Qigong Imagination

Song Tianbin; Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Health-preserving imagination is one of the health-preserving methods of Health Qigong. This is because the mind concentration of Health Qigong not only involves quiescence but also involves rich imagination which is also know as “visualization”, “Deliberation”, or “Meditation”. In other words, different imaginations are used to regulate the mental balance and achieve both mental and physical comfort. Many Health Qigong exercises, such as Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing, Wu Qin Xi, Liu Zi Jue, and Ba Duan Jin which are already widespread in the world, or newly created Health Qigong•Shi Er Duan Jin, 12 exercises of Daoyin Health Preservation, Mawangdui Daoyin, Taiji Yang Sheng Zhang, and Dawu which are about to be popularized all allow wide space for imagination.

Imaging the blue sky will make you open-minded, serene, bright, and clear; Imagining the blue sky and grassland will make you relaxed, happy, comfortable, and enthusiastic; Imagining the elegant white clouds will make your relaxed and at ease; Imagining the colorful sunglow will lead to warm, leisurely, serene, and beautiful associations; Imagining the bright moon in the sky will make you feel tranquil and pleasantly cool and love, friendship, and family bond will be naturally brewed; Imagining a red sun will make you feel warmth and brightness and enthusiasm and hope will be naturally generated; Imagining blue mountains and deep and secluded valleys will make you calm and refreshed; Imagining an eagle flying in the sky will inspire you to make achievements; Imagining the turbulent Yellow River will fill your hear with lofty sentiments; Imagining the impetuous Yangtze River will urge you to advance bravely; Imagining sweet spring water will make you feel moist all over the body and help you get lively and optimistic.

Remembering the past achievements will boost self-confidence and self-respect; Imagining the past joys will naturally give rise to a joyful mood; Remembering the past interesting news will create a humorous atmosphere, relax the body and mind, and remove the interpersonal barriers.

Imagining innocent and lively children will correct the over-caution of adults and create a sensation of rejuvenation. By imagining the vigor of the youngsters, old people will eliminate the apathy and depression; Imagining the gentleness, quiescence and tenderness of girls will help you correct the vulgar habits; By imagining the expectations of the family, travelers can often be spurred to advance bravely and strive not to lag behind.

Imagining delicious food or plums, oranges, and apricots will promote secretion of saliva, improve the appetite, and facilitate digestion. Tumor patients taking radiotherapy or chemotherapy can imagine rays and drugs killing cancer cells and discharging all of them from the body. While taking the imagination therapy, the exerciser is required to relax the body and eliminate all distracting thoughts. Imagining the smooth blood circulation over the body will help reduce the pains of any disease.

These a just a part of health-preserving imagination. They are called mind concentration on external scenes and internal scenes in Health Qigong.

External scenes can be either dynamic or static and either realistic or imaginary or virtual. For example, “Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails” of Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing and “Tiger Pouncing” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi are “using mind instead of strength” according to the theory of Tai Ji Quan. Since different people have different life experiences, the results may be different even if the same thing is imagined. Therefore the exerciser may imagine mentally and physically pleasant things as much as possible according to his own experience, in order to facilitate the regulation of mental balance and relaxation of both the body and mind and thus to preserve health.

This is also true with internal scenes, which may be the circulation of blood and Qi in the channels, the activities of viscera, the movements of limbs, or the relative quiescent mind concentration on internal organs, acupoints, channels, skin, hair, tendons, muscles, and bones. For example, in “Moving the Hands down the Back and Legs, and Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, the mind is stationed at the kidneys in the waist. Mind concentration on blood and Qi in channels is mostly dynamic imagination of unobstructed channels and well-circulating blood and Qi. For example, the eight extra channels and all twelve channels are available for mind concentration, but Ren and Du channels are most frequently used. During acupoint pressing and self-massage, we have to concentrate the mind on the “Qi acquisition” sensation and assist it with imagination. This will help us enter quiescence and provide better results. Mind concentration on the internal organs is also called “return aura” or “inward-looking”, which is also an imagination. For example, General Treatise on the Cause and Symptoms of Diseases says: “imagine that the red Qi of the heart, green Qi of the liver, white Qi of the lungs, yellow Qi of the spleen, and black Qi of the kidneys are running all over the body.” Thousand Golden Prescriptions for Emergency says: imagine that the great harmonious primordial Qi is shaped like a purple pavilion of clouds hovering in the sky with clear colors, and that this Qi infiltrates the skin and muscles like water penetrating the earth, and directly flows from the head top to Yongquan Acupoints in the soles, moistening all limbs and viscera on the way. Practicing these steps fro 3~5 rounds from time to time, and you will have moist skin and hair, keen eyes and ears, a good appetite, good health, and strong resistance to all diseases. Although the statement is a bit exaggerating, this beneficial psychological suggestion will help remove nervousness and reduce blood pressure from the modern point of view.

To sum up, it involves the full utilization of attention and imagination from the psychological point of view, which are exactly the two most important psychological characteristics of man. Therefore we should make full use of them to accomplish our health-preserving goals.

Health Qigong and Health-Preserving Imagination jsqg.sport.org.cn

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