Fouth Pillar: Qigong cultivation of life force

Fourth pillar of chinese medicine is Qigong. Qi means breath vitality and gong is skill. It is the skill of using breath to maintain vibrant health. Regular practice is used to prevent and treat illness, reduce stress, and integrate mind, body, and spirit. There are many types from Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian practices, to Martial Qigong, Health and Longevity Qigongs, and Medical Qigong. Medicine is what heals both internal and external. We will share some of each Qigong style in this section.

Be aware that China has a long 4000 year history.  There was continual evolution in the areas in  medicine, physical culture, religion, and philosophy, art, politics, and martial arts throughout this historical timeline. The ancients already had terms like Dao yin (breath and movement), Du na (exhale-inhale breathing methods),  Xingqi (Promoting and conducting qi),  Fuqi (Taking qi),  Shushu (breath-counting),  Zuochan (sitting meditation), Zuowang (sitting in oblivion) Shi Qi (living on qi),  Jingzuo (sitting still), Nei qi (internal qi), and Wei qi (external qi).

Free Follow along videos.  Enjoy.

When it comes to learning neigong, qigong, and meditation, it is important to proceed with caution.

You have to be gentle with yourself and your mind’s intention called “Yi” as qi cannot be forced by intention.  Forcing the body to try to make qi will cause some burnout and make the liver and kidney stressed. Blockages, stagnation, and even reversal of the natural normal pathway of qi can occur. This is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. We are trying to cultivate the life force naturally. Do not get nervous about not being able to stop thoughts. Go with the flow. If thoughts cannot be stopped, take a short break or just simply do not proceed until you can quiet the mind some. Do not seek visions or use visualization. Use feeling; listen within in a casual way. Have pure intention and be morally pure rather than chasing after power, money, and acting in competition with others as these will only lead to more stress.

Prescription Qigong:  benefits come from daily practice. Diligence! For 10 weeks, each day, try one of these fundamental Qigong sets. Journal the experience. Communicate back if you do not feel better after 100 days. – Matthew

Some pointers: The only way to find your Qi, is to be in the present moment and using your feeling. You cannot have a mind stuck in the past or thinking about the future.  Find a quiet place free of distractions. Simply sit in stillness, this helps calm the mind. Be aware of your body. Relax your shoulders, arms, wrist and hands. Hands on your lap or knees, chest relaxed, upper back slightly rounded, and tongue on roof of mouth. The nose naturally breathes and the belly expands on inhale and contracts on exhale, this lower diaphragm “dan tien” area is below belly button.  Most importantly, stillness is the key and relaxing in the sense of letting go physically, mentally, and emotionally will be critical. Seek out tension in the body and release it.

Deep Dive into the Dan Tien for at least 10 minutes before starting! More details here.

Jingzuo 靜坐 “quiet sitting” Qin dynasty 221-206 BC and Zuowang 坐忘 “sitting and forgetting” in Tang dynasty 618-907 AD. It is a Taoist “wu wei” pure awareness meditation to harmonize with Dao. Observe the breath: chest rise and fall, abdomen expand and contract. Vipassana, Zen/Chan, and mindfulness meditation are nearly the same method.
Healthwise, still quiet sitting therapy can help with various problems like: dizziness, lightheadedness, palpations, restlessness, insomnia, blurred vision, tinnitus, panic attackes, anxiety, moodiness, forgetfulness, weak constitution, indigestion, lacking motivation. It is more effective when added to qigong and tai chi movement therapy.
Health depends on breathing. We cannot live long if our breathing stops. Breathing helps with the circulation of blood and lymph. Exhale releases carbon dioxide and inhale brings in oxygen. Blood can be blocked by incorrect breathing. Also half of our blood is deposited in our abdomen, so poor abdominal breathing can result in stagnation of blood flow and this can cause malfunctions in internal organs.
1. Keep the body still
2. Keep the mind still
3. Tune out all thoughts, lose the self/ego.
We’ll use Zhuangzhi’s (369-286 bc) “Listen to breathing” Mind tranqility method. Gather your thoughts and heart-mind before starting , Listen to nose and lungs, listen to the inhale and exhale. Listen to the qi, listen no more, merge with the Dao the great void, Wuji.
Key points: breath with the nose, eyelids are like curtins or closed, use the lower dan tien, noiseless breathing that slowly lengthens. *the chattering of the mind may interrupt the breath, bring awareness back to the breath. *Let go of everything, forget everything. *dwell in own being: present and empty *release and forget moment after moment,. Release and forget even releasing and forgetting.

Baduanjin “8 Piece Brocade” an excellent start for beginners

6 syllable formula. Transform stress and negative emotions. sitting version (less audible): each sound affects a internal organ: SSSS for lung (positive: joy, negative: sad and grief), Whooo for Kidney (positive: courage, negative: fear), Shuuu for Liver (positive kindness, negative: anger), Haaaa for Heart (positive patience, negative: impatience), Huuuuu for Stomach (positive: centered/grounded, negative: worry and pensiveness), and Heeeee for Triple burner.

6 syllable formula standing version: each sound affects a internal organ: SSSS for lung, Whooo for Kidney, Shuuu for Liver, Haaaa for Heart, Huuuuu for Stomach, and Heeeee for Triple burner.

Other Qigong we teach:

Longevity health maintenance Qigong.
18 Taiji Qigong,
Hua to’s 5 animals,
Yi Jin Jing “Muscle tendon change classic”.
Zhan Zhang: 5 element palms and Yiquan variations,
Xiang gong “Fragrant qigong”,
Microcosmic Orbit,
Medical qigong: Goulin Walking Qigong,
Internal nourish Qigong,
Roborant qigong,
Lower Blood pressure Qigong,
Coronary Artery disease Qigong,
Soothe Liver Qigong (Liver Disease),
Daoyin for Diabetes,
Weight losing body building Qigong,
Innate yin qigong for Menopause,
Tight and Relax Qigong for Insomnia,
Float and merge Qigong for Chronic Fatigue syndrome,
Lower Back and painful legs Qigong,
Cervical Spondylosis qigong,
Myopia Vision Improve qigong,
Qigong for heart, Spleen, Stomach, Lungs, Liver, Kidneys.
Qigong for: head, neck, Ears, Shoulders and Arms, Sternocostal, Abdominal, Waist, and Lower legs.