By Grandmaster Dr Pier Tsui-Po Chi is a Chinese word that is better not translated into English because no English word can accurately describe its meaning. In modern mandarin pin yin spelling, it is spelt as Qi. Japanese culture calls it "Ki" and Indian culture "prana". Irrespective how the word Chi is written, its meaning and essence is similar across cultures. Dim Mak is a martial art of Chinese origin therefore it is best to give descriptions based on Chinese culture. That way, accuracy and authenticity can be guaranteed. Chi exists on Earth, in Heaven and in humans. On Earth, the manifestation and presence of Chi are extended throughout various forms, such as in plants, water, air, or even in animals. In Heaven (the Universe) Chi takes on different forms; where stars and planets such as the Sun, Moon and others exert their influence on us and also on everything else in the universe. In humans, the body is not only reliant on the integrity of its own Chi flow, but also on the dynamic interplay of both Heaven and Earth Chi.
Chi is the vital life force energy that makes birth possible, hence life. Injury to Chi leads to illness and ultimately death since good health requires Chi to flow freely and smoothly throughout the entire mind and body. Chi is THE ingredient that is absolute in sustaining life. It plays an important role in all matters of life, such as good health, happiness, disease, and death. This means that Chi is not only the ingredient that promotes life and death, but it also participates in their formation.
In the martial and healing arts, Chi is recognised by what it does, rather than what it is. I'll explain this further with an example. Let's consider an intriguing mystery that concerns blood circulation in the human body. You know that death follows if blood does not return back to the heart. So let me ask you this question: What is it that makes blood return to the heart, in an average adult over a height of more than five feet, against the force of gravity, and with no apparent motive force?
We cannot say that it is because blood has nowhere else to go after leaving the heart. If we do, it would be like saying the earth revolves around the sun because it has nowhere else to go. Western medicine explains that it is the pressure created by the heartbeat and the valves in the veins that prevent back flow of blood. So what allows the heart to beat or the valves to close? Chinese medicine explains the return of blood to the heart by a theory concerning the energisation of blood by Chi, which in this case acts as a powerful biological life force. Dim Mak being of Chinese origin, uses Chinese medicine rather than western medicine to explain how and why it works. There are of course some fundamental rules concerning this as not all the theories used in acupuncture apply to Dim Mak.
One theory that applies to both acupuncture and Dim Mak is this: "Chi leads the blood, and blood is the mother of Chi."
This is the first the key that unlocks the mysteries of pressure points in Dim Mak. In Dim Mak, once the flow of Chi is stopped, blood flow also stops. Once blood is unable to circulate, it cannot nourish the tissues of the mind and body. Compounded with the fact that blood stops to nourish Chi, illness and death follow. In self-healing, we concentrate on moving Chi through all meridians, ensuring that Chi is neither blocked nor stagnated. Once Chi moves, blood also moves. Movement and exercise usually promote the smooth flow of Chi. In particular, specialist exercises such as Tai Chi, Dao Yin, Chi Kung and some Kung Fu forms are designed especially for this. So is self-massage on various points and meridians.
In Dim Mak theory, various techniques are used to affect Chi. Below are some examples.
• Alter the natural flow of Chi in the meridian system, for example the heart, liver, kidney, lung, spleen, gall bladder, small intestine, bladder, stomach, pericardium, three heater, colon, governor vessel or conception vessel meridian.
• Damage the supply of Chi to the internal organs, for example, the Yin organs such as the heart, pericardium, liver, kidney, lung, spleen; or the Yang organs including gall bladder, small intestine, bladder, stomach, three heater or colon.
• Damage the organs themselves including their functions.
• Damage the aspect of Chi that controls all movement in the body.
• Disrupt the protective function of Wei Chi over the entire body.
• Disrupt the transformation of food, water and fluids in the body. Damage the holding and retention function Chi so that the body's substances and organs cannot be held in their proper place.
• Damage Chi sufficiently so that it stops warming the body.
These eight techniques describe the ones that are used to affect Chi only. My professional manual Dim Mak—The Art and Science of Deadly Pressure Point Fighting explains them in full. During self defence, when the applications of Dim Mak is activated, there are a few points that will stop or damage the body's overall Chi flow. Serious injury, immediate death or delayed death will occur if these points are struck. The point or combination of points chosen will depend precisely on the particular aspect of Chi that is affected in self-defence. CV 17 destroys Chi
Conception Vessel point number 17 (CV 17) is a fine example to illustrate how pressure pints can destroy Chi in the body thereby affecting other bodily functions. This point is also known as Shan Zhong. It is located at the junction of a line drawn from the Centreline and between both nipples in men (fourth intercostal space in women). Injury to this point can stop Heart Chi and Lung Chi from circulating and a blow to this point can also damage the material basis of Chi.
Extreme caution is recommended with CV 17, because it is classed as a Death point in Dim Mak. It is lethal. I recommend urgent medical attention when a person is hit on this point because a severe blow to this point can cause instant death or death within 12 hours.
Energetically, this point is a special point that influences Chi, the respiratory system, and breathing. It regulates Lung organ and the Upper Heater. When this point is struck, immediate symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pain, intercostal neuralgia, laboured breathing, facial pallor and diaphragmatic spasms. Palpitations, hypochondriac constriction with pain, anxiety and inability to speak are also experienced because this point is the Master Alarm point of Pericardium, the protector of the heart. Hitting this point severely binds the chest and sends Chi upwards to rebel against the mind and body. This is because Shan Zhong is the point where Chi gathers in the chest like a "sea". When a person is in good health, Conception Vessel 17 expands and relaxes the chest, diffuses Lung Chi, regulates and tonifies Chi, transforms Phlegm and warms Yang due to its connection with Kidney, Pericardium, Small Intestine and Three Heater organs and meridians.
I remind you that this point is situated directly over the Heart organ. The physical manifestations when this point is struck will cause fracture of the sternum with damage to the heart and lung organs. This will possibly lead to impairment of lung and heart function, including cardiac tamponade and pneumothorax.
When CV 17 is hit in martial arts, two separate sets of symptoms will occur. One set of symptoms will reflect a direct injury to the pressure point and the other set of symptoms will depend on whether the Conception Vessel as a meridian has been struck with the Counterflow technique. Of course immediate death follows if a combination of these techniques has been used. In all cases, the short and long term impact on the mind and body will be very serious if the imbalance of Chi vital energy caused by the attack is not corrected.
There are specific dim mak practical defence techniques that are used to determine the variations in the consequences of a blow to pressure points. Some of these techniques include techniques that neutralise an opponent's blow, techniques that penetrate an opponent's guard and techniques that activate the Counterflow of Chi in the body.
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Looked upon as a mysterious practice, reiki originated from Japan, around 1922. Started by a Japanese Buddhist, this practice of purported healing basically uses the palm of an individual to emit positive healing energy unto the patient. Sometimes reiki is referred to as oriental style treatment by professional medical bodies.