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I would now like to address some questions I have been asked by readers of my books and articles and by people who are using my video to practice qigong.

Question: I have been practicing the Microcosmic Orbit method to straighten and strengthen my back. Now I hear that men and women's qi flows in opposite directions but that some men's qi flows in the female direction, and some women's flows in the male. I am a man, and I have been practicing the Microcosmic Orbit method assuming that my qi flows in the male direction. But my qi flow doesn't seem smooth, and I sometimes suspect that it might actually be of the female type. How can I find out which type I have?

Answer: If you put on the Cosmic Headband, you will know if the direction of your qi flow is male or female by doing the Reflection of Qi Muscle Power test. If your fingers are stronger when the metal badge is in the middle of your forehead, and weaker when the badge is at the back of your head, your qi flows in the direction customary for your sex. But if your fingers are weaker when the badge is in the middle of your forehead and stronger when the metal badge is at the back of your head, your qi flows in the direction customary for the opposite sex.

If you do not have a Cosmic Headband, observe your breathing carefully while making what is known as the Microcosmic Orbit mudra. Place your hands close together, your palms facing, and your right hand above the left hand. Form rings with the middle finger and thumb of both hands. Then connect the rings like a chain and put all the other fingers into the circles (Figure 19-1). When the right hand is over the left hand, qi flow in the male direction is promoted. When the left hand is over the right hand, qi flow in the female direction is promoted. Try it both ways, and you will notice which arrangement of the hands allows you to breathe more comfortably. After Master Li Zhao-Sheng introduced me to this mudra, I found that it can change the direction of qi flow. It seems to function as a "switch" with which qi direction can be changed. This method is very effective for ascertaining the direction of one's qi flow; forty-five out of fifty patients who are sensitive to qi can recognize the change of breathing by making the mudra. In addition, this method is useful when you practice the Microcosmic Orbit method without making a qi ball, and with visualization alone.

Figure 19-1

Mudra of the Micro-cosmic Orbit.

Form rings with the middle finger and thumb of both hands, and connect them.

Bring all the rest of the fingers into this ring.

Form rings with the middle finger and thumb of both hands, and connect them.

Bring all the rest of the fingers into this ring.

(Men place their right hand on top, as shown; women reverse this, and have the left hand on top.)

It is rare, but there are people who are not affected at all by the Cosmic Headband. These people generally fall into two categories: those whose qi is too blocked to react, and those whose qi energy is extremely high and therefore is not affected by the magnetic stimulus of the Cosmic Headband. Those with blocked qi do not recognize a difference in their breathing when they make the mudra, and many of them suffer from headaches caused by stress and stiffness in the neck or shoulders. If you do not feel a change in your breathing, you should continue practicing the basic qigong of the Microcosmic Orbit method that is intended to strengthen your backbone, because the qi within you is not active enough to control the energy of the Microcosmic Orbit. This exercise is also important because it can help you to avoid suffering any side effects as a result of doing the Microcosmic Orbit method.

Question: Since I started practicing the Microcosmic Orbit method with a qi ball, I have been having difficuly falling asleep, and I feel almost as if something is flowing constantly through my body. Also, a painful injury I had a long time ago has started bothering me again. I feel almost feverish, and have headaches.

Answer: You are probably not practicing the basic qigong of the Microcosmic Orbit method which I systematized for straightening and strengthening the backbone. Most people who have the symptoms that you describe are not practicing the exercise properly, or are allowing their qi to circulate in the wrong direction. The energy of the Micro-cosmic Orbit method protects us from illness and keeps us healthy, but since it is deeply interrelated with the body its flow can be disturbed by any imbalance or distortion within the body. When qi is blocked, it is necessary to perform basic qigong of the Microcosmic Orbit method, which involves swinging the backbone either back and forth or from side to side, or doing the "bear" movement. In the past, before I had become aware of the basic qigong method, two or three cases patients of mine experienced these same side effects. But since I introduced my method of basic qigong exercise, which can be practiced using videos, these problems have disappeared.

Another way to avoid side effects is to completely open the downward qi flow. When qi energy increases, qi tends to move upward by itself. Therefore, if the upward flow is promoted too much by the use of a qi ball, qi may collect in the head, causing headaches, irritability, or hot flashes.

Question: I have been practicing the Microcosmic Orbit method every day for six months, and I finally sense the flow of qi in my body. I had been suffering from a weak stomach for a long time, but I am well now and don't tire so easily. Recently, though, my qi flow changed direction. I had a male type before and now I have a female type. Can you explain how this could happen?

Answer: Let me tell you about my own experience. When I mastered the Microcosmic Orbit method, my Chakras opened. As soon as I mastered the Macrocosmic Orbit method, I became able to control the direction of qi flow. This same thing also happened to all my patients who practiced qigong. A couple of years ago, I was invited to a meeting of a qigong group, where I spoke about the Microcosmic Orbit method. One young man said that he had been training in the martial arts and qigong for many years in China. He said that my theory on the different direction of qi flow in men and women was not to be found anywhere in the Chinese classical documents, and that his master had never mentioned such a thing. I told him that it was my own hypothesis and that I had been researching it clinically with ultrasound, thermography, and the AMI machine (which measures the energy of meridians). So although this idea may sometimes be criticized, more and more people are beginning to accept it. A member of a Taoist sect once sent me a document that discusses this difference in qi flow direction between men and women.

When I first introduced my qigong method, most people were not familiar with even the phrase "Microcosmic Orbit." Naturally, my theory that qi flow could change direction during qigong training sessions must have sounded quite strange to people at that time. That's why I waited for a while, until the time was right, to present it. Today we can talk openly with qigong practitioners about the direction of qi flow. People's understanding of qigong has greatly deepened in recent years.

Master Tang Wei-Zhong, who came to Japan to teach Buddhist qigong, once told me that he often practiced making his qi flow in both directions. He also demonstrated this ability to me.

To summarize my thoughts, I would say that the direction of our qi flow is fixed in the stage of the Microcosmic Orbit, but when our skill progresses beyond that, the direction can reverse. But qi flow seems to revert to its original direction after the new qi flow has developed to a certain level. When the Chakras are all open and you have mastered the Macrocosmic Orbit, you will also be able to control the direction of qi flow. This means that after you can control the direction of qi flow in the Microcosmic Orbit method, your Chakras will open and you will then be able to say that you have mastered the Macrocosmic Orbit method. If you can control the direction of qi flow, this means that you are a "hermaphrodite" in terms of qi. By this I mean that you have achieved a combination of maternal and paternal elements, or a balance between yin and yang. When men try to make their qi flow in the direction of a woman's, or a woman tries to make her qi circulate in the male direction, they gain access to feelings and emotions that they have never experienced before.

Question: I work as an acupuncturist. Having mastered the Macrocosmic Orbit method, I am able to absorb qi from earth and space through Xien-Gu and Gai-Hui, and I can release external qi from Lao-Gong of my hands. Mastering this method has greatly improved my skill as an acupuncturist. I do not receive negative qi from patients, and I do not become exhausted very quickly. But when I work hard with patients who have difficult diseases, I do still get tired. Do you think I will ever reach a level at which I will not experience exhaustion?

Answer: I am sometimes asked this same question by osteopaths who use external qi when treating patients. As a general rule, using more than one's limit does produce fatigue. But you must have noticed that you recover from your fatigue much more quickly now than when you were working at the level of the Microcosmic Orbit. You should also find that after you recover from the fatigue, your ability to release external qi has improved. Your ability to release external qi actually develops by repeating this process. Gradually you will come to understand that you are not using your own qi energy, but that you are transmitting qi to patients from earth and space.

External qi is useful for medical practitioners, who often have many opportunities to use it. But I think that training primarily for the purpose of releasing external qi is unnecessary for ordinary people. You can use your qi ability to increase your creativity and expand your potential. It is a waste to limit qi ability to medical purposes. Qi energy is a well-spring of mental activity. You can enjoy it in many different ways.

The chart in Figure 19-2 brings together many of the things that I have mentioned in this chapter. It can serve as a "map and a compass" for the traveller through the world of qi. Refer to it occasionally to get a sense of exactly where you are.

Qi level

Activated qi through the 12 meridians

Microcosmic Orbit

Microcosmic Orbit

Transcendental Orbit

Qi channel

12 meridians

Du-Mai, Ren-Mai

Ren-Mai, Du-Mai, Chong-Mai, Dai-Mai

The entire body

Purpose

Clearing qi blockages, healing oneself

Increasing energy, promoting one's own health

Becoming better able to input/output qi information

Achieving oneness with the universe

Distinctive character

Movement of hands and feet, many restrictions

Straightening the backbone, controlling qi with the qi ball

Clearing Chakras by absorbing qi from earth and space

OM qigong

Diagnosing ability (the "compass")

-

Wearing the Cosmic Headband backward, doing the Reflection of Qi Muscle Power test

Diagnosing Chakra level with the Macrocosmic Ring, 3-pronged and 5-pronged vajras, and the Reflection of Qi Muscle Power test

No need

Self-awareness

Physical experience of the qi sense

Awareness of the energy field that surrounds human beings

Exchange between the Macrocosmos and Microcosmos

Higher than previous level

Illnesses that can be healed

Functional disorders

Ordinary pain and functional disorders

Difficult diseases and mental disorders

Higher than previous level

External qi

Exhaustion when releasing qi, low energy

Still exhausted when releasing qi, restrictions based on distance

No exhaustion when releasing qi, no restrictions based on distance

Higher than previous level

Number of patients at a time

-

One patient

Many patients

Higher than previous level

Brain waves

-

Alpha

Beta and theta

Map and compass for the traveller through the world of qi.

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Responses

  • Timothy Ryan
    Why is my chi flowing in opposite direction?
    8 years ago
  • Bibiana Pugliesi
    Which way does qi flow from the head?
    8 years ago
  • antonia
    When practicing qigong...it if female that places right had over left hand...or male?
    8 years ago
  • JAN-ERIK
    Does qi healing restore one qi?
    8 years ago
  • EFISIO
    Does qi flow in opposite direction in men and women?
    8 years ago
  • cindy
    What is the important of microcosmic mudra?
    8 years ago
  • darlene
    Why is qi stronger on left hand?
    7 months ago

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