The Guiding of Qi

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Guiding or directing Qi means to guide intrinsic Qi to a certain part of the body where outgoing Qi is emitted. This ability is usually possible only when one has undergone serious, long-term training. When guiding Qi, one should have the Qi follow the mind and should be able to control and feel the direction, pattern, nature, and amount of intrinsic Qi. The following exercise is aimed at laying solid foundations for emitting Qi through the hands.

4.2.1 Standing Vibrating with Palms Closed to Guide Qi.

1. Posture. Assume the standing, pile-driving, vibrating posture. Keep the feet shoulder-width apart, and bend the arms to place the palms together in front of the chest. The fingertips should be pointing upward and elbows and wrists at the same level. Imagine yourself supporting an object on the head. Tuck in the chest, and straighten the back, and relax the hips and knees. Rest the tongue on the palate, and close the eyes slightly (Fig 71).

2. Guiding. Breathe naturally and concentrate on the Dantian. When you feel the movement of internal energy (a sensation of warmth and circulation), exhale and have your mind follow it into the Du Channel, through the Three Yang Channels of the Hand, and into the palms and fingertips. When inhaling, guide the Qi back to the Dantian along the same channels. When Qi is circulating freely, keep your atten

tion on the palms and the fingertips with gentle natural breathing. Your palms will feel hot and your fingertips will feel thicker and distended. A tingling sensation and slight vibration, as if something were coming out of the hands, will also occur. Practice this exercise once or twice a day, 5-10 minutes each time.

4.2.2 Single Finger Meditation to Guide Qi.

1. Posture. Assume the standing, pile-driving, vibrating posture. The left hand should be lifted to the left shoulder level. Keep the wrist bent, the index finger straight and the rest of the fingers curved. The tips of the thumb and the middle finger should touch each other to form a ring. The right hand (in the same gesture as the left) is at the right side of the abdomen and the index fingers of the two hands point at each other (Fig. 72).

2. Guiding. Breathe naturally and concentrate the attention on the Dantian. As soon as the Qi in the Dantian is activated, begin to breathe slowly and direct the Qi to the tip of the right index finger. When you feel energy has reached this point (you will feel your fingertip hot and distending as if something is being released from it), then direct the Qi to the tip of the index finger of the left hand. When you feel that there is attractive force between the tips of the two fingers, begin to rap with the tip of the left index finger on the energetic column being emitted from the right. You will get a strong feeling of Qi in the two hands. Next, direct Qi to the left index finger to emit it toward the right hand and repeat the rapping movement. Switch hand positions so the right hand is over the left and repeat the above. Practice this exercise once or twice a day, 5-30 minutes each time.

4.2.3 Palm-pushing and Palm-pulling to Guide Qi.

1. Posture. Assume the standing, pile-driving, vibrating posture. Allow the fingers of both hands to separate naturally. Stretch the right hand naturally forward to the right and bend the left arm so that the left hand is in front of the chest. The center of the

two palms should face each other (Fig. 73). Assume the same posture when the position of the two hands is exchanged.

2. Guiding. Breathe naturally and concentrate the mind on the Dantian. When the Qi in the Dantian is activated, push the palms toward each other, leading the Qi to the Inner Laogong (P 8) of the left palm and emitting it towards the Inner Laogong (P 8) of the right palm. Stop pushing to accumulate Qi between the palms, and draw the palms back to the original position. As the palms move apart, you should feel as if you are stretching Qi. You will get strong feeling of Qi when doing this part of the sequence. Exchange hands and repeat the procedure. This exercise may be practiced once or twice a day, 5-30 minutes each time.

4.2.4 Making Three Points Linear to Guide Qi.

1. Posture. Light an incense stick, and put the incense burner on the table. You can also use a similar object such as a flower or a tree as the point of focus. Assume the standing, pile-driving, vibrating posture. Stretch the right palm naturally in front of the incense with the burning tip of the incense pointing at inner Laogong (P 8) of the palm. The left hand should assume the Single Finger-meditation gesture (exercise 4.2.2). Place the finger behind the tip of the burning incense with the fingertip pointing at the incense tip. The three points—the left index fingertip, the tip of the burning incense and the Inner Laogong (P 8) of the right palm— should form a line (Fig. 74).

2. Guiding. Proceed from the last stance. Breathe naturally and concentrate the attention on the Diantian. When the Qi in the

Dantian is activated, direct the energy to the tip of the left index finger. Exhale lightly, slowly, and fully and focus attention on the incense tip. Continue to emit Qi and send it further toward the right hand. You will have strong feeling of Qi in the Inner Laogong (P 8) of the right hand. During each inhalation allow the Qi accumulate in the Dantian. This exercise may be practiced once or twice a day, 5-30 minutes each time.

4.2.5 Making Three Points Circular to Guide Qi

1. Posture. Assume the standing, pile-driving vibrating posture. Light an incense stick and place it in a holder on a table. As in the last exercise, you can take a similar object such as a flower or a tree as the focus point. Open the two hands naturally to form an equilateral triangle using three points—the two points Inner Laogong (P 8) of both palms and the tip of the burning incense. Mentally draw a circle surrounding the triangle (Fig. 75). Qi will fill the circle as you progress in your practice.

2. Guiding. Allow your breathing to remain natural, and concentrate your attention on the Dantian. When Qi in the Dantian is activated, lead it to the Inner Laogong (P 8) of both hands. Exhale lightly, slowly, and deeply to emit Qi towards the incense tip. Make the three points attract or support one another. Imagine yourself holding a ball with your hands. Move your hands in response to the sensation of Qi. While one hand pulls, the other pushes or vice versa. This exercise may be practiced once or twice a day, 5-30 minutes each time.

4.2.6 Jumping to Guide Qi in Bursts.

1. Posture. Stand with feet shoulders-width apart, bend the knees slowly, and make fists to gather Qi. Inhale and concentrate your attention on the Dantian. When exhaling, jump straight up and stretch the hands out in front of the chest with the fingers separated and the palms facing forward as if they were spreading claws (Fig. 76).

2. Guiding. During inhalation, concentrate your attention on the Qi in the Dantian. Lift Qi to the chest and gather it in the palms. When exhaling (as you jump), concentrate your attention on the center of the palms allowing the Qi to burst out from the Inner Laogong (P 8). This exercise may be practiced once or twice a day, 24 or 48 respiratory cycles

4.2.7 Guiding Qi in Fixed Form.

1. Posture. Sit on or stand by a bed. Rest the left hand naturally on the left knee and put the right hand on the bed. The periphery of the palm should touch the bed but suspend the center of the palm above it. Allow the shoulders and elbows to drop, and keep the elbows slightly bent. The wrists should remain relaxed.

2. Guiding Qi. Breathe evenly and concentrate your attention on the Dantian. When the Qi in the Dantian is activated, move the waist gently counterclockwise or clockwise. When inhaling, lift Qi to the chest. The intrinsic Qi should vibrate and move upward, little by little, and finally reach the palms. When exhaling, the vibration of the intrinsic Qi should vibrate the palms rhythmically. The frequency and force of the vibration will change with the level of mind concentration. When Qi reaches the palm, it will fill the palm and you will feel as if there is an ball inflating under your hand. The Qi should always be centered on the Inner Laogong (P 8) gathering together without dispersion. You should guide the energy generated in this exercise through the different hand forms

each time.

associated with emitting Qi. The motion of Qi and the movements of the hand should always be in perfect harmony.{Refer to section 4.3.1 for information about the hand positions required for the training of guiding in vibration fixed form They include Middle Finger Propping (Zbong Zhi Du Li Shi) Spreading Claw (Tan Zhua Shi), Sword-Thrust (Jian Jue Shi) and Dragon Mouth (Long Xian Shi)]. When you can feel the vibration in the right hand, switch and try the left. After some practice, you will be able to train the Qi to circulate in different frequencies and intensities. This exercise may be practiced 1-2 times a day, 30-60 minutes each time. Generally, it takes 3 months to develop skill in this exercise.

4.2.8 Guiding Qi Spirally.

1. Posture. Any of the three postures (standing, sitting, or lying) will suffice for this exercise. The standing posture, however, is used as an example throughout the following description. Stand with feet shoulders-width apart and place the right hand in front of the right side of the chest with the elbow bent, palm facing forward, and fingertips pointing upward. Allow the left hand to hang naturally at the side, rest on the knees (if sitting) or under the navel (if lying).

2. Guiding. Allow the Qi in the Dantian to turn spirally in a counterclockwise direction inside the body through the chest and the upper extremities to the palms (remember the Qi should follow the mind concentration). With the navel as the center point in the Dantian and the Laogong (P 8) the center in the palms, use the mind to make the spiral synchronous. Beginners should start slowly and increase the speed of the spiral gradually. The spinning size of the spiral is flexible; you can visualize it increasing or decreasing in size as it moves. This exercise requires patience. Do not be too anxious for quick results. The skill of guiding cannot be mastered overnight. You must do the exercise frequently, making full use of all three postures. Be sure to train both hands equally.

4.2.9 Cold and Heat Guidance of Qi.

This guiding exercise conforms to the TCM principle of treating the cold syndrome with hot-natured drugs and the heat syndrome with cold-natured drugs. Heat guidance of Qi primarily requires proper posture adjustment, even breathing, and concentration of the mind on the Dantian. Imagine that the Qi in the Dantian is as hot as the burn ing sun shining all over the body. Shift this heat sensation to the palms as if the hot sun was burning there and giving off heat from the palms, fingertips, or through other hand gestures.

Cold guidance of Qi should also begin with proper posture adjustment, regulation of breathing, and concentration of mind on the Dantian. In this exercise, you should also concentrate on the point Yongquan (K 1). Inhale the earthly Qi by way of the heels, and direct it to the chest and palms. Imagine that the centers of the palms are as cold as ice and concentrate the mind on the coldness there. You should not imagine that your whole body is cold or direct the cold feeling to any other location lest it affect the coordination of activities. The exercise can be done together with other guiding exercises after you have mastered them.

Final Note. Of the above nine forms of exercises for guiding Qi, two or three can be selected for practice each time. After each session, you should stand calmly for a moment, direct Qi back to the Dantian, rub your hands and face, and move about freely for a while to end the exercise.

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Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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