I am hoping that you will help me in this matter with your valuable advice.
I had a bad chest infection about a month and a half ago, and a very bad cough. After treatments with two courses of antibiotics my chest infection finally was gone but my cough seems to have become permanent and it is very painful. I had two X-rays and both show my lungs are clear and there does not seem to be anything wrong. I can't even go to work due to these coughing fits. I started practising Qi Gong a few months ago but then stopped for no special reason. After my chest infection I started again and I am practising as regularly as I can. (Balancing Gong and Taiji Qigong). This does not seem to help much. e Can you please suggest a
Qigong exercise for this problem. I feel I am beginning to damage my lungs due to this excessive coughing.
I also have one other question to ask you and this relates to my Qigong practice. When I am practising, ( I practice at night, between
II pm and 1 am), when I do the Cloud Steps, after completing it when I come back to stand for the next exercise I noticed a few times that I see a line of radium like light coming down the wall straight between my legs on the floor (or going up the other way). This remains visible for maybe ten seconds or less and then slowly disappears. I was frightened the first time but since I didn't feel anything bad after that I ignored it. Still I am worried about what or why that might be. Please can you tell me if I am doing something wrong for which reason this is happening and if I should continue with it. I will really appreciate your help in this matter and also the problem with my coughing.
Gratefully yours, Jawaid
Thank you for your letter. First to answer your question about the light that you see. Most likely this is Qi that is emitting because of your practise. Some people have the potential to see colours or a haze or mist even without practising Qigong. It means you already have some prenatal potential for this, but do not let it worry or distract you. It is normal.
About your coughing, it sounds as if you have a dry type of coughing which means there is not enough lubrication in your lungs. First, I recommend that you do Horse Stance after you have finished with your other Qigong practise. You can also do it in the morning or afternoon, separately as well. This will make your kidneys stronger. Kidneys are in charge of producing and distributing fluid in the body. If the kidneys are weak, then there will not be enough fluid in the body and the lungs will be affected, because even lungs need moisture to function well. Although the Balancing Gong is very good, it is still quite Yin and you need something stronger to bring up the Qi in the body. That is why I say to do Horse Stance because it is very powerful and will heal the problem.
The next thing is to get as much fresh air as possible. So when you practise the Qigong and do the Horse Stance, open the windows or better yet, go outside to a park or good environment area to practise. Then you will get lots of fresh Qi which will make you recover more quickly.
If you have any ^ more questions, please let me know and I will do my best to help.
With kind regards, Michael Tse
Q: In the Balancing Gong movement, Peeping Monkey, why do we look down when we turn to the side and look up when we face the front?
A: Usually, when we do Qigong exercises the Qi will go where ever we are looking. For example, if you look at your hand, your Qi will go to your hand. This means your eyes are very powerful, as they will help to create the flow of Qi. In Peeping Monkey, when you
look up you connect with the Qi from the Sky and when you turn to the side and look down, you will connect with the Qi from the Earth. So you balance both.
In other movements you might move forwards and in these you usually look straight ahead. Other movements make the Qi go to the Dantian, but you should not look down, instead you just use your mind to sense your Dantian and that will be enough.
Q: When doing Ma Bo - Horse Stance, should the feet be parallel or should the toes point out?
A: If you practise regularly, you will find that having the toes pointing out slightly is more comfortable. This is because the Qi can flow. With the feet parallel, the knees and ankles are blocked. This is more usual for martial arts training where we want the stance to be solid, especially if we need to use power (Fajing). If you stand with the feet parallel for a long time, it can affect your knees and ankles. For Qigong, we do not need to be so solid and we want the Qi to flow more. So in this case it is better to be more comfortable and let the toes point outwards slightly.
Q: In the Balancing Gong Movement, Roc Extends the Wings, why is there a slight "bouncing" motion as you close and open your arms? A: This is not really a bouncing motion, what you can see is the energy of the movement changing. As the arms close, you need to relax your shoulders to let the Qi go to the back, otherwise the Qi will be blocked and stay in the hands. When you open the arms, you start the movement from the kidneys and your upper body will not be tense.
Q: How low should we go when we do the first three movements of Balancing Gong?
A: How low you go is actually not the important thing. The most important thing is to keep your body straight, so that the Baihui, Huiyin and Yongquan Points are in a vertical line. When you bend your knees, you should feel the pressure on your thighs and they support your weight and your waist should be loose.
This also applies to many other movements where you keep your body straight and bend your knees to go up and down.
Dear Mr Michael Tse,
First and foremost I am sorry if i have addressed you in an incorrect way. I have a problem which is I am very thin for my height and age. I would not mind being thin if I was healthy and strong. As time has gone on I feel that my circulation has become weak. This is making me very concerned and depressed. I was wondering if you could help me in any way. I know what i am asking for seems a lot but any advice would be appreciated. I am 5'10 tall and weigh 126 pounds. Yours Faithfully M
Thank you for your letter. You should not be embarrassed about something which worries you. The best way to solve any problem is to face it and find the best way forward. Sometimes the things we do in our life, like too much work, too much studying, even too much worry, will affect our health.
In the Dao de Jing, it says we should keep to the middle way and try to keep ourselves balanced. That way, even when we have problems, we can always recover ourselves, because it is not too far back to our centre. It is the same for our bodies. When we are healthy, we will have energy and we will feel good. Our energy is stored in our Lower Dantian, in the area below our navel. For men, this area is related to the kidneys and Jing, which is your sexual energy. For ladies, this area relates to Original Qi and where the baby is nurtured. So the Dantian is very important. It is the centre of our bodies, where everything can grow. However, if we are disturbed or ill, then it will affect the Qi in this area. We may feel tired, worry a lot, lose direction and find our health changed.
So the first thing when we are ill is to bring ourselves back to be balanced. We can do Qigong exercises that will make the kidneys stronger and they will create more Qi. I always suggest that everyone does Horse Stance. There are similar postures to the kind of Horse Stance I recommend that are also used as foundation exercises in many martial arts. However, they will tend to stay in a low or middle stance for a long time with
their hands closed in fists and held close to their sides, without moving up or down. This stance will create a lot of power and make the body strong. But the Qigong way is to consider not only power but flexibility.
This is because our body is like a tree. Our legs are the roots and are our foundation. Our body is the trunk and will develop the branches, the leaves and fruit. When we ^ make the roots stronger, then of course, they will bring more nourishment to the rest of the tree. So the kidneys will be very strong and you will find even your bones will get much stronger the longer and more you practise. However, we also need flexibility. When we can move in all kinds of ways, it means will not have any serious joint injuries and that we can stay younger. It means that do Qigong, they learn a set of exercises in class called Balancing Gong and then Healthy Living Gong. They also learn some warm-up and stretching exercises which will bring up the circulation and Qi very quickly in the body. At the end of class, we will always do meditation together.
When we do igong we are reating postnatal Qi.x we will also be more open minded and accept all kinds of situations in life without becoming too upset.
Chinese skill likes to build things slowly, step by step. It is not like in the west where everyone wants instant results. The results that you can see quickly, are also the ones that can go away quickly. But those things which take time to build up and are slow to grow, they will last a long time, just like a mountain. So when we do Horse Stance, you will start to feel results soon, but if you want to keep the benefits, you must carry on with your training. Sometimes you may not have much time, but even a few minutes will help. A drop of water, if consistent, can wear away stone over time.
This is the physical side of being healthy. We also have to consider the heart and mind. Usually when my students
Qigong meditation is for settling the Qi back to the Dantian. When we move, we are bringing the Qi to different parts of the b od y fo r op en in g blockages and healing problems. When we meditate, we bring the Qi back to the Dantian where it is stored and can be used later.
Most people are always using their Qi, when we work, eat and play. So this means we are using our vital energy. When we are born, we only have so much vital energy that is given to us. This is determined by our parent's genetic history and also by the environment during the pregnancy. Some people will live long lives, some shorter, some not very long at all. We call this prenatal vital energy, or the energy with which you born. When we do Qigong, however, we are creating postnatal Qi. When we use this energy to work, eat and play, then we are not using out vital energy from birth. Instead we are using the Qi created from our Qigong practise. This is how some Qigong people live a very long time, even over 100 years of age.
If the only exercise you know and will be practising is Horse Stance, this is still very good, because we do the Horse Stance in a Qigong way that will cover both movement and meditation. First you stand with feet shoulder width and arms held out to the sides of your body. Your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your palms facing the ground. Now bend down your knees about six inches. Keep your back straight and head up, eyes looking forward. Close the mouth and breathe through the nose, but keep your eyes open. If you can, now try to go lower. In this lower posture, you should try to keep the thighs parallel to the ground. You may lean forward a little but, but your head should be in line with the soles of the feet all the weight supported by the legs, not the back.
Most people can only do this lower position for just a few seconds in the beginning. When you cannot hold it any longer, you rise back up to the starting posture. Keep alternating like this, trying to hold the lower positions for as long as possible and then letting the Qi settle when you come back up.
When you are finished, after 5 or 10 minutes the first time and building up to longer, then stand up straight and smooth the palms of your hands over your nose, eyes, top of head, back of head, ears, mouth. Do this a total of three times.
Now lower the hands to the side of the body and let them relax for a second. Now open the arms to the sides of the body until the arms are extended fully at shoulder height, palms facing upwards. Now bend the elbows and bring the hands to lower past the face, the neck, the chest and to the Lower Dantian (at the belly). Repeat this movement twice more. These last three movements are a closing movement called Shou Gong and it brings the Qi back to the Lower Dantian to store.
If you do the Horse Stance three times a day, building up to 20 minutes, even 30 minutes, then you will be very healthy. If you can do outside, taking in more fresh air, then you will benefit even more. Otherwise you can do inside and open a window, but this is not as good as being outside and connecting with nature. When we connect with nature, we are exchanging Qi with something living and will get a lot more energy to make us healthy and happy. If you have any further questions, please let me know or you can call. Best wishes, Michael Tse
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