How to Start Qi Movement

Ding Qiubo

How to start Qi movement or how to guide the physical body by Qi are the basic qualities and fundamental basis for the Health Qigong exerciser. Therefore, in Health Qigong·Liu Zi Jue, the exerciser is required to start Qi movement at the very beginning of the ready posture. The same requirement appears also in Health Qigong·Shi Er Duan Jin. In its first Routine “Gongli Function”, it is clearly defined that “calm the heart can purify the brain and keep one’s body and soul in good condition, thereby the mind and Qi shall be combined as one, and the Qi movement shall be started.” In another word, all the methods of Health Qigong require the exerciser to start the Qi movement at the very beginning of the exercise. So how to start Qi movement is the key point to exercise Health Qigong, and it is an important task that should be broke through with great efforts.

Seek a Breakthrough on Theory

Start Qi Movement so that the Health Qigong exercise shall be started. Without starting the Qi movement, the exerciser shall fail to start his health Qigong exercise. The start of Qi movement symbolizes the power of the exerciser’s inner Qi. It means the production of the inner Qi; it can be compared to the very moment when an engine is started. After that moment, the “engine” shall be kept in the working state. To the same sense, as soon as the exerciser’s inner (Cinnabar Field) “Qi” is started, his inner “Qi” shall keep producing; and the moment when the “Qi” is started is defined as the start of Qi movement. It is the necessary route that any exerciser who wants to enhance his Health Qigong cannot make a bypass. Strictly speaking, exercise before the inner Qi is felt is not Qigong exercise in the real sense; or in another word, the exerciser has not master the essence of Health Qigong exercise yet. Vivid gestures without the flow of Qi inside the body are nothing but “parrots” which cannot be taken as the real Qigong exercise, and the exerciser shall stay as a layman in the front door of the palace of Health Qigong. The only way to get the door opened is to learn to start the Qi movement, or the Health Qigong exercise shall stay on the movements of physical body instead of the exercise of “Qi”.

Start Qi Movement so that the Qi shall flow. “Qi movement” appears frequently in the Health Qigong literary materials. It appears for ten times in Health Qigong·Liu Zi Jue, and also several times in 200 Q&A on Health Qigong. To put it in an easy way, “Qi movement” means the flow and movement of Qi; to be more precisely, the Qi movement is the flowing up and down, as well as the opening and closing of Qi. In Health Qigong·Liu Zi Jue, the flow of Qi in the movement of “guiding the Qi in Cinnabar Field up to the chest” shall be felt different for the exerciser before and after the starting of Qi movement. Only when the Qi movement is started, can the exerciser feel naturally the flow of Qi. It is impossible to feel the Qi’s flow unless the Qi movement is started. Therefore, without the feelings of flow of the inner Qi, “External movement guide inner flow” is nothing but an empty talk; because the “inner flow” here is referred to the movement of Qi in the body.

Start Qi Movement so that the Qi shall be conveyed back to the Cinnabar Field. It is impossible for the exerciser to convey his Qi back into the Cinnabar Field without starting the Qi movement. If the Qi movement is not started, then the exerciser shall fail in feeling the inner Qi, so he shall not know where the Qi is going. If the exerciser doesn’t know where the Qi is going, how could he convey it back to the Cinnabar Field? Therefore, an exerciser who fails to feel his inner Qi shall neither feel where it is conveyed to when he finishes the Qigong exercise. Or it can be put into this way that, where should one put the grains without knowing the location of the storehouse? Cinnabar Field is the storehouse where the inner Qi is stored. So if one is to convey his Qi back into the Cinnabar Field, he should firstly find the right place-the Cinnabar Field, the “storehouse of Qi”- to start the movement of Qi.

Start Qi Movement so that the Qi in the body shall flow as a whole. If the Qi movement is not started in Health Qigong exercise, the exerciser’s Qi in the body shall fail to flow as a whole. A general Qi (the experience of feeling the Qi as a whole) is a kind of feeling achieved after the start of the Qi movement that followed by a flow exercise of Qi. A general Qi takes its first step by the start of the Qi movement. In another word, if the exerciser can feel the start of Qi movement through the whole process of forming the earnestness to exercise Health Qigong and performing all the movements, his inner Qi is sufficient enough. Then the feelings of the movement of Qi shall be much clearer, and the state of “Qi flowing all over the body” shall gradually appear. Under this circumstance when his body is feeling “great”, the exerciser’s Health Qigong exercise is naturally transformed from a passive attitude of “have-to-exercise” to an active one of “want-to-exercise”. Thereby, a good Health Qigong exercising state with a general Qi shall be achieved.

“A small spark can burn the whole grassland.” The “spark” is the start of the Qi movement, while the “grassland” is the general Qi. The start of the Qi movement is the introductory certificate of the Health Qigong exercise. So it is necessary for the exerciser to improve his theoretical background I’ve discussed in the previous parts, and pay attention to these matters in Qigong exercise.

Seek a Breakthrough in Practice

The start of Qi movement is a practical process, and the Cinnabar Field is the most important part to do it. So the Cinnabar Field shall be the focus in Health Qigong exercise.

Where is the Cinnabar Field located? The location of the Cinnabar Field shall be felt only when the Qi movement is started. It is important to familiar with the location of the Cinnabar Field, and it is necessary to keep its position in mind in exercise. The location of the Cinnabar Field varies in the four Methods of Health Qigong: in Yi Jin Jing, it is located at Qi Hai Acupoint that is “an inch and a half below the navel”; in Wu Qin Xi, it is located at “the center of the abdomen below the navel”; in Liu Zi Jue, it is at the right point of the navel, or the Shen Que Point; while in Ba Duan Jin, its ready position of “rotating the two arms outward and holding them in front of the bell to form an arc and keep them at the same level of the navel” indicates that the Cinnabar Field is located at the navel too. In accordance with From “Turning the Head and Lowering the Body to Relieve heart fire” to “Raising the Heels and drop seven times to eliminate illness”-the Exercising keys and requirements of the Last Four Forms of Health Qigong ·Ba Duan Jin, (Health Qigong, Journal, 2006(6)), its ending posture is described as “bend over the two arms and fold the Lao Gong Points of the two palms; the left palm kept within, pointing the Guan Yuan Point and folded on the belly, and concentrate ideation in Cinnabar Field (Omphaloskepsis)”. So the Cinnabar Field in this method is clearly defined to be at the Guan Yuan Point. While in 200 Q&A on Health Qigong (Page 9): “The lower Cinnabar Field is located at the abdomen below the navel, it is a part among the relevant Points including Shen Que Point, Guan Yuan Point, Qi Hai Point and Ming Men Point. Generally speaking, Cinnabar Field is particularly referred to the lower Cinnabar Field. ” So where is the Cinnabar Field actually located? My answer is: “Each of the position mentioned above is the right position of an Cinnabar Field.” Then why there are so many Cinnabar Fields in Health Qigong? My explanation includes three reasons as following: firstly, it is a respect and heritage of the traditional methods; secondly, the variations of the Cinnabar Fields don’t influence the start of the Qi movement; thirdly, as soon as the Qi movement is started and the inner Qi is get ready, the Point that comes into the exerciser’s mind shall be the Cinnabar Field. That is to say: “where there is Qi, there is the key; while without Qi, there’s only vague.” After the Qi movement is started, it will be easier and clearer to define the location of the Cinnabar Field.

What the Cinnabar Field looks like? Only when the Qi movement is started, then can the exerciser truly feel the Cinnabar Field. The Cinnabar Field is a region without clear boundary. Our ancestors believed that there were “ever-young pill” inside our body, so it was unnecessary to search for the recipes from the outside world; and the part where the “magic pills” are created is in the Cinnabar Field. The metaphors “Storehouse” “Engine” in the previous part and the “Air Pump” in the following part of the essay are employed to define what the Cinnabar Field looks like. In fact, there’s no need to define how the Cinnabar Field looks like, because if the Qi movement cannot be started, it is useless to define it. The veil of the Cinnabar Field can be uncovered only when the Qi movement is started.

What is the function of the Cinnabar Field? This is two of my personal feelings about the Cinnabar Field: (1) The Cinnabar Field is the position to start the Qi movement, the source of the inner Qi, and the motive power of the Qi to flow and cycle in the body. (2) The heart is a “Blood Pump” which sends the blood to every part of the body in full cycle with its regular beat and release; while the Cinnabar Field can be considered as an “Air Pump” which sends Qi to every corner of the body in full cycle with a regular opening and close. The exerciser should continually enhance the function of the “Air Pump”, so that the effect of Health Qigong exercise shall be improved.

Omphaloskepsis is a common method to start Qi Movement. All the methods of Health Qigong emphasize the importance of the Cinnabar Field in which the inner Qi is produce by starting the Qi movement. Take the formulas of the Four Methods as examples: both the ready and ending postures of Wu Qin Xi contain the “Omphaloskepsis”; the ready posture of Ba Duan Jin contains the same phrase, while in its ending posture, the exerciser is required to “Hold back Qi to Cinnabar Field.” In the ready posture of Liu Zi Jue “Dial withdraw the palm”, the palm is withdrew to the navel, the “navel” here and in the ending posture “crumple the navel” are both referred to the Cinnabar Fields. There is “Shen Bu Wai Chi” in the ready posture of Yi Jin Jing, which means to keep Omphaloskepsis; and there are also three “Hold upward, lead downward” in its ending posture, “lead downward” here means guide the Qi down to the Cinnabar Field, or hold back Qi to Cinnabar Field. It is obvious to see that even though there is difference in the formulas, all the Four Methods emphasize the importance of the Omphaloskepsis. It is the foundation of Health Qigong exercise, and it is a convenient and quick way to start the Qi movement.

Seek a Breakthrough on Key Points

There are various ways to start the Qi movement, just like the old saying goes, “Every road leads to Rome.” However, if the exerciser wants to get into the exercising state, it is necessary for him to grasp the key points. Since the subject’s feelings may vary, the key point to start the Qi movement shall also different from person to person. I will analyze it with my personal feelings as following. Start from Liu Zi Jue, I feel that:

The emphasis of Liu Zi Jue on the exercise of Qi is beneficial to start the Qi movement. One can easily tell, Qi or body, which is the focus of the Four Methods of Health Qigong through the content of their syllabus: the first characteristic of Yi Jin Jing reads “The movements are relaxing, and shall be helpful to stretch the body and relax the bones.”, and its first exercising requirement is to “relax the mind, and combine the body and soul as one.” The second characteristic of Wu Qin Xi reads that “stretch the body and exercise the joints”, and the third one reads that “External movement shall guide inner flow, and the body shall be relaxed and the mind refreshed.” Its exercising requirements are arranged in the order of “body, soul, mind and Qi.” As for Ba Duan Jin, its third characteristic is that “The body and soul are combined, and the Qi is interacted.” In the first exercising requirement of Yi Jin Jing “Relax the mind and combine the body and soul”, it is clearly defined that: “The regulation of the body is the main focus of the exercise.” It is obvious to see from the previous examples that the three Methods all emphasize the combination of the body and soul, and put the exercise of body at the first place. But it is another way around in Liu Zi Jue, which puts the exercise of Qi at the first place. The second characteristic of Liu Zi Jue reads as “Guide with breath, exercise both body and soul”, and its second exercising requirement reads that “Combine the mind with Qi (breath) and body.” So Liu Zi Jue takes exercise of Qi as its focus.

The emphasis of Liu Zi Jue on the importance of the Cinnabar Fieldis is beneficial to start the Qi movement. The requirement of “Taking the navel as the center” in Health Qigong·Liu Zi Jue is actually defining the navel as its Cinnabar Field. Then where is place the “exercise Qi” takes place in Health Qigong·Liu Zi Jue? Where to “start Qi movement”? Where to “gathering Qi”? Where the Qi shall be guided to? The answer for all these questions is the Cinnabar Field. All the movements of Liu Zi Jue take the Cinnabar Field as their focus, and even its inverse abdominal breath is released from the Cinnabar Field. Therefore, if the exerciser can thoroughly grasp the methods of Liu Zi Jue, he shall start the Qi movement soon at the Cinnabar Field.

The emphasis of Liu Zi Jue on the regulation of breath is beneficial to start the Qi movement. Liu Zi Jue is a beneficial exercise to exercise one’s inner Qi (including the start of Qi movement and the flow of Qi), and an exerciser which takes the Cinnabar Field as its core, the breath regulation as its emphasis and the inverse abdominal breathing as the major methods. Liu Zi Jue particularly emphasizes the importance of the Cinnabar Field which offers the best position to start the Qi movement; it also pays close attention to the inverse abdominal breath, which provides the start of Qi movement with a convenient method. I conclude “three magic” of Liu Zi Jue as following: the Cinnabar Field is the magic place, the inverse abdominal breath the magic weapon to exercise Qi, and the inner Qi as its magic fruit.

The practice reveals the truth that, the exerciser should take the key points, so that he shall get a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the Health Qigong. In accordance with my personal experience, I believe that HU Exercise in Liu Zi Jue is much easier to start the Qi movement. I will explain with details in the following part. Firstly, the movements of HU Exercise are the simplest. The movements of HU Exercise look simple on the surface with only an opening and close. Nevertheless, the greatest doctrine is usually expressed in the simplest way. “The laws are valued in its accuracy, and Gong in its delicacy.” The laws of Health Qigong exercise emphasize the accurate quality instead of the quantity, so the exercising methods are considered to be the simpler the better. Therefore this simplest movement with only an opening and close is an Exercise that shall achieve unexpected result. Its opening and close is actually a grand one that takes the Cinnabar Field as its center, both bodily and mentally. Secondly, HU Exercise is the most convenient to be coordinated and regulated. Since it is the simplest exercise, it is the most convenient to be regulated in the breath and the pilot movements. The opening and close of one pilot movement in HU Exercise is coordinated by the opening and close of an inverse abdominal breath, so it is comfortable to exercise it. The exerciser shall meet the requirement of Health Qigong·Liu Zi Jue saying that “The opening and close of the movement should be coordinated by the breath of inner Qi”. With a close regulation and coordination of the opening and close of the abdomen’s breath with the pilot movements, the exerciser shall make a breakthrough in the length and the quantity of breath, and so meet the requirement of Liu Zi Jue to “breathe slowly and lightly.” Therefore, the exerciser should make a breakthrough on HU Exercise to start the Qi movement, and make it the foundation exercise of other methods. Thirdly, HU Exercise is most concentrating exercise. Since its movements are simple, and the breath is much convenient to coordinate with them. Consequently, the exerciser’s mind shall be easier to concentrate, and his thought shall be more sensible to feel the Cinnabar Field. It tends to be much easier for the exerciser to feel the movement of the Cinnabar Field in this calm and sensible state, which does a favor for him to make a breakthrough in the starting of Qi movement. I once experienced in the exercise that, when I breathed directly from the Cinnabar Field, a complete flow of Qi was formed and flowing between the open mouth and the Cinnabar Field. So I believe that the HU Exercise is the best exercise to make a breakthrough in starting the Qi movement.

In conclusion, I’ve discussed in the previous part all the personal feelings I experienced through years of Health Qigong exercise. I am showing them in the hope of offering other exercisers some useful suggestions in starting the Qi movement. To fulfill this goal, besides years of exercise, one should also keep the Omphaloskepsis in the daily life. It is an efficient exercise to start the Qi movement if one always keeps Omphaloskepsis in mind. As long as one sticks to concentrating his mind on the Cinnabar Field, one shall make a breakthrough in the starting of Qi movement naturally, and make a success in Health Qigong exercise.

Reference: My Opinions on How to Start Qi Movement jsqg.sport.org.cn

A General Introduction to Jinggong

by Chen Yingming

There is currently no effective medicine for stress-related disorders. Phosphoric supplements’ claim to fortifying the brain is unsubstantiated. All other stimulants or sedatives have only temporary effect. After the effect wears out, the symptoms come back, maybe with a vengeance.

One must ensure complete tranquility of the mind and disperse all random thoughts from it. This is the most important principle of jinggong practice and is the most effective treatment for stress-related disorders. However, it is difficult to put a stop to all the thoughts that go habitually through your mind. Our forefathers devised a host of methods to attain this purpose, among which the best one is Zhuangzi’s “listen-to-breathing” method (Zhuangzi, c. 369 – 286 BC).

You begin this exercise by using only your ears, not your mind. The idea is not to replace one thought with another, but more to force yourself to stay vigilant about your nose or your lungs. Nor is it to listen to any nasal sound. As long as you are aware ofthe exhalations and the inhalations, you are doing it right.Do not try to control the speed and depth of the breathing. Just let them be. By and by, your breath will beat one with your qi.All distracting thoughts will vanish. You will even forget about your breathing and gradually drift off to sleep. This is the most opportune moment to restore vigor to your frayed nerves. Seize the moment and abandon your self to deep sleep. Be sure not to resist the temptation to sleep. After you wake up, repeat the exercise all over again, and you will be able to drop off to blissful sleep again. If you have already slept several times during the day and do not wish to sleep anymore,you may get up and do some light exercise in a woody place outside where the air is fresh and clean. You may stand there for a few minutes doing breathing exercises, or practice calisthenics or taichi. But do not go overboard. Do not tire yourself out. Once you return indoors, you may either sit or lie in bed, resume your “listening-to-breathing” exercise and, perhaps, to fall asleep again.

Most people with stress-related disorders are also plagued by insomnia. It is not advisable to take sleep pills on a regular basis. Only the “listening-to—breathing” method can tackle the problem at the root, without leaving any side effect. It is in keeping with the theory about yang entering yin in the Classic of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing, China’s earliest work on of medicine completed between 770 BC – 25 AD).

Ancient books on medicine often make reference to the interdependence of the mind and the breath,but no specific instructions can be found.Su Dongpo’s way is to count your breathings and then let the mind follow the breath (Su Dongpo, 1037- 1101, a famous Chinese poet). ZhuXi’s way, as explained in his Advice on Breath Adjustment, is to “watch the tip of your nose,” according to The Surangama Sutra (Zhu Xi, 1130 – 1200, Confucian scholar and founder of the school of Neo—Confucianism). However, since you have to count, you are not free from all engagement of the mind. And, in the latter case, since you have to watch your nose, your eyes will get tired over time. Zhuangzi’s “listening-to-breathing” method is the only one that calls for absolutely no engagement of the mind and leads to no fatigue. What follows is a list of the three methods for you to practice.

1. Su Dongpo’s theory on health (Dongo Zhilin, Su Shi’a Record in His Daily Life, Vol.1):
Health conscious people must exercise moderation in their eating habits. Only when plagued with hunger can you start eating and you should stop before the feeling of fullness sets in. After each meal, take a stroll outdoors until the food has been digested. Then return indoors for exercises. You can freely decide whether to do the exercises in daytime or at night, seated or lying down. The only important thing is to keep your body from moving and stay immobile like a wooden statue. Then, in a combination of Buddhist and Daoist methods, gaze at the tip ofyour own nose while counting the number of exhalations and inhalations through your nose. The key is to empty your mind and not to force anything. When counting, count either all the exhalations or all the inhalations, not both.So each act of breathing, exhaling and inhaling, counts as one, not two. After you’ve counted hundreds of times, your mind will be a blank and your body motionless as a rock. Since you need not force anything on your mind and body, both will naturally enjoy tranquility.

After you’ve counted thousands of times, or if you have no more strength to go on counting, you can switch to another method, called “follow the breath.” When you exhale, let your mind follow the air out of the body. When you inhale, let your mind follow the air on its way in, not through the nostrils, but filling every pore like evaporation of cloud and fog. When you attain this level of accomplishment, all longstanding ailments and afflictions will gradually go away and you reach enlightenment, just like a blind man suddenly regaining sight. Able to see his way ahead now, he no longer needs guidance.

2. ZhuXi’s breath-adjustment method (The Complete Works Zhu Xi, Vol. 85):
Watching the tip of one’s own nose is the 14th of the 25 methods listed in The Surangama Sutra. Both Su Dongpo and Zhu Xi adopted the phrase, but each in a slightly different sense. In Zhu Xi’s words, this is a method applicable anywhere and at any time, provided you are relaxed and feel comfortable. Do not make yourself uncomfortable in any way. Stay calm and let things take their own course. Do not force anything. When tranquility reaches its height, the pendulum will naturally swing toward motion, like fish rising to the surface of the water in spring to breathe. When motion reaches its height, the pendulum swings naturally toward tranquility, like insects hibernating in winter to conserve energy. At this point, the qi in the body converges with the qi of heaven and earth, and the alterations of tranquility and motion unite with the movements of the universe. Words are inadequate to describe the wonders of this method. You may ask, who is behind all this? In fact, there is no one behind any of this. Everything is just a part of nature.

3. The Mind Tranquility method of Zhuangzi (Chapter IV, The Book of Zhuangzi):
Yan Hui asked Confucius, his teacher, about Zhuangzi’s Mind Tranquility method, and this was Confucius’ reply: Do not indulge in wild fancies. Gather all your thoughts to gether and then listen,not with your ears but with your mind. Then,listen not with your mind but with your qi.By this time, you should no longer be relying on your ears. Your mind and qi being at one, you should not be relying on your mind, either. Qi is something unsubstantial. It needs something to form a union with it. Only Dao can merge with the qi of the Great Void. If your mind attains the tranquility of the Great Void, you have made a success ofthe MindTranquility method.

There should be no division of stages to this method, but for the convenience of beginners, I’mgoing to divide the whole process into several steps and give some detailed instructions:

Step 1: “Gather all your thoughts together.” Before you begin the exercise, be sure to gather all your thoughts together and concentrate on the exercise. If any distracting thoughts remain, you will not b eable to do a good job of it.

Step2: “Listennotwithyourearsbutwithyourmind.”Once
you have completed Step 1, you are ready to begin to “listen,” but definitely not to listen with your ears to Conventional sounds. You may get skeptical and ask, since it involves lis- tening, what am I supposed to listento, ifnot to sounds? No clear answer to this question can be found in the annotations to all kinds of theories.So let me make this clear: You begin by listening for the sound of breathing through your nostrils. The breathing of those with normal, unimpeded respiratory systems should be noiseless, which is why you are not supposed to listen with your ears.Even though there is no sound, you are aware ofthe speed and the strength ofexhalations and inhala- tions through the nostrils, as are even the hearing-impaired. That’swhytheinstructionsareto “listenwithyourmind.”

Step 3: As for “listen not with your mind but with your qi,” this can again be problematic. You may be able to get away with saying “listen with your mind” because the mind, after all, is sentient, but qi is not. How can you listen with qi? If the mind listens to qi, what does qi listen to? So how should this be explained? My answer is: when you have become quite accomplished in jinggong, your mind and your qi will be at one and inseparable. Qi becomes something impossible for the mind to listen to, hence the phrase “You must not listen with your mind.” At this point, your mind and your qi, though at one, may not have reached the state of the Void and there fore may still have a slight awareness of your breathing. If you keep on, you will soon lose all awareness of your breathing. During the brief period of transition, rather than listen to qi with your mind and set mind and qi against each other, it makes more sense to listen to qi with qi and wipe out any rift between the two. That’s why the instructions say “listen with qi.”

Step 4: As for “You should no longer be relying on your ears,” and “You should not be relying on your mind, either,” a beginner should first try to gather his thoughts together before concentrating on “listening,” but carrying this on for too long would be overdoing it. So go on to the next step. Stop listening. By this time, you are moving into the stage of the Void, where your mind and qi are at one, you are no longer aware of your breathing.You may appear to be asleep on the outside, but on the inside, it’s another story.

Setp 5: As for “Qi is something unsubstantial. It needs something to form a union with it. Only Dao can merge with the qi of the Great Void. If your mind attains the tranquility of the Great Void, you have made a success of the Mind Tranquility method,” after you have gone from the simpler to the more sophisticated stages, you naturally reach the state of the Void without having to direct your mind to it. If you will it, you won’t be able to get there. The entire process is to go from what you have acquired to what you were given by nature. So the fifth should be be experienced in the state you were born, but I will not get in to that,because it exceeds the limits of therapy. For our purposes, it sufiices to reach the state where your mind and your qi merge.

A summary of the three methods cited above: Su Dongpo’s method is to begin by counting your breathing, then stop counting and let it be. Zhu Xi’s method is to begin by watch- ing your nose, then stop watching it and let everything take its own course. Zhuangzi’s method is to begin by listening to your breath, then stop listening and let everything take its own course. The three methods begin differently but end on the same path. Learners can feel free to apply them in combination.

Young patients with stress-related disorders can be 70% or 80% cured by practicing these exercises for three months. Middleaged patients can be 50 to 60% cured after three month’s practice. However, symptoms can vary in degree. I was referring to more severe cases. Those with less severe symptoms can achieve full recovery. After you leave the sanatorium and return to your workplace, it would be advisable to practice twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, and make it a habit. Only then will you be able to keep what you have gained and be fully accomplished in this healing art.

Quiet Sitting The Daoist Approach for a Healthy Mind and Body by Weiqiao, Jiang p. 67 – 75

Ox Leading Posture

Qianniuzhuang

Movements:
1) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and turn feet 45 de- grees to the left (right) with heels as an axis. Keep torso upright but turn it to extreme left, with knees slightly bent and drawn together, toes sticking to the ground.
2) Raise and naturally stretch arms to front of chest, elbows dropping slightly and pointing to the ground, with left palm facing downward and right palm upward.
3) Raise arms to backward left right) as torso
turns left Look at left (right).
ward. (Fig. 3)

Purpose:
This is a basic Zhuangong for the employment of capture skills, in which the hands are ready to catch, elbows ready to pull down, steps ready to close in and waist ready to turn, an ideal Zhuanggong for the practitioner to advance and retreat, assault and defend. Capture skills should be based on this fundamental posture. Practice in both directions.

Essentials:
1) Press closely together your elbows and knees and stick your feet firmly to the ground.

Reference:
Simplified Caputre Skills by Wang Xinde, Hai Feng Publishing Company 1983-84 p. 25
ISBN 9622380131

The Nei-yeh Inner Cultivation or Inward Training

Translated by Harold Roth

One
The vital essence of all things: 
It is this that brings them to life.
It generates the five grains below
And becomes the constellated stars above.
When flowing amid the heavens and the earth
We call it ghostly and numinous.
When stored within the chests of human beings,
We call them sages.

Two
Therefore this vital energy is:
Bright! - as if ascending from the heavens;
Dark! - as if entering an abyss;
Vast! - as if dwelling in an ocean;
Lofty! - as if dwelling on a mountain peak.
Therefore this vital energy
Cannot be halted by force,
Yet can be secured by inner power [Te].
Cannot be summoned by speech,
Yet can be welcomed by awareness.
Reverently hold onto it and do not lose it:
This is called "developing inner power."
When inner power develops and wisdom emerges,
The myriad things will, to the last one, be grasped.

Three
All the forms of the mind
Are naturally infused and filled with it [the vital essence],
Are naturally generated and developed [because of] it.
It is lost
Inevitably because of sorrow, happiness, joy, anger, desire, and profit-seeking.
If you are able to cast off sorrow, happiness, joy, anger, desire and profit-seeking,
Your mind will just revert to equanimity.
The true condition of the mind
Is that it finds calmness beneficial and, by it, attains repose.
Do not disturb it, do not disrupt it
And harmony will naturally develop.

Four
Clear! as though right by your side.
Vague! as though it will not be attained.
Indescribable! as though beyond the limitless.
The test of this is not far off:
Daily we make use of its inner power.
The Way is what infuses the body,
Yet people are unable to fix it in place.
It goes forth but does not return,
It comes back but does not stay.
Silent! none can hear its sound.
Suddenly stopping! it abides within the mind.
Obscure! we do not see its form.
Surging forth! it arises with us.
We do not see its form,
We do not hear its sound,
Yet we can perceive an order to its accomplishments.
We call it "the Way."

Five
The Way has no fixed position;
It abides within the excellent mind.
When the mind is tranquil and the vital breath is regular,
The Way can thereby be halted.
That Way is not distant from us;
When people attain it they are sustained
That Way is not separated from us;
When people accord with it they are harmonious.
Therefore: Concentrated! as though you could be roped together with it.
Indiscernible! as though beyond all locations.
The true state of that Way:
How could it be conceived of and pronounced upon?
Cultivate your mind, make your thoughts tranquil,
And the Way can thereby be attained.

Six
As for the Way:
It is what the mouth cannot speak of,
The eyes cannot see,
And the ears cannot hear.
It is that with which we cultivate the mind and align the body.
When people lose it they die;
When people gain it they flourish.
When endeavours lose it they fail;
When they gain it they succeed.
The Way never has a root or trunk,
It never has leaves or flowers.
The myriad things are generated by it;
The myriad things are completed by it.
We designate it "the Way."

Seven
For the heavens, the ruling principle is to be aligned.
For the earth, the ruling principle is to be level.
For human beings the ruling principle is to be tranquil.
Spring, autumn, winter and summer are the seasons of the heavens.
Mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys are the resources of the earth.
Pleasure and anger, accepting and rejecting are the devices of human beings.
Therefore, the sage:
Alters with the seasons but doesn't transform,
Shifts with things but doesn't change places with them.

Eight
If you can be aligned and be tranquil,
Only then can you be stable.
With a stable mind at your core,
With the eyes and ears acute and clear,
And with the four limbs firm and fixed,
You can thereby make a lodging place for the vital essence.
The vital essence: it is the essence of the vital energy.
When the vital energy is guided, it [the vital essence] is generated,
But when it is generated, there is thought,
When there is thought, there is knowledge,
But when there is knowledge, then you must stop.
Whenever the forms of the mind have excessive knowledge,
You loose your vitality.

Nine
Those who can transform even a single thing, call them "numinous";
Those who can alter even a single situation, call them "wise."
But to transform without expending vital energy; to alter without expending wisdom:
Only exemplary persons who hold fast to the One are able to do this.
Hold fast to the One; do not loose it,
And you will be able to master the myriad things.
Exemplary persons act upon things,
And are not acted upon by them,
Because they grasp the guiding principle of the One.

Ten
With a well-ordered mind within you,
Well-ordered words issue forth from your mouth,
And well-ordered tasks are imposed on others.
Then all under heaven will be well-ordered.
"When one word is grasped,
All under the heavens will submit.
When one word is fixed,
All under heavens will listen."
It is this [word "Way"] to which the saying refers.

Eleven
When your body is not aligned,
The inner power will not come.
When you are not tranquil within,
Your mind will not be ordered.
Align your body, assist the inner power,
Then it will gradually come on its own.

Twelve
The numinous [mind]: no one knows its limit;
It intuitively knows the myriad things.
Hold it within you, do not let it waver.
To not disrupt your senses with external things,
To not disrupt your mind with your senses:
This is called "grasping it within you."

Thirteen
There is a numinous [mind] naturally residing within;
One moment it goes, the next it comes,
And no one is able to conceive of it.
If you loose it you are inevitably disordered;
If you attain it you are inevitably well ordered.
Diligently clean out its lodging place
And its vital essence will naturally arrive.
Still your attempts to imagine and conceive of it.
Relax your efforts to reflect on and control it.
Be reverent and diligent
And its vital essence will naturally stabilize.
Grasp it and don't let go
Then the eyes and ears won't overflow
And the mind will have nothing else to seek.
When a properly aligned mind resides within you,
The myriad things will be seen in their proper perspective.

Fourteen
The Way fills the entire world.
It is everywhere that people are,
But people are unable to understand this.
When you are released by this one word:
You reach up to the heavens above;
You stretch down to the earth below;
You pervade the nine inhabited regions.
What does it mean to be released by it?
The answer resides in the calmness of the mind.
When your mind is well-ordered, your senses are well-ordered.
When your mind is calm, your senses are calmed.
What makes them well-ordered is the mind;
What makes them calm is the mind.
By means of the mind you store the mind:
Within the mind there is yet another mind.
That mind within the mind: it is an awareness that precedes words.
Only after there is awareness does it take shape;
Only after it takes shape it there a word.
Only after there is a word is it implemented;
Only after it is implemented is there order.
Without order, you will always be chaotic.
If chaotic, you die.

Fifteen
For those who preserve and naturally generate vital essence
On the outside a calmness will flourish.
Stored inside, we take it to be the well-spring.
Floodlike, it harmonizes and equalizes
And we take it to be the fount of the vital energy.
When the fount is not dried up,
The four limbs are firm.
When the spring is not drained,
Vital energy freely circulates through the nine apertures.
You can then exhaust the heavens and the earth
And spread over the four seas.
When you have no delusions within you,
Externally there will be no disasters.
Those who keep their minds unimpaired within,
Externally keep their bodies unimpaired,
Who do not encounter heavenly disasters
Or meet with harm at the hands of others,
Call them Sages.

Sixteen
If people can be aligned and tranquil,
Their skin will be ample and smooth,
Their eyes and ears will be acute and clear,
Their muscles will be supple and their bones will be strong,
They will then be able to hold up the Great Circle [of the heavens]
And tread firmly over the Great Square [of the earth].
They will mirror things with great purity.
And they will perceive things with great clarity.
Reverently be aware [of the Way] and do not waver,
And you will daily renew your inner power,
Thoroughly understand all under the heavens,
And exhaust everything within the Four Directions.
To reverently bring forth the effulgence [of the Way]:
This is called "inward attainment."
If you do this but fail to return to it,
This will cause a wavering in your vitality.

Seventeen
For all [to practice] this Way:
You must coil, you must contract,
You must uncoil, you must expand,
You must be firm, you must be regular [in this practice].
Hold fast to this excellent [practice]; do not let go of it.
Chase away the excessive; abandon the trivial.
And when you reach its ultimate limit
You will return to the Way and the inner power.

Eighteen
When there is a mind that is unimpaired within you,
It cannot be hidden.
It will be known in your countenance,
And seen in your skin colour.
If with this good flow of vital energy you encounter others,
They will be kinder to you than your own brethren.
But if with a bad flow of vital energy you encounter others,
They will harm you with their weapons.
[This is because] the wordless pronouncement
Is more rapid than the drumming of thunder.
The perceptible form of the mind's vital energy
Is brighter than the sun and moon,
And more apparent than the concern of parents.
Rewards are not sufficient to encourage the good;
Punishments are not sufficient to discourage the bad.
Yet once this flow of vital energy is achieved,
All under heaven will submit.
And once the mind is made stable,
All under heaven will listen.

Nineteen
By concentrating your vital breath as if numinous,
The myriad things will all be contained within you.
Can you concentrate? Can you unite with them?
Can you not resort to divining by tortoise or milfoil
Yet know bad and good fortune?
Can you stop? Can you cease?
Can you not seek it in others,
Yet attain it within yourself?
You think and think about it
And think still further about it.
You think, yet still cannot penetrate it.
While the ghostly and numinous will penetrate it,
It is not due to the power of the ghostly and numinous,
But to the utmost refinement of your essential vital breath.
When the four limbs are aligned
And the blood and vital breath are tranquil,
Unify your awareness, concentrate your mind,
Then your eyes and ears will not be over-stimulated.
And even the far-off will seem close at hand.

Twenty
Deep thinking generates knowledge.
Idleness and carelessness generate worry.
Cruelty and arrogance generate resentment.
Worry and grief generate illness.
When illness reaches a distressing degree, you die.
When you think about something and don't let got of it,
Internally you will be distressed, externally you will be weak.
Do not plan things out in advance
Or else your vitality will cede its dwelling.
In eating, it is best not to fill up;
In thinking, it is best not to overdo.
Limit these to the appropriate degree
And you will naturally reach it [vitality].

Twenty-one
As for the life of all human beings:
The heavens brings forth their vital essence,
The earth brings forth their bodies.
These two combine to make a person.
When they are in harmony there is vitality;
When they are not in harmony there is no vitality.
If we examine the Way of harmonizing them,
Its essentials are not visible,
Its signs are not numerous.
Just let a balanced and aligned [breathing] fill your chest
And it will swirl and blend with your mind,
This confers longevity.
When joy and anger are not limited,
You should make a plan [to limit them].
Restrict the five sense-desires;
Cast away these dual misfortunes.
Be not joyous, be not angry,
Just let a balanced and aligned [breathing] fill your chest.

Twenty-two
As for the vitality of all human beings:
It inevitably occurs because of balanced and aligned [breathing].
The reason for its loss
Is inevitably pleasure and anger, worry and anxiety.
Therefore, to bring your anger to a halt, there is nothing better than poetry;
To cast off worry there is nothing better than music;
To limit music there is nothing better than rites;
To hold onto the rites there is nothing better than reverence;
To hold onto reverence there is nothing better than tranquility.
When you are inwardly tranquil and outwardly reverent
You are able to return to your innate nature
And this nature will become greatly stable.

Twenty-three
For all the Way of eating is that:
Overfilling yourself with food will impair your vital energy
And cause your body to deteriorate.
Over-restricting your consumption causes the bones to wither
And the blood to congeal.
The mean between overfilling and over-restricting:
This is called "harmonious completion."
It is where the vital essence lodges
And knowledge is generated.
When hunger and fullness lose their proper balance,
You make a plan to correct this.
When full, move quickly;
When hungry, neglect your thoughts;
When old, forget worry.
If when full you don't move quickly,
Vital energy will not circulate to your limbs.
If when hungry you don't neglect your thoughts of food,
When you finally eat you will not stop.
If when old you don't forget your worries,
The fount of your vital energy will rapidly drain out.

Twenty-four
When you enlarge your mind and let go of it,
When you relax your vital breath and expand it,
When your body is calm and unmoving:
And you maintain the One and discard the myriad disturbances,
You will see profit and not be enticed by it,
You will see harm and not be frightened by it.
Relaxed and unwound, yet acutely sensitive,
In solitude you delight in your own person.
This is called "revolving the vital breath":
Your thoughts and deeds seem heavenly.

Twenty-five
The vitality of all people
Inevitably comes from their peace of mind.
When anxious, you loose this guiding thread;
When angry, you lose this basic point.
When you are anxious or sad, pleased or angry,
The Way has no place to settle.
Love and desire: still them!
Folly and disturbance: correct them!
Do not push it! do not pull it!
Good fortune will naturally return to you,
And that Way will naturally come to you
So you can rely on and take counsel from it.
If you are tranquil then you will attain it;
If you are agitated then you will lose it.

Twenty-six
That mysterious vital energy within the mind:
One moment it arrives, the next it departs.
So fine, there is nothing within it;
So vast, there is nothing outside it.
We lose it
Because of the harm caused by mental agitation.
When the mind can hold on to tranquility,
The Way will become naturally stabilized.
For people who have attained the Way
It permeates their pores and saturates their hair.
Within their chest, they remain unvanquished.
[Follow] this Way of restricting sense-desires
And the myriad things will not cause you harm.
Reference: http://www.stillness.com/tao/neiyeh.txt
Book: Harold D. Roth Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei-yeh) and the Foundations of Taoist Mysticism
ISBN 0231115652

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

The Intercourse of Water and Fire

Whenever you leak vital spirit, being stirred and interacting with beings, that is all fire. Whenever you gather back spirits consciousness and quiet it down to steep in the center, that is all water. When th senses run outward, that is fire; when the senses turn around  inward, that is water.

The one yin [ inside the fire trigram ] concentrates on pursuing sense experience, while the one yang [ inside the water trigram ] concentrates on reversing and withdrawing the senses themselves.

Water and fire are yin and yang, yin and yang are body and mind, body and mind are spirit and energy. Once you withdraw to rest your vital spirit and are not influenced by objects, then this is true intercourse, as of course when you sit in profound silence.

Reference:The Secret of the Golden Flower: The Classic Chinese Book of Life new translation by Thomas Cleary

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