Dr. Young: I would like to do an extended study of people who meditate. It's a venture that would call for a lot of follow up. Were you to take a drug for a month or so it would be fairly safe but were you to take it for 5 years it would not be. In the same way, the medical field is very eager to learn about people who meditate for a lifetime. That might include people who have problems, what the nature of those problems are, how they get problems and what they do to be rid of them. I'd like to know how you came to practice with Master Chia, whether there was any health problem that brought you into it or whether it was simply because you were interested in it.
S: It was a combination of all of them.
Dr. Young: Tell me about your health interest.
S: I hurt my back about 6 years ago and ever since then have a hard job sitting, let alone lying down. I couldn't sleep through a whole night, my neck especially would hurt me. Ever since I came to practice with Master Chia, in fact, immediately upon trying this, the pain abated. As though to prove the point, about 2 or 3 weeks ago I became a little slipshod about my practice. There seemed to be too many different formulae. There are formulae you have to do — exercises might be a better term — and I was pressed for time and began to find excuses. I cut down the number of repetitions that were called for in each of the meditations and sure enough, my neck began to hurt again and my back has begun to hurt gain, too.
I don't really know, it may be a purely circumstantial thing. There may be other factors involved in this case, but it would seem over the years that I tried various things and had no help. It is more than coincidence that when I tried Master Chia's practice it did seem to help. I had the usual orthopedic treatments with hot soaks and analgesics and muscle relaxants, which had me walking around in a stupor. I went to a chiropractor with very transitory results, but with some arrest of pain. Then I went to an acupuncturist, who didn't help at all. I then went to an herbalist who helped a little. This practice seems to have done something, seriously.
Dr. Young: What was the diagnosis?
S: They said that there was severe muscle spasm — especially of the upper back, involving the neck and the area that was subscapular. They also found a portion of my lower back in which the distance between the vertebrae was narrowed. It looked as though I'd have a chronic condition mainly because of some pulled or torn muscle attachments. For almost two weeks after I fell, I couldn't lift my head. Nothing would happen. No inkling of a message (that I wanted to lift my head) would come through. In fact, when I tried to get up, just after I fell, I couldn't. When I pushed myself over onto my side my head just flopped over. Gradually, after two weeks strength came back into my neck muscles, but there was still an assortment of clicking and crunching noises and pains. My head was tilted to one side and one shoulder was contracted and higher than the other for months. The insurance people, in fact, agreed that the whole area was in spasm.
Dr. Young: What did Master Chia suggest you do to cure this condition?
S: He first asked me to relax the area between and around my eyes. That alone helped to heal everything. All kinds of heat and flowing sensations came on on their own. There were various prescribed exercises designed to open up various energy routes. For example, the six healing sounds I found most relaxing. One is advised to do them before going to bed because they are conducive to good sleep. If I slowly stretch in the prescribed manner, allow for the effects to become evident after each time I very y loosen up. My pulse beats differently I seem to throb all over. It has a very quieting effect. Really! Another favorite of mine is also soothing, though in another way. All that it consists of is gazing at a spiral-like diagram until my eyes begin to water and then closing them a rotating them a set number of times, first in one direction and then the other. This produces a very good, soothing, soft, comfortable feeling. Again the area around the eyes seems to be very important.
Dr. Young: Basically, Master Chia taught a lot of relaxation exercises along with meditation?
S: I had developed a lot of tension doing the Micro Orbit and it was a matter of learning the knack of letting it happen that made the difference. Trying to do it interfered with it. First I had to learn how to relax.
Dr. Young: The experience of the Microcosmic Orbit is the main thrust of my investigation. There is a sensation of energy isn't there? Of course, it's not proven and it will be disputed by scientists in the medical field for some time to come. Tell me whether you felt it was real or imaginary and if there were any side effects from your practice.
S: I have been with Master Chia for nearly six months now. I can direct the power to flow in the microcosmic orbit and still not suffer any ill effects. I used to have a lot of heat in my belly and a ringing in my ears as a result of other spiritual practices I tried. Master Chia said that the heat and ringing of the ears should go away as a result of my practice with him. Heat, he explained, is an extreme. He advised me to mix cold chi energy with it and cool it down. I think this helped me to avoid a lot of side effects.
Dr. Young: Do you have warmth left?
S: I can produce it if I want.
Dr. Young: Did Master Chia give you energy or did you get it yourself?
S: I don't know. He said I could get it just by being at his center.
Dr. Young: Then he didn't do it more conspicuously?
Dr. Young: Did he ask you to bring the heat in the Tan Tien (lower stomach) up the back?
Dr. Young: Do you think you use your mind to guide it and therefore it's there? Is there a way for you to tell if it's imagination or not?
S: This approach does involve guiding the energy to wherever you've been asked to. It's done mentally because where the mind goes that's where all sorts of physiological effects have their origins.
Dr. Young: And how do you feel about that?
S: The method was suggested and I found that it wasn't difficult to do. I can feel the heat in my belly and if I think it's going to my back in the area of the Ming-men, it does and when I think/feel it's going up the back it does.
Dr. Young: If you don't try to guide it, will it also rise up the back and flow by itself?
S: Sometimes it does.
Dr. Young: Would you say that those times would give you some clue that your imagination is not needed?
S: Well, I did something in the beginning that he later told me not to do and that was, after the route was established, I let it go by itself and I wasn't concerned about the points along the way.
Dr. Young: That would mean, then, that you have to guide it continually.
S: I'd just let it go by itself and the energy just seemed to zoom around along the route.
Dr. Young: How long have you practiced?
S: About 6 months.
Dr. Young: How many minutes a day did you practice?
S: Maybe three quarters of an hour each time, twice each day. I've been told that I don't have to cycle the route as many times as I had. Originally, I'd been asked to do it 100 times which I never could because I'd lose count.
Dr. Young: How about the timing? How long does a cycle take? A second? A minute?
S: I can't say. It varied but it was not measured in seconds because I had to visualize stations as it were along the way. Eventually, though, he had me just touch on four points at the navel, perineum, lumbar region and at the top of my head.
Dr. Young: What was the effect?
S: It was relaxing and felt warm.
Dr. Young: It helped your back?
S: Yes. I could sit in half lotus comfortably for a fairly long time.
Dr. Young: The muscles were relaxed. And Master Chia didn't suggest to you or have you autosuggest that you are healing your back?
S: No, though he did say that the practice would heal it.
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