Long before acupuncture was a profession in the US, the Chinese world-view arose through observation of nature, over millennia. The Po is one of the five spirits that correspond with organ systems, in this case, the lungs.
The paradigm for Chinese medicine differs from western medicine in that it views the whole and sees its parts. In order to describe the parts it uses comparisons that show how each part exists in relation with each other.
For instance, there are five elements: fire, water, earth, wind, and metal. Each has a color, an action, an organ system, a spirit, and many other correlations associated with them. How the elements interact reveals a pattern of a specific type of illness or health imbalance.
This post is about one of the five spirits of Chinese medicine, the Po, discussed through the prism of its particular characteristics, both strong and weak.
The Lungs rhythmically expand and contract, functioning to exchange gases and regulate fluids. This predictable, necessary rhythm reflects the give-and-take of ordinary, day-to-day activities.
The spirit of the lung is the Po. The Po is the aspect of your spirit that dies when your physical body dies.
The lung is associated with autumn, in the time after the harvest, as the life cycle draws to a close. We are aware this is so, based on what we observe in the natural world around us.
The emotions associated with the lung are grief and sadness, the emotions that accompany loss, great and small.
The Po’s expression in strength is the ability to know right from wrong. We make choices all the time, but there are rare, tangible moments when confronted with doing the right thing, and you choose to do the right thing, even if it has a certain “ew” factor for you, and no one is looking.
The Po’s expression in weakness is a normal reaction in loss: feeling vulnerable, and not having clear boundaries with others.
Speaking your truth, and speaking out against an injustice when the moment asks for it, are two ways you can strengthen your Po.
Our practice is evidence-based but we came to study acupuncture and Chinese herbs through our love for qi gong, ba gua, and yoga. Spirituality is a personal expression. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spirit represent an aspect of life and helps elaborate on the emotions; the spirit and the emotions are never separate from the physical self and are equally regarded and respected in your treatment.