Photos: Far left ■ Jade Pillar Gong. Top • being attacked to the face. Above - tap Sau to trap.
he martial arts world can be an odd place. Time has produced a variety of different styles and schools, there are more of them out there than you would ever imagine. Some styles are hundreds of years old and have been passed down from generation to generation, on the other hand others are not as old as you might think, perhaps not even five years old. Whatever its history, each has its own teachings, its own way of practising. Some have different coloured belts and even different coloured uniforms and to make matters worse everybody seems to be saying different things! Such a confusing place! Why does anyone bother?
There would seem to be certain common answers to this question For self defence For its spiritual sule For health and fitness For enjoyment
It is a sad fact, but in today's world, many people are desperate to leam self defence. They have seen the pictures on the television, in the papers and have either been or know someone who has been a victim at some time or another. For them, "The streets are not a safe place". The martial arts are therefore an obvious place to start. Hut when they Icx>k around they find there are so many to choose from and for some strange reason, more than one 'Ultimate System'. Then there are the Self defence' courses that would appear to promise faster results. So which way now?
To truly be able to defend yourself is not a simple task. Self defence is not like an item of clothing you can slip on and off at will. It has to be part of you, inside of you, as the Chinese saying g<x:s, "True Kung Fu is in the bones". This level of skill takes time and patience. You have to retrain your basic instincts and your reactions so that when you have to you will just move. However, the training should not turn you into a machine, you should still be human, more importantly, you should still lie you. There are many people who study martial arts who are always on edge, always weighing the <xlds and
Photos: Far left ■ Jade Pillar Gong. Top • being attacked to the face. Above - tap Sau to trap.
"A life of always looking over your shoulder lcx>king for the threat - even in McDonalds! I do not know about you but I have never seen a fight in McDonalds (apart from the cxld under 8's birthday party). A life of always looking over your shoulder is not my idea of fun. and this life style must be a heavy burden. If your skill is inside you then it is always there.
But of course there are people who are not interested in being a martial artist. They just want to know a few 'tricks', and as king as they know that is all they are, then this is fine. When you are looking around ask yourself "Is what I am being shown reasonable?", that is to say, trust your own judgement, decide whether you can do it. Of course you can try to master anything, but then I would say you are going more for the skill than its practicalities.
The spiritual side of the martial arts is as mysterious as it is ambiguous. For centuries, the Chinese martial arts have been taught alongside religion. So is this the spiritual side of the martial arts? I am not so sure. There are many must be a heavy burden"
great masters who do not practise religion who could still be described as
My experience of the martial arts has allowed me to express myself, not by hitting anything or anyone, but by allowing my true nature to come out. This is especially true when practising Chi Sau (Sticking Hands). With no time to think you must let your natural instinct come out and this directly reflects your nature, you cannot hide it. This allows you a unique way to examine yourself, but only if you are truly honest with yourself - sometimes brutally honest. When you know yourself, then perhaps you are happier with yourself.
Is this the spiritual side? Maybe it isn't, but personally I don't think it is so important.
"When you know yourself, then perhaps you are happier with yourself."
very 'spiritual', and certainly, there are many more non-fighting monks than there are fighting ones.
I would suggest that spirituality is used as a substitute for 'being a nice guy' and 'doing the right thing'. This being the case, then martial arts arc-not necessary.
I recently saw an old interview made with the late Bruce Lee. When asked to define a martial art he described it in temis of an honest expression 'When you hit someone you hit them'. Perhaps this is the special something in his films that the others seem to lack? - but would you call it spiritual?
Historically, for the Chinese, health and fitness were always most important when learning a martial art. Today it seems people are once again becoming conscious of their health, and the martial arts does offer an excellent way to train yourself. However, if you are not careful they can just as easily lead to injury. When deciding on a class, lcxik at its teacher and its senior students. Do they kx>k happy and healthy? Or are they unhealthy and riddled with injuries? There is a reason.
Perhaps the simplest excuse for doing anything Ls because you enjoy it and I would say, it is also the most important. Often people say to me "Oh you must be so dedicated. I couldn't work that hard at something", but the point is - its not work, its play!
There are two simple reasons why anyone willingly puts so much effort into something: Because of the rewards e.g. money or because they love doing it. Of the two the latter is the strongest. There are people who are very lucky and get paid a lot of money for what they love doing, but even without the rewards I think they would still carry on.
If you do not enjoy something, you won't continue doing it. And this is the secret to success in the martial arts -constant practice. If you practise (correctly) simply for the love of it, you will achieve health and fitness, you will be able to defend yourself and maybe you will discover the spiritual side (whatever it is). Many people start out with a goal in mind, but when they reach it it is not what they expected, and this can lead to disappointment. If you enjoyed yourself getting there, then what you find at the end is not so important. I do not know what I will find, but then I'm enjoying myself too much to notice anyway.
The martial arts world is a very odd place, but then most places are. Whatever you decide to do, not just in the martial arts but with anything in life, lcxik at its positive sides and enjoy it. Then whatever the outcome, you will have gained something positive^
by Darryl Tam
I Ching Master pan 2
The life of I Ching master Shil Wei Hwa is a fascinating one. If you have ever studied the I Ching you will know it is a very complicated subject. When you learn of how Shil Wei Haw attained his high level of skill, you will agree that he must be a genious!
Shil Wei Hwa was born in 1936, in Xian, central China. He was in the army and had worked in a chemical factory and although he only graduated from secondary school he was always very keen on studying. As a young man educated in a communist country like China, he was greatly influenced by communist philosophies and wanted to use this education to help his country. Once he was recognised for his studies into communism.
Whenever he became interested in a subject he would devote all his energies and attention to it. At one time he developed an interest in chess. He spent all of his time looking at all the different moves and strategics. Another time he became interested in fishing. He bought all the lxx>ks on fishing he could find to find out as much as he could about the subject. Then he travelled to many different places getting as much experience as he could, until he was satisfied with his skill.
On one occasion, Shil Wei Hwa had some free time and decided to go and visit a temple. There he found a fortune teller who was palm and face reading. Although he did not take it seriously, Shil Wei Hwa thought he would have a go, just for a bit of fun.
However, the incredible happened, and the fortune teller was able to tell a lot about Shil Wei Hwa's past. This surprised Shil Wei Hwa and made him think a great deal. So he went to see oilier fortune tellers and they too were also very precise and correct in what they told him.
Shil Wei Hwa was now very curious. His communist education had always taught him things such as fortune telling were just superstitious beliefs from China's old culture. The new China wanted to rid itself of these. So could these people know so much about him and his past just by kxiking at his face and palms? The question played on his mind and also excited him. He had always loved investigating problems and so he decided to find out what exactly was going on.
Some days later, Shil Wei Hwa was in a restaurant in a town just outside Xian. At the restaurant, he overheard two men who were discussing the 'Zhou I'
(the I Ching methcxi from the Zhou Dynasty), and their conversation aroused his interest.
At that time there were reports of an earthquake, forecasted to hit Xian the following week. So Shil Wei Hwa decided to ask the elder of the two, who seemed to know more about it than the other.
"Sir, will there Ix; an earthquake in Xian ?".
The old man closed his fingers and seemed to Ik* calculating something. Then he replied,
"No, there won't. The earthquake will be in the Northwest."
"How strong will it be?", Shil Wei Hwa continued.
Again the old man seemed to be counting something and then said,
Shil Wei Hwa thanked the old man and sat down. He had seen people counting like that before, but only in old Chinese films when Taoist monks were predicting the future. Now he had seen it used in real life, right under his own nose!
For the following few days Shil Wei Hwa read the newspapers and listened to the radio for reports of any earthquakes. Then to his surprise it was reported that an earthquake of a strength of 5.6 had occurred in the Xinjiang in the Northwest of China. Shil Wei Hwa was astounded, so much he could not sleep that night. He kept thinking "How could the old man know and Ix? so sure? If I could learn this skill I could help many people. I would Ix* able to predict when a disaster would take place and warn them to stay away until the danger had gone. This would prove the old culture is useful!". He was very excited.
ire. • .4/ » «• m^ei • III if f '" fl- I'»
meal, treat them well and pay them money. However, most of them did not know about the I Ching, and those that said they did only knew a little. Shil Wei Hwa had leamt more from his own studies. So, he decided that he would have to study on his own.
He studied very hard always making lots of notes. When he went to the shop he would not buy one new note book, he would buy twenty! Where ever he went he took a pen and note book. He studied as much as he could, even during his breaks at work! On one occasion, he stayed in the factory after work to read one of his books. He was so engrossed, he did not notice everyone
With years and years of study, Shil Wei Hwa slowly began to see the light. After all his work and overcoming many difficulties he was rewarded with a great deal of understanding and his skill at I Ching prediction became very high. In 1986, Shil Wei Hwa spent three months creating a new Bagua chart with six relatives and six 'Yel'.
One day a visiting Japanese tourist saw his chart and having never seen it before or understanding it, filmed it (the Japanese in particular are very interested in traditional Chinese skills, especially Chinese martial arts, Qigong and I Ching). Later this film was shown
"Shil Wei Hwa made up his mind to learn about the treasures of
The next day he went back to the restaurant to ask the old man to teach him about the I Ching and prediction. Unfortunately, he was not there. So he came the day after, but again the old man did not come. After a few more times he realised he would not be able to find him. No one knew the old man nor knew where he lived.
Although he was disappointed, Shil Wei Hwa made up his mind to learn about the treasures of the I Ching for himself. The first thing he did was to go to all the bookshops and buy all the books about the I Ching he could find. However, there were not many and the ones he did find were difficult to read as they were written in old Chinese writing. Though because he was educated, he was able to look things up in many different reference l"xx>ks and dictionaries. At the same time he read books about Chinese medicine, Qigong and old literature to help him understand about Yin and Yang, The Five Elements and Bagua. He even went to temples asking the fortune tellers to teach him. He would invite them to his home for a leaving, only realising when he suddenly found it was so quiet. He had not even noticed the main door being locked, so he had to stay in the factory all night! And even at new year, when all his family were celebrating, he stayed in his rcx>m and studied.
Eventually, the leader of his working team discovered his studies of the I Ching. Then he was criticised by the whole team for being superstitious. But this did not make Shil Wei Hwa give up. Many great people have had to over come difficulties before they became successful. The famous calligrapher Wang Sze Ji, every time he practised he had to wash his ink box in the p<x>l by his house. He practised so much that he eventually turned the pool dark from his ink. The Emperor Chou Han Yu having crossed the river with his army ordered them to sink their own boats. This forced his men to fight, and since they had no way back they had to win! Eventually they did. Anyone who wants success has to work hard and then they will the I Ching for himself.
on Japanese television. The Japanese audience were very interested and wanted an explanation. So the Chinese government asked Shil Wei Hwa to explain his chart on Japanese television. From that time, Japanese I Ching practitioners knew Shil Wei Hwa's name and he became very popular in Japan.
The following year (1987) Shil Wei Hwa was invited to give a lecture at the International Zhou I Research Conference in Shangdong. He explained his Bagua chart creating a lot of interest and earning him a great deal of respect. All the other I Ching practitioners recognised his profound knowledge of the I Ching. Practitioners all over China began to hear of Shil Wei Hwa. The I Ching became more popular and was recognised as a very high level of Chinese philosophy and method of prediction^
by Michael Tse
An age old question. But now, perhaps the technology exists to prove conclusively what many have known for thousands of years.
I am sure that most people reading this article would say yes to the above question. This would, I hope, be based on your personal experiences using Qigong, and die health benefits you have obtained. However, when as a western trained doctor, I first started to treat patients with acupuncture, I had difficulty accepting the theories of traditional acupuncture as taught in China.
Experience of acupuncture and other energetic therapies, such as homeopathy, convinced me of the existence of a 'Life Energy'. This is not acknowledged by western medicine to exist, and it still tries to explain acupuncture in terms of known physiological pathways. There is no doubt that some of these pathways for example "The Gate Control Theory of Pain", are involved in the effects obtained through acupuncture and Qigong, but I would argue that these are end prcxlucts of an energetic-process.
What we do know is that acupuncture points behave very differently to normal skin. The skin resistance to electrical flow is about 200 000 - 2000 000 Ohms over normal skin but only 50 000 ohms over an acupuncture point. Needling along meridians will also affect the resistance of the point lying on it. These properties are utilised in Electromagnetic equipment such as the Vegatest.
Acupuncture points have also been photographed after a discharge from a Tesla Coil. 25 000 volts at 1000Hz and low amperage, were passed across the skin in the region of an acupuncture point. Indeed, we know acupuncture points are light sensitive and react to light, especially coherent light such as that emitted by a laser. These studies seem to show that acupuncture points act as a window into which we can pass bio-information.
What seems to have clinched the argument though, are two studies and then you plot its progress using a scintillation camera which is sensitive to the radiation emitted by the tracers.
The first was by Dr S. Kovacs et al who injected tracers into anaesthetised dogs. They showed that the tracers follow ed the exact path of the meridians as understrxxi in dogs. This study was repeated in humans by Dr J. C. Darras et al in France using human volunteers.
They showed the following:
1. Acupuncture meridians exist. If a tracer is injected into a point, it follows a path as predicted by our knowledge of the meridians. Indeed, all twelve paired meridians were mapped in the limbs. On the trunk it did prove impossible to map the meridians due to the thickness of the overlying soft tissues.
2. Not only did they map the meridians on the limbs, they also showed that they were not anything to do with the bkxxi vessels, lymph channels or nerve pathways. The flow of the tracers seemed to be along the Interstitial space i.e. the space between the bkxxi vessels and the cells. There are no anatomical structures present
"What seems to have clinched the argument though, are two studies recently published using radioactive tracers injected into acupuncture points."
recently published using radioactive tracers injected into acupuncture points.
Radioactive tracers are used extensively in western medicine. They are used to help diagnose conditions such as bone cancer and clots on the lung. Basically the idea Ls that you inject a radioactive substance into the hxxly there that could conduct information passed to the body by acupuncture point stimulation.
3. They also showed that the tracer flowed both up and down meridians, unlike any other known vessel flow, and that stimulation of a meridian on one side of the body produced an almost immediate flow of tracer on the other side of the body in the paired channel.
4. Interestingly they also needled the kidney meridians of people with kidney disease. They showed that the transmission of tracer along the kidney meridian was much faster in people with kidney disease, compared with controls.
Although these studies do not tell us how acupuncture or Qigong work, they do show once again that "to learn something new we must lcx>k at the old".
I would like to make it clear that I do not disapprove of the use of conventional medicines. I use them a lot. They do work very well a lot of the time and have improved the lives of millions of people. On the other hand I am very excited by the prospect of using Energetic therapies in the next ten years, and I believe that we may be on the threshold of a revolution in medicine. Perhaps more correctly I should say that we may be about to return to the fold, by accepting the observations of all other medical traditions, (other than western medicine), that Life Energy is of vital importance to the maintenance of health, and we can use it to bring about self-healing by acupuncture, Qigong and other Energetic therapies^
by Dr Andrew J. Wright
Kovacs, Götzens, Garcia et al. (1992) Nuclear Medicine and Acupuncture: Experimental study on radioactive pathways of hyperdermically injected technetiun 99m Journal of Nuclear Medicine 33:403-7
Darras J-C, de Vernejoul P, P, Albarede P(1992) Nuclear Medicine and Acupuncture: A study of the migration of radioactive tracers after injection at acupoints. American Journal of Acupuncture. 20:45-56. Nuclear Medicine and Acupuncture message transmission. Journal of Nuclear Medicine 33-409-12
CHINESE KUNG FU SERIES ^CONSUMMATE
ARTS SECRETS ,1 OF THE SHAOLIN
ARTS SECRETS ,1 OF THE SHAOLIN
72 Consummate Arts Secrets of the Shaolin Temple £9.00
In many Shaolin Temple films there is mention of the 72 consummate arts which were secrets of the Shaolin Temple. This book takes 72 training methods to develop special martial art skills and internal training. It has been reprinted several times in Chinese and is here translated into English for the first time.
Competition Routines for Four Styles Of Taiji Quan £9.00
There are many styles of Taiji Quan. but Chen. Yang, Wu and Sun are the most popular. Today, competitions are becoming more popular. This book gives a clear description of what is required of Taiji routines in competition, together with detailed illustrations. It covers all the popular styles of Taiji Quan. Translated by Xic Shoude.
All books subject to availability. All prices include p&p. (UK only) Contact: Tse Qigong Centre PO Box 116 Manchester M20 3YN Tel 061 434 5289
February 12th this year saw the first "Chinese Arts Festival for Wales", held in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, the general public were invited to a day of demonstrations and workshops of Chinese skills, including: Qigong, Taiji Quan, Lau Gar, Wing Chun and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The day was organised by Sifu Peter Newton, founder and chief instructor of the "China Bridge Schcx>l of
Taoists Arts". Peter had invited eight schools from around the United Kingdom to participate.
The event opened with demonstrations from the China Bridge School, whose syllabus is based on the traditional teachings of Chu King Hung of London, F.uropean representative of the Yang family.
The Sch<x>l showed various skills of Yang style Taiji Quan, including Qigong exercises, a section from the bare hand short form and broad sword form. Martial skills were evident with demonstrations of Chi Na techniques and San Sau.
This was followed by Linda Chase-tire xla and her students of "Village Hall Tai Chi" whose main theme of the day was - Taiji for health, and its accessibility to all. Students
Top - Linda Chase-Broda and students. Above - Dr Paul Tien's students.
Top - Linda Chase-Broda and students. Above - Dr Paul Tien's students.
demonstrated exercise and form work. Linda was keen to show how these exercises could not only benefit able bodied people, but also people with physical limitation or even emotional difficulties.
Dr Paul Tien and students from his Manchester based school performed Yang style form work, and Dr Tien displayed his skills with the staff, broadsword and narrow blade sword, including a form encompassing the use of two narrow bladed swords, claiming that his school was unique in its teaching of this double sword form in the United Kingdom.
Bill Jones, a local teacher to the North Wales event brought his students who demonstrated their font) work. What was very interesting to see, was the particular age group of the students, whom I am sure would not object to the classification of'Mature Students'. As the festival was aimed at promoting health, then the Penryhn Dragon students serv ed to clearly show the audience that no matter what age you are, this fonn of health exercise is accessible to all.
By the time the event paused for a lunch break, there were people to be seen everywhere. The audience had grown significantly during the morning and their reactions were evident by lunch time. Many people sought out teachers and students who had demonstrated their skills, and there were many groups of people eager to discover more about Taiji Quan and Qigong. Participating schools had brought leaflets and other information and there was a demand for them!
Apart from the main hall events, there were concurrent workshops including Susan Davies' fascinating talk on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The other workshop that gained so much interest that it filled the room to capacity was Michael Tse's informative Qigong session giving an intriguing insight into this system of exercise.
The North Wales Lau Gar Kung Fu school were let down at the last moment when both of their instructors failed to show, leaving three students less than twenty minutes to organise their demonstrations. They provided an admirable performance of their skills, showing a commendable professional attitude - not to let everybody down.
The instructors from the Rising Dragon School of Tai Chi, captured the audience with a graceful demonstration of their Taiji Quan form, with an eloquent narrative which gave everyone a clear and precise picture of the benefits of Taiji Quan as a health exercise as well as a martial art.
The audience was then treated to an outstanding demonstration by Chris Thomas from Stoke-on-Trent. His mastery of broadsword showed precision of movement and weapon accuracy. The very unusual performance of a form using a walking stick showed how a less offensive looking object could in fact be lethal. Chris explained how this originated from the Hong Kong Police who wanted an effective weapon which was less conspicuous than their trusty Colt .45.
The Tse Qigong Centre from Manchester, headed by Michael Tse gave the audience their final treat, taking people to the edge of their seats, and the applause reflected their appreciation of the demonstrated skills. Michael performed to perfection, Wild Goose Qigong as taught to him by his teacher Yang Meijun.
Sue Johnson gave an outstanding display of the Damo staff and Dragon Shadow Sword, whilst Derek Cribbins gave a detailed explanation of the origins of Chen Taiji Quan and how Chen is dynamic and powerful. He then went on to demonstrate a Chen barehanded form.
The very charismatic Darryl Tam left everyone in awe of his abilities of Wing Chun, including overcoming his opponent whilst blindfolded and with only the r<x>m a table top provided him. Wing Chun it was explained originated as a fighting an developed by a Buddhist Nun.
Darryl's skill showed sensitivity to an opponents energy and skilfully overcame every attack presented to him.
Michael Tse then turned to members of the audience to help him prove the existence of Qi - internal energy, with Qi transmission. When asked, one gentleman explained how he felt and what he experienced. He explained how he had experienced a feeling of great warmth in the area of his back, which had been a problem area causing him ongoing pain. Along with the warm sensation his back pain "lifted".
A lady who participated described how she had felt a spiralling warmth in the area of her Dantien.
Michael asked the audience if anyone could see the Qi during his Qi transmission. Only a handful said they could, and described it as a haze or steam surrounding Michael especially around his hands and head. Michael went on to stress that only when you begin to further your potential and become more aware of the existence of Qi do you begin to see its presence.
A statement bound to have inspired onkx>kers who had witnessed and participated in a thoroughly entertaining and informative day covering so many of the Chinese Arts.
I am sure that I can state on behalf of all those who either participated in the event or came to observe, this was a remarkable day, and that everyone will be kx>king forward to returning next year to the "Chinese Arts Festival for Wales 1995"a by Jill Charlick
Top - Michael Tse transmitting Qi to a member of the audience Centre - Darryl Tarn's Wing Chun Bottom - The China Bridge School of Taoist Arts
Top - Michael Tse transmitting Qi to a member of the audience Centre - Darryl Tarn's Wing Chun Bottom - The China Bridge School of Taoist Arts
Homage to a Qigong Master:
One day, an American doctor visiting China requested an interview with the pioneer of the new Qigong cancer treaunent, Mrs Gou Lin. She said to him, "Even if I tell you about it you wouldn't believe me. You'd better find a patient of mine to talk to."
And so he did. In fact he discovered that over the years hundreds of cancer victims from all
Lin was 's most famous Qigong masters. However, she did not originally choose this life, only when she found she was dying did she turn to Qigong.
out. I promise to be a gcxxi pupil". Thus began his determined struggle against cancer. At first, after a days training he could hardly lift his legs to recovery as a miracle. There are up to 300 dtxumented case histories showing notable success by Gou Lin's cancer therapy.
Professor Gou Lin was bom in Guandong's Zhongshan County in 1906. Being orphaned at the age of two, she grew up with her grandfather who was an accomplished Qigong master in his own right. As a child she learnt the basics of the art and in particular the 'Wu Qinxi' or Five Animal Play.
She did not carry on after childhcxxl with her Qigong, In her youth she entered into fine arts training in Traditional Chinese Painting. At the age of 30 she founded the Beijing Fine Arts Academy which has trained hundreds of painters. The Chinese Fine
"She grew up with her grandfather who was an accomplished Qigong master in his own right."
over China were streaming into Beijing to take pan in the voluntary Qigong cancer therapy classes she had organised in several parks in the city. According to incomplete statistics, hundreds of patients with cancer and other chronic diseases have had their symptoms alleviated and their life spans increased by practising with Gou Lin.
Gao Wenbin, a 59 year old naval officer diagnosed with lung cancer is a typical example. On meeting Gou Lin he said, "I have come to you because I have no other way-
get into bed at night! He went on practising diligently day after day. In his own words:
"I began to sleep well within two weeks after taking up the exercises. Three of four months later my appetite improved tremendously I used to catch cold pretty often but now I am much stronger. Wind or snow, I take Qigong exercises in the open air every night and day and have only caught cold once in three years."
The doctors referred Gao's
Arts Association have had exhibitions of her work and she is commended for her unique expressive pieces depicting landscapes in Chinese ink and brush.
At the age of 40 Gou Lin contracted cancer of the uterus. It was surgically removed and it appeared all was well. Not so. Over the next eight years the cancer reappeared in other parts of her Ixxly and she endured six major operations. Finally, in I960 the cancer metastasised to the bladder. She was given six months to live.
Gou Lin had a strong spirit, and
was determined that the cancer would not get the better of her. She recalled the Qigong exercises and the Five Animal Play taught to her as a child. She began to practise them in earnest - her life depended on it.
However, at this time Gou Lin's health was deteriorating rapidly and for all her will she found she was unable to enter a meditative state and or summon up enough vital energy to carry on with the exercises. Fear of death and physical weakness were constant obstructions.
She decided to embark upon a thorough investigation of Qigong theory and principles and to compare various Qigong styles. Based on her research she devised a set of Qigong exercises for her own use. These consisted of 'Walking' exercises that combined motion with stillness and involved different focuses and demands.
Gou Lin practised for two hours everyday at dawn in the park. In six months her cancer subsided.
"She taught and lectured on Qigong and became a national celebrity in China until her death in 1984."
In 1970 she began to teach her Qigong system to others. Her system came to be known as 'The new Qigong Therapy'. Each day three to four hundred people studied Qigong techniques for cancer treatment with her. She taught nine classes, each with seventy students three times a day. She had nine assistants who she had trained and they all worked tirelessly with her.
Essentially, the 'New Qigong Therapy' consists of five kinds of regulation exercises: regulation of the mind, posture, respiration, voice production exercises and regulation of combined exercises. The patient practises according to his/her ailment, constitution and environment. The cerebral cortex enters a state of protective inhibition, and the functions of the central nervous system are restored and balanced. Yin and Yang harmony is achieved keeping the arteries, veins and channels open so that Qi and blood can flow freely. This boosts the metabolic rate and strengthens the immune system, and the body begins to fight off the cancer.
Gou Lin was able to travel all over China, visiting twenty provincial capitals and centres at the request of various medical officials. She taught and lectured on Qigong and became a national celebrity in China until her death in 1984, twenty years after her life was given up on by western medicine.
She formed a close friendship with Master Yang Meijun, inheritor of the Dayan Qigong system and they also exchanged much about Qigong. It is said that Gou Lin often used to joke;
"My teacher of fine arts despised my stubbornness and tomboyish behaviour. He gave me 59 9, just 0.1 below the pass mark! I made up my mind to surpass him.
If it weren't for that humiliating mark I wouldn't have become an artist.
If it weren't for cancer I might never have become a master of Qigong, would I
by Amy Thanawalla
Cbi Gong; Dong & Fsser, Paragon House, 1990.
The Chinese Way to a Long and Healthy Life; 77)e People's Medical Publishing House, Beijing, 1984. The Wonders of Qigong; China Sports Magazine, Wayfarer Pub, 1990.
Heaven & Earth
With the wealth of knowledge relating to natural science, martial arts and philosophy emanating from the east I sometimes feel like a child in a sweet shop when faced with the prospect of making a decision about which book to buy. So many choices, only one decision, limited budget. In the pursuit of insight and enlightenment I have placed myself in this situation many times hoping to round off my education. My shelf at home bears silent witness to my interests over the years. On closer inspection any keen-eyed observer will notice that some of these Ixx>ks are more dog-eared than others. This condition Is not necessarily a reflection of their age but more an indication of their usefulness to me. Some are direct translations from the Chinese language and as an introduction certainly tested my willingness to leam. One or two are written by very well qualified people from east and west who have researched their subject and presented their ideas in a very readable-way and as such have proved invaluable. Some of the Ixxiks are still in pristine condition waiting patiently for some attention, well, one day maybe.
One, which very definitely falls into the dog-eared category is titled 'Between Heaven and Earth" and is written collaboratively by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Kamgold. It is well researched and thoughtfully written taking the reader through some complicated territory always making sure along the way that you are still with them. The finished work consequently opens up the subject of Chinese medicine in such a way as to make die eastern philosophy comprehensible to the average westerner prepared to invest a little time reading it through.
In issue 11 of Qi Magazine I talked around the subject of five element/phase theory and have been heartened by the feedback. One of the questions often asked is "How do I discover to which element I belong?". Beinfield and
Karngold's Ixxik has devoted over 100 pages explaining five phase theory and provides a self-analysis questionnaire. My advice is to read the characteristics of each element and see which are approximate to your view of yourself. If you are honest you should discover your element. Alternatively you could try something equally as challenging and find Michael Tse in a quiet moment. He will tell you in about 30 seconds. But who wants the easy life anyway!
For those Qigong practitioners with no grounding in Chinese medicine, and I believe that is most of us, the book fills a lot of gaps in understanding some of the medical and philosophical background to your practice. For those who are thinking of starting Qigong I
leave you with a quote from the Ixxik which reflects the Chinese philosophy in relation to health.
"Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom. To cure disease after it has appeared is like digging a well when one already feels thirsty, or forging weapons after the war has already begun." Neijing _
by John Hayes
Between Heaven and Barth, A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Harriet Beinfield LAc and Efran Karngold LAc.OM.D.
Published by Ballan Fine Books (New York)
A GUIDE TO CHINESE MEDICINE
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Breakfast is the most vital meal. It should not be missed in order to refuel your body from functional metabolic changes during long hours of sleep. It is best to include carbohydrates, fats and proteins for an ideal nutrition such as combinations of fresh fruits, bread toast and breakfast cereals with milk. Learn even more tips like these within this health tips guide.