Chi Gong: The Cultivation of Inner Energy for Health, Wealth and Wisdom

Energy in our body is like water. An example is that water tends to flow downward like water flowing downstream. In order to have the energy within us flowing up, we must convert the energy into positive energy, which will then flow upward or in a positive direction. We do this by expanding our consciousness upward toward the universe. The process is known as Inner Alchemy because we changing one energy to another. Alchemists of yore were also trying to convert one thing to another. We know that they were trying to change base metal into gold. And modern chemists are always changing elements into others. By using our mind plus specific exercises and meditations we can change the negative energies (emotions and thoughts) into positive energy and also increase the amount of positive energy at our disposal. Psychology has shown us how damaging negative thoughts can be and how beneficial positive thoughts can be. For example, just talking with a friend who is depressed can change their mental state into a to a positive one. Or a person whose blood pressure rises on account of being angry, when calm, the blood pressure returns to a healthy normal. There are many other examples. If we learn to use conscious awareness and the mind to influence the energy flows within us, we can transform negatives to positives and also increase the positive. That positive energy can then be used to transform our lives into success, good health and prosperity.

One example to show that the mind can control the flow of energy in the body is to make a fist with the left hand and then open the left hand in succession about 12 times and release – you will a tingling sensation in that hand. Now with your mind transfer the same sensation to your right hand. You know how to do it. In a matter of seconds your right hand feels the blood flow like that of your left hand. You have used your mind to direct the flow of energy, Chi, to your right hand. So through intention and mind power you are directing the Chi. This is basically how we create or turn negative energy to positive energy. Think and it will happen.

One of the major theories of Taoist health practices or Qi Gong (pronounced “Chi Gong”) is to relax and rest the upper mind/brains (in the head and heart), called the observation mind and conscious mind and use the lower mind/brain (in the gut), called the awareness mind, located in the abdominal area or the Lower Tan Tien. The ancient Taoist discovered that when they lowered the upper mind to the lower minds they awakened the consciousness and awareness. They also discovered that they could connect with the universe through meditation and become aware of how the universal energies are working. Scientists have confirmed that the intestinal area is energetic and similar to the brain. We can understand and experience “gut instincts” and feel emotions through this center. We experience a stomachache, or butterflies, and if we worry too much we can possibly develop an acid stomach. If anyone has ever studied reflexology they know that there are reflex points in the abdomen that correspond to all the organs of the body just like the brain has connection points from the nervous system to all the organs. In this way we can see that the brain and intestines are similar and intimately connected. It is also interesting to note that scientists have discovered that the intestinal villi hold an electrical charge. (The brain also holds energy as an electrical charge.) The villi are small hair-like fibers on the intestinal wall that help to move the materials through it. So the largest organs of the body also store energy. It is also very important to keep the intestines healthy by ingesting a lot of fiber and having normal bowel movements. With our intestines emptied the energy or Chi flows more smoothly. This area surrounding the navel is a storehouse for Chi or energy gathered from the Universe. Once one learns how to rest the upper Tan Tien or brain in the head and use the lower brain more, then everything becomes easier. Therefore, cultivation of energy in the lower Tan Tien is one of the most important techniques to learn and there are many ways to do this. Before the advent of medical science the Taoists realized that the abdominal area can be used to store Chi or universal energy. For thousands of years exercises and meditation have been developed to store more energy there and in other organs as well. There is another way to store energy in the body and that is in the form of fat. That energy is good to a degree but is not an infinite source and is generally not an acceptable storage place for most people.

In the Taoists teachings we also have information that the heart is also considered another brain that has the capacity to think. We have all heard the expressions to think with our heart (especially in relation to love) and not with our head. There are many songs and poetry written about the capacity of heart to feel love. A famous example of the heart storing thought comes from the book called the “Hearts Code” by Paul Pearsal, Ph.D. This book contains the story of an 8 year-old girl who received the transplanted heart of a murder victim. The 8 year old, after her transplant, started having nightmares about the murder of her donor who she had never met. With this information, as well as a composite drawing of the killer, the police were able to apprehend the killer.

Just like we have at our command our other “brains,” we can also have two lungs and two hearts. With exercise and meditation we can increase blood flow, oxygen flow and lymphatic flow. And it is not very difficult to do. One technique is called “Laughing Qi Gong.” We can activate the glands, circulatory and lymphatic systems by conscious directed laughing. The purpose of the Thymus gland is to manufacture killer T Cells or T lymphocytes that act to prevent cancer cells from spreading in the body. And all we need to do is laugh to activate them. This also expands the diaphragm that helps distribute more oxygen. By laughing the Aorta and Vena Kava pump more blood throughout the body thereby helping to relieve the heart and lungs from working so hard. Laughing also stimulates the Lymphatic system in the abdomen to produce more lymphocytes and circulate the lymph so that it moves more freely within the body. If the lymphatic system is not working correctly or clogged with impurities then we open ourselves up to various diseases in which cancer is the worst. There are many lymph ducts connected to the intestines. So if we are not careful as to what we ingest, then that could also cause trouble to the lymphatic system. The Spleen, the most important organ of the lymphatic system, along with the bone marrow, produces Lymphocytes (white blood cells) that are essential for immunity against different disease. The lymphatic system is also known as the immune system. Healthy bones are very important too. The intestines connected with the circulatory system take these Lymphocytes and change them into B-Lymphocytes that create antibodies against specific foreign organisms and bacteria. So by doing a belly laugh we help the immune system to stimulate production of the B-Lymphocytes. We have heard that “laughter is the best medicine.” This Taoist way to good health has been practiced for thousands of years and we have seen that Taoists masters have lived healthy lives well into the 100’s and beyond.

In esoteric Qi Gong meditations we may also use the energies that exist in the universe for positive effect. By turning the consciousness inwardly we can become aware of everything that is out side of us. We become aware of the not only the energy of the earth, but that of the moon, planets, sun and stars also. Everyone knows that the moon has a dramatic effect on earth by turning the tides and the sun obviously warms the earth with tremendous energy. But according to Taoist tradition the planets, stars and cosmic particles also have energetic effect. We just need become aware of it. Awareness means putting our attention to it – like we did in the hand squeezing exercise. And we also must become aware of the nature of the universe. The earth is, the planets are and sun is also spinning around the universe. These are scientific facts. The earth is rotating or spinning on its axis at 1000 miles per hour. We are rotating or spinning around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. Astrophysicists have concluded that our solar system is spinning around the Polestar at approx. 300 kilometers per second. And we do not feel like we are moving at all. Why? It is because the faster we travel the less we notice it. An example would be an airplane traveling at 500 miles per hour. Our minds do not perceive we are traveling that fast and we actually feel a sense of stillness. So the Taoist theory is “the faster we spin, the more still or peaceful we become.” So we are concerned with dynamic energies that are either spinning or moving. The heart is pumping, the electrons are spinning, and the cells in the body are constantly forming new cells. So in active Chi Kung meditations we create movement by using spinning forces within and later outside of us.

So the purpose of keeping everything within the body either moving or spinning is simple. If we keep everything energetic with movement, then we don’t get sick. Everyone can understand this principle. If we don’t use our or exercise our bodies then they become weak or sick. The cells become stagnant. The bones become brittle, the muscles atrophy and the organs become weak. That means the electrons are not moving. The joints don’t work right. They may become stiff and we may feel pain in the form of arthritis. And it is the same for the organs in the body. A perfect example of how all energies are spinning is looking at the cosmos all the way down to the individual atoms. As I mentioned before, the galaxies and the planets are spinning. They are all spinning in their respective orbit. The cells of our body, all 655 trillion of them, are made up of atoms with spinning electrons. Our DNA is just spinning energy. Even the construction of the DNA molecule is a spiral. So within the Chi Kung meditations we learn to become aware of the spin and conscious of the spinning energies within and around us. It is very important to become of our own spinning energy. The energies around us like magnetic energy from the earth, electromagnetic energy from computers or the myriad of electronic and mechanical device affect us everyday and have the potential to cause physical and mental illness. Learning how to spin the energies, gather the energies and store the energies is basic to the Qi Gong practices. The name Qi Gong means “Energy Work.” Qi (Chi) is energy. We can learn to become the mystic in control of our energies and therefore our own destiny.

Where do I find Chi and how can I access it? The answer is that it is everywhere. It is not energy like that of a burning log or an inert energy like lit fuel. It is contained in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. But it is not air, it is not water and it is not fuel. It is pure essence. It is energy of God. It is not unlike us. But what are we? Are we a body? Are we a mind? All the great spiritual traditions say we are spirit. When we die, what dies? Only the body dies. The essence of who we are is that which has left the body, the life force. So it may be said that Chi is also made up of life force, but a universal force that can be used for healing, manifesting and spiritual works. The Taoists call Chi the Primordial Force. According to them, when the Big Bang occurred from the Nothingness (Wu Chi), there arose the Primordial Force (Dark Matter) which manifested into the uncountable universes with its millions of galaxies and solar systems full of suns and planets. Modern physics has described the atom as being matter and defined as being comprised of energy (electrons, protons, neutrons and quarks) with mostly empty space. It has been calculated by astrophysicists that our universe is comprised of approximately 90% empty space. So what is this space made of? Some call it gravity or a vacuum in space. The Taoists discovered thousands of years ago the it is the original Chi (energy) of existence and it can be used for all good works. One need only know how to access it through exercises, yoga and meditation. It is free and an effective medicine. It is known as Energy Medicine – the new medical paradigm for the 21st Century. Other popular forms of energy medicine are Acupuncture, Chinese and Ayurvedic herbology, and Homeopathy, to mention a few. Chi Kung’s powerful healing methodologies are becoming more recognized by traditional medical practitioners around the world. It’s valuable exercise and meditation techniques are being offered as an addition to or as a complete regimen for healing where other methods have failed.

The Universe is within us. How can this be? The scientists have taken pictures of outer space. As you go observe from earth further and further into space beyond the planets, sun and stars even beyond other galaxies, there is mostly empty space. In the same way when you go inside of your body and deep into the atom there is again mostly empty space between the particles (electrons, protons, etc.) The distance between each energetic particle can be compared to the distance between two stars if their mass is taken into consideration. In this way outer space (the universe) is likened to inner space. We can use this inner space, the Universe inside of us, to circulate and store more energy or Chi in the body. And the outer space can be used to gather Chi. The Taoist masters have even gone deeper still into the inner universe through what they refer to as the “mysterious gate” to the origin the universe or the Wu Chi. They have practiced very advanced meditations for sometimes hundreds of years in order to do this. Other traditions also practice similar techniques like the advanced Buddhists or Hindus sages.

Chi Gong is an ancient system of exercises and meditations that promote good health and longevity. By using our mind combined with specific gentle, yet powerful exercises, we can change the energy of negative emotions and thoughts that are stored in our body into positive energy, thereby increasing our good health.

New Age Buzz-Words in Health, Healing and Wellness – What Do They Mean to You?

Of all the popular “new age” search terms in the health and healing category, my personal favorite is holistic healing. This term, it seems, embodies all of the others, like spiritual healing, soul healing, healing meditation, chakra, energy healing, spiritual journey and metaphysics. Some of these terms are specific methodologies like Chakra and guided meditation, while others are just general expressions of adopting a way of thinking beyond the realm of materialism. The popularity of such search terms is a clear indication that hundreds of thousands of people are taking charge of their health and exploring possibilities beyond conventional medicine, which is primarily about eradicating disease through cutting, sewing, burning, radiation and toxic chemicals. Of course, there are many benefits and people cannot afford to turn their backs on treatment opportunities in the standard health care system, but there are many viable adjuncts and alternatives.

However, the emphasis here is that holistic healing focuses on you, the consumer taking charge of and responsibility for your health. You start with understanding that you are much more than a skin bag of cells, tissues and organs and that your goal is to be well; not just to be free of disease. Thus you come to understand that you are a person with a body, mind and spirit-all functioning as a single inseparable unit so that every consideration has its impact on the entire being. Therefore, our wellness depends on the thought, speech and action of ourselves and of everyone else who is involved in our lives.

In conclusion, the foundation for healthy living is in how you think, what you say and what you do. Every decision is simply an answer to the question, “Should I or shouldn’t I?” Wellness most often requires being able to put off the desire for instant gratification and put forth effort to maintain self discipline. Healing requires searching for information about the existing or potential health problem and leaving all options open when discussing recommended solutions which must always include some life-style adjustments. Thus true holistic healing is dropping the notion that “doctor knows best” and taking responsibility for yourself by learning, evaluating and deciding.

Are Healing and Curing at Odds With One Another?

For centuries we’re heard about the debate espousing the differences between healing and curing. It’s not clear that there will ever be absolute agreement on this matter, but for our purposes let’s assume there is a difference between the two.

How do healing and curing differ? Curing often refers to the power of eradicating disease from the body. It’s the state where the body is restored to its pre-diagnosis state of health. We all know that there are very few illnesses where curing is the case, so how do you keep hope flowing? Hope continues because individuals and families are banking on healing.

Healing is the place where your body, mind, and spirit reach an understanding. It is the juncture where peace-of-mind trumps anxiety and angst. Healing allows you to release the internal stress out of the body relieving the tension holding you back from reaching the greatest degree of health possible given your diagnosis.

Jeanne Achterberg shares a quote from the World Health Organization which states, ‘Healing is a rupture in life harmony and then the reweaving of that rupture’. That’s very strong language and it makes a bold statement for those facing chronic or life-threatening illness. When did you first notice the rupture in your life? Our lack of consciousness about our internal imbalance leaves us surprised when the rupture in our state of harmony causes distress.

There are as many ways to achieve healing as there are people diagnosed with an illness. There is no template for healing because it’s truly personal. It relies on your beliefs and values. It incorporates your world view and distills all the information down into digestible bits that spark your interest and curiosity in wellness beyond the medical model.

It’s important to achieve health and healing in tandem because they create a synergistic energy toward wellness. Any boost in your healing process yields great rewards by energizing your body’s natural defenses to work at creating balance helping to eliminate or diminish the negative impact of the illness. Attaining a place of healing can be your first line of defense in achieving health.

My Life Is Defined By My Ill Health – Healing Myth #2

Introduction

Last week in the library I browsed through the ‘alternative health’ section. An older book ‘Why People Don’t Heal And How They Can’ by well-known medical intuitive Caroline Myss begged ‘take me, take me’. So, I brought it home.

This series of healing myths is based upon this book. It is not a book review, but rather my aid to your self-healing effort, easing you into some of Myss’ fascinating healing concepts.

Healing Myths

You might have read my first article in this series: being healthy means being alone — Healing Myth #1 .
In this second article I will be talking about an associated healing myth: being defined by injury or ill health. I will be discussing some valuable healing insights on about road blocks to healing. As a pragmatic healing professional myself, I am offering self-empowerment suggestions to remove these blocks and help you heal.

The Healing Myth #2: My Life Is Defined By My Injury or Ill Health

While everyone is to some degree influenced by personal mental, emotional or physical wounds, many people believe that their lives are the result of these old wounds. They hold the self-limiting belief that they can not heal.

While sad, this belief gives them power. It permits them to demand other people’s help and sympathy for their injury or poor health, without ever challenging the ‘wounded ones’ to put it behind them. They can not fail as none can expect anything of them nor do they carry responsibilities. However, such constant focus on wounds deepens their injury and their growing fear of strength and independence hinders their recovery.

Self-Healing Considerations

Who are ‘They’? Many of us are included here, to some degree… If you find yourself thinking or saying: ‘I could have been a … but my wounded past prevented me from achieving it’ or ‘my wounded past is far worse than yours’ take note to these pointers to recovery:

  1. Observe ‘wounded-me’ self-talk. Catch yourself when you have limiting thoughts, such as your excuses why you’re not doing more positive things with your life; and when you feel empowered by the thought of being more wounded than others.
  2. Start healing talk including a change: ‘while I have been limited by this in the past, today I’m taking a step beyond it, and am actually doing xyz towards reaching my goal. I’m ready to surprise myself to actually reach it.’

Healing is Changing; Changing for Good!