Do's and Don't of Qigong

JadecloudAlchemist

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This is pretty common in Qigong circles this list is not my work however me explaining what each means is my own words.

Some of this comes from Jwing ming Yang book: The roots of Qigong.

1. Don't be stubborn about planning and ideas. This means planning things instead of taking a more natural approach.

2. Don't focus on Phenomena. When practicing You may feel as if bugs are crawling on your head you may feel like you are not breathing at all or feel one side hot other side cold what have you. If you focus on this it will lead the mind scattered and if you are cultivating it will stagnate.

3. Avoid miscellaneous thoughts remaining on orgins. This deals with regulating the mind and in some ways goes with number 2. If you focus on a phenomena it can generate more thoughts which can cause a downward spiral effect.

4. Xin should not follow the external scenery. This deals with distractions brought on by stimulating effects of the senses.

5. Regulating Sexual activity. Sexual activity depletes your essence and if your essence is drained then your body and Qi will also be low.

6. Do not be to warm or cold. For one it will make it hard to relax the mind. But also if you are to hot you will be to Yang and to cold Yin.

7. Be careful of the five organs and internal injury. This deals with the Yin or Zang organs( Liver,Heart, Lungs,Spleen,Kidneys) if your mind is not calm and you not gently gradually learn to feel the area around the organ you can injure it.

8. Avoid facing wind when sweating. The pores open and the winds can bring cold and such.

9. Don't wear tight clothes and belt. Makes it hard to breathe with the abdomen.

10. Don't eat too much greasy and sweet food. This food scatters the mind easy.

11. Don't hang feet off bed. This is due to reduce blood and Qi circulation going to the legs.

12. Don't practice if you have to go the bathroom. Obvious reasons

13. Don't scratch an itch. Disturbs the mind.

14. Avoid being startled. Disturbs the mind

15. Don't wear sweaty clothes. It can disturb the mind. I also feel it can cause other problems since you are wearing Damp clothing.

16. Don't practice when hungry/full. This will cause stagnation if full while you are digesting. If you are hungry it can cause your mind to be disturb.
As the saying goes 'When hungry eat when tired sleep' or when hungry sleep and sleepy eat'

17. Heaven and Earth strange disasters. This is a very important rule and The Yellow Emperors' classic spoke of this. When Heaven and Earth have unsual weather such as Earthquake or storms the Qi of either or both will not be balance causing human Qi to not be balance. It is also said to lead a long life to look for the patterns of Heaven and Earth and the Sage and immortals adapt to them.

18. Don't fall asleep. This means to take a rest from cultivation. Also because the posture is not correct it can cause stagnation example cramps.

19. Don't spit. The mouth will gather a good amount of Saliva this is also known as the juice of Jade and should be transformed and swallowed.

20. Do not doubt or become lazy. Qigong takes time and energy if you practice one day and do not practice the rest of the week no results will come about.

I wanted to add Jwing ming Yang says not to mediate when angry. I disagree with this I think relaxing the mind and working out the anger is healthy. I agree with not practicing Qigong angry.
 

marlon

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Much appreciated Jadecloudalchemist. # 5 for men could also mean regulate ejaculation as some teach that it is not sexual activity that depletes rather the loss of vital fluid. What is your opinion?
also, thank you for #17 this one is new to me. I enjoy the feeling of thunder storms.

respectfully,
Marlon
 
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JadecloudAlchemist

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Sex can be such a tricky subject in Qigong. Some say do not engage in it.
Some say engage but do not spill your seed. Others say if you are younger its ok. Others say as long as you recieve the benefit of your mate then it is fine. So who is correct? Your essence is one your 3 treasures.
Let's use the analogy of Jing as a savings account and sex as vacation.
Some do not engage in sex=means no vacation. No vacation means 2 things 1. Your focus is on cultivation and enlightment or 2. You are restricting your sex in an unhealthy way.

Some say engage but do not spill your seed=Going on vacation and not spending any money. Very hard to do.

If you are young it is ok to go more often=Young people like to party because they are young.

As long as you recieve benefit of your mate=If your mate is paying for the vacation or paying you back(exchange of mutal energy) than enjoy.

But all would agree going on vacation to much will leave you with no savings account money for retirement.
 

Empty Hands

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Let's be honest kids, ejaculation is not going to sap and impurify your bodily fluids. Nor will not scratching an itch give you a peaceful mind. If you don't, your mind is disturbed from all the itching! It's also good to know that I only need to worry about my five vital organs, the liver, heart, lungs, spleen and kidneys. Clearly, injuring my brain or intestines will have no effect at all! Let's also not mention that you can survive perfectly well without a spleen, but without a brain...? It's clear that the "ancient masters" had a great many wrong ideas about health and the body. If someone were to come up with this system today, they would be laughed out of the room as kooks!

Funny how we don't pay much attention to the great wisdom of the ancient masters when it comes to reproduction (Aristotle - women as incubators only) or astronomy (Ptolemy - geocentrism), but we do when it comes to mysterious energy fields that no one can prove exists which will lead you to health and happiness!
 
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JadecloudAlchemist

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Empty hands nothing mysterious about Qi. You keep trying to make Qi into this mysterious energy. Also since you clearly do not train in Qigong your opnion on the matter means little to nothing on the subject and more so your post seems on the intent to stir trouble.
That is all I have to say on this matter and subject.
 

Empty Hands

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Empty hands nothing mysterious about Qi.

Except for how otherwise smart people can believe that sickness is caused by too much "heat" or that banging your wife is going to sap your energy flow.

You keep trying to make Qi into this mysterious energy.

I think the practicioners manage that quite well on their own. On a similar thread, one believer posted a definition of Qi almost identical to Yoda's definition of The Force. How can I not roll my eyes?

Also since you clearly do not train in Qigong your opnion on the matter means little to nothing on the subject...

I am pointing out obvious logical and scientific errors in your list of proscriptions. I don't need to be a 25th dan Qi Master to know that the spleen is not more important than your brain for bodily health.

...and more so your post seems on the intent to stir trouble.

Well, I will admit that this and similar topics like reiki give me vast amounts of frustration when the believers refuse to own up to the logical problems and lack of evidence in their systems. I know being the voice of skepticism is a big downer, but I feel obligated to note that at least for the benefit of the lurkers. I am sure my incredulity won't affect your enjoyment of restraining your itching and sexual activity.
 
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JadecloudAlchemist

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Except for how otherwise smart people can believe that sickness is caused by too much "heat" or that banging your wife is going to sap your energy flow.
Is not Heat stroke an illness?

From:http://www.associatedcontent.com

What is in semen?

Sperm is only 1% of semen. The rest is water, mucous, sugar and other acids and bases. According to SemenTherapy.com, semen contains:

ascorbic acid (vitamin C, for tissue maintenance)
blood-group antigens (from immune system)
calcium (mineral)
chlorine (oxidizing agent)
cholesterol (steroid alcohol present in body fluids)
chlorine (base, part of the vitamin B complex)
citric acid (occurs during cellular metabolism)
creatine (nitrogenous substance found in muscle)
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
fructose (sugar used for energy)
glutathione (peptide amino acid)
Glycoproteins (cancer fighting agent)
hyaluronidase (enzyme)
inositol (sugar found in muscles)
lactic acid (byproduct of muscle use)
magnesium (mineral)
nitrogen (gas found in all living tissue)
phosphorus (mineral)
prostaglandins (good for pregnancy)
potassium (mineral)
purine (compound of uric acid)
pyrimidine (organic base)
pyruvic acid (formed from either glucose or glycogen)
selenium (cancer fighting agent)
sodium (salt)
sorbitol (body alcohol)
spermidine (catalytic enzyme)
spermine (ammonia compound found in sperm)
urea (from urine)
uric acid (from urine)
vitamin B12 (for proper function of nervous system and metabolism)
zinc (mineral)
Being that it is trace amounts does loosing it take your energy a bit?

I think the practicioners manage that quite well on their own. On a similar thread, one believer posted a definition of Qi almost identical to Yoda's definition of The Force. How can I not roll my eyes?
So what is Qi? What does the defination for Qi in Qigong mean? If you do not know how can you speak about what Qi is or is not?

I am pointing out obvious logical and scientific errors in your list of proscriptions. I don't need to be a 25th dan Qi Master to know that the spleen is not more important than your brain for bodily health.
Never said the Brain is not important nor say the Spleen more important than the Brain. However the Spleen is reponsible for a healthy immune system. I guess with you it is a toss up between healthy immune system or brain problem.

Because you try to fit Qigong into your defination you cause yourself frustration.
As said before your opnion matters little on the subject. So I do not understand your agenda because this thread was for Qigong practicers but you want to make yourself frustrated and try to take others down with you so rather than do something such as that I will conclude this thread is done. It served its purpose for Qigong practicers but it will NOT serve your purpose or agenda.
Stick a fork in yourself because you are done in this thread.
Now post something and cause yourself more frustration and let it out but I will not feed it.
 

Xue Sheng

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What is amazing is that TCM has been successfully treating people in China for a very long time based on TCM diagnosis not western and that diagnosis is based on qi, heat, cold, wind, etc

It is not mysterious it is rather simple actually
Strong qi = healthy
weak qi = sick
no qi = dead

But if one has decided it is bunk and has decided that they are right no matter what there is no since wasting ones time trying to convince them otherwise. Although I might suggest reading Yang Jwing Mings book dedicated to it.

Funny thing Western and Eastern medicine work rather well together in major hospitals in China and have for years

later
 

Empty Hands

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Is not Heat stroke an illness?

Yeah...caused by actual heat. Not qi heat. For instance, irritable bowel syndrome is supposedly caused by heat in the intestines. And yet, heatstroke does not lead to irritable bowel syndrome. Hmmm....

Being that it is trace amounts does loosing it take your energy a bit?

Far less than the sweating and work that leads up to the ejaculation, which supposedly is perfectly fine according to some of your practicioners. Also less than your basal metabolic rate.

If you do not know how can you speak about what Qi is or is not?

All I'm going off of is what you are saying here.

However the Spleen is reponsible for a healthy immune system.

But the brain was not listed as one of your five vital organs. The spleen is also the least important part of a healthy immune system. It is dispensible. The thymus and the bone marrow are not dispensible, and yet they are not listed in your five vital organs.

Now, why is that? Because the "masters" living thousands of years ago had no idea how the body really worked, no more than Aristotle or the blood-letters of medieval Europe. Only fantasists embracing a romantic vision of the past would insist otherwise.

It served its purpose for Qigong practicers but it will NOT serve your purpose or agenda.
Stick a fork in yourself because you are done in this thread.

Dad? No, that's right, you're not my parent. You won't stop me from posting as I see fit. If Qigong is real, then you should be able to prove me wrong. If you can't, then this exchange will serve those well who might be looking to non-scientific means to improve their health and save them some valuable time and money.
 

Empty Hands

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But if one has decided it is bunk and has decided that they are right no matter what there is no since wasting ones time trying to convince them otherwise.

I have the same attitude towards astral projection, alien visitations, ESP, no-touch knockouts and the Philosopher's Stone. Why? Because despite all the sturm und drang from the various believers, most of which believe the other guys are crazy while they are perfectly rational, no one has ever been able to present convincing evidence that any of those things are real. The same is true for qi, and the practices associated with it. Even the things that have shown to to some good, like acupuncture, have not been shown to work because of qi.

Your personal experiences don't count. The mystical experiences like heat flashes and prickling don't count. The fact that the Chinese have been believing it for a long time doesn't count. What counts is repeatable, testable evidence. Until you produce that, I will continue to call out qi as the nonsense that it is. Until you can do that, don't try to pretend like I'm the unreasonable one.
 

JustAVisitor

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Empty Hands, don't take literally the organ thing. For example, the brain is part of the 'Heart' function in TCM... Organs and tissues in the human body are matched by analogy to the 5 elements.
If you look for modern scientific research results on Qi and TCM, there are a huge number of serious publications on the subjects. Check out these few: Journal of American Medical Association, American Journal of Acupuncture, The Journal od Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Journal of Psychomatic Research, Journal of Geriatrics Society, IEEE also have some articles on energy impedance.. (biomedical engineering). Universities such as Cambridge, California University do research and publish surprising results...
Don't get me wrong here. I am no expert, although i have read few volumes on the subject and I just finished an excellent book on holistic medicines by Thierry Janssen. I just think that you should be open to possibilities. Be skeptic but not bashing. ;)
 

pete

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I've got the utmost respect for Dr Yang, having completed his 6-levels of Chin Na training and attending various other pushing hands and qigong workshops when he used to come to NY... And, would not be so bold to challenge the validity of his statements...

BUT, them there are a LOT of RULES. If I was to follow them, doubt there would ever be a time I'd qualify for practice!

I believe in making the best of any situation you are in, and practice when you feel you really WANT TO practice. It is those times when you'd feel most natural and able to absorb the benefits. Forcing yourself to practice on certain days, at a certain time, only if its not windy or damp, with or without eating, sleeping, or enjoying the pleasures of the flesh... well, not very organic.

instead, in the taoist tradition of these arts, keep no rules and go with the flow. if it feels good, do it. if not, stop. be-here-now.

if you want or need rules or guidelines to MOTIVATE yourself, try the 12 Rules of Practice by Wynton Marsalis: www.silkwindstudio.com/practice

pete
 

Xue Sheng

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Your personal experiences don't count. The mystical experiences like heat flashes and prickling don't count. The fact that the Chinese have been believing it for a long time doesn't count. What counts is repeatable, testable evidence. Until you produce that, I will continue to call out qi as the nonsense that it is. Until you can do that, don't try to pretend like I'm the unreasonable one.

Repeatable testable evidence...hmmmm

Medical records of successfully treated patients in multiple Hospitals in China for many years. But then I doubt you will except that you are already convinced you are right and all others are wrong and again I find it is a waste of my time to go further with you on this since you already know everything. You could have this discussion with any multitude of TMA OMDs in China but then you would likely approach them with much the same attitude and it is likely they would simply agree with you and walk away and you would see that as a victory, but then since you have not been to China and have little or no real knowledge of it...oh wait we have been here before and I said then I was done discussing things China with you because it was pointless so I apologize for my transgression of course your right about everything.... you win... have a nice day :)
 

Empty Hands

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of course your right about everything.... you win... have a nice day :)

Look, I'm sure playing the aggrieved reasonable guy makes you feel good. So does insisting at every opportunity that I am an unreasonable know-it-all who refuses to consider other points of view. But don't think it can cover up for your deficiencies.

For all of your protestations on the China-Olympics thread or similar, you have never been able to come up with actual arguments that show how I am wrong. For all of your aggrieved posturing, you have never shown that I am what you say I am. In this thread, and in your latest response, you have also consistently failed to produce any real evidence for anything you have claimed.

You seem like a nice guy. I don't have anything against you. But your act is wearing thin, and so are your claims that I am the unreasonable one. It looks a lot like an online version of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "I can't hear you!" as opposed to actually intellectually engaging.
 

Mark L

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I posted another thread in this section asking about the negative effects of poorly practiced qigong. I'm kind of on the fence with this chi thing, not convinced it isn't real but also not convinced it can't be explained with harder, Western science. I have no proof either way, and I haven't seen any offerings ...

The problem I'm having is that I can't really get a straight answer to my questions, which is intellectually unsatisfying. It also causes me to question the stances taken by those presumably in the know, who have tried to enlighten me. I hear about 'stagnation', or 'you might get a headache', or 'I heard about a guy that had an <insert organ here> problem'. It leaves me wanting more, and I'm simply not in a position to seek out some wizened master that'll lead me down the path to understanding after X number of years. I know that an argument can be constructed in many fields that point to years of study to grasp the fundamental concepts, but I can also stack up the academic literature from those fields that'll get me there if I put in the years. I'm frustrated.
 

Formosa Neijia

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If you look at most of what Dr. Yang is saying in that initial post, you'll see it's about avoinding extremes. You want to be moderate and perhaps even conservative in all things. Conserve the bodily fluids, conserve the energy, pay attention to natural phenonema, etc. They're meant more as guidelines than hard and fast rules. If you scrath an itch, your qigong isn't going to be worthless, nor can you not meditate after having sex. I actually find that my mind is clearer after sex if sexual thoughts have been welling up in me.

So take the advice he offers but don't be dogmatic about it. That's another extreme.
 
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JadecloudAlchemist

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Formosa I agree that they are not hard fast rules after all you don't want to hold a fart in.

The real reason I posted this was many basic questions were coming up in topic here and even in my classes. So I posted a kind of guide.

I think in regards to scratching an itch its best to focus your attention away from it and it will pass. If you scratch it another itch will most likely arise and so on. Won't make your Qigong practice worthless but it will disturb the mind if it keeps interrupting your practice.

I don't think there is or can be any dogma in Qigong. I think there can be methods, theories, and tradition but Dogma I think follows more religious idealogy.
 

Flying Crane

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A bit of a discussion came up over on Kenpotalk, and I posted some thoughts over there. They may be useful here as well. this is just my take on things, for what it's worth:

"The problem with discussions of qi is that we do not have a way to objectively measure and detect it in a scientific way. It is purely subjective and limited to the personal experience of those who have grasped it, and they are left to devise their own non-standardized language with which to describe and teach it.

Often times, translated Chinese phrases are used in an attempt to capture the description. These phrases make sense to someone who was brought up in the culture, but the true meaning beyond the words themselves often doesn't translate well into a western culture and language like American English. The phrase carries a deeper meaning that another language just lacks the ability to relate. My kenpo teacher has described his time training under a well-respected Chinese sifu. This sifu was very open to teaching non-Chinese, and he did not deliberately withhold information from his non-Chinese students. The problem was that he often could not adequately translate his thoughts to the non-Chinese. He would say a short phrase in Chinese, and his Chinese students immediately understood what his message was. But he would struggle to translate into English, and even then, with the help of Chinese students who spoke better English than he did, the true meaning was still often obscured. It just didn't translate cleanly and that was a very frustrating point.

So our Western minds often have trouble dealing with it, and we try to categorize it into a scientific or religious pigeon-hole with which we are already familiar. I suspect that ultimately it may become understandable and describeable and measurable in a scientific way, and we will devise languange and measuring techniques appropriate for the subject when that time comes. But we haven't reached that level of scientific understanding yet. At this stage in the game, Western science doesn't have the capacity to understand it, with the tools at hand.

That's my take, anyway."


Another thought on it: My kenpo teacher was talking about qi one day, and described a little game he was playing with the cat. The cat was sitting in his lap and he was running his hand down the cat's back, but without touching it. Rather, he was holding his hand an inch or two above the cat's back. As he did this, the cat's fur would rise up to touch his hand.

He showed this to his wife, and told her, "see, I'm using my qi on the cat". His wife scoffed at this and told him it was just static electricity (this was my own thought as well).

then he told her, "oh yeah? well watch this" and as he held his hand over the cat, with the fur raised up, he reversed his qi and the fur suddenly dropped flat on the cat's back. But he didn't move at all, he kept his hand in the same position and didn't do anything else to drop the fur or otherwise cut off any "static electricity". The cat freaked out and leaped off his lap and hid for the rest of the day.

His comment on this incident was that you can't exactly teach anyone how to do this. it's like a muscle in your body that you either figure out how to flex, or you do not. You can practice the qigong and the breathing, but that alone is no guarantee that you will figure it out. It ought to facilitate it, but is no guarantee, if you can't figure it out otherwise.

It seems to me that it's like being able to wiggle your ears. I can do it, many people cannot. I cannot explain how to do it. I just flex a muscle on the side of my head, and my ears wiggle. If you can't figure out what muscle it is, and how to move it, you won't be able to wiggle your ears. But it's a subtle thing to figure out. You don't have a limb to waive around, or some other way to demonstrate how to flex that muscle. It's just connected there, on the side of your head. You either figure it out, or you don't.

Perhaps qi is sort of like this.
 

Xue Sheng

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Qi to me is as about as mystical as anatomy and physiology, it is just energy that is part of the body like muscles and a skeleton, now training it that is something different.

As to the translation problems&#8230; Hell Yeah and even if you translate it correctly there may be an entire story behind the phrase that Chinese know and unless you studied one heck of a lot of Chinese you will not have a clue. There are a lot of metaphors used to speak, or at least that is my experience dealing with Northern Chinese people.

Like this one (one of my favorites) "du穫 ni繳 t獺n q穩n" - "playing the lute to a cow" How much sense does that make if it is not explained
 

Formosa Neijia

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"The problem with discussions of qi is that we do not have a way to objectively measure and detect it in a scientific way. It is purely subjective and limited to the personal experience of those who have grasped it, and they are left to devise their own non-standardized language with which to describe and teach it.

Often times, translated Chinese phrases are used in an attempt to capture the description. These phrases make sense to someone who was brought up in the culture, but the true meaning beyond the words themselves often doesn't translate well into a western culture and language like American English. ...


His comment on this incident was that you can't exactly teach anyone how to do this. it's like a muscle in your body that you either figure out how to flex, or you do not. You can practice the qigong and the breathing, but that alone is no guarantee that you will figure it out. It ought to facilitate it, but is no guarantee, if you can't figure it out otherwise.

...

People get caught up in scientific traps because they think science explains everything. It doesn't. As long as people are in that trap, there's nothing that they can learn about this stuff. It's more art than science.

The cultural aspects are important. People MUST understand and even adapt their outlook to that culture to some extent in order to get it. If people can't expand their cultural understanding beyond what they already know, again, they just won't get it.

But it can be taught. I was taught it. My teacher, his teacher, etc. were all taught it. It's not something you just stumble upon, like wiggling your ears.
 

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