You know that feeling when you’re not quite awake but not sleeping? The concept of “Hun” (Soul) in traditional Chinese medicine (魂) is the equivalent of this in-between, ethereal state.
Housed in the Liver meridian, Hun is one of the five spirits (shen) of TCM, and, if one word could translate what it means, it would be: soul.
Why should you care about Hun if you can’t control your dreams and your soul is a fixed paranormal entity? If you’re foggy-brained, unable to focus, have no ambition, feel depressed, lack motivation, feel like an emotional train wreck, and sleep poorly, well then, you need a Hun-Soul tune-up.
What is Hun in TCM?
If the shen (spirit) resides in the Heart channel (meridian), then Hun (soul) is housed in the Liver.
Hun is the esoteric force that, in TCM theory, governs consciousness and emotions. How well you can think clearly, plan and execute decisions and focus on the task at hand depends on whether your Hun is balanced.
Hun is one of the five spirits (shen) of TCM, and, if one word could translate what it means, it would be: soul.
The problem is that the Hun is housed in the Liver channel, which represents anger when Liver is imbalanced. And think about how easy it is to get angry these days, especially if you watch the news or follow social media, or often get stuck in traffic during rush hour.
Symptoms of Restless Hun
The bad news is that when the Liver channel has insufficient Qi (weakness) or has too much energy, which causes Qi to come to a standstill (stagnation), the Hun can become restless.
Not only may you be quicker to anger, but you also may feel stuck (indecision), confused, anxious, or even depressed. In extreme cases, agitated/restless Hun leads to sleepwalking. Or at the very least, it can lead to vivid dreams that wake you up and hinder sleep quality.
In TCM theory, the dream state represents the soul leaving the body. This is the Hun in motion. Symbolically, Hun represents your life dreams and having a vision (purpose) in life. Having your Hun perfectly flow in and out like seagrass swaying with the tide ensures your creative juices flow and you’re feeling inspired.
How To Support Hun
To support Hun, you need to support the Liver channel. The Liver in TCM is like the general of the body, calling the shots for the other organs. Its main responsibility is regulating Qi flow, not just in the Liver channel, but also throughout the body.
If Liver Qi has a perfect Yin/Yang balance, Hun has a home to return to in between dreams. However, if Liver is deficient or stagnant, Hun essentially says, see ya later, I’m outta here. In fact, Hun is said to disconnect from the body. When Hun disconnects from the Liver, mania or depression may occur. Thus, for a calm, peaceful mind, you need to ensure that your Liver is balanced.
In addition to TCM herbal formulas that support the Liver, acupuncture and eating a healthy diet will support your Hun. (As for diet, no fried foods and limit your alcohol consumption to a minimum.)
As for individual liver-supporting herbs that you can turn into instant hot tea, a couple of options are: Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit) and Long Gu (Dragon Bone).
The Difference Between Shen And Hun
In Western philosophy, the soul is a collection of your experiences, felt mainly through the heart, and reflects your will and imagination, thoughts, desires, passions, and dreams. Whereas spirit primarily deals with your relationship with a higher power, in other words, your faith.
In TCM, spirit (Shen) and soul (Hun) are intrinsically linked. Together, Shen and Hun help form the mind, body and spirit connection. It is said in TCM that the Hun follows the Shen. Not to say that Hun plays second fiddle to Shen because Hun is equally important. It’s just that Hun will disconnect from the body if you’re unconscious. And not just dead unconscious, but if you’re just going through life without any inspiration or purpose, you’re basically sleepwalking, Hun-less.
With a lack of Hun, there’s no sixth sense, gut feeling, or intuitive powers.
And suppose you want to get deeper into your meditation practice. In that case, Hun provides Shen with more extraordinary introspective powers.
There are lots of reasons to support your Hun.
ActiveHerb.com’s Liver support formulas may help keep you calm and focused by balancing your Hun.