Monday, September 16, 2013

Balance Fire (the Heart) and Water (the Kidneys).

Balancing Fire and Water – a Qi Gong Exercise

It is important, especially during the summer, to maintain an healthy balance between Fire (the Heart) and Water (the Kidneys).  When Heart and Kidneys are not balanced we may experience difficulty sleeping, emotional stress, and heart issues. Taking the time each day to focus on your body’s energetic balance can help you relieve symptoms and strengthen your overall health.
The exercise below works specifically to balance the energy of Fire and Water and to regulate and deepen the heartbeat.
Stand with feet shoulder distance apart. 

Exhale completely and bring your hands together just below your navel, with the palms facing up and fingertips about an inch apart. 

Inhale slowly through the nose and raise your upturned hands up the torso until they reach the heart. 



Time it so that your inhalation is complete at the same time that your hands reach your heart center. Hold the breath for 3-5 counts.
Turn the palms facing downward and slowly push them back down the torso as you exhale through the nose.



Remember to time the breath evenly with the movement. Again hold the breath briefly.  Repeat six to ten times.


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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Quickly Release Stress and Heal using Qi

Stress is the result of how the body interprets messages.


Even a simple argument can cause our hearts to beat faster, and our blood pressure to rise.

Stress can also lead to depression and disturbed sleep, which can create other health issues.




We can’t control the stock market or what other people say, feel or do, but we can help ourselves deal with the multiple stresses that we face every day.
One very safe and extremely effective method of calming these disruptive energetic vibrations coming from stress is the practice of Qi Gong.
To practice Qi Gong is to let our energy flow freely, allowing us to feel more balanced, both physically and emotionally.



Stress interferes with our body’s ability to circulate blood and Qi efficiently.When our bodies are not circulating blood and Qi efficiently, our internal organ are dysfunctional.
The liver is the organ most affected by stress. The liver’s Qi goes straight to the brain and doesn't move . The energy becomes stagnant. 
Please try this Qigong to heal Your Liver

When we are healthy, we have abundant energy. It is when our energy is depleted, blocked, or stagnant the we feel stress or dis-ease.


This Qi Ball exercise below will help to release your body’s stagnant energy. Opening up this stagnant energy helps to change your circulation and relax the brain. Once the brain relaxes, your whole body can start to relax.
Qi Ball Instructions

Prior to beginning the Qi Ball exercise, close your eyes, relax, and clear your mind.

Imagine that your head is in Heaven, that your feet are on Earth, and that you are very large, like a giant, connecting Yin and Yang energies.


Begin the Qi Ball exercise, while standing or sitting, with your elbows bent, and your arms held away from your body. 

If standing, feet should be shoulder width apart, pointing forward, shoulders and face relaxed, spine straight. Please read more on proper stance in Foundation of internal martial arts.

Tuck in your pelvis to straighten the lower part of the spine.

Now, touch your upper palate with the tip of your tongue. This completes the circular flow of energy that rises up the back and travels over the head to continue down the front of the body.

Rub your hands briskly together. This is the same motion you’d use to warm your hands on a cold day. But this time, add your intention and awareness to the move.


Configure your arms and hands as if you were holding a basketball.


There are three ways to develop and move the energy about in your hands. 


The first method is to move the energy back and forth, like a ping pong ball, from hand to hand, or palm to palm.






The second method is to swirl or spin the ball in a single direction, like a globe spinning on its axis. After rotating the Qi Ball several times in one direction, change directions for several more revolutions. When this becomes somewhat easy, try controlling the speed at which the energy moves in each direction, alternating from fast to slow, clockwise to counterclockwise.

The third method is to hold the energy ball and begin to slowly and steadily move your hands apart and together, ever so slightly. As you pull your hands apart and then push your hands together, you may experience a magnetic feeling between your palms; this is the compression force of the Qi. The more dense, and stronger, the energy, the more difficult it will be to compress it between your hands. The feeling is as if you were pushing two magnets together.


Keep your hands and fingers soft. Let them flow smoothly through the air. Keep them relaxed and fluid.


Don’t let your hands touch


You can combine all 3 methods and do them one after the other.


The Qi Ball exercise may be done formally standing or sitting as described with eyes closed, or informally while watching television, for example. 


This exercise may be performed for five minutes at a time or longer, as long and as often as you like. 


As you perform the Qi Ball exercise, you may begin to feel various sensations such as warmth, coolness, electricity, magnetism, and so on. All feelings and sensations are good; they are all manifestations and types of Qi. 


Embrace them, develop them, control them.


References - Qigong Research Society -Health Tips on 04. Mar, 2010


You can watch an example on YouTube. Here is the one I found, but there are many more.  Holding the Ball


If you have time, please do the Closing Exercise or just shake counting to 100. 
Please read about Shaking at How to build up chi




Closing Exercise 

The closing exercise aims to wash the meridian system, and correct energy imbalances in the body, including high blood pressure. 



To begin the closing exercise, stand straight with your feet a comfortable shoulders-width apart. 


Stay relaxed throughout your body, close your eyes, and clear your mind.


Swiftly but not stiffly, and in a sweeping motion, raise your arms up along both sides of your body and above your head, as though you are scooping up the energy around you. (Men should raise their left hand just slightly higher above their head than their right hand. Women should raise their right hand slightly higher than their left.)
Next, softly and evenly bend at the elbows and move the palms down toward the bai hui point on top of your head, as though you are pushing energy into the point. Be sure not to touch your head.


Fold your thumbs in slightly, and move your hands down along the front of your body in a steady motion, with palms facing the ground. As your arms and hands move down you should feel energy washing down your body, like a waterfall


The energy washes down your face, chest, and stomach, and splits off down the legs and out the balls of your feet. You may feel a rush of energy leave your feet, and you may have an external and internal sensation as the energy washes down your body. Repeat 3 times.


Comments: If you have practiced qigong for fifteen minutes or more, you should end with nine repetitions of the closing exercise. 


Sources:
2. Sancier, Kenneth M. Ph.D and Holman, Devatara MS, MA, LAc, "Multifaceted Health Benefits of Medical Qigong", 2004
http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers/Multifaceted_Benefits_Medical_Qigong.pdf

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

8 Exercises for Fitness, Healing, and Longevity - Part 3

Separating Heaven and Earth

Third Movement in the 8 Section Brocade Chi Kung

This movement will open up the six meridians that run through the hands and arms (heart, small intestine, triple warmer, pericardium, large intestine and lungs). It will also gently stretch the spleen and improve the functioning of your digestive system. And on an energetic level, you are mixing the energies of heaven and earth, a very powerful method to achieve wellness. Pay attention to the breathing. Note that when your hand reaches above your head, you are absorbing the energy from the heavens (Yang). The hand facing down in absorbing the energy from the earth (Yin). When you inhale and the hands come towards each other, you are mixing this energy in your body.
Research by Michael P. Garofalo

Starting Position:  Wu Ji from 

         
Movement Name:  Separating Heaven and Earth, Pressing Up to the Sky and Down to the Earth


Lift and step your left foot out to a shoulder width stance, feet parallel, arms at sides, hands on thighs.  

The right hand lifts up along your side and the palm faces down.

The left hand moves to the center of the waist, palm up.  

Inhale deeply and completely as you turn your left hand over so the palm faces your chest.  

Bring your left arm up so your hand moves up the middle of your chest.  


Slowly lift your right hand to your waist, palm facing down.

Inhale through your nose.

When you left hand reaches your eye level, turn your left palm out.  


Begin to exhale through your mouth.  

As you slowly and completely exhale, press your left arm upward and forward, as far as comfortable, palm facing up.  At the same time, press your right arm down and slightly back as far as comfortable, palm facing down.  

Follow your left hand with your eyes.  Keep your head facing forward, and don't bend your neck to look at your hand.  

Just move your eyes and gaze upward at your left hand.
            

Slowly begin to inhale as you move your left hand in a circular manner out and down.  

Follow the left hand with your eyes as it moves down.  At the same time, while inhaling and moving you left arm out and down, bring your right arm up and out in a circular manner. 

Bring your right hand to your eye level, palm up.  

Bring your left hand to your waist level, palm down.  This a circling movement of the arms as the left hand drops downward in a counterclockwise path the right arm simultaneously circles downward in a counterclockwise path. 

As you slowly and completely exhale, press your right arm upward and forward, as far as comfortable, palm facing up.  

At the same time, press your left arm down and slightly back as far as comfortable, palm facing down.  

Follow your right hand with your eyes.  

Keep your head facing forward, and don't bend your neck to look at your hand.  

Just move your eyes and gaze upward at your right hand.    

Repeat the cycle, alternating from side to side, for 6 to 8 repetitions or more.  

Exhale as you press up and out with one hand and down and back with the other.  

Inhale as your arms/hands circle out and down or out and up.

After 3 or 4 repetitions to either side, then fix your gaze on your lower hand as you exhale.  


           

Return you left foot back into the Wu Ji position to rest and realign the body-mind.   

Wu Ji signals the end of one movement and the beginning of the next movement.   

Wu Ji is called "Mountain Pose" Tadasana in Hatha Yoga.  

Enjoy some cleansing breaths.  Opening/Closing. 

Stand up straight and tall.  Lift the head.  Tuck the chin inward a little.  

Loosen Up, Soften, Merge and Relax.

 
Please watch an example on YouTube
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Separating Heaven and Earth #3  
Las 8 Piezas del Brocado
  
Take a right bow stance with 70% of your weight in front right leg and foot, and 30% in the back left leg and foot.
Keep your head up and your back straight.  
Place your right hand on your forehead, palm facing out.  
Place your left hand in the small of your back, palm facing out.  Inhale.  
Begin to exhale and press your right arm forward and upward, palm facing out.  
At the same time press your left arm backward and down, palm facing out.  
Look at your right hand as it moves up and out.  
Stop the exhale as the arms reach their maximum extension.  
Return your right hand to your forehead and left hand to the small of your back.  Inhale.
Repeat the movement 4 to 8 times.            
Right hand on the small of the back, palm facing out.  Inhale.  
Press the left arm up and out, palm out.
Press the right arm back and down, palm out.
Exhale as you press both arms out.   
Look at your left hand as it moves up and out.  
Stop the exhale as the arms reach their maximum extension.  
Return your left hand to your forehead and right hand to the small of your back.  Inhale.
Repeat the movement 4 to 9 times.
b) Instead of the arms circling out and down after pressing heaven and earth,  one arm comes down the center of the body and the other arm moves up the center of the body.
c) The arm movements of this exercise may be done while seated or while walking.  

Refer to my notes in the Thirteen Treasures Walking Qigong.

The Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung

Opening up the chest for deeper breathing.     
Many Chinese healers believe that this exercise helps regulate and improve the Spleen and Stomach.  
Rotating and bending the wrists are part of many spiral energy techniques.  
Balance and brain functions are improved by coordinated movements.
Stretching helps contribute to the relaxation of stiff and tense muscles.
A clear and peaceful mind reduces negative stress on the body. 
Increased heart rate and breathing rate provide some cardiovascular benefit. 
Using both sides of the body (mirroring in a movement form) can have positive effects on the structural alignment of the body and enhance coordination.    
Slow, deep and regular breathing positively effects mood, energy levels, and alertness; as well as improving the mechanical functioning of the lungs. 

Disclaimer    
The first three movements of the Eight Section Brocade all open and stretch the chest and abdominal muscles (Pectoralis major, Serratus anterior, Obliquus externus abdominis, Teres major, Latissimus dorsi, etc.) as well as the shoulders and upper arms to some extent.

The ribcage area (Scapula, Costa,  Intercostal muscles, Rectus abdominis, Obliquus externus abdominis, etc) are given a gentle workout. 

Combined with the deep breathing patterns, these movements help the lungs take in and expel a larger volume of air than normal.  

Most people find this to be pleasurable, energizing, and revitalizing.  


The Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung 

(See below for reference sources.)

(See below for reference sources.)
Holding Up a Single Hand Regulates the Spleen and Stomach.   (Lam Kam Chuen, R2)
Lift Singly: Spleen and Stomach Gain Peace and Harmony.   (Yang Jwing-ming, R3)
Press the Sky.    (Geoff and Phyllis Pike, R4)
Lifting One Single Hand to Regulate the Spleen and Stomach.   (PRC Publication, R5)
Raise Each Arm to Regulate the Spleen.   (Kenneth Cohen, R6)
Separating Heaven and Earth.   (Michael Garofalo, R7)   
Raising the Hands One at a Time.   (Stanley Wilson, R8)  
Upholding Heaven with a Single Arm to Regulate the Spleen and Stomach.  (Daniel Reid, R9)
Raising One Hand to Regulate the Spleen and Stomach  (Jiao Guorui, R10)  
Plucking Stars.  (Wong Kiew Kit, R11)     
Raising the Hands to Adjust the Stomach and Spleen.  (Maoshing Ni, R12)  
Holding One Arm Aloft to Regulate the Functions of the Spleen and Stomach  (Chinese Health Qigong Association, R13)  
One Hand Plucking the Stars, Dan Jue Shi   (Shifu Yan Lei, R14)   
             
The Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung
-  Stuart A. Olson, Qigong Teachings of a Taoist Immortal, p. 36.
-  Ken Cohen, Essential Qigong, 2005, p. 2




Conditioning and stretching the arm, shoulder, back, and abdominal muscles.    

Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 3  "Holding up a single hand regulates the spleen and stomach.  The movements of this Ba Duan Jin Exercise Set 3 increase the flow of energy along both sides of your body, and benefit your liver, gall bladder, spleen, and stomach. They help to prevent diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract." - Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine 
Sat Chuen Hon, in his book Taoist Qigong, includes a movement sequence similar to "Separating Heaven and Earth" and using the healing sound "Fu", and considers these actions to be of great benefit to the health of the Spleen.  Refer also to Nan Bei Wushu – Chi Gung for more ideas on sounds and the ESB. 
  

References for the Names of Movement 3 (Separating Heaven and Earth) 
Raise Single Arm to Regulate the Functions of Spleen and Stomach.   (Zong Wu and Li Mao, R1)
Names of the movements of the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung in languages other than English. 

       

    This exercise reminds me of "The White Crane Cools its Wings" in the traditional Yang Family style Tai Chi Chuan long form.  In that movement, all the bodyweight is on the back leg and the front leg is in an toe stance.  It is a kind of separating, or splitting motion, with one arm moving in one direction and the other arm in the opposite direction.  Also, in the movement "Parting the Wild Horse's Mane" or "Wild Horse Ruffles Its Mane," the arms move in opposite directions in a splitting motion. 
    The first three movements of the Eight Section Brocade all open and stretch the chest and abdominal muscles (Pectoralis major, Serratus anterior, Obliquus externus abdominis, Teres major, Latissimus dorsi, etc.) as well as the shoulders and upper arms to some extent.  The ribcage area (Scapula, Costa,  Intercostal muscles, Rectus abdominis, Obliquus externus abdominis, etc) are given a gentle workout.  Combined with the deep breathing patterns, these movements help the lungs take in and expel a larger volume of air than normal.  Most people find this to be pleasurable, energizing, and revitalizing.  
    This movement "Separating Heaven and Earth" is called "Plucking Stars" in 18 Lohan Hands Qigong.  
    Why just "eight" movements and not 13 movements or 6 movements?  The influence of the ancient Chinese book called the I Ching (The Book of Changes) on Chinese culture, philosophy, and fortune telling is extremely important.  The 8 basic Trigrams are combined in various ways to make up the 64 hexagrams used in the I Ching.  It was a natural temptation and tricky challenge to fit the elements of a qigong exercise drill into some pattern of eight, and then link them to the symbolism of the I Ching Trigrams.  The Shaolin and Chan Chinese Buddhists have the Noble Eightfold Way.  Taijiquan has a set of postures known as the Eight Gates.  The Indian Yogins of the Raja Yoga tradition of Patanjali (200 CE.) have the Eight Limbs of the Yoga Path (Ashtanga) for followers.  The symbolism of the number "eight" in Chinese culture parallels the popularity of the symbolism of the number "four" in the European culture.  Stuart A. Olson says "Over the course of China's history, these eight images developed into an entire system of divination and philosophy.  Other than the Five Activities (wu hsing) theories, nothing has been more important to the early Chinese mind than the Eight Diagrams.  If a philosophy, health practice, martial art, or medical theory cannot be equated with or validated by the Eight Diagrams or Five Activities, it really has little worth in the Chinese mind." 

    "For optimal health, we need body and spirit, exercise and meditation, awareness of the inner world and the outer.  In other words, health requires balance and moderation.  The goal of qigong may be summarized as xing ming shuang xiu, "spirit and body equally refined and cultivated."  Cultivate your whole being, as you would cultivate a garden - with attention, care, and even love."

    Every beginner should stay within their comfort zone, don't over stretch, and be gentle with your body and mind.  Don't try to "exactly" imitate a fellow student who is an intermediate or advanced Chi Kung player or the teacher.   Know and respect your own body and mental state.  Don't go beyond your own personal bodily conditioning, skills, abilities and limits.  Some advise reducing your exertion levels and doing 30% to 40% less than you can do.   Be reasonable and kind to yourself.  Take your time, advance slowly, be careful, be patient, and remain injury free.  Sometimes, an old or new injury, or joint disease, will limit your range of motion.  Know your own strength and limitations - the practice of Chi Kung and Tai Chi forms will reveal to you your strengths and limitations.  Resolve to make two positive contributions today.  Stay within your comfort zone, explore with the body-mind, and renew-recreate both self-awareness and awareness of Self, and come to experience your comfort zone.  Float on the Wu-wei raft on the Tao River; when standing on Earth then rootsoftenmove.   


    List of Movements in the Eight Section Brocade in English.  1 page, PDF file.  By Mike Garofalo. 
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Avoid Gray Hair using Energy Medicine.

I found this interesting information on Donna Eden's website on how to How to Avoid Gray Hair.

Some of her suggestions sound easy enough, so why not give a try.



Before we start, I want it on the record and understood that you should energy test anything I recommend here, using energy localizing. Always remember that no two people are the same. What may work for one person won't necessarily work for another.

Also, rotate substances. The body habituates so that a remedy that was working may stop working. If you give your body a break from it, it will often start working again. Energy testing shows you when you need to rotate.

The following describes what I have found to be useful in preventing – or sometimes even reversing – gray hair.



A Native American woman told my aunt to take the mineral COPPER. She did, and her hair came back from gray. Make sure you energy test this, because you can overdose on copper. Plus we can't let ourselves be fooled into thinking that what worked for one person will work for another.
When I had multiple sclerosis, I found a few herbs, minerals, and vitamins that were helpful. Pantothenic acid not only helped my toes not be numb and swollen, but I believe Pantothenic acid, along with iodine, also helped keep my hair from falling out, which it was doing in huge handfuls when I was sick.
Save up to 75% on vitamins at Botanic Choice

In addition to copper, iodine, and pantothenic acid, I've seen benefit from B-12, chlorophyll, and DMAE, as well as coconut oil put directly on the hair. 


Massaging mehndi (a Henna) into the scalp is done in India to prevent grayness. Because hair needs fresh sources of protein, collagen can also be helpful. Again, energy test for any of these.



Stress and genetics play a large role in the decline of the tiny hair pigment cells. 
Try following meditations and exercises for amazing stress relief and healing:
The Violet Flame Exercise to heal and clear your karma
5 Min Meditation to wash away anxiety
My favorite Meditation for Self-Healing by Yogi Bhajan
Breathing exercise to overcome all of your physical shortcomings
Also try Bliss Meditation
Meditation to receive Universal Love
Please also try my Heart-opening Exercise/Visualization
Yoga Pose for Sexual Potency and Digestion


With pigment cells decline, you lose the pigment color in your hair. But energy work can influence this.
Your body is always losing and replacing its hair. A normal hair cycle should lead to more hair. Growth cycles are related to energy balances, so when the energy between head and hair has gone awry, hair graying and hair loss is often a result.


Factors that interfere with the cycle – like medication, illness, infection, or chemicals – have the potential to stop hair from being formed properly. It can get dry, it can go gray, and it can fall out. 


Balancing the energies in the head can counter this (use Neurovasculars, Crown Pull, Rooster Comb Hold, meridians, etc.)


Also you can balance the energies by practicing:

Problems with the thyroid or pituitary glands can also cause graying and baldness, so test and balance the associated meridians. A very simple technique is to tape a magnet or two onto your hairbrush so the south side faces your scalp. The energy of a magnet's south side stimulates growth. Many people have shown me positive results after I suggested they do this.

Not only was color restored to graying hair when using the magnet, but their hair grew in thicker. When this approach works, it is usually because there is a sebaceous gland problem. In fact, simply massaging the sebaceous glands on the scalp can also help with hair issues.

A Native American woman gave me the following technique. I have known this to work for many people, and I have now seen it in many cultures. Join your hands together like you are praying. Keeping your fingertips joined to each other, pull your fingers inward to create an "m" shape. Then buff your nails together in up-and-down circles. Don't do the thumbs (this causes facial hair).There are nerve endings under the nails that go directly to your scalp, and it stimulates meridian flow. The nails reflect and affect liver, blood, and energy. If the liver, blood, and kidney essence is plentiful, then the hair is thick, healthy, and retains its color.



To close, one special story. The pitch black hair of my wonderful old friend, Jimmy Wong, went pure white after a heart attack. He used a Chinese herb, He Shou Wu, and it returned to black.




Resources:




Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well and Feel Great
The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking
TOLERANT, the Gluten Free, Organic, Non-GMO Legume Pasta

Worlds Most Extraordinary Qigong Techniques - Ebook
Qigong For Happiness, Health And Vitality - Ebook
Set Of Videos Teaching Qi Gong for Health
Binaural Beats For Meditation, Weight Loss, Healing and more - Free Sample
Get Your "Black Belt" In Taboo Physics - Plus - Free Energy Secrets, Renewable
Qigong, The Secret of Youth: Da Mo's Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Classics
Frontier Thyme Leaf Certified Organic, 16 Ounce Bag
Foundational Practices to Awaken Chi Energy
Chinese Esoteric Art of Health and Longevity
Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques
A Taoist Guide to Longevity
The Shaolin Qigong Workout For Longevity

Tips for healthy Digestion:
MightyLeaf.com