Metal: Lung and Large Intestine

Metal: Lung and Large Intestine

This is an excellent element to begin the study of the cycle of elements. The metal element rules the lung and large intestine and the activity of this energy can be described as ‘letting go’. Letting go is necessary for any movement or change. The season of this element is fall and time of day 3-5 AM. This energy supports sorting to retain what is useful and to let go of that which is unnecessary or harmful. When the metal element is in balance, we are organized and diligent in our work. 

The PDF provides you with the theory of the metal element. It also poses questions for you to reflect on how energy flows in you and in your life, specifically in regard to this element, Working with the the information in the PDF will assist you in understanding how the metal element functions in you and how you might strengthen or unblock this energy to bring it more into balance in your life. 

The Warm Up and the Five Element Stretches videos below are the foundational movement sequences which support all the elements, including the metal element. While studying the metal element, you may focus on ‘letting go’ while performing these movements. Notice where you hold tension in your body and consciously let it go. Often we are not aware that we are holding tension until we perform a specific stretch and feel how difficult it is, perhaps more on one side than the other. When you are stretching, you will do so safely if you do not concentrate on ‘trying’ or on ‘pushing’ but rather just on letting go. Do the stretches slowly and feel where you are holding on and see if you can let the tension there go. Be gentle. Be kind.

The Ki Strengthening – Metal video demonstrates a ki test focusing on letting go. It tests the ‘unbendable arm’ with the focus on extending ki. It demonstrates clearly how letting go strengthens our flow of ki while holding on weakens us by restricting the flow of ki. If you do not have a partner with whom you can practise this, watching the video and visualizing doing this test will also be helpful.

In Ki Breathing we must breathe out in order to make space for fresh air to come in. Therefore, we begin with exhaling, slowly and completely. Even if all you do with your breathing is focus on breathing out, slowly and completely, your capacity for breath and therefore health will increase.

Sit, stand, kneel, or lie down in preparation for ki breathing. Be sure you are relaxed and comfortable and bring your focus to your breath, breathing out slowly and completely. You pause and then breathe in the new breath, slowly, fully.

Continue your ki breathing practice. When you notice tension somewhere, breathe that tension out. You may see it as colour or feel it as a temperature or sensation that you release as you exhale.

You may utilize your breath in this way to become aware of your body and emotions. When you feel emotion surface, feel it and breathe it out. Imagine it as a colour or sensation if this is helpful; feel it deeply and release it.

You may use your breath in this way to let go of whatever is holding you back from growth and change, from expanding to your full potential.

The Hand Massage video demonstrates a simple way you can stimulate flow of ki in your lung and large intestine channels (meridians). Self-massage assists you in relaxation and movement of ki. Be aware of sensitive spots and treat yourself gently and with curiosity. Gently massage points that are sensitive, in order to stimulate the flow of ki and strengthen the meridian. You may also adapt this hand massage to use on a friend or family member.

The Guided Visualization Letting Go will familiarize you with the characteristics of the metal element. This visualization can be helpful if you are having difficulty letting go of things, feelings, or relationships. 

Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness. – Steve Maraboli

Now, let go and become part of the flow.

Video Material

Warm Up — Getting Ki Flowing

Five Element Stretches

Ki strengthening – Metal

Ki Breathing

Hand Massage