Men’s Reproductive Health

CAUTION: Includes explicit topics related to men’s reproductive health.

As stated in the last articlemen are at a higher risk of developing jing deficiency through lifestyle than women.

In Chinese culture, it is considered harmful if a boy begins masturbating before puberty. This drains jing before the jing-boost that happens when a young man reaches sexual maturity. Also, many cultures have simply a more abstinent and sex-restrictive culture than those in the West. In both Vedic and Asian cultures, sex is traditionally something that is performed seldom but always with purpose. Sex strictly for the sake of “getting off” is largely a Western phenomenon. Sex is a sacred act and should be treated as such.

Men in Western culture would benefit greatly by learning the practice of retaining seminal fluid.

I encourage all men that I engage with on this topic to abstain from excessive loss of semen for the purpose of maintaining a healthy storage of jing. The Huangdi Neijing Suwen (Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine) states that a man in his twenties should have sex no more frequently than once every four days. In his thirties, sex should be limited to once every 8 days; in this fourties, once every sixteen days; in his fifties, about once a month; and so on.

Seem like a tall order? Perhaps not if what the Neijing meant by “sex” was actually “ejaculation”. (I think they really did mean sex in general, but bear with me…)

I realize that here in the West, we like to have our cake and eat it too – and sex is one of life’s greatest joys. In light of this, one thing that a man can do is learn the art and science of non-ejaculatory orgasm, or semen retention. In Indian and East Asian cultures, this is not an alien concept. When a man works on this ability, he can achieve multiple male orgasm. Be forewarned, for many men this is an extremely challenging (but extremely rewarding) task and can take years before it is done correctly. Failure is easy and success largely depends on a man’s level of focus.

This practice is often considered inherent to the practice of Daoist Alchemy and some of the physiological understandings of it’s effects spring from that tradition. An integral part of this practice is partaking in qigong and breathwork. Kegel exercises are key. I sometimes make the hyperbolic remark when discussing kegels that “100 kegels per day just gets you in the club. 300 is bronze level membership.” Strong pubococcygeal muscles (the muscles used to stop oneself from urinating) are entirely necessary if you want to stop ejaculation from happening.

Want a tip? Try clenching your fist (only need one) or your jaw or even squeezing your eyes tightly while kegeling and see how long you can hold it. The sympathetic resonance between these contractory movements of multiple muscles at once will enhance your ability to focus on that activity. Kind of like how some weightlifters wear mouth-guards.

It is important that a man engages his mind and his body together in this process. Mindfulness meditation on the body can improve the coherence between one’s mind and body (especially along with Qigong). Practicing “edging”, either by oneself or with a partner, will greatly enhance one’s success with seminal retention by forcing one to be mindful of exactly what is meant by the term “climax”.

Just prior to climax the pubococcygeal muscles are tightened and strong breathing according to the Microcosmic Orbit is performed. The trick is in the timing. If the PC muscles are clenched too early or too late, the results can be undesirable (sometimes painful). If done correctly, seminal emissions will either be reduced or will be eliminated altogether (also called a dry orgasm), and the sexual, generative energy of the orgasm will be funneled into the Ren and Du channels of the Microcosmic Orbit and stored as a newly transformed form of jing rather than being lost. The man should notice more energy after a dry orgasm rather than the usual depletion of energy that happens after ejaculatory orgasm.

Be forewarned that this can also be dangerous. There exists such a thing called retrograde ejaculation where a man can accidentally ejaculate backwards into his bladder – and it is very painful (though it doesn’t cause long term damage).

I encourage any man who is interested in this kind of practice to research the work of Mantak Chia. You can find many of his books available online in PDF form for free, along with Youtube videos. The book I recommend the most is “Multi-Orgasmic Man“.

Men in our time and culture are in dire need of more spiritual and physical consciousness (and the blending of the two) if we are going to respected and honored for what we are – spiritual beings who’s endowment springs from the same sacred source as that of woman.

Any man who takes this challenge upon himself will be rewarded. Good luck.

Jing: The Substance of Vitality

Jing – it’s what you’re made of.

CAUTION: Includes explicit topics related to reproductive health.

In Chinese physiology, there is a substance that each of us possesses called jing – it’s often translated into English as “essence” or “vitality”. Jing is said to be stored in the kidneys and is believed to decline with age. In fact, the definition of aging in Chinese medicine is the loss of jing. Brittle bones, thin skin, hair loss, and cognitive decline are all symptoms of jing deficiency. Your jing is your genetic integrity and it is inherited from your parents. In this sense, congenital birth defects are also considered a jing deficiency.  This substance is a very yin substance and is said to be related to the Water element through it’s association with the Kidney. This makes sense, as Water has a relationship to one’s ancestors and to the past. Adequate jing is necessary for healthy reproduction and for sexual function. It is also necessary for growth and development, particularly of the bones and bone marrow. Going through puberty is like receiving a shot of stored jing from our kidneys.

Overwork, overthinking, age, and chronic oxidative damage are all things that can detract from one’s jing. Kidney yin deficiency and Kidney yang deficiency, if both present and profound enough, can equate to jing deficiency. It is considered a precious substance and is given to you at birth in a finite amount, so it’s best not to waste it by “burning the candle at both ends”. Whenever you work beyond your means (i.e. spend all the qi you have to give in a day and continue working), you drain your jing. It is said that whenever you go to bed without using up all your qi for that day, some of that qi gets transformed into jing – like change in a piggy bank.

To get at the importance of having a healthy storage of jing, I often compare it to a similar concept from another traditional healing system – Ayurveda. In Ayurvedic medicine, there is a substance believed to be contained in the heart called ojas. Each individual is born with only eight drops of ojas – when those eight drops are used up, the person dies.

There are some gender differences when it comes to jing-metabolism.

It is said that 100 drops of Blood is worth 1 drop of jing. This is where it gets more interesting – it is also said that 30 drops of semen is worth 1 drop of jing.

There are a few different statements being made here. One is that, the more yin a substance, the closer it’s relationship with jing. Semen is more yin than blood. It is also making the important point that men are at a higher risk of developing jing deficiency through lifestyle than women are.

Granted, childbearing is a remarkably jing-intensive process. However if a woman is careful and has prepared her body before bearing a child (by nourishing her blood and jing), then her jing will not suffer and both her and the baby will be healthy. When a woman’s body is not prepared to give birth, the baby pulls on the mother’s essence and women often lose bone density or teeth as a result of bearing a child. The biggest challenge for women is the cyclical loss of blood, which can have quite a pernicious effect on a woman’s health if not regulated and kept in balance. However, for men, the frequent and unregulated loss of semen, from the Chinese medical perspective, can pose much greater health risks – theoretically shortening a man’s life.

It is believed that the only way to nourish jing in Chinese Medicine is through qigong. So do your qigong!

For more information on how jing works in men and what they can do to prevent the loss of essence, see this article. (CAUTION: Explicit topics.)

Be good to your body. Take care of the vitality you were given.

What is Qigong?

Qigong is a form of energetic exercise that arises from an ancient Chinese tradition of martial arts and meditative movement practices. Qigong is actually a modern term that originated in the mid 20th century to describe the enormous variety of Chinese energetic exercises that had developed over the past several millenia. Taichi (or taiji chuan) is the more popular, more complex cousin of Qigong and is a true martial art. They both arise out of ancient practice of what is called daoyin, which is simply a “way of movement”, but encompasses any movement practice for health purposes, including self-massage and other physical exercises. Qigong is less of a martial art and more of a meditative practice intended to exercise the mind and strengthen and invigorate the qi. Qigong literally means “energy work” or “breath work”. One big difference between Taichi and Qigong is that there are generally more complex movements in Taichi and many of the movements involve the feet. In the majority of Qigong practices, the feet are often stationary and the hands do the movement. Some Qigong practices are simply meditative postures that don’t require movement at all. Sometimes people even make up their own energetic movements as part of their Qigong practice – this is called spontaneous Qigong.

The purpose of Qigong is to increase health and extend life. In Chinese medical theory, some believe that the only way to increase one’s pre-heaven essence is through Qigong – this is a profound statement. For some, sitting meditation can be difficult as it can be challenging to stand still for extended time. The practice of Qigong offers a fantastic alternative to sitting meditation in that it enables one to meditate while moving one’s body. This confers all the benefits of meditation plus the benefits of bodily awareness (mindfulness) and better postural practices. The same can be said for Taichi. Some Qigong exercises can be quite vigorous and either stretch and strengthen the muscles and joints or invigorate blood flow through the active movement of the body.

I have a saying that I often use in trying to explain the what I think is purpose of Qigong:

How strongly you can feel the qi in your hands is directly related to your level of success in your Qigong practice.

What I mean by this is to point out the importance of Qigong being first-and-foremost a mental exercise. It is a moving meditation on the life force energy that penetrates all of matter and encompasses the entire universe. To learn more about the nature of qi, click here.

The experience of qi can occur to different individuals in drastically different ways. This is due to your unique energy field and your relationship and role to play in the greater energy field in which we live. Generally, when one practices Qigong the experience of feeling the qi in one’s hands can be felt as

  • heat
  • cold
  • buzzing
  • tingling
  • numbness
  • heaviness
  • softness
  • magnetic (like your hands are magnets, either attracting or repelling)
  • electrical
  • flowing (like water)
  • spinning
  • pressure

and other sensations.

For some, this sensation comes easily and they might have profound qi sensations the first time they practice. To other, experiences the movement and the feeling of qi through Qigong takes time and work. Regardless of how it manifests for you – don’t give up. Every second you take out of your day to practice Qigong will improve your life.

The following video is one of my favorites to get people into the Qigong mindset:

I find Roger Jahnke’s work to be some of the very best. In my humble opinion, Roger Jahnke has “got it right” in his attitude towards the practice of Qigong. Regardless of one’s level of skill and regardless of what form (the particular set of exercises) one practices, we can always adopt the kind of attitude that Jahnke does – one of reverance,  meditation, and prayer – when we engage in the practice of Qigong. I think this will lead to deeper and longer lasting results.

There is much more to say about the practice of Qigong. Have a blessed journey in your practice of Qigong. I believe it is truly foundational in a deeper experience of life and will open up many doors to you.

What is Qi?

This is one of the most important topics on this website.

Qi (also written chi) is a complex Chinese term that has a number of meanings. It is most often translated as “breath” or “energy“, but can also refer to the weather, the mood of a certain day, things having to do with air, oxygen, or gas, and a persons attitude. This relationship between qi and breath points to the critical role of breathing when getting in touch with qi. The ancient Chinese character for qi is said to pictographically represent the steam that rises and falls from a cooking pot of rice.

In Chinese metaphysics, everything in the universe is a manifestation of qi. The universe even “before creation” itself was still qi. Qi is the universal substance of which all matter and space is composed. It is the substrate of reality itself.

This notion of a universal substance – qi – brings ancient Chinese philosophy in resonance with a formidable idea that permeates much of ancient history and still feeds a powerful undercurrent within both scientific and popular philosophy today – the notion of vitalism. Vitalism is the belief in a universal life force that penetrates all matter and animates all life. In English we might call it a “universal life force energy” or simply a “vital force”, but this very concept has taken so many forms throughout history that it would be quite a challenge to make an exhaustive list. However, here are a few: qi (Chinese), prana (Vedic), reiki or ki (Japanese), ruach (Hebrew), od (Norse), pneuma (Greek), mana (Polynesian), elan vital (French), the Force (Star Wars – just kidding but kinda not really) and many more.

The philosophy of vitalism used to play a fundamental role in the mind of the physician. It wasn’t until the 20th century that vitalism was almost entirely stamped out from the philosophical education of physicians in North America. The medical profession used to be much more based in faith in the body’s natural healing process rather than in the power of drugs and surgery. The ancient Greek notion of “vis medactrix naturae” or the “healing power of nature” drove the idea that, if given enough time and support and proper nourishment, the body has a way of bringing itself back into balance on it’s own. This underlies the idea that there is an intelligent life force that drives the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the individual. The adherence to this philosophy is, I believe, the most fundamental factor that divides the approaches of mechanistic biomedicine and holistic medicine. Western medicine was actually founded on this idea by the ancient Greek physicians such as Hippocrates and Galen, but this theory as well as many of the physiological understandings of the ancient world are considered obsolete in the eyes of conventional materialistic science.

This idea of an all-pervasive life force energy isn’t accepted by the mainstream scientific community. However, contrary to popular opinion, this is not for lack of evidence. Our world is replete both with scientific evidence and with anecdotal evidence. Quantum physics tells us that at the super sub-atomic level, the universe is an incredibly dense sea of literally pure energy (see my article on MakingtheMedicine.com). The phenomenon of psi is actually a well-supported fact with decades of research demonstrating it – telepathy, psychokinesis, and remote viewing all have tremendous support in scientific literature (see Dean Radin’s work or the book The Field by Lynne McTaggart). There are a number of phenomena that point to the existence of bioenergetic fields surrounding the bodies of living organisms, especially around humans (Kirlian photography, biophoton emission, etc.). The beneficial effects of faith healing, prayer, and Reiki are also well-supported. The laying on of hands of Christians and of ancient Greek followers of Asclepius are ancient examples of healing using this knowledge. The sensation of qi is common to many people who practice energywork or do taichi, qigong, or yoga.

What’s so important about this article is that to take the notion of qi seriously is to awaken to an entirely different worldview with entirely different possibilities than the ones we’ve been handed by Western materialism. It gives solid foundation to the idea that we are indeed deeply connected and that the substance from which we are made – pure energy – is the same everywhere.

Now that you’ve read up on qi, consider learning about how to use it through Qigong.

If you are interested in taking this discussion deeper, check out this website..

This is Your Body on Microwaves

Let’s face it:

We’re microwaving ourselves.

Cell phones, microwave ovens, Wifi routers, bluetooth devices, and other electronics that use microwave and radiowave frequencies have been encroaching on our lives for decades – and they’re hurting our bodies.

It’s the official position of the industry and the NIH that because the radiation coming from electronic devices is non-ionizing (doesn’t contain enough energy to “knock electrons off their orbits”), it means that the radiation is relatively harmless. If they were ionizing, they would very easily cause cancer (as in the case of Gamma radiation and the radiation people think of when they think Chernobyl, Fukushima, etc.). But is this really the only factor determining whether or not these frequencies are safe?

The wavelengths used by our electronic devices range from 0.6MHz (in the case of AM Radio) all the way up to almost 500,000MHz/500GHz (in the case of remote controls and wireless key fobbs). Most cell phones today operate between 1.9-2.2GHz while Wifi Routers, Bluetooth devices, and microwave ovens operate around the 2.4Ghz wavelength. Interestingly, this puts the majority of our electronic devices right on the border between radiowaves and microwaves. With the advent of “5G” wireless communications, there will be a sharp increase in the use of 15GHz wavelengths in our environment – which is well within the microwave range.

These non-ionizing waves are thermal waves – which is why your head heats up when you hold your phone to it.

Now, it would be silly to think that all radiation is bad. Fritz Albert Popp discovered that life emits wavelengths ranging from 750 to 200nm (encompassing visible light and just a smidge into ultraviolet). Yes, you emit light. This light is referred to as biophotonic emission, ultraweak bioluminescence, or simply biophotons. It is believed by many to be fundamental to the electromagnetic nature of cellular communication and part of what keeps you whole.

The light of the Sun, of a flame, and the light emitted by your body are all natural. There’s nothing alien about these wavelengths when it comes to your biology. Keep in mind that light itself is an electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and entails an electromagnetic frequency (EMF). Electromagnetic radiation is what gives you that healthy tan. A more descriptive version of the culprit in question is nnEMF. The “nn” stands for non-native. The EMF coming from our electronic devices is not native to our biology, be it how we evolved or were designed. You can think of these frequencies as being xenobiotic in the same way that plastics and pharmaceuticals are, meaning that they don’t occur as a natural product of life but rather as a product of technological advancement in telecommunications.

…Now for the scary stuff.

  • The thermal radiation from cell phones heats brain tissue and oxidizes glucose in the brain, potentially leading to early onset dementia due to oxidative stress on the brain. [1] Unless you anti-oxidize naturally, this will age you faster.
  • There are multitudes of well-conducted studies demonstrating higher incidence of cancer with greater cellphone use. [2, 3, 4]
  • Because of their body composition, children actually absorb more microwave radiation into their tissues than adults. [4, 5] Children get more brain tumors as well. They really are sponges, in every sense of the word.
  • An NIH study found lower body weights in newborn rats who were exposed to radiofrequency radiation during pregnancy and lactation. [6]
  • Studies show decreases in serum testosterone after exposure to cell phone radiation [7] and even a decrease in the diameter and increase in the number of seminiferus tubules in the testes, along with a subsequent decrease in sperm motility due to abnormal testicular histology. [8] Most men carry their phone in their pockets, next to their reproductive organs. If my phone is in my pocket, it’s on airplane mode.
  • Pineal melatonin synthesis (one of the most anti-cancer chemicals you make) is significantly disrupted by only a single 30-min magnetic field exposure where the fields north and south axis are 50 degrees off from the Earth’s field. [9] In other words, your circadian rhythm is dependent upon your brains orientation to the magnetic field of the Earth, and exogenous magnetic fields disrupt this.

In their attempt to comprehend the electromagnetic nature of life, researchers like Giudice, Frohlich, and Ho come to a resoundingly similar conclusion: that life is fundamentally an electromagnetic phenomenon and that even the weakest electromagnetic fields can profoundly influence biology.

There are things you can do to protect yourself.

  • Minimize the use of electronics and nnEMF exposure.
  • Turn your wifi router off at night. Get into the habit.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode at night.
  • Don’t keep your phone in your pocket unless it’s on airplane mode. If you need it to on, keep it in your hand or set it down somewhere nearby. (Or get a pair of these fancy EMF-blocking undies.)
  • Don’t wear FitBits or performance trackers.
  • Use headphones (especially air-tube headphones) rather than holding your phone to your head.
  • Don’t use microwave ovens. Use a toaster oven.
  • Take iodine.
  • Wear black tourmaline, shungite, or sodalite.
  • Take reishi, chaga, he shou wu, green tea, tulsi, or other radioprotective herbs and mushrooms. Many substances that are strongly anti-oxidative are also radioprotective.
  • Take resveratrol, eat grapes, or drink red wine (in moderation). Resveratrol is highly radioprotective.
  • Do qigong – strengthen the coherence of your own electromagnetic field.
  • Get grounded – the most anti-inflammatory thing a human being can do.

Take care of your biofield and be aware of the power of these devices that are such an integral part of our lives.