Jing in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is our essence and is stored in the kidneys. Without Jing, we could not be. Along with Shen and Qi it is part of the Three Treasures (mind-body-spirit balance). Jing is a type of Qi but it is the most material – it is our life energy.
Jing is responsible for determining our basic make up. It is consumed throughout life and damage to the Kidneys can also potentially damage our Jing. A natural life progression sees our Jing deplete slowly over time and we age gracefully. A life where we do not care for ourselves depletes our Jing faster and we suffer premature aging.
There are three types of Jing in TCM;
Prenatal Jing in TCM
Prenatal Jing is passed from the parents to very earliest stages of the baby and determines our constitution. Together with the energy derived from the kidneys of the mother, it nourishes the baby as it grows inside the womb. Prenatal Jing cannot be regenerated during life, only conserved and used wisely. We preserve prenatal Jing by living a balanced life especially our sexual lives. Work/life, diet and emotional factors are all important to conserving prenatal jing. A good way to think of the effect prenatal Jing has on us to to consider it something akin to our genetic makeup.
Postnatal Jing, also known as acquired Jing, can be cultivated during life especially through practising disciplines such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi as well as our diet and nutritional intake. It is the Jing that we take in everyday
Jing is often closely related to semen in men and menstrual blood in women. Hence for men, excessive sexual activity can be harmful to their Jing. Cold around the kidneys and too much salt are also harmful to Jing as are any substances that impede or cause the Kidneys to sway from one extreme to the other. A lifestyle of alcohol, rich or salty foods, poor sleeping patterns, stress and work can lead to our postnatal Jing being exhausted and thus our ‘reserve’ of prenatal Jing is used up faster. When we lead a healthy life, we use our postnatal Jing and Qi thus saving our prenatal Jing from depletion.
Even though Jing is stored in the kidneys it is still a fluid and flows around the body, particularly in the eight extraordinary channels. Kidney Jing, which is a combination of pre and post natal Jing is transformed into kidney Qi. Prenatal Jing is thought to be released every seven of so years in women and eight in men.
While Qi can be fast, Jing is a slow moving form of energy that accompanies us through the stages of life such as youth, teenage, adult and elder. When our Jing is used up, we die.
Typical symptoms of Jing deficiency are infertility, poor constitution and a weak immune system.