Jing is the Chinese word for “essence”. Jing is the primordial energy that is stored in the kidneys. Along with Qi and Shen, it is considered one of the Three Treasures. Qi is the day-to-day energy that enlivens and animates the body. Shen is our spirit, which resides in our heart and can be seen as the light in someone’s eyes. We are said to be born with a set amount of Jing (pre-natal Jing) which comes from our ancestors. Jing determines our constitution, strength, and vitality. We can also acquire Jing from food and various activities (exercise, study, meditation).
Jing is like our reserve battery and it can be consumed through the ordinary process of living. Ongoing stress, illness, substance abuse, and sexual overindulgence, all can deplete Jing essence. The way to conserve Prenatal Jing is by striving for balance in all life activities. Balance meaning moderation in diet, work/rest, sexual activity. Irregularity or excess in these areas wastes Prenatal Jing. At the end of the day, when you run out of Jing, you run out of life, so it’s important that we learn to conserve and replenish this vital energy.
Jing is considered fundamental for longevity in traditional Chinese medicine. Many disciplines including qigong and Tai Chi are devoted to the replenishing “lost” Jing by restoring post-natal Jing. Additionally, and perhaps more conveniently, one can also take herbs and certain foods to help replenish Jing essence.
There are two ways a person can become deficient in Jing. In Chinese medicine the person is either born with sub-optimal Jing or else the body became Jing deficient through illness, ongoing stress, or major Type A behavior. Jing is a very precious substance, and it should be guarded and not wasted. Deficiency of Kidney Jing can result in problems such as impotence, chronic lower back pain, weak knees, tinnitus, urinary incontinence, deafness, loose teeth, etc.
The state of Kidney Essence also influences our strength and resistance. If the Essence is “wasted” or poorly stored, a person may have lowered immunity to outside pathogens and constantly be unwell with a cold, influenza, allergies, etc. Tonifying Jing in Chinese medicine is a long term strategy due to the need for deeply nourishing the body.
The way to conserve Prenatal Jing is by striving for balance in all life activities. Balance meaning moderation in diet, work/rest, sexual activity. Irregularity or excess in these areas wastes Prenatal Jing.
Certain Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years as remedies for weak JIng, to help rebuild and replenish this all-important energy of one’s vital essence. Among the best known Jing herbs are: Cordyceps, He Shou Wu, Ginseng, Eucommia, Cistanche and others. One of the very best herbs for building Jing that is growing in popularity is Deer Antler extract. Taking these herbs regularly can make a significant difference in your life, particularly if you are affected by the loss of Jing from your lifestyle.