How can Qigong Cure your Sickness?

I received this “How can Qigong Cure your Sickness?” article in a newsletter from the Tai Chi, Qigong & Feng Shui Institute. It is a very interesting look at a different way of healing your body. The western way is through medicines that pinpoint symptoms of a disease. Traditional Chinese medicine looks at the whole body, the health of the meridians. My preference is not to take drugs, if not necessary. If I can save money by not going to the doctor and taking their pharmaceuticals, but I can be healthy by doing Tai Chi and Qigong, then that’s what I will do. Prevent the illness, rather than treat symptoms. Enjoy their words:

parting the wild horse's mane

Tai Chi at Mountain Park park on World Tai Chi day 2018

Qigong is very effective against many chronic and degenerative diseases. Actually, according to Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) theory, these are not diseases, these are only symptoms giving you signals that something is out of balance in your body. TCM uses an approach completely different from that of Western medicine. For example, according to TCM theory, diabetes arises due to a weakness in the yin qi for the liver, kidney and spleen meridians (channels of qi) which are located on your legs.

The most common Western treatments are: diet management (controlling the intake of sugar), insulin injection and oral medication. The main goal of these approaches is to keep blood sugar levels within the normal range. However, this is not the root of the problem. These treatments, especially the sugar intake control treatment, not only further weaken the yin qi in the liver, kidney and spleen meridians, but they weaken the yang qi in the long run. Weaknesses in both the yang and yin qi will result in very poor blood circulation because blood flow follows qi flow. This will cause many problems. A crippling effect will result if qi ceases to flow along the meridians in the legs. In the serious case, amputation maybe necessary. Blindness will result if qi ceases to flow to the eyes. The inability of qi to flow to the kidneys leads to kidney failures, which weakens qi overall, resulting in death because kidney is the last reserve of qi. (Chinese doctors have a definition for kidney that is different from the definition adopted by Western medicine practitioners, which I will explain further in a future newsletter).

The cause of diabetes according to Chinese medical theories is yin qi weakness. Thus, qigong and some Chinese herb medicines work by simply strengthening yin qi. Typical symptoms of diabetes such as dry mouth, frequent urination, fatigue and excessive hunger will start to disappear with qigong and Chinese medicine. However, sugar levels in the blood may still remain relatively high. This is because these approaches do not target blood sugar level. The level of sugar in the blood will return back to normal with the strengthening of yin qi. This may take a few months or a few years to achieve depending on the severity of the problem.

One may ask, how do I strengthen my yin qi then? The good thing about Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi is you do not need to care whether it is yin qi or yang qi that you need. It just balances your overall yin and yang. Thus, someone who has high blood pressure and someone who has low blood pressure can both benefited by practicing the same qigong. It is the beauty of the traditional Chinese approach. Rather than treating the symptoms, it focuses on bringing the body back to balance.

Back to me writing: I teach elements of Tai Chi Qigong shibashi at my classes, and will be focusing on the second set of 18 movements this year. Come join us for a workout that feels good, and does good for you too!

Finger Dexterity

Most of the hand movements in Tai Chi involve the whole hands, not individual finger motion. But that’s no reason to neglect your digits. Here’s a really cool video on finger exercises, designed in particular for musicians, but it can help us all.

Take your time, don’t try to do all the exercises fast and with lots of tension. Remember your Tai Chi training, breathe slowly and deeply, move gently at your own pace, and start with just a few if your hands are tight. Come back to this video every day for a week or two to do the whole set. Make a qigong set out of this, focusing on your energy flowing to your hands and through your fingers.

Don’t feel surprised if your fingers just don’t want to do some of the exercises. Just play with them, stay calm and enjoy a laugh at your incoordination. This too will get better in time. Be patient and just have some fun. Then when you get really good, like this guy, you can impress your friends and relatives!

Microcosmic Orbit

What is the microcosmic orbit? No, it’s not a tiny planet orbiting around the sun. It’s a flow of energy through the body. Going from the base of the spine, it goes up the Du or Governing channel, to the head where it connects through the tongue to the Ren or Conception channel, back down to the dan tien.

This page has an excellent understanding and description of the microcosmic orbit, and how to activate it during meditation. The goal is to move qi through the body, collecting and storing it in the dan tien. This can be practiced almost any time you have a spare moment, energizing the body when you need a lift. I practice it when I’m walking, especially up hills, and I feel it does give me more energy.

The page I am linking to above has a video of the 8 Pieces of Brocade practice that is a great introduction to Qi Gong moves. It also explains the purpose of the various exercises and the qi/health benefits.