Crazy Medicine: Healing With Your Own Energy
by Christopher Caileis of www.FightingArts.com
Qi gong, the Chinese art of energy cultivation and healing, is a crazy science. It makes absolutely no sense to many in the West, but like its younger brother, Acupuncture, a begrudging respect for it is growing among a wide strata of Western Health professionals.
While the study of qi gong is endless and takes years to perfect, many of its exercises are simple and easy to practice. The Chinese believe that the physical functions and processes recognized in Western Medicine are vitalized and integrated by the flow and harmony of body energy known as qi. Just as external muscles respond to exercise, the Chinese teach that the body can also be stimulated by the practice of qi gong.
One healing exercise is the subject of this article. It is useful for sprains, bruises, muscle pulls, post surgical healing and joint pain -- almost anything that needs repair or healing. And best of all it is very effective, safe and requires no special training.
Before describing the exercise I would like to tell a story that sheds light on the effectiveness of this technique. A few years ago I was returning from California to New York by plane. After getting myself secured in my seat I couldn't help notice an elderly gentleman sitting next to me dressed in athletic gear. We got to talking and he informed me, quite proudly, that he was over 70 years old, and was a senior marathon runner; "one of the top in the country," he said. "Isn't it difficult on your body?" I inquired. "Well," he answered," when I was a young man, around 50, my knees began killing me. I had to stop running. But then I met this doctor who taught me a new meditation exercise he developed. It's not exactly western medicine but it really works. Now the knees are great. So now I also use the exercise on anything else that hurts."
I couldn't contain my curiosity and asked what that exercise was. As he spoke, a wide smile spread over my face. What he recounted was almost exactly the same as an ancient treatment practice that had been taught to me many years earlier by my own qi gong teacher, Dr. Zaiwan Shen. The only difference was terminology. I never told that man about my qi gong experience, but his story strengthened my belief in the power of the art. It's also a good story.
Before I describe the healing practice, I must caution the reader. The practice is very simple, so simple that many people say "sure" but fail to try it. Don't confuse simplicity with effectiveness. Here you will be using your mind, your energy and blood supply to heal. You should see results in weeks. I use it personally all the time.
You can assume any body position, standing, lying or sitting, but I prefer the latter. The exercise has two steps, first relaxation and then energy meditation.
If lying down, lie on your back, arms to the side, palms up, and legs slightly apart. If seated, sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight. Place you hands, palm up, on your knees. If standing, stand straight, your head over your trunk, chin slightly pulled in, the whole body relaxed but elongated as if there were a string attached to the top of your head pulling upward.
The relaxation exercise has two parts. In part one, take a deep breath, using your abdomen, as well as your chest. Pull your shoulders upward toward your ears with a deep in-breath, hold and then exhale. Let your shoulders drop as you exhale. Do this several times feeling yourself relax and letting your arms feel like wet dish towels.
In part two of the relaxation exercise breath naturally from your abdomen as you concentrate on various segments of the body starting with the head for about 30-60 seconds. Then move down to the chest, followed by the abdomen, upper legs and finally the lower legs, concentrating on each segment for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat this exercise several times, if you have time. At the end you should feel relaxed, without tension, thought or anxiety.
These two relaxation techniques are fairly standard and are used by many. If you have another relaxation technique you prefer it is perfectly acceptable for purposes of this exercise to use what you find effective.
This part is the meat of the exercise. Ideally do this exercise twice daily, in the morning and again in the evening or at night.
Image 1: Take in a deep abdominal breath and visualize energy coming in with your breath and sinking down into your lower abdomen just below your belly button. Don't hold your breath. As you breathe in several times, try to feel the energy concentrating. You can also visualize a ball of energy like a balloon filling up deep in the abdomen.
Now visualize a valve opening in the balloon and energy shooting out to the area you want to treat. Here we will use the right knee as an example. Let the energy go down the leg to the right knee. Now concentrate on knee alone. Feel for heat and energy building there. You can also visualize a white ball of energy encompassing the knee completely. Do this for about ten minutes. At the end the knee should feel warm. Some people can even can feel a pulse (of blood) in the area. This is ideal. An old Chinese adage goes, "Where the mind goes, qi will follow. Where qi goes, blood with follow."
During this energy meditation do not think, listen to the radio, TV or to others and try not to become distracted. Don't think about what is happening or try to figure out why the exercise works. This stimulates the wrong part of the brain which interferes in the process. Likewise it is important to believe in the process, or at least suspend judgment. Research has also found that body cells and tissue respond to intent and emotion. Thus if you feel anything, it should be a happiness or a feeling of love. You can, at the end, visualize a healing process and yourself freed from the condition you wish to heal.
Don't expect to do this healing exercise in the morning and feel healed by evening. While effective, this exercise works to stimulate and maximize the body's own healing capacities. It takes time, so don't be discouraged. It will take weeks but you should feel change as your body repairs itself.
About the Author:
Christopher Caile is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of FightingArts.com. He has been a student of the martial arts for over 40 years and holds a 6th degree black belt in Seido Karate and has experience in judo, aikido, diato-ryu, boxing and several Chinese fighting arts. He is also a long-term student of one branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong. He is a personal disciple of the qi gong master and teacher of acupuncture Dr. Zaiwan Shen (M.D., Ph.D.) and is Vice-President of the DS International Chi Medicine Association. In Buffalo, NY, he founded the Qi gong Healing Institute and The Qi Medicine Association at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has also written on Qi gong and other health topics in a national magazine, the Holistic Health Journal and had been filmed for a prospective PBS presentation on Alternative Medicine. Recently he contributed a chapter on the subject to an award winning book on alternative medicine, "Resources Guide To Alternative Health" produced by Health Inform.
Return to Karate Articles contents page...