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Zong Chi........... True Nourishing Qi
Cheng Chi ..........Kidney's stored Qi energy
Ching Chi...........Qi that circulates through the meridians
Hsien Tien Chi....Ancestoral Qi inherited through the family line
Ku Chi............... Qi energy derived from food
Kong Chi............Lung Qi
Wei Chi ..............Defensive body protecting Qi
Ying Chi..............Nutriant Qi
Yuan Chi............ Hsien Tien Qi that is active
What is Chi?
Chi or ki is the energy found in the air we breath, the food we eat the liquid we drink and the thoughts we think, chi is the essence of all these things (if you are into science chi is formulated to the electrochemical sub-atomic particles of all things).
Chi can be manipulated by the mind and body and used as a energy source through will, chi can be focused into a punch, kick, block, onto a work of art or into a song, chi is what moves us and keeps us alive.
Used for martial arts or healing and most things, chi can be likened to the energy at the end of a whip (end of a kick or punch), the chi energy is lifted from an energy centre in the lower abdominal region (dantian - Chinese, Hara - Japanese).
Natural chi energy (life force), chi (ki Japanese) is collected from the food, liquids and breath which is used for mind, body and spirit maintenance to ward of ill health (evil spirits), mental or physical illness, for healing others and for metaphysical protection martial arts, chi can be felt (through awareness instruction) and moved to any part of the body with or without the mind in play, but extra chi that can be accumulated by qigong applications is thought to be stored in one of the lower dantian's (abdominal area) and can be manipulated to be drawn up by the mind through practice of guiding and the focus on dantian and on the tai chi chuan/chi gong movements.
The physical part of tai chi chuan tends to mostly work on or use the tendons, ligaments and connective tissues with the mind pushing chi or ki through jing-lou (meridians and collaterals) via the relaxed muscles either on a subconscious or conscious level depending on the type of tai chi chuan or chi gong is practiced at the time.
Wei Qi - Defensive Chi
Regular chi gong practice develops and maintains wei qi chi which when translated means defensive natural energy.
Wei chi is cultivated by the regular practice of chi gong and tai chi chuan.
What is Wei Qi
Wei Qi is protective chi energy that protects the body from illness and is an important factor to have in abundance when practicing any form of healing, as this is the chi that prevents the healer from receiving any illness from the person they are treating.
Empty Qi associated indications:
Pulse - empty
Face - pale
Energy - tired
Symptoms for empty chi in the:
Heart - palpitations with an intermittent of knotted pulse
Spleen - pale, yellow face, weak limbs, poor appetite, undigested food in the stools
Lungs - empty pulse, shallow breathing, empty cough and un talkative
Kidneys - tinnitus, low sex drive, unable to fully urinate or incontinent and dizziness
Chi is an energy that should always be moving (smoothly with blood), stagnant chi can form through poor diet, emotional disharmonies and illness. Stagnant chi usually shows itself via pain and swelling, though the pain tends to be intermittent; another indication is soreness which can sometimes be dispersed and relieved along with the pain via pressure. Emotional distress will always make stagnant chi feel much worse.
Western (Qi) Energy Systems
The energy currency systems used by the body seen from a western perspective is as follows:
ATP-PC System (adenosine triphosphate-phosphocreatine - uses phosphate)
ATP is a continuous currency of energy that fuels the metabolism (bio-chemical reactions) which the body needs for daily tasks such as thinking, walking, lifting etc. to stay fit and well metaphysically.
ATP energy bursts
For intense bursts of energy of 10 second or less the ATP-PC (creatine phosphate system) comes online, which is an anaerobic (without oxygen) process by nature.
The ATP-PC has small amounts of fuel stored in the muscles all over the body ready for use when high intensity energy expenditure is needed straight away.
The PC part of the ATP-PC system alludes to phosphocreatine, an energy source stored in the muscles that converts to ATP when needed during a muscular energy burst.
Fully fit people that train their muscles regularly can expect recover to near normal within 5 minutes.
Quick high intensity energy for high jumping, karate, mma, cycling bursts etc.
ATP-PC system burns about 36 calories a minute - high power/energy for short duration.
Glycolysis System (lactic Acid System - uses carbohydrates)
Anaerobic glycolysis system, also known as the lactic acid system makes energy from muscle glycogen which is the stored form of glucose and is found mainly in the liver (10% of the livers mass is stored glucose) as well as in the muscles (in small amounts).
Breaking down glycogen
The breakdown of glycogen into glucose is known as glycolysis, and can happen with or without the presence or absence of oxygen.
Lack of available oxygen in the energy expenditure system will trigger series of reactions that metabolizes glucose into ATP causing lactic acid production in an effort to produce more ATP.
The lactic acid system fuel will only be available for a few minutes of high-intensity muscle movement, with the accumulative affect of lactic acid buildup creating muscle fatigue with a burning sensation from the intense chemical production effect.
Energy for strength training, karate, mma, cycling, javelin bursts etc
Glycolysis system burns about 16 calories a minute - moderate power/energy and duration
Aerobic System (oxidative system - uses carbohydrate and fat)
Aerobic means with oxygen, and is the most intricate energy currency system the body has to offer.
The aerobic system generates ATP energy via nutrient breakdown, nutrients such as glucose and fatty acids. With a plentiful supply of available oxygen ATP can be formed through nutrient metabolism using the glycolysis process. Metabolic processes such as the Krebs or tricarboxylic acid cycle encourages a number of chemical reactions to also manufacture usable energy in the mitochondria (energy held inside cells of the body).
Oxygen, muscles and energy
The aerobic system relies heavily on many factors with the circulatory system being one of the most important, mostly because the circulatory system carries oxygenated blood around the body through the arteries and capillaries to supply oxygen to help with energy formation, making energy construction a lot slower to produce compared with the immediate, without oxygen ATP-PC and lactic acid energy providing systems.
Aerobic energy production is used by the whole body daily
The aerobic system energy source is used by the body to do all the jobs that are needed for general health maintenance (such food digestion, body temperature, fixing cuts and bruises or muscle repair etc.), the aerobic system is the long-endurance produced energy that is used by elite athletes, athletes that run marathons and play football, it is also a source of energy for weekend gardeners to spend all day digging up their allotment and builders who lay bricks all day depending on fitness levels, the muscle structures and size.
Energy for strength training, karate, mma, cycling, long distance running/walking etc
Natural chemicals (the bodies drugs) released during exercise:
Some of the hormones released during exercise are: dopamine, serotonin, insulin, estrogen, glucogon, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, testosterone, human growth hormone, brain derived neurotrophic factor and insulin-like growth factor Irisin.
Endorphins are naturally manufactured chemicals that interact with brain receptors which have a reducing effect on the perception to pain. Endorphins trigger a feel good factor, a euphoria in the way the body feels. Endorphins are produced by the brain which makes them a non damaging, non-addictive and non-dependant substances (unless obsession sets in), but give the exerciser feelings which have a similar effect that would be received by taking opiates like morphine.
Why practice outside were everyone can see and judge?
Because its healthier
The air outside is electrically charged with positive and negative ions.
Negative ions are abundant in forests, by the sea and in open spaces (parks etc) that have an unpolluted free flow of air, all of these spaces are good for your health because the air quality is healthy and largely uncorrupted by pollutants, high negative ion activity indicates healthy pollutant free air. negative ions are destroyed by air conditioning, central heating, any vehicular pollutant and ozone destruction.
Non natural clothing (clothing that does not breath) or fibres can stop negative ions coming in contact with the body which will negate some of the health benefits of being outside.
Positive ions are electrically charged particles that when saturating the air is an indication of air pollution, large deposits of positive ions are not good for your health.
Positive ions are abundant in offices and homes were air conditioning and central heating change the air quality. Most people who work in offices feel physically tired and more stressed after work even though they have been sitting down most of the time, this is because of positive ion exposure, whereas people that work outside all day tend to leave work with more energy than when they arrived (because of negative ion exposure).
Offices in some asian companies install negative ion generators to improve the health and productivity of their work-force.
Man and woman stand between heaven and earth, the earth has a negative electrical charge (yin) whilst the heavens (sky) produces a positive (yang) electrical charge, when we stand/exercise outside these yin (negative) and yang (positive) energies connect through, and nourish our bodies, bringing together yin and yang at the abdominal dantian (energy centre) to connect through the body with the ming men point (gate of life) in between the kidneys opposite the belly button, located between the 2nd and 3rd lumber vertebrae.
Note: The whole lower abdominal area between the umbilicus and the ming men is considered the lower dantian (aka hara and lower segment of the triple warmer), a place of energy storage, a place of meditation focus.
More Outside training
Learn from a teacher inside but practice the forms outside, better still, if you have a teacher that instructs outside classes, learn, practice and enjoy the forms (if the weather is right) outside training health experience (just like the Chinese practitioners).
Vitamins and Minerals are produced when the body is exposed to sunlight.
The eyes use sunlight exposure as a biochemical trigger to help regulate sleep patterns.
Outside qigong allows the mind/body to naturally connect with the seasons, connect with the day, the movement of the sun, the moon and stars.
One of the main goals of chi gong is to learn how to control passion with wisdom, learning to use intent instead of wasting energy on emotional stress
Basic Principles of Chi gong/Taiji Postures:
Feet are mostly flat
Diaphragm and abdomen relaxed and free
Breath getting deeper and slower as the exercise progresses (or natural breathing depending on the forms practiced)
Spine should feel long and open
Shoulders dropped and relaxed without falling backwards or slouching forwards
Knees, fingers, elbows and toes relaxed and slightly bent, but not forced just smooth arcs
In China much effort and research has gone into the healing and immunology effects of chi gong mind/body programs.
I was fortunate to study traditional Chinese medicine in a Chinese professional teaching hospital, all of the patients on the wards where taught chi gong meditation to improve the chance of a good recovery as well as the option of western medical techniques, acupuncture, acupressure, chi gong thermal energy healing (lay on of hands) and exercises inc taiji, herbal medicine, cupping and moxabustion. I was pleasantly surprised how many patients opted for the TCM approach and chi gong healing to aid their recovery.
Breath of heaven - Energy of the Earth
When the body moves forwards and upwards in motion and the breath is outward; these would be yang movements in nature.
When the body moves back and downwards in motion and the breath is inward; these would be yin movements in nature.
To coordinate and harmonize yin and yang for full benefit the breath is inward (yin) as the body moves down (yin) or backwards (yin); and the breath is outwards (yang) when the body rises (yang) and move forwards (yang) unless otherwise state by a master with an understanding of the way to extend and stretch yin and yang to full benefit.
This means that with some chi gong exercises (and tai chi forms) to breathe in as you rise the yang chi is taken to the limit of yang externally, but with the mind focused on either the lower dantian or bubbling well K1, the internal yin energy mind focus (yi) is yin, and internal energy yin is balanced with external yang movement.
Some of the chi gong sets also take into consideration that chi gong exercises can be structured in two parts, if the movement upwards (or) forwards is coupled with an out breath, this style of movement is completely yang movement and the movement downwards (or) backwards with breathing in that is the ultimate yin in nature, so if the full up and down forms are smoothly performed and coordinated with the correct breathing as one exercise, yin and yang are harmonized.
Cautionary Warning to Would be Healers
Chi gong healing is an acquired skill that should not be embarked upon lightly. Chi gong healing can take time and effort to learn and apply. Before I go any further let me tell you about a famous healer that used to treat one of my clients.
The healer was a lady who one day discovered that she could relieve pain, whether the pain was mental, spiritual or physical just by laying on of hands and focusing her energy with her mind on the illness present.
This lady treated so many people that she depleted her own chi life force so much without replenishing it that she became ill and died.
The chi gong ethics are such that a healer that has not built up an abundant supply of their own chi energy in their body will not be allowed to treat illness in any focused chi energy healing form.
Building Qi Energy
The reason for this is that if you treat disease without developing a abundant supply of chi energy in your body your own chi that keeps you fit and well will become depleted, the healer that I mentioned above had exhausted her natural chi energy so much that she had become sick herself and died.
Building Healing Energies
Tai chi and chi gong exercises have been the way to manipulate healing energy in China for centuries, a part of the Chinese health system to build up positive and eliminate negative chi (illness) to promote yin/yang balance and harmony in the mind, body and spirit, so much so that practiced tai chi and chi gong practitioners that have developed their latent chi energy tend to become healers whether it be through becoming a reflexologist or an acupuncturist or any other healing system that they may have found to relate the positive forces that are a part of them.
Feel the Force
They can feel that they have the natural resources to deal with disease. It is and has been well understood in Shoalin temples and TCM hospitals that are a part of the Chinese health system that if you do not replenish your chi through mental, spiritual or physical energy developing exercises to replace the chi energy that heals there is a good chance you will develop a diseased because you have given away your own life force (chi), when you should be only giving away chi that is surplus that you have developed holistically over time.
Standing Still Qigong Meditation
Standing still is a meditation & exercise technique that requires very little room and is practiced by millions of people every day in China and across the world. Zhang Zhuang is documented to be at least four thousand years old as a form of chi gong exercise and is a good standing meditation to build qi energy.
Zhan Zhuang "standing" should not be practice by people with arthritic joints!
instead change the standing form to a sitting form to
protect the already damaged joints.
How to do Zhan Zhuang (standing post): Wikipedia - Standing still
Begin facing north in preparation, standing still for a while in a small horse stance (SHS - feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, arms hanging loosely, but one fist width away from the body - AKA empty stance, or Wu Chi).
Gently breathe in through through the nose with the tongue resting behind the top of the teeth, allowing the diaphragm to lower, tummy to expand, abdominal muscles relaxed (see basic breathing). Breathe out through the nose or mouth with a relaxed tongue, gently flattening the tummy whilst slowly softening all of the muscles and tendons from head to toe, only leaving enough muscle tone to keep standing in position.
At first stand still as above for 2 minutes daily in the beginning week, then 5 minutes in the second week to slowly build the length of time of standing still over a period of weeks, standing for half an hour then on to an hour.
Do not rush or force your time standing only adding time when you are comfortable with the current length of time before moving on.
Zhan Zhuang has many different standing poses which change the way the hands and arms are positioned, this can elicit different responses physically and mentally over the time of the exercise.
Standing still allows the body to breathe deeply in an aligned chi gong posture with an alert mind, because the posture requires maintenance to keep its pose in position.
The standing posture above encourages focused deeper breathing.
Note: Keep the back naturally straight, knees slightly bent, coccyx tucked in and the head suspended as if held up from the crown by a single hair, arms lifted at least one fist (under the armpit) width from the body.
Western Articles about Standing
An article about 'standing' as an exercise in the daily mail (english newspaper), discusses longevity that can be related to the Chinese standing meditation Zhan Zhuang (pronounced Jan Jong) goes as follows:
If you find it tricky to find time or the motivation to go to gym, here's some good news
Simply standing up for three hours a day is as good for you as running ten marathons a year and can even extend your life by two years, an expert claimed.
Dr Mike Loosemoore, lead consultant in exercise medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, said official guidelines on exercise were impractical and can seem an impossible task for many people.
But said even small amounts of exercise, such as standing, can have significant health benefits. "It's going to improve their health, it's going to reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, it's going to reduce their cholesterol and it's going to make them thinner," he said.
"If you keep doing small gains, they'll improve your health. It's easy to do and you make it part of your lifestyle. It's not about tracksuits and gyms, it's just about adding a little bit of activity."
The Government advises we spend half an hour a day, five days a week doing moderate exercise. But Dr Loosemoore said barely 7 percent of men and women met that advice. More than a quarter of adults fail to exercise more than half an hour a week making Britain one of the least active countries in the world.
Dr Loosemoore, who was lead medic for the GB boxing team at London 2012 Olympics, told BBC 4's Today programme: "The message I want to try to get out there is that small amounts of physical activity, although not reaching government guidelines, are still doing you a lot of good - even just standing is good for you. I'm standing up right now, I'm using all of the small muscles in my legs and the rest of me, I'm keeping myself upright.
"If I stood up like this and worked standing up, which I do, three hours a day, five days a week, that would be the equivalent of running ten marathons a year."
A Department of Health spokesman said: "Even making small changes to daily routines will have long term benefits for health and fitness. The physical activity guidelines are designed to be a manageable way in which people can start to make changes."
Written by Fiona MacRae Daily Mail Science Correspondent (21/06/2014)
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Famous Martial Artists
Some of the more well known kung fu artists that are world famous come from being on film or television, such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan (wiki - Youtube), Jet Li (wiki - Youtube), Michelle Yeoh (wiki - Youtube) Chinese Kung Fu film and Television stars and the Wing Chun master that these martial some artist studied at one time Ip Man. American and European include Chuck Norris (wiki - Youtube), Lucy Liu (wiki - Youtube), Elvis Presley (wiki - Youtube), John Saxon (wiki - Youtube), Jason Statham (wiki - Youtube), Dwayne Johnson (wiki - Youtube), Jean Claude Van Damme (wiki - Youtube) and David Carradine (wiki - Youtube) to name but a few.