Training Qi is the first step in developing the ability to emit Qi. A Qigong doctor usually has to undergo long-term physical (dynamic) and internal (static) exercises before his Qi can be voluntarily regulated, replenished, and circulated down to the Diantian, and then circulated throughout the body and its channels. Wherever a Qigong doctor's mind is concentrated, there is Qi, and wherever there is Qi, there is strength. This is the foundation from which Qigong doctors emit outgoing Qi. Training Qi is mainly achieved through static exercises, dynamic exercises, and Daoyin self-massage.
Posture. A sitting, standing, or lying posture may be selected for the training of Qi. One may select the posture that is most suitable as the main posture and take the other ones as supplementary postures so that any opportunity for practice can be taken. The essentials and methods of posture training have been described in Chapter 2.
Respiration. Reverse abdominal respiration is the breathing strategy best suited for this training. Beginners may first practice natural respiration and then progress to abdominal respiration. When one is comfortable with breathing basics, they can shift to reverse respiration. The purpose of this respiration training is to make the breath become deep, long, fine, and even. This skill comes from a gradual accumulation of experience in respiration regulation. One cannot expect to master it overnight.
Mind Regulation. Setting the mind on the Diantian is the main method of mental concentration when training in static Qigong. The method is literally called concentration on point, which is practiced to open the small circulation (Xiao Zhou Tian) or the large circulation (Da Zhou Tian).
Assume a proper posture, relax, and clear the mind of distractions. Imagine that the turbid Qi within the body is expelled through the mouth, nose, and pores during exhalation. During inhalation, imagine bringing fresh Qi into every aspect of the body. After three exhalations, tap the upper and lower teeth together 36 times then move the tongue within the mouth and swallow the accumulated saliva in three segments. Imagine that the clear Qi of heaven and earth joins the saliva as it descends to the Dantian and nourishes the whole body.
Smooth, even respiration along with concentration of the mind on the Dantian should be carried out in a natural and lively fashion. Voluntary holding of respiration and rigid mind concentration should be avoided.
Training of Qi should be combined with nourishing of Qi in every session. Conditions permitting, it is best to practice between 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m and from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During the rest of the day, you can mainly practice nourishing of Qi. Training Qi requires focused attention and exercising by means of voluntary respiration and mind activities. Nourishing Qi refers to the experience of a static inner health cultivation state in which there is involuntary breathing and mind activities; respiration that is soothing, relaxed, natural and soft; and highly focused attention. During exercise, when you have entered quiescence by practicing reverse abdominal respiration and mind concentration oh the Lower Dantian and when you have achieved a relaxed body breathing that is soft, even, and fine, you can start to do inner health cultivation. Only by combining training with nourishing can you achieve satisfactory results. This step can be called Qi Generating in the Dantian and Circulating All Over. After a certain period of practice, there will be noticeable Qi in the Dantian during exercise, and you may have a feeling of substantialness, warmth, movement of Qi, or other interesting but comfortable feelings. This sensation of Qi will become stronger and stronger as time goes by. When you have entered quiescence, the Dantian may feel hot, and you may experience a stream of warm air (Qi) rushing from the Dantian to the coccyx area. This rush of air will make you relaxed and comfortable all over. Sometimes the point Huiyin (Ren 1) will throb. When this happens, you should guide genuine Qi to circulate along the Du Channel towards the two pairs of Qigong gates Jiajiguan and Yuzbenguan and further, through Baihui (Du 20) and then along the Ren Channel down back to the coccyx. The principle of focusing attention merely when Qi has not started to move and leading it to circulate when it is about to move should be adhered to. To guide genuine Qi to flow in the Ren and Du Channels, mind concentration should be carried out in cooperation with breathing. When inhaling, conduct flow along the Du Channel; when exhaling, conduct it to flow along the Ren Channel back to the Dantian. This is traditionally called small circulation (Xiao Zhou Tian). When you reach the quiescent state, gathered Qi will not disperse; it will circulate naturally along the Ren and Du Channels under the guidance of the mind without the help of breathing.
Carry out the closing process seriously after each exercising session. To perform the closing correctly, shift your mind slowly off the point you have been concentrating on, lead Qi to the Lower Dantian, relax yourself all over, open your eyes slowly, and do some self-massage.
Self-massage includes rubbing the hands, bathing the face (rubbing with palms), combing the hair with the fingertips, and dredging the 12 channels. Rubbing from the chest to the internal aspect of the hands, and along the medial aspect of the arm, will dredge the Three Yin Channels of the Hand. To dredge The Yang Channels of the Hand, rub from the outer aspect of the hands up to the shoulders and the lateral sides of the head and down the lateral aspect of the chest and abdomen. Rubbing from the waist and hips to the feet will dredge the Three Yang Channels of the Foot, and rubbing from the feet to the medial aspect of the abdomen will dredge the Three Yin Channels of the Foot. Repeat the above sequence 10 times. Limber yourself up to end the exercise.
Dynamic exercise for training Qi lays the foundation for the ability to emit Qi. While static exercise gathers and strengthens Qi internally, dynamic exercise lays the foundation for guiding Qi by regulating the channels and strengthening the bones and muscles externally, thereby ensuring Qi to circulate freely. Dynamic Exercise Training Methods
1. Basic Posture. Stand relaxed and quiet, with feet shoulder-width apart and toes clutching at the ground. Allow the hands to fall naturally at the sides. The head should be held as if it is supporting an object. Look straight ahead but see nothing, and place the tongue against the palate. Drop the shoulders and elbows. The chest should protrude slightly; pull the buttocks in slightly, and keep the knees relaxed and somewhat bent. Focus your mind and breathe naturally. After adjusting the posture, expel the turbid Qi three times by way of exhalation as done in static Qigong practice. Then bend and stretch the knees alternately to cause the legs and, perhaps even the whole body, to quiver and vibrate. The amplitude of vibration may feel unnatural at first. After some practice, it will feel more natural, and the vibration will converge toward the Dantian. Eventually, the Qi will become the center of the vibration and the extremities will vibrate only slightly. This is called a pile driving vibration (natural with small amplitude). It is required for all the exercise forms described hereafter.
2. Massaging the Dai Channel (The Belt Channel). Proceed from the last stance. Place the palms on the right side of the Dai Channel, and massage it in cooperation with reverse abdominal respiration. During inhalation, push the Qi of the Dai Channel with the palms (the right is preceded by the left) to flow to the left. The mind should follow the palms. In order to try and sense internal activity, close the eyes slightly to achieve inward vision of the Dai Channel. During exhalation, push the Qi of the Dai Channel to flow to the right with the palms (the left is preceded by the right). All the other actions remain the same as above. Repeat this sequence for 9 respiratory cycles (Fig. 59). Carry out the same technique as above except this time during inhalation push the Qi of the Dai Channel to the right and during exhalation push the Qi of the Dai Channel to the left. Repeat this for another 9 respiratory cycles. Breathing, posture, and mind concentration should be well coordinated during practice. The waist should be relaxed to the utmost and should rotate in small amplitude along with the motion induced by hand manipulations. You may feel your waist as soft as silk, the Dai Channel warm, and the Qi flowing about the waist and circulating freely and Figure 59 vigorously all over the body.
3. Opening and Closing of the Three Dantians. Assume the standing posture as explained in method one. When inhaling, extend the arms (elbows slightly bent) in front of the Lower Dantian with the backs of the palms feeing each other (the point Outer Laogong (P 8) of each hand pointing at each other). Then slowly move the hands apart until they are shoulders-width apart. During this motion contract the abdomen and the anus. During exhalation, bring the hands back together so that the Inner Laogong (P 8) of the hands feces the Lower Dantian and is the distance of one fist from it (Fig. 60). Perform the movement for 9 respiratory circles. Next, move the hands up to the level of the Middle Dantian (Tanzbong (Ren 17)) and perform this movement for 9 respiratory cycles. During inhalation lift the Qi to the Middle Dantian, and send the genuine Qi down to the Lower Dantian during exhalation. The last step is to open and close the Upper Dantian. Move the hands up to the Upper Dantian (the point Yintang (Extra 1)) and do the same hand movements as above for another 9 respiratory cycles. During the initial stages of practice, lift the hands to the Middle Dantian during inhalation and guide the Qi back to the Lower Dantian during exhalation. Qi can be conducted to the Upper Dantian gradually as the practice is carried on for a longer period of time. Important Points
The training of posture in the above exercises uses the standing vibrating posture as its basis. One must combine this posture with changes of posture to get Qi to move naturally with the movements of the exercise.
This exercise is similar to the famous Sinew Transforming Exercise. Certain posturing, proper breathing, and mind concentration are used to get Qi to circulate throughout the body. This exercise builds up the physique and activates its vitality. It is a fundamental skill for emitting Qi. Beginning Double-Nine Yang Exercise
Form One: The Immortals Pointing Out the Way. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale, contract the abdomen and anus, and lift Qi from the Lower Dantian to the Middle Dantian. Simultaneously, move both hands upward to the sides of the waist with palms facing up and elbows bent. As you exhale, guide Qi to the right hand. The position of the right hand should be such that the four fingers of the hand are close together and the thumb stretched, the center of the palm hollowed and the joint of the wrist bent up a little.
When guiding Qi, direct internal strength to the arm, push the hand (palm erect) forward, and gather strength in the thenar eminence minor of the hand. As you inhale again, make a fist and draw it back to the chest. Open fist and face palm downward and press. Turn the left palm up and lift it to hold Qi up to the Middle Dantian. When exhaling, push the left hand forward in the same method as described for the right hand. Repeat the process 9 times for each hand. Finally return the hands to the front of the chest, and hold up to the Middle Dantian. Turn the palms to face each other in preparation for the next step (Fig. 61). Note: This form is used to train Qi of the Shaoyin and Sbaoyang Channels. During exhalation, direct internal strength to the arm and push the hand out with the palm dented a little to gather strength in it. As you practice direct internal strength to the arm, palm, thenar eminence minor, and further to the small finger to make Qi pass all through the Channels of Hand Shaoyin and Hand Shaoyang. Along with the vibrating, Qi will be continuously sent from the Lower Dantian and drawn back into it.
Form Two: Pushing Eight Horses Forward Proceed from the last stance. Exhale and direct Qi to the shoulders and arms. With the two palms facing each other, the thumbs stretched, and the four fingers of each hand close to each other, push the hands out slowly until the palms are at shoulder level. Bend the thumbs upward and pull them back. Depress the palms to make Qi fill the tips of the four fingers of each hand (Fig. 62). As you inhale, relax the extremities. Bend the thumbs upward and pull them back, bend the elbows slowly, and draw the hands back at the hypochondria. Repeat for 9 respiratory cycles. To end this sequence, draw the palms back and cross them in
front of the chest. Note: This form is used to train the energy of the fingertips. Qi is directed mainly through the Yangming Channel of Hand Taiyin to the palms and the fingertips. A distending or hot sensation in the fingertips means that Qi has reached its destination.
Form Three: The Phoenix Spreading Its Wings Proceed from the last stance. Exhale and set the crossed palms apart from each other. Direct Qi to the two arms. Bend the fingers back (the four fingers close together) as if the Inner Laogong (P 8) was going to protrude. Face the back of the palms toward each other and push them apart until the hands, elbows, and the shoulders are at the same level. Fingers should remain still bent backward with the Inner Laogong (P 8) protruding (Fig. 63). Inhale. Turn the palms so that they face each other. Bend the elbows and slowly draw the palms together until they are again crossed in front of the chest. Draw them back to the sides of the chest to get prepared for the next step. Repeat for 9 respiratory cycles. Note: This form is aimed at training of the Channels of Hand Jueyin and Hand Shaoyang. Qi is accumulated in the Inner Laogong (P 8) when the hands are pushed out and in Outer Laogong (P 8) when the hands are pulled back and sent back to Dantian. As a result of persistent training of this form, the line of Qi will always be kept in the palms between the Inner and Outer Laogong (P 8). It is a very important form for guiding and emitting outgoing Qi.
Form Four: Holding the Sky with the Hands Proceed from the last stance. Exhale while lifting the palms slowly. When they get to the point Ltanquan (Ren 23), turn them outward slowly as you continue to lift them until they are above the head, as if holding something. The arms should be stretched and the fingertips of the two hands should point at each other about a fist apart. The fingers should be closed together with the thumbs abducted (Fig. 64). Inhale and rotate the wrists to get the fingertips pointing upward. Lower the hands until their
Inner Laogong (P 8) face the Ren Channel. Repeat for 9 respiratory cycles. To end this segment, place the hands at the sides of the chest with palms facing upward in preparation for the next step. Because the movements are long in both directions, you may inhale and exhale as necessary to keep yourself comfortable. Just be sure you are in full exhalation at the top of the movement and full inhalation at the end. Note: This form is aimed at training the Three Yin Channels of Hand. It can make Qi flow along the Three Yin Channels of Hand to the face of the palms, then along the Three Yang Channels of Hand downward.
Form Five: Scooping the Moon from Water. Proceed from the last stance. Exhale and move the hands away from the sides of the body. Bend the body forward with the arms hanging loosely. Draw the hands between the feet with fingertips pointing at each other until they are one fist apart (Fig. 65). Accumulate energy at the fingertips as if holding a bulky weight. Inhale, straighten the waist naturally to hold the moon up to the sides of the chest, and direct Qi to the Dantian. Repeat the above process for 9 respiratory cycles. To end this segment, point the palms upward at the sides of the chest and prepare for the next step. Note: When bending forward, you should move your waist smoothly and slowly. The eyes should be closed slightly to look at the moon (a round object or a light mass or a tiny glittering spot that can be taken as the moon). The hands probe as if, trying to catch the moon and then holding it up to the Dantian. This exercise is good for nourishing genuine Qi, reinforcing the kidneys, and regulating both the Ren and the Du Channels.
Form Six: Holding the Ball and Stroking It Three Times. Proceed from the last stance. Exhale while moving the hands to the right side of the body. Palms should be
facing each other with the right hand above the left and as if holding a ball. While inhaling, pull the palms a little farther away from each other as if the ball were being inflated. Next, exhale and press the ball as if to compress the air inside it (Fig.66). Repeat the above for 3 respiratory cycles.
Rotating the palms simultaneously, bring the left hand above the right as if to turn the ball upside down in front of the abdomen. Repeat the inflating and compressing sequence for 3 respiratory cycles. Finally, shift hands to the left side of the body, and turn the ball upside down to get the right hand above the left. Repeat the inflating and compressing sequence for 3 respiratory cycles. Let hands stay at the left side for the next step. Note: This form is practiced to direct Qi to the palms to fill the six channels in the hand.
Form Seven: Moving the Palms As If Setting Tiles on the Roof. Proceed from the last posture. Inhale, stretch the left palm forward, and draw the right palm back. Then exhale and stretch the right palm forward, drawing the left palm back. (Fig. 67) Perform this sequence for 9 respiratory cycles. When the sequence is complete, move the hands to the sides of the chest with the palms facing up to prepare for the next segment. Note: This form is aimed at dredging the Three Yin and Three Yang Channels of the Hand to get Qi to reach the palms.
Form Eight: The Wind Swaying the Lotus Leaf. Proceed from the last stance. Exhale and stretch out the palms slowly until the palms and elbows are at shoulder level (Fig.68). Cross the palms with the left above the right and both palms facing upward. Inhale and slightly depress the thenar eminence to facilitate flow through the Hand Taiyin Channel to the tips of the thumbs. When exhaling, push out the thenar eminence
minor to facilitate flow along the Hand Taiyang Channel to the thenar and the tip of the little finger. When inhaling again, draw the hands back to the chest as in the starting position. Repeat this exercise for 9 or 18 respiratory cycles. To complete this segment bring the hands (palms upward) to the chest in preparation for the next form. Note: This form activates the channels of the Hand Taiy'tn, Hand Taiyang, Hand Shaoyin, and Hand Shaoyang, making the Qi of these Channels circulate continuously.
Form Nine: Regulating Qi All Over. Proceed from the last stance. Exhale and turn the palms so the fingertips point forward. Stretch the palms out until the shoulders, elbows, and wrists are at the same level (Fig. 69). Inhale and turn the hands so the backs of the palms are facing each other. Separate the palms to draw an arc with them, and lift Qi to the armpits (Fig. 70). The palms should be facing up and the fingertips of both hands pointing to the sides of the chest. Stretch the palms out again when exhaling, ready to draw another arc. Repeat this sequence for 9 or 18 respiratory cycles. Note: This form combines heaven, earth, and human into an organic whole and regulates the Qi of the whole body in preparation for the final form.
Closing Form of Double-Nine Yang Exercise. Overlap the two hands (right over the left for men, vice versa in females). Apply them to the lower Dantian. Stop vibrating gradually and restore equilibrium. Breathe naturally and concentrate on the Dantian for a while. Rub your hands and face and move freely to end the exercise.
188.8.131.52 Exercise of Kneading the Abdomen to Strengthen the Active
This exercise is an auxiliary to static and dynamic Qigong for training Qi. Practicing it in combination with static and dynamic exercises can strengthen internal organs, and reinforce intrinsic Qi. This exercise also serves to increase strength and can avoid any risk of deviations due to undesirable opening and closing of the points. This is especially important to those who are versed in Qigong practice and who carry out treatment of patients by emitting outgoing Qi. If they treat patients and do not practice these kinds of exercises, they may become insufficient in active substance, deficient in Qi, and weak in strength. If they emit outgoing Qi to treat patients, their health will be easily impaired by pathogens because they are not strong enough internally to prevent their points from improper opening resulting in lowered resistance to external pathogenic factors. This can cause local discomfort or a morbid physical state, which can lead to a general disorder of activities, and eventual collapse of the achievements gained through long-term practice. Kneading the Abdomen to Strengthen the Active Substance is not only an auxiliary exercise for strengthening the intrinsic Qi, but indispensable for those who treat patients with outgoing Qi. Methods
Lie supine on the bed with both legs stretched naturally and hands at the sides of the body. The whole body (especially the viscera) should be relaxed. Dispel distracting thoughts, and breathe naturally with the tongue pressed against the palate.
Place one palm (the right palm for males and the left palm for females) on the abdomen under the xiphoid process and rotate the palm clockwise for males and counterclockwise for females to knead the upper abdomen. Do not exert force intentionally or let the hand get stiff. The correct manipulation should be natural and gentle and should give a soft sensation under the palm inside the upper abdomen. Avoid distractions, keep inward vision attentively, and concentrate the mind on the Middle Dantian. One should neither forget the flow of Qi or speed up its flow; simply let it progress naturally. Maintain natural breath with a calm mind, and try to get the pleasant feeling of warm, gentle, and continuously flowing Qi under the palm. Each practice session should last 15-30 minutes. The time can be increased gradually to one hour but over-fatigue of the arm should be avoided. Carry out the kneading three times a day—in the morning, at noon, and in the evening—or twice a day—in the morning and evening.
After practicing about a month, as Qi accumulates gradually, you may feel that your stomach is consolidated and your appetite and sleep improved. You may also have the feeling of Qi in the mid-upper abdomen when it is pressed. The straight muscles of the abdomen may gradually become more solid or bulged, which may appear more clearly when you direct or exert strength to it. In this stage, the midline from the xiphoid process to the navel may be still soft and dented indicating that in the Ren Channel is still not substantial. To improve it, massage the midline with your palm and strike along it gently with a hollow fist. The dent will eventually disappear, as the Qi in the Ren Channel will become more substantial. This goal usually takes a hundred days to attain.
As a following step, perform clockwise kneading to the right side of the abdomen in a spiral fashion from under the ribs down to the groin. Use the right palm first. Repeat 12 times. Do the same movement, 12 times counterclockwise, with the left palm on the left abdomen. When this is complete, with the right palm, massage the lower abdomen where the Lower Dantian is located in a circular manner for 15-30 minutes. Next, pat the same area with a hollow fist for a comfortable period of time. By doing so, the Qi, and the whole abdomen, will become substantial and will be strong and solid in about a hundred days. When you have completed massaging the abdomen, the next step is to strike on the midline and right and left sides of the chest with a hollowed fist in the manner described above. Long-term practice! of this exercise will make both the chest and the abdomen substantial, indicating that both the Ren and Chong Channels are full of Qi.
At this stage, you can direct Qi into the Du Channel and ask someone to pat along it, and along the first and second collaterals of the Urinary Bladder Channel, up and down and vice versa. Then ask the assistant to rub these places with his or her palm in order to get Qi even and full. In this way, the Du Channel will be substantial with in about a hundred days.
When the Ren and Du Channels are filled with consolidated Qi, you can carry out patting yourself on the upper and lower extremities from top to bottom, with emphasis on the regions where there are plumpy muscles. The patting ot striking of other parts can be done with the palm, a hollow fist or a specially made wooden hammer. With about one year's practice of Kneading the Abdomen to Strengthen the Active Substance in the Body, you may feel that you are full of substantial Qi and vigorous all over. Your resistance to external pathogenic factors will be strong, your points will be opened and closed desirably and will not be affected by turbid Qi. From that point on, you can take some time every day to do the kneading of the abdomen and patting on the extremities to maintain proper circulation and substance.
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