Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Understanding Qigong

Cultivating the 'Life Energy':

 Understanding Qigong

By Arno Pienaar

Most of us have at one point in our lives, most probably online or on the television,  witnessed the unbelievable strength of Tibetan Gongfu Monks, and the incredible healing abilities that Qigong medical practitioners possess, but not many have really wondered how these seemingly impossible feats are made possible by these maestros.
How can an individual literally hold himself vertically up in the air with two fingers alone? How does a Chinese Qigong practitioner transfer bio-electricity from his hands to a specific organ of a patient, and even more confusing to the western mind, how does one create such incredible heat emanating from the palm that a potential spark is enabled to be produced?
The answers all lie in understanding how bio-electric energy (Qi) in the body works and functions, and practicing age old methods to allow the Qi (Electricity) to circulate to all areas of the human body using the power of the mind and intent.
It is unfortunate, that when we speak about electricity in the human body there seems to be a blank space in most of our minds, due to the current education system not even acknowledging that it exists. You should know by now that everything is energy and where there is no energy, there is no life -- energy is everything. Electromagnetic fields not only flow around us, but also through our bodies!
Another term that is used is the aura. Your physical, emotional, mental & spiritual states determines the strength of your EMF (aura). The whole planet is abound with energy and even has its own electromagnetic field which is intricately linked to our very own EMF.
We share an innate relationship with the planet, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat literally become us, the planet provides us with all the energy we need to survive optimally & infinitely, given that we live the natural way and that Earth is in a state of harmony.
From now onwards I will use the word Qi to refer to energy, electricity, bio-electricity etc., in our bodies. Qigong can be roughly classified into five major categories namely, Maintaining health, Curing Sickness, Prolonging life, Martial Skill, Enlightenment. There were two major types of Qigong training.
One type used by Confucians and Daoist scholars, who used it to maintain health and another type was for medical purposes, using needles or exercises to adjust the Qi or to cure illness. All training focused on following the natural way. Actively countering the effects of nature was considered impossible.
While the scholarly and medical Qigong had been concerned with maintaining & improving health, the newly imported religious Qigong was concerned with far more. Religious practitioners trained their Qi to a much deeper level, and strove to obtain control over their bodies, minds and spirits with the goal of escaping from the cycle of reincarnation…
Chinese medical Qigong practice goes back more than 4,000 years ago, it is the oldest known medical understanding of how the human body functions, and most of it is based on the understanding of Qi in the human body. Ailments are treated on the basis of the understanding of the Qi pathways in the human body.
Energy is distributed in a series of complex pathways sourced from a few different origins. When Chinese medicine relates to an organ, such as the spleen, kidney or bladder, they are not necessarily relating to the physical organ but rather to a system of functions which are related to the organ.
For instance, if a patient had difficulty urinating or voiding, the culprit would be the kidneys, and an experienced Qigong practitioner will look to restore full functionality to the root of the problem, the kidneys. This involves methods to manipulate the flow of energy to them, either stimulating the body to send more, or less( Acu-pressure or Acu-puncture at the correct meridians).
In order to achieve the healing diagnosis, a few methods other methods are also highlighted for a patient seeking a healing response from their body, massage with intent, herbal supplementary diet, diet changes and specific exercises. Your vehicle carrying your soul needs also to be clear for allowed energy flow through the whole system uninterrupted, The Life force the Earth naturally provides for you!
Energy in the human body is derived from mainly two sources, pre-birth Qi and post-birth Qi. The more important to your well-being & longevity is the pre-birth Qi (which is the essence you are born with derived from the physical/ emotional/ mental/ spiritual states of your parents when they created you. Pre-birth Qi is used to counter the potential overwhelming effects from post-birth Qi (post-birth Qi is the energy you absorb from the air you breathe and the food you eat).
Air is also a form of energy, and good clean air is vital in cooling the fire in your solar plexus resulting from the food you eat and the exercise you do. Once the body is too yang, you cannot maintain full control over your mind. Another term used for pre-birth Qi - is water Qi. And for post-birth Qi the term - fire Qi.
With enough practice, water Qi is led from the lower dan tian to the solar plexus to cool the fire Qi to prevent the body from becoming too positive (Yang) – which is the single reason aging takes place. Yin & Yang are in an ever present opposition, the trick is to balance the two.
Different organs need different levels of Qi, in the same way that different machines or appliances need different levels of electrical power to function normally and prevent damage. When the Qi running to the organs is either too positive or negative, they will be damaged and more rapid degeneration results.
The ancient Chinese character for Qi was formed by two words – on the top of the word “nothing” and at the bottom of the word “fire”. This implies that Qi is No Fire. That means that when the organs are supplied with the proper amount of Qi, they will not be overheated and on fire. Something that significantly contributes to overheating in the body is fat, simply because fat is not a very good conductor of Qi whatsoever.
Because Qi struggles to go through it, stagnation takes place, and imbalances of Qi in the body results. These imbalances manifest as ailments, confusion and the scattering of the mind. Another culprit is emotion.
Emotion, especially negative emotions have a detrimental effect on your mind being able to administer the correct Qi amounts to each organ, which is why it is so important to be the ruler of your emotional mind (body).
I are not implying to become apathetic, on the contrary, emotions associated with love is the chosen feelings you need to aim for to achieve even more benefits for your physical and spiritual health.
Qigong and Food
The reason Buddhist or Taoist monks practice fasting, is mainly to subdue the emotional mind. It is believed that Emotions arise from the food you eat, remember, the food you eat has a specific vibrational rate, and your body takes on the vibration of the food you eat. The manifestation of these vibrations are emotional feelings in the human body.
Negative emotion is avoided by putting the body in a ying state during a fast. In this state the emotions are easily controlled and one can work on his wisdom mind which is related to the Original Jing. Emotions and temper are closely related to the food you eat. It can be seen that the animals who eat plants are more tame and non-violent than the animals which eat meat.
Food that generates excessive Qi in  the solar plexus usually makes the body more positive and makes the person more emotional.  This effect can also be caused by dirty air, dirty thoughts or the surrounding Qi for example when the weather is very hot. You can probably guess by this information why so many practitioners altogether avoid meat in their diets.
Benefiting from Pre-birth Qi
Understanding Jing (essence) also pre-birth Qi, internal Qi energy and shen (spirit) is one of the most important requirements for effective Qigong training. The Qi and the blood are very closely related, where Qi goes blood flows.
It is believed that Qi provides the energy for the blood cells to keep them alive, as a matter of fact, it is believed that blood is able to store Qi. Qi channels are non-material and cannot be observed as physical objects. Pre-birth Qi  (Jing)  or essence(the Chinese people believe that the sperm or semen is the refined and most essential product of a man) resides in the external kidneys(gonads), crown jewels or testicles.
It is the main source of the Qi which fills up the 4 major Qi vessels in the legs. Jing may be considered the primal substance or original source from which a thing is made and which exhibits the true nature of that thing, ironically also, sperm in Chinese means sons-of-essence.
Water Qi comes from converted Original Jing which you received before your birth. Fire Qi is drawn from the food and air we take in. Fire Qi brings the body into a positive (Yang) state, which stimulates the emotions and scatters and confuses the mind.
When the water Qi cools the body down, the mind will become clear, centered and neutral. The residence of the post birth Qi is the solar plexus. This Qi then circulates down and mixes with the pre-birth Qi. Together they circulate down into the governing vessel, from where they are distributed to the rest of the body.
Have you ever captured the phrase referring to sexual energy being used to energize the spirit or abstinence being practiced to offer all available energy including sexual energy towards spiritual development with the sole aim of attaining enlightenment?
These are the kind of paths many dedicated monks follow, and active practitioners of various incredible feats, unexplainable by western science. Perhaps mainly because western science do not want to let us know that we are potentially all capable of reaching higher energy states using life energy cultivation (Qigong).
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