Commentary on the Mirror for Compounding the Medicine

Precelestial breath, Postcelestial breath. Those who obtain them always seem to be drunk.

The precelestial Breath is the original and initial Ancestral Breath.1 This Ancestral Breath is in the real center of Heaven and Earth within the human body. [Placed between] the Secret Door and the Gate of Life, hanging in the middle, it is the Heart of Heaven.2 The self-cultivation of the divine Immortals only consists in collecting the precelestial One Breath and using it as the Mother of the Elixir.
The postcelestial Breath is the Breath that circulates internally: one exhalation, one inhalation, once coming, once going. “Exhaling touches onto the root of Heaven, inhaling touches onto the root of Earth. On exhaling, ‘the dragon howls and the clouds rise’; on inhaling, ‘the tiger roars and the wind blows.’”3
When [the postcelestial Breath] is “unceasing and continuous,”4 it returns to the Ancestral Breath. The internal and the external inchoately merge, and coalesce to form the Reverted Elixir (huandan). Then you become aware of a burning fire in the Cinnabar Field that spreads to the four limbs. You look like a fool or like drunk, but “its beauty lies within.”5 This is why it says, “those who obtain them always seem to be drunk.”
This is what the Daode jing (Book of the Way and Its Virtue) means when it says:

The Spirit of the Valley never dies:
it is called the Mysterious-Female. The gate of the Mysterious-Female
is called the root of Heaven and Earth.
Unceasing and continuous,
its operation never wears out.6

And this is what the Book of Changes (Yijing) means when it says about the Kun ䷁ hexagram:
From the Yellow Center it spreads to the veining, as it places itself in the correct position. Its beauty lies within, and extends to the four limbs.7

Notes
1. “Precelestial” (xiantian) and “postcelestial” (houtian) refer to the states before and after the generation of the cosmos. The precelestial Breath (qi) is the One Breath of the Dao. Once the cosmos is generated, it is permeated by the postcelestial Breath, which manifests itself in the multiplicity of the directions of space, the cycles of time, and all the entities and phenomena that exist and occur within space and time. In the human being, in particular, the postcelestial Breath is the breath (qi) of ordinary breathing. In any of its forms, however, the postceles- tial Breath hides and preserves the precelestial Breath, or one “particle” of it. In the strict sense of the term, the purpose of Neidan is the recovery of the precelestial Breath—represented as the Elixir—and its reconjunction with the postcelestial Breath.

2. The first part of this sentence alludes to the description of the center of the human body in the Huangting jing (Scripture of the Yellow Court): “Above is the Hun Numen, below is the Origin of the Barrier; on the left is the Minor Yang, on the right is the Great Yin; behind is the Secret Door, in front is the Gate of Life” (“Inner” version, poem 2). The Secret Door (mihu) is the kidneys, or a point in their region. The Gate of Life (shengmen) is the lower Cinnabar Field, or a point in its region. — The Huangting jing, originally dating from the second or the third century, is one of the main texts on early Taoist meditation. It exists in two versions, usually referred to as “Outer” and “Inner.” The “Inner” version” is later and longer compared to the “Outer” version.

3. This passage is quoted, without attribution, in Xiao Tingzhi’s (fl. 1260–64) Jindan wenda (Questions and Answers on the Golden Elixir). It is also found in Li Daochun’s (fl. 1288–92) Zhonghe ji (Anthology of Central Harmony), ch. 4.

4. This expression derives from the passage of the Daode jing (Book of the Way and Its Virtue) quoted at the end of the commentary to the present section.

5. This expression derives from the passage of the Book of Changes quoted at the end of the commentary to the present section.

6. Daode jing, sec. 6.

7. Book of Changes (Yijing), “Wenyan” (Explanation of the Sen- tences) on the hexagram Kun ䷁ (see Wilhelm, I Ching or Book of Changes, p. 395). The first sentence is also found in the Cantong qi (The Seal of the Unity of the Three), sec. 19: “From the Yellow Center it gradually spreads through the veining: moistening and impregnating, it reaches the flesh and the skin” (see Pregadio, The Seal of the Unity of the Three, p. 77). In the explication given by Wang Jie, these passages of the Daode jing and the Book of Changes refer to the precelestial Breath.

Reference: Commentary on the Mirror for Compounding the Medicine (Ruyao jing zhujie) translated by Fabrizio Pregadio

The Natural Mechanism of Turning Attention Around to Gaze Within

Bai Yuzhan said, “The path of inner refinement is extremely simple and easy; just get the fire of the heart to descend into the elixir field. The elixir field is the chamber of water, while the heart is fire. When fire enters water, then water and fire mix and true yang is produced. Therefore people Call them heart and genitals,not water and fire.”

The realized man Zhengyang said, “Getting the fire of the heart to descend is the South Star shifting to the position of the North Star.”

Shi Xingling said, “Gather in your spirit back into your energy and the alchemical process will naturally take place.”

Liu Haizhan said, “I have realized the principle of long life – intense yang subdues intense yin.”

Xu Jingyang said, “I will disclose my family way to you – the sun shifts into the light of the moon.”

Master Wang Chongyang said, “When you begin to build the foundation, first take the spirit in the upper opening and sink it into the lower opening, in the cavern of energy. Mind and breath keeping together causes pure attention to be ever aware. Alternating exhalation and inhalation come and go in the furnace of creation; after a long time this becomes thoroughly familiar, and fire will naturally erupt from below the navel, a tiger will emerge from the water. Without even trying to return to central balance, you spontaneously revert to central balance.

“When you first watch over the opening, turning your attention around to gaze within, it is a black pearl, like the dark side of the moon. Steadily illumined by the fire of mind following the wind of respiration, the blackness spontane- ously produces white, fire erupts in water, and warm energy circulates in the cavern of energy. This is the initial movement of true yang, producing being from nonbeing.”

He also said, “The forging and refining of wind and fire must be applied to pure yang to activate the yang energy. This is all a matter of discovering and consciously nurturing the basic spirit, a point of empty nothingness, storing it down in the cavern of energy. This is called sending it back to the earth and it pot sealing tightly.”

“With the ethereal spiritual light of essence of the basic spirit within, be like a turtle hiding, like a snake hibernating; do not forget, do not force, as if present yet as if absent. Eventually exhalation and inhalation will join, spirit and energy will embrace, the mystic pass will naturally open, and the seed of realization will be produced.”

Reference: Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body translated by Thomas Cleary p. 115

Essences of Liu Zi Jue Health Preserving Formula

Zhang Mingliang, Ma Ling

We not only exercise zang fu-organs in Liu Zi Jue

As is known to all, in Liu Zi Jue the five elements, five voices and five zang-organs correspond with each other. For example, “he” (Chinese character“呵”)is a tongue voice corresponding with heart—fire, “hu” (Chinese character“呼”)is a larynx voice corresponding with spleen—earth, “chui” (Chinese character“吹”)is a lip voice corresponding with kidneys—water, “xu” (Chinese character“嘘”) (“xi” (Chinese character“嘻”)) is a teeth voice corresponding with liver (gallbladder)—wood and “xi” (Chinese character“呬”) is a dental voice corresponding with lungs—gold, “xi” (嘻) connects Shaoyang pulse which can unobstruct not only the gallbladder meridian but also the triple energizer pulse. As held in Chinese traditional medicine, “Shaoyang is the hub”. Qi of the whole body can be regulated by connecting Shaoyang, and the usage of triple energizer is just to unobstruct various Qi all over body. Therefore, there comes the correspondence with zang fu-organs in Liu Zi Jue, “xu- liver, he- heart, hu- spleen, xi- lungs, chui- kidneys and xi-triple energizer”. But from many years of teaching practices we have found that some people wrongly think that due to the correspondence of the above six characters with zang fu-organs, Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue is to exercise zang fu-organs and has no connection with limb joints or mentality. But the fact is on the contrary. The key point resulting in this misunderstanding is mixture of differences between zang fu-organs in Chinese traditional medicine and western medicine.

As held in the doctrine of Viscera and Their Manifestations in traditional Chinese Medicine, human body is a unity with five zang-organs as the center. Every component of human body is its integral part no matter in respects of structure, performance or in physiopathology, while five zang-organs is the core of activities of human life. The six hollow organs together with other body parts as well as various spirits and emotions respectively belong to the five viscera, thus forming the five general systems of human body. The five general systems are mainly divided according to functions, which includes the whole body functions in the five viscera. In further detail, it can be divided into three levels, i.e. form, Qi and spirit. Form is body, Qi is the functions of body and spirit is spiritual awareness. Spiritual activities such as five minds of Shen (spirit), Hun (mind), Po (soul), Yi (willingness), Zhi (ambition)and seven emotions of Xi (joy), Nu (anger), You(worry), Si(anxiety), Bei(sadness), Kong(fear), Jing(panic) are closely connected with five viscera. It shows that in Liu Zi Jue we exercise the five systems and therefore the whole body. Exercise of the five systems equals exercise of the whole body internally and externally, thus overall regulating humans’ body and spirit.

Why is it Liu Zi Jue instead of Wu Zi Jue?

According to theories of traditional Chinese Medicine, human body is a unity consisting of five viscera, namely liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys. Then someone might ask why it is Liu Zi Jue instead of Wu Zi Jue? This is related to the sixth Zi Jue—“xi” Zi Jue.

The “xi” Zi Jue corresponds with triple energizer. Triple energizer divides human body from the perspective of Qi, namely functions; it is a parallel concept with zang fu-organ. Triple energizers consist of upper energizer, middle energizer and lower energizer. Generally speaking, above diaphragm is upper energizer, which includes heart and lungs; between diaphragm and navel is middle energizer which includes spleen and stomach; below navel is lower energizer which includes liver and kidneys, large and small intestines and bladder. The upper energizer is like mist for its function is like rising mist. The middle energizer is like foam for its transport, decomposition and fermentation functions. The lower energizer is like ditch for it controls the water metabolism of human body, like a river flowing downwards.

The upper energizer, like mist, is upwards; the lower energizer, like ditch, is downwards and the middle energizer, like foam, is for transporting, it is from this perspective that triple energizers divide functions of human body. The upper energizer equals function of heart and lungs, middle energizer equals the function of spleen and stomach and lower energizer includes functions of liver and kidneys, regulating exercise of triple energizers is just regulating five viscera and further regulating the whole body. As said above, respective exercising of liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys, together with exercise of triple energizers consist exercising of the entirety. To make it more impressive, in Liu Zi Jue every zang fu-organ is firstly exercised in linearity and then follows the whole body. So it was Liu Zi Jue instead of Wu Zi Jue that ancient people advocated. Besides, “the whole body” exercise is especially emphasized in theories of traditional Chinese medicine, so it is necessary to specially add an exercise aimed at triple energizers.

The sequence of practicing Liu Zi Jue

The sequence of practicing Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue is arranged according to the mutual generation of five elements in the theory of five elements corresponding with zang fu-organs in traditional Chinese medicine. The liver corresponds with wood which flourishes in spring, the head of four seasons, so “xu” Zi Jue is firstly practices; heart corresponds with fire which can be generated from wood, so “he” Zi Jue is practiced second; spleen corresponds with earth which is generated from fire, so “hu” Zi Jue is practiced next; ”xi” Zi Jue is practiced after “hu” Zi Jue to regulate stomach, which corresponds with gold generated from spleen earth; kidneys corresponds with water, which is generated from gold, so followed nourish kidneys by practicing “chui” Zi Jue, finally the Qi of five organs are nourished. Triple energizers control Qi of the whole body. Finally practice “xi” Zi Jue to regulate triple energizers, which can make Qi and blood all over body flow smoothly to achieve the goal of health and long life.

The Liu Zi Jue is practiced in the sequence of mutual generation of five elements. The five elements theory in fact is a large and complicated knowledge which can be arranged as a chapter to learn in Traditional Chinese Medicine colleges. To make it easy to remember the corresponding sequence of Liu Zi Jue and five elements, here is a simple description to help memorizing. The method is: wood generates fire, for wood will be easily burn with fire; fire generates earth, for ashes after the fire extinguishes turns to earth; earth generate gold for gold originates from earth and is drawn from earth; gold generates water for heated gold will turn to liquid like water; and water generates wood for water nourishes wood.

Diagram of Mutual Generation of Five Elements

Liu Zi Jue is Qi Jue (qi formula) instead of voice formula

Pronunciation, mouth shape and breath are special practicing methods of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, and also are the core, difficult and focus points to master the practicing method of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue. In practicing Liu Zi Jue, besides breathing in and out, we also adjust and control the upward-downward-inward-outward movement by using special mouth shape to respectively forming six special breathing and voicing methods as “xu, he, hu, xi, chui, xi” corresponding with liver, heart, spleen, lung, kidney and triple energizers of human body. The flowing line of breath going through throat, tongue, dental part, teeth and lips is closely connected with the mouth shape. Six special breath flowing methods are generated from six mouth shapes, which further influence the internal Qi and the functions of corresponding zang-fu organs. Pronunciation can be divided into two types, “breathe to voice” is producing sound, “breathe without voice” is tonguing, which are different from each other. Producing sound and tonguing are both to normalize mouth shape. The general requirement on practitioners is “breath without voice”.

From the perspective of pronunciation, we can normalize mouth shape by the method of pronunciation, control breath with normalized mouth shape and influence zang fu-organs with breath. Different mouth shape or pronunciation corresponds with different functions of Qi, so we exercise the zang fu-organs with different mouth shapes and pronunciations, in other word, we can influence zang fu-organs by controlling breath. This proves that breath instead of voicing is the key of breathing in Liu Zi Jue. Therefore, Liu Zi Jue is breath Zi Jue instead of voice Zi Jue. This is also why it was called “Liu Zi Qi (six-character qi)”, “Liu Qi Jue (six-qi formula)” or “Liu Zi Qi Jue (six-character qi jue)”.

The learning procedures of pronunciation, mouth shape and breath is, first normalize the mouth shape by method of correcting pronunciation, and then control the entry/exit of breath inside body with normalized mouth shape. Different thickness, size and location of breath in and out will regulate the Qi activity of different parts of zang fu-organs. The method of learning pronunciation, mouth shape and breath is, learn by an example of “xu” Zi Jue to analyze its pronunciation, mouth shape, breath and its method, corresponding zang fu-organs and functions. Get to know how to read and practice and why to practice like this etc and you will yield twice with half effort. Because other Zi Jue are just different in practicing methods, they have many similarities with “xu” Zi Jue in such aspects as their key points and principles.

Reference:
Essences of Health Qigong Liu Zi Jue Health Preserving Formula jsqg.sport.org.cn

Links:
Liu Zi Jue (Six Healing Sounds) wikipedia.org

The Wisdom of Dao Yin in Baopuzi

Dao Yin treats the condition ‘not yet sick’, it releases inharmonious energy. The movements must be practised in order to circulate energy without discomfort in the hundred joints. Without movement, blood remains blocked in the three places. Dao Yin uses this great rule to maintain health and is a subtle and complex technique for eliminating all diseases.

Bao Pu Zi by Ge Hong

Reference: Nourish the Blood, Tonify the Qi to Promote Longevity, and Calm and Concentrate the Mind to Regulate the Heart: Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong Foundation Sequences 1 by Zhang Guangde

Origin and Development of Qi-Promoting Techniques

Si Hongyu and Guo Kai

Health Qigong is a special sport. One of its unique features is the simultaneous body and mind regulation. Body regulation means the regulation of the physiological state and mind regulation means the regulation of psychological state. By practicing Health Qigong, we can adjust the physiological and psychological states which have gone out of balance due to various causes. Both the mental state and physical state are carried by the human body. They interact as both cause and effect and complement each other. The mental and physical imbalances and problems of man can be solved by co-regulation of the mental and physical states. Everybody has two properties, namely the natural property and social property. As a part of the nature, man is governed by the natural rules and will inevitably be subject to the threats of pathogens such as wind, cold, heat, and damp and go through a process of life, illness, aging, and death. As a part of the society, man is restricted by the conditions of the age he is in and will inevitably experience sorrow, happiness, unity, and departure. All these natural and social conditions will more or less influence the mental and physical states of everyone. Failure to make proper adjustments will result in damages to peoples’ health and longevity and prevent them from “living to the full span of life”. And Health Qigong exercise bears the feature of co-regulation of both the physical and mental states on the basis of the three elements of “body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation”.

Firstly, Health Qigong is a traditional sport of our nation with body movements, respiration regulation, and mental regulation as the major forms of exercise. Therefore Health Qigong is featured by co-regulation of both the mental and physical states: This is because physical regulation starts from essence cultivation and will go through a process covering saliva accumulation, essence generation, conversion of essence into Qi, and conversion of Qi into spirit, while mental regulation mainly involves spirit cultivation in which all concentration is focused on mental activities. Specifically, the physical regulation of Health Qigong is mainly represented by limb movements and focused on regulation of the physiological state of the practicer; and it will certainly assist mental regulation. The mental regulation of Health Qigong is mainly embodied in the moral cultivation and its health-preserving mechanism. It sheds light on self-inspiration and regulates people’s mental, as well as physical functions. Therefore we should not consider them as opposites, because the mental and physical states are united in the human body and have interactions. Every movement of Health Qigong has its mechanism and functions. And these mechanism and functions cannot be fully utilized unless under the guidance of a good mental state. Therefore importance should always be attached to the regulation of mental state before, during, and after the practice of Health Qigong. During the practice, there are some specific requirements in addition to the movement norms: The practicer is required to eliminate distracting thoughts, concentrate the mind, relax the entire body, turn a deaf ear to the external things, and adhere to vacancy and quietness. From this we can see that during the exercise, mental regulation is always the dominant role. Mental regulation has two aspects in Health Qigong. One of them is the regulation of mental state during exercise or, in other words, the conscious control of the body. Internal consciousness is used to turn disorderly and scattered mental activities into regular and focused mental activities in order to regulate Qi. The other is the regulation of mental state in social practice. In other words we should attach importance to the cultivation of morality, which is a necessary condition for maintaining a stable state of life. This is because the moral cultivation involves eliminating and reducing the interference by the Seven Emotions. And the Seven Emotions are factors that disturb the “body, Qi, and spirit” of the practicer. Therefore moral cultivation should be considered a precondition for health preservation. These two aspects of mental regulation depend on each other because the application of mind is restricted by the society and subject to the social and moral influences. Therefore moral cultivation is a part of mental regulation, a prerequisite for the correct and efficient application of the mind, a serenity-accomplishing process used to eliminate distracting thoughts, seek truth, and achieve Anatman, and one of the embodiments of the mental regulation of Health Qigong.

Secondly, the fact that Health Qigong exercise is meant to “increase life span, mental power, and morality” has further shown its feature of co-regulation of mental and physical states. Since the ancient times, practicers of Health Qigong have not only sought physical health and longevity, but also pursued and exhibited high morality and spiritual self-improvement. Health Qigong has been created by learning from the Yin and Yang and hardness and softness of the heaven and earth. Proper adherence to the exercise can be considered a “benevolent” behavior. According to etymology, “benevolence” means “kindness” just as “righteousness” and “goodness”. Practicers are seeking health and longevity. And health and longevity come from “benevolence”. “Moral cultivation and fulfillment of promises are called benevolence”. (Li Ji: Qu Li) Therefore Health Qigong can be considered as a benevolent behavior that leads to health and longevity. And “benevolence” belongs to “morality”. Therefore the mental state is used to determine and realize self-value and thus perform the co-regulation of mental and physical states in Health Qigong.

Secondly, the fact that Health Qigong exercise is meant for “approach-based benevolence” has further shown its feature of co-regulation of mental and physical states. Since health and longevity is a “self-benevolence”, Health Qigong is an “approach-based benevolence”, because the results of “approach-based benevolence” can meet the practicers’ demand for health and longevity. “Benevolence” belongs to “morality”. The achievement in the exercise is directly related to morality. Many regiment schools give the first priority to the cultivation of morality and lay special emphasis on making achievements of Health Qigong with morality. It was said in ancient times that “Achievement originates from virtue and virtue is the mother of achievement”. And “exercise without moral cultivation will definitely lead to evil possession” warns us that exercisers should “straighten the heart before exercising the body”. Straightening the heart exactly means cultivate morality. This is why Confucius pointed out in The Great Learning that: “wealth embellishes your house and morality embellishes your body. A person with a large heart tends to grow plump.” Zhu Xi construed it as: “wealth embellishes your house and morality embellishes your body because when you are free of dirty ideas, your mind will be open and commodious and your body will be always healthy. This is why morality embellishes your body.” How to elevate “morality”? Confucius’ “doing good” theory is based on self-communion, self-control, and self-behavior. In other words the moral cultivation of the subject itself is used to break the spiritual shackles and achieve ideal personalities. This means that moral cultivation is done by the subject itself. The motive for moral cultivation comes from the real human mind. It is an effort driven by the human awareness. Therefore the reason that some practicers fail to understand the gist of Health Qigong is probably related to the degree of conscious efforts. Whatever the reason, Health Qigong itself can cultivate “morality” by co-regulating the mental and physical states. It is just that some practicers haven’t grasped its core and obtained the real benefits. To sum up, long-term, correct practice of “approach-based benevolence” of Health Qigong can be used as a “Tao-upholding” process which naturally leads to “establishment of morality”. Therefore “upholding Tao can establish morality, and established morality can define Tao”. This is quite good evidence. Certainly, only constant, long-term, and continuous habitual adherence to this practice can cultivate morality. Just as Aristotle said: “the properties of morality are results of habit.” Since long-term, correct practice of “approach-based benevolence” of Health Qigong can cultivate morality, it will naturally regulate the mental state.

In a stressful society, people usually need to play multiple social roles. Work, life, and many other things are wearing everyone and the complicated interpersonal communications frequently befuddle us. In such times, we will be desperately in need of relaxation of the body and massage of the mind in order to reinvigorate ourselves and fulfill what we are supposed to do. Perhaps Health Qigong exercise is exactly what you want, because Health Qigong regulates both the mental and physical states. You may be unable to practice it all the time. But as long as you always keep an eye on the cultivation of your own morality anywhere and anytime in your daily life and embed the practice of Health Qigong in your daily life, you can still keep your spirit serene and free of fickleness and keep your mind straight and free of prejudice. This is another way of Health Qigong exercise which just lays more emphasis on the regulation of mental state.

Reference: Origin and Development of Qi-Promoting Techniques jsqg.sport.org.cn

Body Regulation and Mind Regulation of Qigong

Si Hongyu and Guo Kai

Health Qigong is a special sport. One of its unique features is the simultaneous body and mind regulation. Body regulation means the regulation of the physiological state and mind regulation means the regulation of psychological state. By practicing Health Qigong, we can adjust the physiological and psychological states which have gone out of balance due to various causes. Both the mental state and physical state are carried by the human body. They interact as both cause and effect and complement each other. The mental and physical imbalances and problems of man can be solved by co-regulation of the mental and physical states. Everybody has two properties, namely the natural property and social property. As a part of the nature, man is governed by the natural rules and will inevitably be subject to the threats of pathogens such as wind, cold, heat, and damp and go through a process of life, illness, aging, and death. As a part of the society, man is restricted by the conditions of the age he is in and will inevitably experience sorrow, happiness, unity, and departure. All these natural and social conditions will more or less influence the mental and physical states of everyone. Failure to make proper adjustments will result in damages to peoples’ health and longevity and prevent them from “living to the full span of life”. And Health Qigong exercise bears the feature of co-regulation of both the physical and mental states on the basis of the three elements of “body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation”.

Firstly, Health Qigong is a traditional sport of our nation with body movements, respiration regulation, and mental regulation as the major forms of exercise. Therefore Health Qigong is featured by co-regulation of both the mental and physical states: This is because physical regulation starts from essence cultivation and will go through a process covering saliva accumulation, essence generation, conversion of essence into Qi, and conversion of Qi into spirit, while mental regulation mainly involves spirit cultivation in which all concentration is focused on mental activities. Specifically, the physical regulation of Health Qigong is mainly represented by limb movements and focused on regulation of the physiological state of the practicer; and it will certainly assist mental regulation. The mental regulation of Health Qigong is mainly embodied in the moral cultivation and its health-preserving mechanism. It sheds light on self-inspiration and regulates people’s mental, as well as physical functions. Therefore we should not consider them as opposites, because the mental and physical states are united in the human body and have interactions. Every movement of Health Qigong has its mechanism and functions. And these mechanism and functions cannot be fully utilized unless under the guidance of a good mental state. Therefore importance should always be attached to the regulation of mental state before, during, and after the practice of Health Qigong. During the practice, there are some specific requirements in addition to the movement norms: The practicer is required to eliminate distracting thoughts, concentrate the mind, relax the entire body, turn a deaf ear to the external things, and adhere to vacancy and quietness. From this we can see that during the exercise, mental regulation is always the dominant role. Mental regulation has two aspects in Health Qigong. One of them is the regulation of mental state during exercise or, in other words, the conscious control of the body. Internal consciousness is used to turn disorderly and scattered mental activities into regular and focused mental activities in order to regulate Qi. The other is the regulation of mental state in social practice. In other words we should attach importance to the cultivation of morality, which is a necessary condition for maintaining a stable state of life. This is because the moral cultivation involves eliminating and reducing the interference by the Seven Emotions. And the Seven Emotions are factors that disturb the “body, Qi, and spirit” of the practicer. Therefore moral cultivation should be considered a precondition for health preservation. These two aspects of mental regulation depend on each other because the application of mind is restricted by the society and subject to the social and moral influences. Therefore moral cultivation is a part of mental regulation, a prerequisite for the correct and efficient application of the mind, a serenity-accomplishing process used to eliminate distracting thoughts, seek truth, and achieve Anatman, and one of the embodiments of the mental regulation of Health Qigong.

Secondly, the fact that Health Qigong exercise is meant to “increase life span, mental power, and morality” has further shown its feature of co-regulation of mental and physical states. Since the ancient times, practicers of Health Qigong have not only sought physical health and longevity, but also pursued and exhibited high morality and spiritual self-improvement. Health Qigong has been created by learning from the Yin and Yang and hardness and softness of the heaven and earth. Proper adherence to the exercise can be considered a “benevolent” behavior. According to etymology, “benevolence” means “kindness” just as “righteousness” and “goodness”. Practicers are seeking health and longevity. And health and longevity come from “benevolence”. “Moral cultivation and fulfillment of promises are called benevolence”. (Li Ji: Qu Li) Therefore Health Qigong can be considered as a benevolent behavior that leads to health and longevity. And “benevolence” belongs to “morality”. Therefore the mental state is used to determine and realize self-value and thus perform the co-regulation of mental and physical states in Health Qigong.

Secondly, the fact that Health Qigong exercise is meant for “approach-based benevolence” has further shown its feature of co-regulation of mental and physical states. Since health and longevity is a “self-benevolence”, Health Qigong is an “approach-based benevolence”, because the results of “approach-based benevolence” can meet the practicers’ demand for health and longevity. “Benevolence” belongs to “morality”. The achievement in the exercise is directly related to morality. Many regiment schools give the first priority to the cultivation of morality and lay special emphasis on making achievements of Health Qigong with morality. It was said in ancient times that “Achievement originates from virtue and virtue is the mother of achievement”. And “exercise without moral cultivation will definitely lead to evil possession” warns us that exercisers should “straighten the heart before exercising the body”. Straightening the heart exactly means cultivate morality. This is why Confucius pointed out in The Great Learning that: “wealth embellishes your house and morality embellishes your body. A person with a large heart tends to grow plump.” Zhu Xi construed it as: “wealth embellishes your house and morality embellishes your body because when you are free of dirty ideas, your mind will be open and commodious and your body will be always healthy. This is why morality embellishes your body.” How to elevate “morality”? Confucius’ “doing good” theory is based on self-communion, self-control, and self-behavior. In other words the moral cultivation of the subject itself is used to break the spiritual shackles and achieve ideal personalities. This means that moral cultivation is done by the subject itself. The motive for moral cultivation comes from the real human mind. It is an effort driven by the human awareness. Therefore the reason that some practicers fail to understand the gist of Health Qigong is probably related to the degree of conscious efforts. Whatever the reason, Health Qigong itself can cultivate “morality” by co-regulating the mental and physical states. It is just that some practicers haven’t grasped its core and obtained the real benefits. To sum up, long-term, correct practice of “approach-based benevolence” of Health Qigong can be used as a “Tao-upholding” process which naturally leads to “establishment of morality”. Therefore “upholding Tao can establish morality, and established morality can define Tao”. This is quite good evidence. Certainly, only constant, long-term, and continuous habitual adherence to this practice can cultivate morality. Just as Aristotle said: “the properties of morality are results of habit.” Since long-term, correct practice of “approach-based benevolence” of Health Qigong can cultivate morality, it will naturally regulate the mental state.

In a stressful society, people usually need to play multiple social roles. Work, life, and many other things are wearing everyone and the complicated interpersonal communications frequently befuddle us. In such times, we will be desperately in need of relaxation of the body and massage of the mind in order to reinvigorate ourselves and fulfill what we are supposed to do. Perhaps Health Qigong exercise is exactly what you want, because Health Qigong regulates both the mental and physical states. You may be unable to practice it all the time. But as long as you always keep an eye on the cultivation of your own morality anywhere and anytime in your daily life and embed the practice of Health Qigong in your daily life, you can still keep your spirit serene and free of fickleness and keep your mind straight and free of prejudice. This is another way of Health Qigong exercise which just lays more emphasis on the regulation of mental state.

Reference: Body Regulation and Mind Regulation of Health Qigong Exercise jsqg.sport.org.cn

Having a Rest to Save the Energy of Life

Having a Rest to Save the Energy of Life and Performing Three Regulations to Maintain Health

Shi Song

The health-preserving philosophy of Health Qigong has a profound philosophical foundation. It is quite different from other sports in that it lays emphasis on self-cultivation, on the improvement of psychological quality, on the comprehensive development of morality, intelligent, physical fitness, and aesthetics, on the cultivation of spirit, Qi, and essence, on self-experience and comprehension, on the dominant role of health preservation, on disease prevention and health preservation, on self-defense, and on low-profile self-cultivation. To sum up, the practice of Health Qigong not only strengthens the body, but also facilitates serenity and spirit nourishment, regulates the mental state, corrects the temperament, produces wisdom, and optimizes qualities.

Entering Serenity, Nourishing Spirit, and Regulating Mental State

The practice of Health Qigong requirements combined body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation. Entering serenity and nourishing spirit are exactly the mental regulation of Health Qigong. Entering serenity and nourishing spirit will facilitate health preservation and help us alleviate our mental pressure caused by the fierce competition in the modern age. Ancient people compared man’s given life span to the combustion duration of wood. With the same volume, the hard Chinese oak burns much longer than poplar wood. It is also said that “my life depends on myself rather than the heaven. Abuse of it will shorten it, while proper use of it will prolong it.” By frequently entering serenity and nourish the spirit, we can save the life energy and prolong life.

The basic requirement of mind regulation is to enter serenity. In order words, we are required to consciously regulate the mental activities and enter serenity and nourish the spirit through mind concentration. The essential characteristic of mind concentration is the relaxed mind concentration. It does not require any clear understanding of the directive things. This is the elementary serenity. Advanced serenity should be free of thoughts. Anyone that enters this stage will forget himself. The “heart will be calm and clear as a mirror and still water” and “the spirit will travel freely in the outer space”. This indescribable delightful mental state is most favorable for health and longevity.

Under the serene conditions, the automatic regulating system of the human body will be free of interference and play its due role. All imbalances between Yin and Yang will be eliminated. However, when the automatic regulating system is seriously damaged and out of service, medical intervention will be necessary. A well-trained exerciser can also use mind concentration for active regulation and control. This is related to the beneficial psychological suggestion and imagination. For example, when mind is concentrated on the head, the blood pressure will rise. When it is concentrated on the feet, the blood pressure will fall. By guiding Qi with the mind, Qigong can regulate the ascending and descending movements of blood and Qi. By concentrating the mind on the lower Yu acupoints, a person with Yin deficiency and predominant Yang will lower Yang. Such a person can also imagine the cold things such as the moon or water. By concentrating the mind on the upper Yu acupoints, a person can raise Yang. A person having Yang deficiency should image the sun or fire. Specifically, high blood pressure and hyperglycemia patients approximately belong to predominant Yang or asthenic Yin in traditional Chinese medicine. Therefore these patients should concentrate the mind on Yongquan Acupoints at the feet and imagine cold things. On the contrary, hypopiesia and hypoglycemia patients are equivalent to asthenic Yang or blood and Qi deficiency patients, who may concentrate the mind on Baihui Acupoint on the head and imagine warm things.

It has been proven in practice that Health Qigong exercise can make man’s cerebral activities more orderly and synchronous. Serenity is not rest or sleep or any hypnoid state. It is an integrated functional state. Health Qigong exercise will reduce the complexity of the brain in the conscious state and reduce the chaos. When the cerebral cortex of the advanced nervous center is in the inhibited state, the center controlling the visceral activities will become active. Therefore the disorderly functions can be automatically regulated. By entering serenity, the exerciser will keep a sound mind, reduce the nervousness, and achieve the optimal state of the physiological functions. Due to the cheerful and concentrated mind, external interference will be screened and the automatic regulating functions of the organism will be fully exerted. At this point the intuitive immunity and adaptability will be developed.

Self-Cultivation and Correction of Temperament

The temperament and disposition relate to the health, longevity, and success of a man. It is important to build a strong and handsome body. But it is only spiritual beauty, i.e. the temperament beauty that achieves permanent charm.

The so-called “temperament” is the natural and intrinsic stable psychological characteristics. It covers many mental activities, such as the consciousness, emotions, speed of motion reflex, intensity of emotions and will, the stability of emotions and attention, and the introversion or extroversion of the orientation of mental activities. Its physiological foundation is the nerves of the individual-humoral regulation system, such as the nerve types, endocrine characteristics, etc. Temperament is subject to the influence of genetic factors. It is stable to a certain extent but not unchangeable. When influenced by the living environment and educational conditions, temperament may also be changed to a certain extent. For example, some quick-tempered persons living in a group will become self-restrain and some slow-tempered persons will become quick in action.

Different dispositions have their unique temperament features. Temperament will influence the formation and development of disposition but disposition is more ductile and is usually formed under the acquired environment, education, and fitness exercise. Disposition is a core psychological characteristic in the personality structure. It has significant effects on the ability and temperament of an individual. Disposition is ductile. For example, a person who has developed high self-control in a harsh living environment will be good at controlling his irritable and impulsive temperament. A person who has developed the habit of caring about the group and others in group living will strength his connections with other people and reform his introvert temperament.

In traditional Chinese medicine, persons are divided into Taiyang persons, Shaoyang persons, Taiyin persons, Shaoyang persons, and Yin-Yang balanced persons by temperament and disposition. Yin-Yang balanced persons have the strengths and do not have the weaknesses of all the other four types of persons. The temperament and disposition characteristics have both active and passive sides. People who know themselves are good at utilizing their own strengths and overcoming their weaknesses. In practice they can build a perfect image bit by bit. This process is called “self-cultivation”. In actual life, no everyone belongs to a certain temperament type. Except a few persons who have typical characteristics, most people belong to the intermediate type or mixed type. Through Health Qigong exercise, we can regulate equilibrium, regulate Yin and Yang, and properly reform the body constitution, temperament, and disposition of the person.

Health Qigong exercise can change the characteristics of the cerebral activities and regulate the functions of the endocrine secretion system, which are exactly the physiological foundation for the psychological characteristics of temperament and disposition. For example persons of “Type A temperament” are typical “quick-tempered” persons that are easy to get agitated, impatient, irritable, easily angry, and susceptible to diseases like hypertension and coronary artery diseases. Health Qigong exercise can not only facilitate the control and prevention of these diseases but also moderate the disposition. Persons of “Type C temperament” are typically “gloomy”. Their emotions are often distressed. They seem to resign themselves to adversity but are actually angry at heart. This temperament will easily lead to cancers and ulcers. Health Qigong exercise will not only facilitate the rehabilitation of cancer in the combined therapies, but also lead to a broad-minded and optimistic temperament. This means that adverse temperament and disposition can be corrected by Health Qigong exercise.

Peace and Serenity Produces Wisdom and Optimizes Qualities

Normal people cannot do the stunners of the acrobats. Without practice, we cannot produce the masterworks of calligraphy and painting masters, the works of miniature engraving artists, and the paintings painted by disabled artists with feet. But they did make it through hard training, because they have developed their own potential. People usually use the left brain more frequently than they do the right brain. Modern computers have replaced the mechanical memory and abstract thinking and calculation of man. Development of a person’s ability is mainly dependent on the right brain which exerts the imagination and creativity. Innovation is a specialty of the human kind. Only coordinated left brain and right brain can lead to creativity.

The “serenity” and “mind concentration” of Health Qigong exercise are methods to practice the concentration and distribution of attention. The quality of attention is related to the labor efficiency and occurrence of accidents, and thus to the success of a person’s cause. Experimental psychology has proved that normal people can focus their minds for at most 20 minutes. But well-trained Health Qigong exercisers can maintain high serenity free of distracting thoughts for a long time. The “visualization” of Qigong is also known as “inward contemplation”, which is exactly a general method for the exercise of imagination. Imagination is a symbol of man’s wisdom. In the modern age, intelligent resources are developed by using both the left and right brains and fully utilizing the imagination and concrete thinking functions of the right brain. It is only in this way that we can exert the greatest strength of man-imagination.

Health Qigong exercise will optimize the qualities. “Peace and serenity will produce wisdom” and “inspired thinking” will lead to the optimal physiological state after the understanding and comprehension of life and universe. Experimentation has proved that exercisers have significantly less nervousness, significantly faster response, significantly higher IQ, and significantly better studying speed, memory, language expression, agility, and creativity than the non-exercisers.

Comprehensive Health Qigong exercise includes morality cultivation. It is an exercise of self-control, a healthy lifestyle, and an art of health preservation. With the advent of the information-based society and the development of open education and lifelong education, health education and health preserving methods will definitely be popularized. Health Qigong requires the development of morality and the cultivation of lofty sentiments, which are also the key points of the new health concept proposed by WHO.

Reference: Having a Rest to Save the Energy of Life and Performing Three Regulations to Maintain Health jsqg.sport.org.cn

Motion in Quiescence and Quiescence in Motion

Zhang Guoming; HuangHe Science and Technology College

Motion in Quiescence and Quiescence in Motion run through the entire process of Health Qigong exercise. Motion strengthens muscles, bones, and tendons, promotes blood circulation, and improves functions of the viscera. Quiescence supports healthy energy, regulates the functions and activities of the nervous system, improves sleep, and makes people energetic and happy. This is why an ancient saying goes “motion nourishes the body and quiescence nourishes the spirit”.

The Yin-Yang Hypothesis in the ancient philosophy of China divides all things of the universe into Yin and Yang categories. When it comes to the relations between motion & quiescence and body & spirit, motion represents Yang and quiescence represents Yin. Body represents Yin and spirit represents Yang. With regard to their own properties, motion promotes Yang and the promoted Yang will boost Yin. Quiescence promotes Yin and the promoted Yin will boost Yang. Balance between motion and quiescence will make Yin and Yang promote each other. They will rise and fall and be converted into each other endlessly. Any relative excess or insufficiency of Yin or Yang will cause Yang to be impaired by Yin or Yin impaired by Yang. Yin and Yang will be eventually separated from each other and result in death. Therefore Yu Shu pointed out in Nan Jing Ji Zhu that “if we use sole Yin Qi to nourish Yang, Yang may be isolated; if we use sole Yang Qi to nourish Yin, Yin may be isolated.” In order to nourish both the body and spirit during the exercise of Health Qigong, we should achieve both Motion in Quiescence and Quiescence in Motion. Through well-coordinated motion and quiescence, we can balance Yin and Yang in the human body, achieve simultaneous nourishment of both body and spirit, realize coordinated physical and mental development, and thus adapt ourselves to the natural and social environments.

Quiescence in Motion means to coordinate movements, respiration, and thought during the exercise of Health Qigong in order to gradually smoothen and coordinate movements and gradually relax and calm the thought. In other words, we should keep a moving body and a stationary mind. During the exercise of Health Qigong, the relaxed and serene mind will well adjust the excitement of the cerebral nerves and inhibit and calm the over-excited nerves so that the brain can be properly regulated to a certain extent of excitation. A balanced nervous system will properly regulate the viscera and muscular tissues to fully relax the tissues and organs controlled by exalted nerves. The relaxation of tissues and organs will promote the circulation of blood and Qi and thus promote the discharge of in-vivo metabolic products and toxic and harmful substances. The discharge of in-vivo metabolic products and toxic and harmful substances will reduce the damage to the nervous system. The quiescent cerebral nerves will perform benign regulation of the body and thus form a virtuous cycle. Just as Yi Shu: Yi Xue Su Yuan says: “To prolong life, we should keep a calm and serene mind and stay out of worries.” When the mind is vacant and serene, the spirit will be at ease. When the spirit is at ease, the Qi of the viscera will be well coordinated, the essence and Qi will be abundant, and the body will be healthy. Therefore, it is very important to achieve a gentle body and a relaxed and serene mind during the exercise of Health Qigong in order to maintain the healthy state of the body.

Quiescence in Motion means to maintain relatively stable body postures during the exercise of Health Qigong in order to reduce the blood flow in the limbs and viscera and increase the blood supply for the brain. This will provide the brain with sufficient nutrition, nourish the brains, and further excite the active regulating effect of the brain. In other words, we should keep a relatively still body while maintaining well-organized activities of the brain tissues. The well-organized activities of the brain mean natural activities that meet the physiological rules of the human body. They are pure-natural movements in the internal and external environments of the body which are free of disturbing factors. Although the brain has entered a serene state free of thoughts, it is filled with infinite vitality and vigor. It is a state in which the over-consciousness gradually fades away and the sub-consciousness gradually comes in. It is “still but not stagnant” and “serene but not dead”. “Achieving the ultimate vacancy and adhering to the true serenity” proposed by Lao Tzu in Tao Teh King indicates that during the exercise of Health Qigong, we should maintain the intelligence of the brain. It is only in this way that we can continuously make progress. Once the brain enters a pure motioning state, it should develop towards two directions. One is to guide the thought to the focus of the infection. The thought goes wherever you feel uncomfortable. Use benign psychological suggestions to naturally attach the focus with Qi and imagine that blood and Qi are unobstructed. Once your confidence is consolidated, the disease may disappear naturally. By concentrating the mind on Dantian, the healthy man can enrich the genuine Qi. When genuine Qi is sufficient, the body will be strong, the essence will be abundant, and life will be prolonged. The second aspect is to form a profound understanding of the world and learn the true meaning of life by experiencing and reflecting on life, and thus to form correct outlooks of the world and life, open the mind, and achieve spiritual purification and breakthroughs.

“Motion” and “quiescence” are relative. They are different in form and associated in nature. Motion contains quiescence and quiescence contains motion. Ultimate motion gives rise to quiescence and ultimate quiescence gives rise to motion. They both promote and restrain each other, forming a both contradictory and unified pair of entities. A proper understanding of the relations between motion and quiescence and a mastery of the essentials and extents of Motion in Quiescence and Quiescence in Motion are of important significance for us to balance Yin and Yang of the body, promote coordinated mental and physical development, improve health, and prolong life.

Reference: Motion in Quiescence and Quiescence in Motion during Health Qigong Exercise jsqg.sport.org.cn

The Seven Emotions and Qigong

Xia Xuewei; Inner Mongolia Normal University

The seven human emotions, i.e. joy, anger, worry, anxiety, sorrow, fear, and terror are normal phenomena of life activities which do not induce diseases under normal circumstances. However, abnormal fluctuations in the “seven emotions” may directly affect he functions of the viscera, disturb the circulation of blood and Qi, and thus cause diseases. Being affected by these emotions, the exerciser of Health Qigong will not be able to enter a peaceful and calm state free of distracting thoughts. And the results of the exercise will be naturally affected. At the same time, the exercise of Health Qigong also plays a special role in the regulation of the “seven emotions”. Therefore a complete understanding of the physiological and pathological mechanisms of the “seven emotions” is of prime importance and value to the exercise of Health Qigong.

It is believed in theories of the traditional Chinese medicine that: “Anger impairs the liver, joy impairs the heart, worry impairs the spleen, sorrow impairs the lungs, and terror impairs the kidneys.” Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Su Wen: Ju Tong Lun says: “Rage drives Qi upward, overjoy slackens Qi, excessive sorrow consumes Qi, terror collapses Qi, …… and anxiety causes Qi stagnation”. All of these have indicated that the excessive and over-excited “seven emotions” will impair the mental and physical health of man to certain extents.

Joy is an embodiment of the happy and delighted mind. Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Su Wen: Ju Tong Lun says: “Joy will harmonize Qi and facilitate both nutrient and defensive Qi.” But over-joy will impair the cardiac Qi, just as Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Ling Shu: Ben Shen says: “The spirit should be hidden and kept from being lost during joy”, indicating that excessive joy will impair the mind. The heart is the core, commander, and grand master of all the five Zang viscera. It is the key to the health of the body. By practicing Health Qigong, we can regulate the blood-pumping function of the heart and enrich cardiac Qi. For example, the “Second Routine of Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle” in Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing can directly stimulate the Heart Channel of Hand Shaoyin and Pericardium Channel of Hand Jueyin by seating the wrists and erecting the palms and thus regulate the cardiac functions, promote blood and Qi circulation, improve the microcirculation at distal ends, and promote blood circulation of the whole body. The “Ape Exercise” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi can enhance respiration, massage the heart, and promote the beating function of the heart by lifting and pressing the palms and stretching and retracting the neck, shoulders, and abdomen. In the “He” of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, the vocalization of “He” during the piercing movement of palms will expel the turbid Qi of the heart and regulate the cardiac functions. The “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left- and Right-Handed” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin can regulate the Heart Channel of Hand Shaoyin and the Pericardium Channel of Hand Jueyin and increase the cardiac output.

Anger is an embodiment of agitated emotion of man. People get angry and furious when they are discontent and unsatisfied. Generally speaking, proper expression of emotions is important for maintaining the physiological equilibrium of the human body. But persistent rage, fury, and gloominess will cause negative effects on the organism. Gloominess impairs the liver and upheaves liver Qi. Blood will ascend with the upward invasion of liver Qi, congesting the brain and causing discomfort of the body. This will lead to headaches, cerebral distension, hypochondriac pains, chest distress, dry eye syndrome, and even critical symptoms such as faint, hematemesis, and shock. Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Su Wen: Ju Tong Lun says: “All diseases originate from Qi…… Anger will cause adverse rising of Qi and even hematemesis or diarrhea”. Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Su Wen: Sheng Qi Tong Tian Lun says: “Excessive anger leads to segregation of QI from the configuration; and blood stagnating in the upper part of the body will cause raged syncope.” The liver controls dispersion and blood storage. It facilitates the functional activities of Qi throughout the body, keeps unobstructed circulation of Qi in the channels of all viscera, stores blood, transports blood, and regulates and controls the blood supply for various parts of the body. By practicing Health Qigong, we can improve the dredging, purging, and blood-storing functions of the liver. For example, the “Blue Dragon Reaching out Claws” of Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing disperses the depressed liver Qi and regulates the emotions through leftward and rightward turns of the body, the outreach of the claws, and the forward and sideways bending of the body. The “Tiger Exercise” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi dredges liver channels and replenishes liver blood through changes in the hand shape and the glaring eyes and down-pouncing movement. In the “Xu” of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, the vocalization of “Xu” during the palm-crossing movement will expel the turbid Qi of the liver and regulate the hepatic functions. “Thrusting the Fists and Making the Eyes Glare to Enhance Strength” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin can stimulate the liver channel and dredge and nourish the liver through the glaring eyes during the fist-punching movement, the wrist-turning movement during the return, and the gripping of the five fingers.

Worry means something or someone that causes anxiety. Excessive worries will have negative effects on the organism, impede the movements of Qi, and cause Qi stagnation. It is believed in traditional Chinese medicine that: “anxiety causes Qi stagnation”. It was said in ancient times that: “When the shape is not straight, Qi will not move smoothly. When Qi does not move smoothly, the mind will not be at ease. When the mind is not at ease, spirit will be scattered”, indicating that obstructed circulation of Qi has a direct influence on the spirit of man. Excessive worries will lead to obscure complexion in the spleen and stomach, dyspepsia, insomnia and dreaminess, dizziness, and many other symptoms. By practicing Health Qigong, we can improve the converting, generating, and blood-controlling functions of the spleen. For example, “Nine Ghosts Drawing Swords” in Yi Jin Jing massages the spleen and enhances the Splenic functions through twisting and stretching movements of the body. The “Bear Exercise” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi enhances the converting and generating functions of the spleen and stomach and boosts the nutrient-transporting and blood-transporting capacities of the Splenic Qi through the waist-turning and abdomen-waving movements. In the “Hu” of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, the vocalization of “Hu” will expel the turbid Qi and regulate the spleen and stomach. “Holding One Arm Aloft to Regulate the Functions of the Spleen and Stomach” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin massages the spleen and stomach, enhances the converting and generating functions of the spleen and stomach, and promotes the smooth circulation of blood and Qi through the up-down alternate pulling movements of the left and right upper and lower limbs.

Sorrow (depression) is the embodiment of sadness and depression. Excessive sorrow will impair the pulmonary Qi and cause short breath, just as Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Ling Shu: Ben Shen says: “sorrow will block Qi and hamper its circulation” and “deficient pulmonary Qi will cause nasal obstruction and asthenia Qi”. By practicing Health Qigong, we can improve the breath-regulating functions of the lungs. For example, both “Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 2” and “Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails” in Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing stimulate the lung channel and enhances the clear-ascending and turbid-descending function and stale-ridding and fresh-intaking functions of lungs. The “Bird Exercise” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi expands the chest cavity, massages the heart and lungs, enhances the blood-oxygen exchanging capacity, and thus improves the cardiorespiratory functions through the bird-stretching and bird-flying movements. In the “Si” of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, the vocalization of “Si” will expel the turbid Qi of the lungs and link up the congenital Qi and postnatal Qi, and thus enhance the ability of lungs to get rid of the stale and take in the fresh. The “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left-and Right-Handed” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin can regulate and stimulate the lung channel, increase the lung capacity, and promote the circulation of blood and Qi over the body.

Fear (terror) is the embodiment of apprehensive and fright. Excessive terror will impair the kidneys and cause chaotic Qi in the viscera. Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine: Su Wen: Ju Tong Lun says: “Terror collapses Qi……Terror disorders Qi”. By practicing Health Qigong, we can improve the essence-storing and water-controlling functions of the kidneys. For example, in “Three Plates Falling on the Floor” of Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing, the vocalization of “Hi” during the crouching movement will cause the genuine Qi to ascend and descend correspondingly between the chest and abdomen and thus achieve harmony between the heart and kidneys. The “Dear Exercise” of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi strengthens the waist and kidneys through the left-twisting & side-bending and right-twisting & side-bending movements of the waist which stretch the vertebral column and muscles in the waist and back. It is believed in traditional Chinese medicine that: “Waist is the container of kidneys”. In the “Chui” of Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, the vocalization of “Chui” during the knee-bending and crouching movement will expel the turbid Qi of the kidneys and regulate the viscera. “Moving the Hands down the Back and Legs, and Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys” of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin strengthens the kidneys and waist through limb movements.

To sum up, all “seven emotions” have important connections with the internal organs of the human body. The “seven emotions” are normal emotional signs of man and do not induce diseases under normal circumstances. And they actually play an important role in maintaining the normal physiological functions of the human body. But over-excitation which exceeds the normal range of regulation of the human body will result in diseases. Exercises of Health Qigong are mainly featured by: Body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation. Body regulation is the basis for breath regulation and mind regulation, while mind regulation is the core of the “Three Regulations”. It provides good regulating effects on all the viscera. Therefore the “Three Regulations” have very good influencing, regulating, and controlling effects on the mental state and temperament of man. And the emotional changes of the “seven emotions” will in turn influence the results of Health Qigong exercise. Therefore it is of great importance and value to learn the “seven emotions” and maintain a normal state of the “seven emotions” during the practice of Health Qigong. By doing so we can gradually replenish the “three treasures” of body (essence, Qi, and spirit) to achieve sufficient essence, abundant Qi, and complete spirit and thus truly understand the essentials of health preservation, disease prevention, and body-building.

Reference: The Seven Emotions and Health Qigong jsqg.sport.org.cn

Breath Regulation Modes in Various Stages of Qigong Practice

Si Hongyu, Shangqiu Normal University; Li Jun, Party School of CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee

While popularizing and promoting Health Qigong, it is beyond doubt that the instructors or coaches should emphasize the dominating role of natural respiration before the teaching activities. As the exercisers get more and more familiar with the routines, the authors believe that: during the differentiation stage, the instructor or coach should intentionally explain breath regulation and stress its common properties: inhalation is usually used during opening and ascending movements; exhalation is usually used during closing and descending movements. Inhale while lifting and exhale while dropping. First inhale and then exhale. During the automation stage, abdominal respiration and anus-lifting respiration should be consciously coordinated with the limbs so that the exercisers can truly experience the essential properties of Health Qigong.

Body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation are three fundamental elements of Health Qigong. Breath regulation means actively and consciously regulating and control respiration in order to change its frequency, rhythm, and depth and thus gradually meeting the requirements and accomplishing the goals of the exercise. Of the “three regulations”, breath regulation is the one of the main criteria for judging the efficacy of Health Qigong exercise. Different exercisers should apply different breath regulation modes in different stages.

Generalization Stage of Exercisers

During the early stage of Health Qigong exercise, the exerciser can only obtain a perceptive understanding according to the explanation and demonstration by the instructor or coach and his own exercising practice and still cannot fully understand the intrinsic motioning rules of Health Qigong. The influences from the external environment will be transmitted to the cerebral cortex through the perceptive organs (especially proprioceptors) of the exerciser and cause excitation of the cells in the cerebral cortex. In addition, as the internal inhibition of cortex has not been established, the excitation and inhibition in the cortex are both diffused. Therefore the conditioned reflex is not stably connected for the time being and generalization is caused. During this process, the muscles of the exerciser will usually be stubborn and poorly-coordinated. Muscles that are not supposed to contract will be contracted and have unnecessary movements which are quite laborious. Therefore the exerciser will begin to sweat after just a few movements. At this point, the instructor or coach should not put too much emphasis on details of the movements or explain the modes of coordination between breath regulation and movements. Too much explanation will cause exercisers to quit for fear of the difficulty of Health Qigong before they even benefit from it. Therefore the starting stage should be focused on the standardization of basic movements and less explanation of breath regulation should be made. The coordination of respiration should be based on natural respiration. And the main form of natural respiration is thoracic respiration, which is characterized in that the breast expands during inhalation and contracts during exhalation. The foothold of thoracic respiration is positioned in the chest which coincides with the natural physiological structure of the human body because the main respiratory organ of the body-lung-is exactly located in the chest. During this stage, Health Qigong exercise is basically not different form any other sports. Therefore it is certain that no “uniqueness” of Health Qigong will be felt. To interest the exercisers and bring them into the next stage of study and practice, the instructor or coach should have certain skills and theoretical knowledge. The development of Health Qigong requires a number of instructors or coaches having the necessary skills and theoretical knowledge.

Differentiation Stage of Exercisers

As the practice goes on, the beginners will form a preliminary understanding of the intrinsic rules of Health Qigong and some poorly-coordinated and unnecessary movements will be gradually eliminated. During this stage, the excitation and inhibition processes of the motor center of the cerebral cortex will be gradually concentrated. Due to the enhanced inhibition process and especially the development of differentiation inhibition, the motion of the cerebral cortex will enter from the generalization stage to the differentiation stage. Therefore most incorrect movements during the practice will be corrected and the exerciser will be able to smoothly and continuously complete the entire exercise. During this stage, the instructors or coaches should explain breath regulation to the exercisers. If they fail to explain breath regulation, Health Qigong in itself will be meaningless. But they should not go into too many details. In this stage, the exerciser can experience the benefits brought by Health Qigong through the simple coordination between the limb movements and respiration, and thus boost their “emotional” demand for Health Qigong. They he or she will naturally enter the next stage of study and practice.

Automation Stage of Movements

This stage is the best embodiment of the characteristics and nature of Health Qigong exercise and a stage in which the exerciser gains the greatest mental and physical benefits. This is because during the automation stage, the exerciser can practice in an unconscious state but the practice cannot be completed without the participation by the cerebral cortex. It is fair to say that this stage is the best moment for the exerciser to practice breath regulation. This is because automation occurs with the exerciser’s practice which provides the “conditions” for the respiratory activities of the conscious and active operation. And actively-handled respiratory activities are only a small part of it, i.e. the part of gas exchange between the lungs and the external environment during external respiration. In addition, the gas exchange between the thoracic respiration and pulmonary capillaries in external respiration cannot be perceived. And the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood and the internal respiration can neither be perceived. Therefore they cannot be actively regulated or controlled. Therefore, all kinds of breath regulation can only be based on and act on external respiration, the perceivable part of the respiration process, i.e. the intentional regulation of the gas exchange between the lungs and the external environment. Breath regulation does not result in obvious external and observable morphological changes and cannot be simply imitated like “body regulation”. Peaceful respiration basically results in no significant change sin the external body. Therefore breath regulation in this stage is mainly focused on mastering the internal changes. The internal changes include changes in the mode and position of respiration, changes in the speed, intensity, and destination of respiratory currents, and changes caused by respiration in the sensation of related viscera and muscles.

To sum up, limb movements of different routines of Health Qigong has to be accompanied by conscious active operations during this stage. Breath regulation modes mainly include: Abdominal respiration: Abdominal respiration requires that the exerciser feel the respiration in the abdomen. This feeling can actually be induced during operation but it does not mean that the respiratory Qi has truly reached the abdomen. From the modern scientific point of view, the respiratory Qi can only enter and exit the lungs and will never descend to the abdomen. The so-called abdominal respiration is just the result of the expansion of the lungs that presses the diaphragm and presses the internal organs in the abdominal cavity. Air cannot really go through the diaphragm and enter the abdominal cavity. If it really does, problems will take place. It includes the following two types:

(I) Obverse abdominal respiration: During the practice of obverse abdominal respiration, it is required that the lower abdomen expand during inhalation and retract during exhalation. In other words the respiration is moved from the chest to the abdomen. In order to achieve obverse abdominal respiration, we first need to find the changes in the respiratory sensation. Our usually respiratory sensation takes place in the chest. It is only when we gradually move the up-and-down movements of the chest to the abdomen that we can gradually form obverse abdominal respiration. If we fail to find the sensation that Qi enters from the chest into the abdomen and simply expand and retract the abdomen during respiration, we will not be able to achieve obverse abdominal respiration but have discomforts and mistakes instead, just as the old saying goes: haste does not bring success. With regard to the internal sensation of respiration, the breath of obverse abdominal respiration directly enters the abdominal cavity. The intake breath also goes through the chest cavity but does not stay in it. The chest cavity is only used as a channel for the breath to pass by, like an extension of the nasal cavity. From the physiological perspective, this is a process in which the diaphragmatic muscles actively contract to form negative pressure in the chest and store the air in the lower part of the pulmonary lobes. The descent of the diaphragm will increase the pressure in the abdominal cavity and compress the organs in the abdominal cavity. Externally, this process will be reflected by the expansion of the abdomen. This is the understanding of the basic theory of obverse abdominal respiration. In the practice of Health Qigong, the preparative routine (staring posture with breath regulation) of Wu Qin Xi and preparative routine of Ba Duan Jin are exactly provided with obverse abdominal respiration. The changes in the pressure of the chest and abdominal cavities will powerfully massage the internal organs, improve the blood circulation in the viscera, extend the lung capacity of thoracic respiration, and properly mobilize the functions of the body to lay a good foundation for the successful completion of the following movements.

(II) Reverse abdominal respiration also stresses the operation of the respiratory Qi by the diaphragmatic muscles. It is actually an enhancement of thoracic respiration. The exerciser can effectively cultivate the internal breath and guide it along certain routes in order the exercise both the body and mind. Reverse abdominal respiration means pulling back the abdomen and lifting the anus during inhalation as opposite to obverse abdominal respiration, in order to lift the diaphragmatic muscles, enlarge the chest cavity, and retract the abdominal cavity. During exhalation, the intercostal muscles will be relaxed and the diaphragmatic muscles will descend. An internal breath will be sensed and guided downward and then sent to the abdomen. Breath regulation is a method for lifting Qi and improving Yang Qi. Obverse abdominal respiration is a method for guiding the descent of Qi and can nourish Yin. Therefore when we practice the ending routine of Health Qigong, we should perform reverse abdominal respiration or obverse abdominal respiration according to our own Yin-Yang equilibrium, so as to strengthen the abdomen and improve the practicing results.

There is also anus-lifting respiration which actually means consciously lifting the muscles in the anus and Huiyin during inhalation of reverse abdominal respiration and relaxing muscles n the anus and Huiyin during exhalation. Anus-lifting respiration is applied in the practice of “Ape Lift” in Wu Qin Xi, “Holding the Hands High with Palms Up to Regulate the Internal Organs” in Ba Duan Jin, and “Pulling back Tails of Nine Bulls” in Yi Jin Jing.

To sum up, long-term conscious breath regulation practice during the automation stage will help exercisers better experience the unique features of Health Qigong and further improve the practicing results.

Reference: “Breath Regulation” Modes in Various Stages of Health Qigong Practice jsqg.sport.org.cn

Understanding Vacancy and Serenity in Qigong

Xu Haipeng, Chen Yun

Health Qigong is a Chinese traditional sport integrating posture adjustment, breath adjustment, and mind adjustment. It is very good for both physical and mental health. Vacancy and serenity are the focus of mind adjustment of Health Qigong. For this sake, this paper discusses the knowledge and teaching methods of vacancy and serenity exercise on the basis of literature data and personal teaching experience.

What is Vacancy and Serenity?

First of all, vacancy and serenity is a mental state that must be maintained during the practice of Health Qigong. Good experience in vacancy and serenity plays an extremely active role in the improvement of mental health. The concepts about vacancy and serenity mainly come from ancient literature. For example, Xing Ming Gui Zhi says: “vacancy means keeping the mind empty, serenity means freeing the mind of any thought.” From this we can see that vacancy and serenity mainly refer to two aspects. Vacancy mainly means laying down everything on the mind and temporarily getting out of the complicated thoughts to enter a special exercising state. Serenity mainly means eliminating all kinds of distracting thoughts from the mind and avoiding sudden thoughts. And about the vacant and serene mental state, Xing Ming Gui Zhi also says: “turn a deaf ear to what you hear and blind eyes to what you see. Do not have any troubles on your mind. And you will be able to achieve vacancy. From this we can see that the exerciser of Health Qigong must keep a peaceful mind towards all kinds of external stimulation during the exercise, i.e. “do not get the mind perturbed”. Qi Bu Ming Shu Yao Ji says: “Forget your body and stay calm as if you are detached from everything. This is called vacancy.” It advises us to forget the body and gradually experience a vacant and detached mental state. And “Recover the spirit, swallow Qi, and stay still. This is called serenity.” This indicates that we should transfer the spirit from the outside into the body, focus on the experience in our own life, consciously regulate respiration, and keep a vacant and serene state of exercise.

Functions of Vacancy and Serenity

Xing Ming Gui Zhi says: “Once we achieve the ultimate vacancy and serenity, the essences will be naturally converted into Qi and Qi will be naturally converted into spirit.” From this we can see that “refining the spirit to recover vacancy” mainly means that the mind gradually experiences vacancy and serenity, i.e. the “ultimate vacancy and genuine serenity” mentioned by Lao Tzu. In this way we can exercise the essence, Qi, and spirit by practicing Health Qigong. In addition, Ting Xin Zhai Ke Wen also says: “When our heart becomes serene and our body reaches stability and we forget both motion and stillness, our three temples will ascend and descend naturally and our channels will be naturally smooth. The essence will be naturally converted into Qi, Qi will be naturally converted into spirit, and spirit will be naturally converted into vacancy.” This indicates that the spiritual and physical inaction will help us achieve “smooth channels”. From this we can see that vacancy & serenity does not mean simply doing nothing, but means “doing everything with inaction.” During the process of inaction, the latent functions of the body will be mobilized to cultivate and reinforce the healthy Qi, excite the immune mechanism of the body, and thus improve the immune functions.

Methods of Vacancy and Serenity Exercise

(I) Physical serenity

The serenity of the body is a basic method to realize vacancy and serenity of the heart. Aimless movements of the body during exercise are unfavorable for the serenity of thought. The serenity of the body does not simply mean physical stillness. It also requires the mind to control the body on purpose. The specific method is to keep the body straight through representation training. Have both shoulders, both hands, both hips, both knees, and both feet parallel to each other in order to maintain the harmony of the body.

(II) Thought replacement method

It was said in ancient times that: “The great Tao tells us to stop distracting thoughts in the first place. All efforts will be useless if we do not stop thoughts.” Generally speaking, during the practice of Health Qigong, one will not find himself surrounded by so many distracting thoughts until he is required to keep quiet and eliminate all distracting thoughts. Therefore the exerciser must use some methods to eliminate these distracting thoughts and thus realize the mental vacancy and serenity. Based on his own experiences in practice and in teaching, the author has summarized four methods.

Method 1: If the distracting thought is related to a certain matter, you can handle the matter first before practice. For example, if you cannot keep vacant and serene due to external stimulations during practice, you should timely settle these external stimulations before practice. If the matter cannot be timely handled, the exerciser may imagine all kinds of possible consequences of the matter, especially those worst ones. Do not spare your imagination so that you will find that even the worst result is not that bad. This will ease your mind.

Method 2: For some rational thoughts, you can use the natural way. For example, if a certain plan of work, certain methods in scientific research, or predictions of a certain matter come to your mind during practice, you could pause the exercise for a while and naturally follow these thoughts. Sometimes they may lead to the correct results. And you could resume the exercise once the mental burden is off.

Method 3: For some unclear distracting thoughts, you may try to analyze them with a matter-of-fact attitude. For example, when a distracting thought occurs, you can carefully analyze it to see if it originates from a specific object or position and to find out the possible source of this distracting thought. Through such objective analysis of the distracting thought, you will find it just a phantom which does not actually exist. In this way you will gradually and peacefully enter a vacant and serene mental state.

Method 4: When there are chaotic distracting thoughts, you may try to focus on the intervals between these thoughts. Zhong Yong says: “All emotions are intermittent.” When the previous thought disappears and the next thought is yet to come, the brain will often be vacant and serene. Grasping and feeling this short break will be very good for the exerciser to experience vacancy and serenity.

During the teaching of vacancy and serenity, the teacher should timely learn and understand the mental state of students and choose different teaching methods according to different distracting thoughts. But on the whole, we should let nature take its course. In other words we do not force ourselves to do anything in practice but progress bit by bit. In addition, when you start to practice Health Qigong, do not be hasty to move. You can first stand quietly for a minute to feel the vacant and serene state and try to make yourself calm. Then you will achieve double effects during practice.

Reference: Understanding Vacancy and Serenity in Health Qigong Exercise jsqg.sport.org.cn

Answers to the basic theoretical knowledge of the Health Qi Gong

Zhang Zheng

12.What is meridian?

In Chinese medicine, meridian is the network of running the Qi and blood, connecting the Zang and Fu and the other parts, regulating the body function. Jing means the meridian and vessels. Luo means the collaterals and subcollaterals. Regular and complicated intersection of the meridians connects the five Zang and six Fu, limbs and all bones, five sensory organs and nine orifices, skin, muscles, tendons, bones and vessels and turns them into one whole body to guarantee the formal life activity.

13.What consists of the meridian?

The meridian consists of the meridian and vessels, collaterals and subcolaterals as well as their annexed structures. The meridian and the vessels are the longitudinal trunk line and the collaterals and subcolaterals are the branch network of the former whose physiological function is clinically called the meridian Qi of which can act as communicating the different parts of the body, running the Qi and blood, nurturing the Zang and Fu, responding and conducting, keeping and regulating the balance of the body.

The meridian can be divided into twelve regular meridians, which include three yin channels of hand( the lung channel of hand taiyin, the heart channel of hand shaoyin, the pericardium channel of hand jueyin), three yang channels of hand( the intestine channel of hand taiyang, the sanjiao channel of hand shaoyang, large intestine channel of hand yangming), three yin channels of foot( the spleen channel of foot taiyin, the kidney channel of foot shaoyin, the liver channel of foot jueyin) and three yang channels of foot( the bladder channel of foot taiyang, the gall bladder channel of foot shaoyang, the stomach channel of foot yangming) and eight extra meridians of which include the Du meridian, the Ren channel, the Chong meridian, the Dai meridian, the yinwei meridian, the yangwei meridian, the yinqiao meridian and yangqiao meridian.

The collaterals and subcollaterals consist of fifteen larger collaterals of which are the meridians branched out of the twelve meridians and run interior and exterior along with collaterals of ren meridian, du meridian, and larger collateral of spleen), minute collaterals of which is the branch of the larger collaterals, superficial collaterals of which are minute collaterals located at the surface of muscle. The annexed part of collaterals and subcollaterals consist of tendons, skins, branches of the twelve channels.

14.How is the theory of meridian doctrine applied in the Health Qi Gong?

According to the theory of Chinese medicine, all diseases result from the imperforation of the meridians. No pain will occur when the meridians and the circulation of Qi and blood is unblocked and vice versa. The blood will run smoothly under the condition of the heat and condense of the cold. Therefore unblocking the meridians is common precautions taken against diseases in the exercise. For example, minding on some acupoints or parts make it heat to dredge some meridians and nurture the corresponding Zang and Fu. In addition, the exercise can play a role in stretching, dragging, turning and kneading some acupoints and meridians to prevent the diseases as the meridian runs through the four limbs. The action is the same as for the four sets of the Health Qi Gong.

15.What consist of five Zang and six Fu?

It is the summarization of the visceral organs in the doctrine of visceral state in Chinese medicine. The five Zang is the most important system acting as producing and storing the essence including heart, liver, spleen, lung and kidney. Six Fu act as transporting, digesting the food and drink and discharging the waste including gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, Sanjiao and bladder.

16.What is main function of five Zang?

The heart is the master of visceral organs and in charge of the blood vessels and mind. It has its outward manifestation in the face or complexion and its specific opening in the tongue. Its corresponding secrete of body fluid is perspiration.

The liver is in charge of storing the blood and soothing the emotions and assisting the digestion and absorption of the drink and food as well as all the tendons. It has its outward manifestation in the nails and its specific opening in the eyes with tears as its corresponding body fluid.

The spleen is in charge of the transportation of the essence of drink and food and transmitting and distributing the fluids. It can govern and keep the blood and distribute the clear refined substance. It is also in charge of all the muscles. It has its outward manifestation in the lip and its specific opening in the mouth with saliva as its corresponding body fluid.

The lung, which is compared to a canopy, is in charge of respiration, keeps the pathway of air unobstructed and disseminates vital energy throughout, cleanses the inspired air and keeps the Qi flowing downward, opens up and regulates the water course. It has its outward manifestation in the skin and hair and its specific opening in the nose with nasal discharge as its corresponding body fluid.

The kidney stores the congenital and acquired essence and is in charge of the reproductive development, bone and marrow, and regulating the water and fluid metabolism and Qi transformation. It has its outward manifestation in hair and its specific opening in the ears and two lower orifices. Practicers of Qi Gong think highly of the kidney as it is the foundation of the inborn constitution. The essence of the kidney is divided into the kidney yin and kidney yang.

17.What is the main function of six Fu?

Six Fu consists of gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, bladder and Sanjiao. The gall bladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine are digestive organs. Bladder is urinary organ and Sanjiao is one specific Fu of which is only used in Chinese medicine with multiple functions.

Gall bladder has the relation of being interior and exterior with the liver and it is annexed to the liver and called the hollow organ containing refined juice as it stores the bile. Man with exuberant gallbladder Qi is courageous and man with deficient gallbladder Qi is timid and overcautious as it manages decision.

The stomach is interior-exterior relation with the spleen and in charge of the intake and digesting the food with its upper orifice called upper Wan, the middle part called the median Wan and the lower orifice called the lower Wan. It is preferable to descending and also called the sea of food and the foundation of the acquired constitution along with the spleen. It plays an important role in taking in the essence of food and drink and nurturing all the body.

The small intestine connects the stomach in the upper part and the large intestine in the lower and is in charge of separating purity from turbidity of which the purity is transported to the spleen and the turbidity is to the large intestine and bladder as the waste. The small intestine is interior-exterior relation with the heart and can be affected by the disorder of it.

The large intestine is in charge of transporting the discharges and interior-exterior relation with the lung. Dysfunction of transportation is likely to result in the diarrhea, dysentery, constipation and dry stool. Disorder of the lung is able to affect the large intestine.

The bladder is in charge of the body fluid metabolism along with the lung, spleen, kidney and Sanjiao and storing and discharging the urine. It has the interior-exterior relation with the kidney.

The Sanjiao is the passage of the energy Qi and body fluids with the function of transporting them. Qi deficiency in some parts is likely to result from the obstruction of the Sanjiao. The dysfunction of Sanjiao transporting the body fluids is likely to cause the disorders of oliguria and edema etc.

18.How to comprehend the basic meaning of the essence, Qi and spirit?

The essence, Qi and spirit are three treasures of human body in Chinese medicine. All those nutrients and substances constructing the body are involved in the scope of the essence such as the blood, fluid, sperm, liquid, the skin and hair, tendons and bones, muscles etc with the yin characteristics. Qi is the active essential substance warming and nurturing the body and the basic dynamic power promoting the life activity. Spirit is dominating and embodying the life with the function of reining the essence and Qi. Its meaning is extensive including all activities of Zang and Fu, meridians, Qi, blood, fluids and their outer manifestations besides from the psychological activity.

19.How to comprehend the Qi and blood and fluid?

The Qi, blood and fluids run all over the body through the meridians to keep the life activity in Chinese medicine. Qi has multiple physiological function such as promoting, warming, guarding, holding and transforming of Qi characterized as yang. Xue is basically the blood itself with the main function of nurturing and enriching the body. The fluids is generalized concept of all normal liquid inside the body including the inner body fluids of visceral organs and all normal secretions. Its main physiological function is to enrich the skin and hair, orifices such as eyes, nose and lips etc. It is closely relative with the health, weakness and diseases as it is the basic substance constituting the blood.

20.What can the exercise of the Health Qi Gong do for the Qi, blood and fluids?

The exercise can strengthen the waist and kidney to play a role in refining, nurturing and holding the essence. It can enhance the production and transportation of vital Qi to have got enough rest for the brain and body and the health effect of balancing the yin and yang. It can improve the activities of all systems including the nerve, respiration, circulation, digestion, motion, uropoiesis, reproduction and endocrine and turn them into the stable dynamic equilibrium, which can play an active in inducing, arousing and enhancing the vital Qi, as it can decrease the base metabolism and the oxygen consumption and increase the energy storage. Therefore, the practicer is able to rid of the diseases by ways of running the Qi in the opinion of the ancient people.

21.What are outer cold caused by yang deficiency and inner heat caused by yin deficiency? What can the exercise of the Health Qi Gong do for the condition?

Generally, the body is in a state of balance of yin and yang, integrity of figure and spirit, and whole harmony. Diseases will ensue as soon as the balance is destroyed. Yang deficiency is a state of decline of vital gate-fire, insufficiency of vital yang and decline of function and manifested as chilliness, pale facial complexion, lassitude, loose stool, clear urination, deep, thready and feeble pulse. The practicer should mainly do the active Gong of which can produce the Qi and yang to dredge the meridians.

Yin deficiency is insufficiency of yin fluids of which can result in the water being unable to press the fire to cause the inner heat. It commonly manifests as baking-fire, being fidgety, dry mouth, constipation, palpitation, insomnia with much dream. The practicer should do the quiet Qi Gong to increase and nurture the yin and fluids and get the effect of ridding of the diseases and health-keeping through the exercise of combination of motion with quietness.

22.What is the Sanjiao in Chinese medicine?

Sanjiao is one specific word in Chinese medicine including the upper, middle and lower jiao and subject to six Fu. Generally, it is considered as one Fu containing all visceral organs as well as the basic concept dividing the part of the body, that is to say, the part over the diaphragm is upper jiao containing the heart, lung; the part between the level of the diaphragm and the umbilicus is middle jiao containing the spleen and stomach; the part below the umbilicus is the lower jiao containing the liver, kidney, bladder, small and large intestine etc. Its function is to dominate the Qi transformation and the passage of the nutrients and fluids.

23.What is six Yin in Chinese medicine?

Yin is over or excessive by word. The change of six kinds of climate including the wind, cold, summer, damp, dryness and fire in nature is called the six Qi in Chinese medicine. They are called the six Yin as soon as they become the etiological factors under the condition of abnormal and abrupt change. They are called the six evils when they attack the body and cause the exogenous diseases. The common characteristics of the diseases caused by the six evils are as follows: It has relation with the season; for example, there are more diseases caused by wind in the spring, summer-heat diseases in the summer, damp diseases in the long summer, dry diseases in the autumn, cold diseases in the winter; the six evils can simultaneously attack the body such as the wind and cold causing the common cold, the wind and damp causing the arthralgia, damp and heat causing the diarrhea, etc. The six evil can be transformed each other. For example, the cold evil can be turned into the heat evil inside the body; prolonged summer-heat can injure the yin due to the production of dryness. The common passage is from the surface of the skin and the mouth or nose. So we should guard the body from the invasion of the six evils according to the different seasons.

24.What do the seven emotions consist of?

The seven kinds of emotion of human body are called the seven emotions including happiness, anger, sorrow, anxiety, sad, horror and terror. Generally speaking, the change of emotion is psychological activity of which won’t cause diseases under the normal condition. Only sudden, drastic and prolonged bad emotion stimulation will result in the diseases when it is beyond the modulation of body.

Different emotional change will affect different organs just as it is recorded in Huangdi’s internal classics•plain questions•discussions of yin and yang classification: anger will injure the liver, happiness will injure the heart, anxiety will injure the spleen, sorrow will injure the lung and terror will injure the kidney. It is called internal injury of seven emotions as it directly injures the Zang and Fu.

25.What is the main mechanism of seven emotions injuring the five Zang? What does the exercise of the Health Qi Gong do for that?

Abnormal seven emotions mainly affect the activities of Qi to result in the disorder the Qi and blood circulation and abnormal ascending, descending, coming-in and going-out of Qi. Anger drives qi upward. Rage will cause the disorder of the soothing of liver Qi and result in the upper punch of blood and Qi of which will block the upper orifices and cause the coma. Over happiness will cause the scatter of the heart Qi, absentmindedness and abnormal mind. Over anxiety will cause the block of the middle Qi activity and result in the digestive dysfunction and insomnia. Over sorrow will cause low-spiritedness and the exhaustion of the lung Qi and result in fatigue and lassitude. Over horror or terror will cause the cave-in and weakened renal qi and result in urinary and fecal incontinence or even abnormal mind.

The exercise of the Health Qi Gong is able to keep the practicer calm, happy, open-minded and rid of the disturbance of abnormal seven emotions to enhance the health of the body and mind.

26.What are five kinds of strain and seven kinds of impairments?

Five kinds of strain means that prolonged watching will injure the blood, prolonged sleep will injure Qi, prolonged sitting will injure the muscles, prolonged standing will injure the bone and prolonged walking will injure the tendons written in Huang Di’s internal classics-the plain questions-the extrapolation of five Qi. Sometimes five kinds of strain still mean five kinds of strain of liver, heart, spleen, lung and kidney of which is closely related with man’s seven motions. Seven kinds of impairments are generally thought to be satiation injuring spleen, rage causing Qi reverse to injure liver, overstrain weight lifting and prolonged sitting in the wet injuring the kidney, chill and cold drink injuring the lung, sorrow and over-thinking injuring the heart, wind, rain, cold and dampness injuring the body, great fear injuring the mind recorded in the general treatise on the etiology and symptomology of diseases. However, it is also thought to be that over seven motions injure five Zang.

27.Why is it said that prolonged watch will injure the blood?

The so-called prolonged watch injuring the blood means that prolonged watching something will not only result in the fatigue of both eyes and vision reducing but also the damage of blood. According to the theory of Chinese medicine, Liver can store the blood and regulate the blood volume to nurture the whole body and suppress the flare-up of liver Yang; in the meantime, it can regulate the distribution of different parts of body and transport the blood to where it is needed. It is thought to be that the outer connected orifice of liver are eyes and eyes are the outer demonstration of liver as the meridian of liver is connected with the eyes and man’s vision depends on the soothing of liver Qi and nurture of liver blood. Therefore the overstrain of eyes will injure the liver and further affect the regulation of the blood. That is why prolonged watch will injure the blood.

28.Why is it said that prolonged sleep will injure Qi?

The so-called prolonged sleep injuring Qi means that lying in bed for a long time will result in mind stupor and dispiritedness and Qi scattering unable to transform into the spirit for a longer time. That is why prolonged sleep will injure Qi.

29.Why is it said that prolonged sitting will injure the muscles?

Prolonged sitting injuring the muscles means that immobility with sitting for a long time will wound the muscles and textures in the neck and back etc to result in the local fatigue. As muscles in the neck and back must keep tension to balance the body when man is seated, sitting for a long time will certainly cause the fatigue of muscles in neck and back. In addition, that blood circulation in the muscle texture pressed by body and limbs is bad will result in the regression of their function even the muscle wasting in the long run.

30.Why is it said that prolonged standing will injure the bone?

Prolonged standing injuring the bone means that bones of human body will strain because of supporting the body with immobility of long standing. Generally, moderate standing will be helpful to increase the density and enhance the rigidity of bone. That bone can’t be stimulated by propping without some standing activity will be likely to cause osteoporosis. But long standing will cause the fatigue of muscles propping the bone and result in the development malformation or dysfunction of bones or joints.

31.Why is it said that prolonged walk will injure the tendons?

Prolonged walk injuring the tendons means the prolonged walk will cause the injury of tendons and muscles. As walk mainly depends on the pull of tendons and muscles for the bones, prolonged walk will be likely to cause the injury or strain of the soft tissue such as ligament, tendons and fascia etc around the joints of lower limbs.

32.What is the relation of five strains with seven emotions?

Five strains are separately overstrain of the liver, heart, spleen, lung and kidney. Seven emotions are seven kinds of feeling display including happiness, anger, sorrow, anxiety, sadness, horror and terror. There is close relation between the five strains and seven emotions of which means that roused seven emotions will cause the injury of five Zang. In the Chinese medicine, the activity of seven emotions will directly affect the five Zang. That is to say, anger is liable to cause the upward invasion of liver-Qi and pain and distension of head; happiness is liable to cause the scatter of the heart-Qi and absentmindedness; horror is liable to cause the entanglement of heart-Qi; sorrow and anxiety is liable to cause the stagnation of spleen-Qi and digestive dysfunction; sadness is liable to cause the exhaustion of lung-Qi and fatigue and short breath; terror is liable to cause the descending of kidney-Qi and unconsolidation of kidney-Qi.

33.What consists of the human body in anatomy?

The human body consists of the head, neck and nape, the trunk and four limbs.

34.What consists of the human body physiologically?

The body consists of nine systems including the locomotor system, alimentary system, respiratory system, circulation system, uropoiesis and reproduction system, nervous system, endocrine system, sensory organs and immune system.

35.What consists of the locomotor system and what is their function?

The locomotor system includes the bone, cartilage, joints, muscle, ligament and tendon etc of which constitute the basic sketch and can sustain and protect the visceral organs.

36.What consists the human alimentary system and what is their function?

The alimentary system is divided into the alimentary tract and digestive gland. The alimentary tract starts from the oral cavity and runs to the throat, oesophagus, stomach, intestine, colon, and rectus and till the anus. The digestive canal includes salivary gland and many glandules in the liver, pancreas and the wall of alimentary tract. The basic function is to take in the food and decompose and absorb the nutrient and discharge the waste.

37.What consists of the respiratory system and what is their function?

The respiratory system consists of the air passage including nose, throat, larynx, trachea and bronchus and the lung and the assistor including the pleural membrane and pleural cavity. Its main function is to inhale the oxygen in the air and exhale the carbon dioxide inside the body.

38.What consists of the circulation system and what is their function?

The circulation system consists of the heart, artery, capillary vessel, vein and lymphatic vessel. Its main function is to transport the nutrient, oxygen and hormone to the organs and tissue for metabolism and discharge the metabolite and carbon dioxide through the lung, kidney and skin.

39.What consists of the nervous system in the body and what is their function?

The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and cranial nerve, spinal nerve and nerve ganglia annexed with the brain and spinal cord. It is the main system dominating the activity of other systems. Firstly, it control and regulate the activity of other organs and systems; in the meantime, it make the body reactive to the environment through the analysis and synthesis of the nervous system.

40.What consists of the uropoiesis and reproduction system and what is their function?

The uropoiesis and reproduction system consists of the kidney, ureter, bladder and urinary canal. Its main function of the uropoiesis system is to discharge the internal metabolites and the function of reproduction system is to multiply.

41.What consists of the endocrine system and what is their function?

The endocrine consists of those glands distributed all over the body and their function is to regulate the function of the organs, tissue and cells through the hormone and the relative substance secreted from the glands to keep the internal environment stable.

42.What consists of the sensory organs and what is their function?

The sensory organs are the specific organs connected with the sensory nerve ending and consist of the organ of vision, vestibulocochlear organ, organ of smell, organ of taste and skin as well. Their main function is to receive all the stimulus and transform it into the nerve impulse and transport to the nerve center through the sensory conduction passage to produce varieties of sense.

43.What consists of the immune system and what is their function?

The immune system consists of immune cells, which include lymphocyte, plasma cell and macrophage etc, lymphatic tissue and lymphatic organs. Lymphocyte include T cell, B cell and NK cell. The main function of the immune system is to produce the immune response reaction to educe the function of immune protection, immune surveillance and immune homeostasis through identifying the self and non-self.

Reference: Answers to the basic theoretical knowledge of the Health Qi Gong jsqg.sport.org.cn

Inverted-Sequence Exercises in Qigong

Hu Xiaofei; Beijing Sport University

What are Inverted-Sequence Exercises

Inverted-sequence exercises refer to exercises like handstand, crawling, backward walking, and barefoot walking. These exercises provide body-strengthening, health-improving, and disease-removing effects for which they are deeply welcomed by people. Inverted-sequence exercises were carried out in our country as early as the ancient times. Various forms of inverted-sequence exercises were included in “Wu Qin Xi” composed by Hua Tuo in the Han Dynasty and recorded in Daoyin Illustrative Plates unearthed from Mawangdui and General Treatise on the Cause and Symptoms of Diseases written by Chao Yuanfang in the Sui Dynasty. These exercises not only provided guarantee for the health and longevity of our ancestors with their body-strengthening and health-improving efficacy, but also played an important role in the life, multiplication, and evolution of the Chinese Nation with their unique biological efficacy. And inverted-sequence exercises are easy to practice and deserve to be popularized.

Inverted-Sequence Exercises in Health Qigong

Health Qigong exercises are based on theories of bionics. And man is the most fully-evolved and advanced creature in the biological world having many habits and body postures that are quite contrary to those of animals. This result in many inverted-sequence exercises in Health Qigong, such as “Nine Ghosts Drawing Saber”, “Pulling Nine Cows by Their Tails”, “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, in “Swinging the Tail” in Health Qigong•Yi Jin Jing, “Tiger Exercise”, “Deer Exercise”, “Bear Exercise”, “Ape Exercise”, and “Bird Exercise” in Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi, “Hiding the Head and Shrinking the Neck” in Health Qigong•Liu Zi Jue, and “Swinging the Head and Lowering the Body to Relieve Stress” and “Both Hands Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist” in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. All of them will provide good effects on the exercisers of Health Qigong during their practice.

Functions and Principles of Inverted-Sequence Exercises

(I) Balancing nervous systems and removing fatigue

Most of the daily activities of people are done with a straight body or adductive, head-lowering, or forward exercises. Therefore the nervous systems controlling such muscle exercises will be constantly in a highly excited state on a long-term basis. On the other hand, the nervous systems controlling the body-bending, abducing, head-lifting, and backward muscle exercises will be in a low-excitation state. The long-term excitation imbalance among the nervous systems will inevitably cause tiredness in local muscles and nerve centers and thus result in sub-health and even diseases. Researches have shown that “inverted-sequence exercises can comprehensively regulate the nervous systems of the body and establish a new balance”. Therefore the crawling movement of “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, the body-unfolding movement of “Tiger Pouncing”, the backward-leaning and abducing exercises of “Nine Ghosts Drawing Saber” and “Bird Stretching”, the backward movement of “Ape Picking”, the head-hiding and neck-shrinking exercises of “Si Zi Jue”, and the looking-back movement of “Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain” in Health Qigong can effectively stimulate those muscles that seldom move, exercise the nervous systems more comprehensively than normal exercises, and thus help the exerciser eliminate nervous fatigue and establish a new balance.

(II) Dredging the Twelve Channels and protecting the health of viscera

According to the Channel Theory, the fingers are the start and end points of the three Yin and three Yang hand channels, and toes are the start and end points of the three Yin and three Yang foot channels. For example, the Lung Channel ends at Shaoshang and the Large Intestine Channel starts at Shangyang. They serve as connecting links in blood and Qi circulation and most origin acupoints of the Twelve Channels are distributed around the wrists and ankles. According to the theory of the traditional Chinese medicine, “diseases in the Five Viscera shall be treated at their twelve origins” and “pains are caused by obstruction”. Stimulating these points can effectively dredge the three Yin and three Yang hand channels and improve the functions of the viscera. In the “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey” exercise of Health Qigong, it is required to exert the fingers, wrists, toes, and ankles in order to effectively stimulate the start and end points of the tree Yin foot channels and three Yang channels and thus dredge the channels and protect the health of the viscera.

(III) Improving systemic circulation and promoting metabolism

The lower limbs of the human body are the major active organs and blood tends to flow into the lower limbs when a man moves with an upright body. In this case, the heart has to work against the pull of the gravity of blood in order to drive the upward circulation of blood and return blood to the heart. This will add to the burden on the heart and cause reduced blood supply for the heart and organs above the heart, exposing the body to the risks of diseases like CHD, AS, varicose veins, arthritis, and haemorrhoids. Exercises such as “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, “Swinging the Tail”, “Tiger Pouncing”, and “Both Hands Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist” in Health Qigong effectively lower the heart, promote blood flow into the heart and parts above the heart, and thus improve the blood circulation of the entire body and facilitate the control and prevention of above-mentioned diseases. When one reaches the middle age, the deficiency of blood and Qi and lack of exercise will prevent blood and Qi from reaching the distal joints and thus result in the stasis and obstructed circulation of blood and Qi. And the “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey” exercise of Health Qigong can effectively enhance the stimulation on the wrists, fingers, ankles, and toes of the exerciser, open more capillaries, improve the microcirculation of the human body, and reduce the blood pressure. This is of more significance for the old and middle-aged people.

(IV) Strengthening muscles and bones and benefiting the brains

Long-term bad habits will cause injuries to local bones and muscles of the human body. For example, bending over the desk for a long time will strain the neck, shoulder, and back muscles. Together with the invasion by wind-pathogen and cold-pathogen, it will cause muscle injuries and local disorder of facet joints. In addition, long-term upright postures will also cause injuries to the vertebral column and especially the lumbar vertebra. Relevant researches have shown that: when looking at a the profile of the vertebral column of a normal person standing upright, the gravity center of the upper part of the body is located in front of the vertebral spine. The gravity line of the body usually goes through the ventral side of the center of the fourth lumbar vertebra. In other words, all segments of the vertebral spine bear a constant anteflexion moment. Therefore the pressure on the vertebral spine is not only from the weight of the human body itself, but also from the convergent force of the back muscles used to balance the gravity. When the human body is upright, the vertebral body and the intervertebral disks almost bear all the pressure. The pressure on different segments of the vertebral column gradually increases from bottom to top. Therefore people standing upright all the time will easily suffer from diseases in the vertebral column and especially the lumbar vertebra, such as lumbagos and back pains. And the crawling movement of “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, the body-unfolding movement of “Tiger Pouncing”, and the backward-leaning and abducing exercises of “Nine Ghosts Drawing Saber” and “Bird Stretching” in Health Qigong will not only effectively help the exerciser relieve the tension on the above-mentioned parts of the body and improve the local circulation of blood, but also disperse the gravity of the body to the four limbs to greatly reduce the load on the spine and lumbar vertebra. And they are very good exercises for the waist and back muscles and especially beneficial for old and middle-aged people suffering from diseases in the waist, back, and vertebral column. They can also stimulate “Dadun” of the liver channel (liver governs the tendons) and “Yongquan” of the kidney channel (kidneys govern the bones) to drain the liver fire, enhance kidney Qi, improve the hepatic and renal functions, and thus slow down the aging process, strengthen the bones and tendons, boost the spirit and energy, and benefit the brains.

(V) Promoting the peristalsis of the stomach and intestines and preventing constipation and piles

The upright posture of the body will impose pressure on the stomach and intestines, cause difficulty in their peristalsis, and due to their low positions, add to the difficulty of venous reflux. This will easily lead to constipation, rectocele, piles, and endless accompanying trouble. By lowering the body position and inverting the sequence of exercises, “Tiger Pouncing”, “Swinging the Tail”, “Both Hands Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist”, “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, and “Bear Carrying” in Health Qigong can effectively stimulate the stomach, intestines, and anal sphincter, promote the blood circulation, improve venous reflux, and thus prevent the above-mentioned symptoms.

(VI) Eliminating weak links and preventing accidental injuries

Unbalanced forces on muscles will cause local injuries to the muscles. For example, taking a sneeze may cause a sudden sprain the lumbar region, stepping on a stone may spray the ankle, and looking back may injure the neck. To prevent these injuries, we have to strengthen the local muscles. The “Nine Ghosts Drawing Saber”, “Plucking a Star and Exchanging a Star Cluster”, “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, “Deer Wrestling”, “Hiding the Head and Shrinking the Neck”, and “Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain” exercises in Health Qigong can effectively strengthen the local muscles, eliminate the weak links, and thus prevent injuries.

Matters to be Noted about Inverted-Sequence Exercises

(I) Carefully choose exercises

There are a lot of inverted-sequence exercises in Health Qigong, and different people have different conditions. Therefore it is not advisable to practice aimlessly. The best way is to choose inverted-sequence exercises under the guidance of specialists and according to the specific conditions of the exerciser in order to suit the exercises to the symptoms. Inverted-sequence exercises are against people’s habitual movements. Therefore physically weak and disease-susceptible exercisers shall use caution while choosing such exercises. For example, physically weak and powerless people shall use caution while choosing “Crouching Tiger Springs on Prey”, patients with severe high blood pressure shall use caution while choosing “Swinging the Tail” or “Deer Wrestling”, patients with severe cervical spondylosis shall use caution while choosing “Nine Ghosts Drawing Saber” or “Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain”, and patients with severe lumbar disc herniation shall use caution while choosing “Swinging the Tail”, “Tiger Pouncing”, or “Moving the Hands down the Back and Legs, and Touching the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys”.

(II) Make full preparations

Since inverted-sequence exercises usually mobilize the nerves, joints, muscles, and tendons that we seldom use under normal circumstances, we need to take proper warm-up activities to excite the nerves, warm up the muscles, reduce the viscosity of muscles, activate the tendons, and lubricate the joints in order to improve the practicing results and avoid injuries.

(III) Make progress step by step

Inverted-sequence exercises have high requirements on the difficulty of movements, intensity of practice, and amount of exercise with regard to the practicing methods, nervous systems, and organs. Therefore inverted-sequence exercises shall be practiced in a step-by-step and gradually way. This means to: 1. Progress from easier methods of movements to the more complicated ones.. 2. Progress from lower difficulty levels of movements to the higher ones. 3. Progress from lower intensity of practice to higher intensity. 4. Progress from smaller amounts of exercise to larger ones. It is only in this way that we can gradually master the techniques, improve our skills, improve the balances between nerves and the motor system, and thus protect the body and improve health.

(IV) Perseverance

Peoples living habits are not formed within a day or two. And specialization of work is also something we need to carry through on a long-term basis. Therefore, many problems such as mental fatigue and weak muscles cannot be easily alleviated or solved and gradual transition will be required. That is why we need to achieve our goals through repeated practice. Specifically, we should practice 2 to 3 times per week and use 4~8 repetitions for each movement or body part.

(V) Reasonable sort-out

The inverted-sequence exercise involves a certain intensity and workload. Failure to take any sort-out or relaxation after the exercise will reduce the practicing effects and may even cause new fatigue and injures. Therefore, it is necessary to sort out and relax all parts of the body by patting, massaging, shaking, stretching, and swaying. Physical methods of relaxation such as hot water bath after the exercise are even better.

Reference: Inverted-Sequence Exercises in Health Qigong jsqg.sport.org.cn