Desperateness, pessimism, feeling like a victim, injustice, and emotional coldness are other emotions that influence poor lung functioning.
Whenever you suffer from a lung deficiency and you have any of the aforementioned symptoms it is very important that you reevaluate the philosophy by which you live. Find new ways of focusing on life and find alternatives for self-motivation. Learn more about yourself and about your spiritual power that lies within yourself. This is a unique power that can transform your reality. You must remember that you were blessed with all the elements to make yourself happy and it is your responsibility to learn to use this power, and to make yourself happy.
MORE IN THE JOY OF WELLNESSHow to make a Cream for Stretch Marks
Symptoms of a poorly functioning intestine
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Excessive gas or flatulence.
- Accumulation of toxins that generates toxemia. Toxemia creates toxic gasses that rise to the lungs and deteriorate them, making the individual prone to contracting pneumonia or lung cancer.
Unblocking points for the lungs
There are two points at the base of the nose that correspond to the large intestine meridian. Pressing these two points with acupuncture or acupressure helps balance lung functioning.
- Liu, C. F., & Chien, L. W. (2015). Efficacy of acupuncture in children with asthma: a systematic review. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 41, 48.
- Yin, L.-M., Wang, Y., Fan, L., Xu, Y.-D., Wang, W.-Q., Liu, Y.-Y., … Yang, Y.-Q. (2015). Efficacy of acupuncture for chronic asthma: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16, 424.
- Liu, H. (2016). [Acupuncture Combined with Acupoint Application Improves Symptoms, Daily Life Quality and Lung Function in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients during Acute Exacerbation]. Zhen ci yan jiu = Acupuncture research, 41(3), 251–254.
- Li, M., Zhang, X., Bao, H., Li, C., & Zhang, P. (2017). Acupuncture for asthma: Protocol for a systematic review. Medicine, 96(26), e7296.
- Liang, Y., Lenon, G. B., & Yang, A. W. H. (2017). Acupressure for respiratory allergic diseases: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Acupuncture in Medicine : Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 35(6), 413–420.
- Au, D. W. H., Tsang, H. W. H., Ling, P. P. M., Leung, C. H. T., Ip, P. K., & Cheung, W. M. (2015). Effects of acupressure on anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acupuncture in Medicine : Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 33(5), 353–359.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 07/31/2021
About the author