Qi Projection Live in a 2012 Neigong Workshop

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Basic Primer on Chinese Medicine Therapeutics

I decided to write a quick and elementary introduction to this topic due to the overall lack of knowledge of these therapeutics...

It appears there are many who have never been exposed to the Chinese Healing Arts. This article was written to give these folks a basic overview of forms of therapeutics utilized in the Chinese Healing Arts.. I am attempting to keep this simple with basic instead of complex wording.

Although there are many approaches to therapeutics inside both Traditional & Classic Chinese Medicine, I think it safe to say the concept of Qi is an underlying aspect of most of these forms. In this topic, we can define Qi as the life flow of energetics.

A bit of history:
What is now called Traditional Chinese Medicine differs greatly from what many call Classical Chinese Medicine. Unfortunately, the communists, in efforts to "standardize", have "dumbed down" what is now taught in the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) schools, dictating a specific wording and methodology. Beyond this, we have the CCM (Classical Chinese Medicine) which include many almost-lost forms and advanced concepts. For example, the current style of acupuncture taught in TCM differs greatly from advanced needling concepts taught in CCM, Another example is advanced therapeutics forms like "Chinese Taoist Medicine" which would fall under CCM and be virtually unknown in TCM.

Although this article is not meant to be comprehensive, there are several categories which we could break down into a few basic categories:
1) Acupuncture
Actually, there is no real word for "acupuncture" as the word is an invented westernized term. But we are referring to needling. Most people in the west have heard of and many have utilized this therapeutic form. But we should realize that the practitioners of TCM are generally practicing a completely different approach than those who practice CCM.
 Also we should include moxa therapy here, which is performed by burning an herbal/base which adds intense heat to  "acupuncture points"  which are energy vortices that tap into the energy distribution system of the body. The main concept of acupuncture is to balance this energy distribution system.
An internet search will list many studies done on acupuncture.

2) Chinese Herbal Medicine
There are over 5,000 items in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Although often referred to as "Chinese Herbal Medicine" These consist of herbs, minerals, and animal by-products or parts. Needless to say this can get very complicated and it is not suggested for people to experiment with this therapeutic form as the combinations utilized are quite powerful and if not monitored by a knowledgeable practitioner could potentially do more harm than good.
An internet search will list much information on Chinese Herbal Medicine.

3) Tui Na & Acupressure
Tui Na is the advanced massage form of TCM & CCM. Many hospitals in China have Tui Na departments. It is utilized therapeutically to treat a wide variety of conditions and is extremely effective. It is not as widely known in the west as acupuncture but in China it is ranked right up there at the top of therapeutic forms.
Also the term "Anmo" is utilized to refer to Chinese Massage techniques.
Acupressure is generally referring to finger pressure (mostly thumb) to the acupoints and has the same goal as acupuncture.

4) Medical Qigong
The term "medical qigong" covers the many energetic forms of therapeutics utilized in the Qigong Hospitals of China. Also, many of the hospitals have a Medical Qigong department. It is a highly-specialized and extremely effective therapeutic form with an almost unprecedented therapeutic efficacy. Its use has been proven through several decades of Chinese hospitals and clinics as well as through its vast history of development. It refers to what is called Wai Qi Liao Fa which means "healing with external energy". Most of the forms utilize off-body energy projection although some incorporate on-body techniques. 
There are also advanced and specialized forms of Medical Qigong. An example of one which has been introduced to the West is Chinese Taoist Medicine, which is a neuro-energetic bodywork form based on medical qigong application of/to the complete neurological system of the body. Forms like this are not as well known as the general medical qigong, but even medical qigong itself is not as widely known in the west as forms like acupuncture.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the self-practice of energetics called Qigong. Although not an applied therapeutic form, this  self-practice has proven itself in benefits to millions of people across the world. 

Since medical qigong is not as widely known I will list some research suggestions:
http://qigonginstitute.org/html/database.php This is a compilation of research abstracts, a project of Dr Ken Sancier, and includes abstracts from studies performed all over the world which includes the many studies done in China. Dr Sancier was well known for his research at Stanford Research Institute.
http://qigonginstitute.org/html/scientificbasis.php#Medical Research This page has many good articles on qigong and energy medicine.
There are several schools of medical/clinical qigong in the USA. In China, after the fallout of falun gong challenging the communist government, the governmental policies have resulted in the closing of many of the dedicated qigong hospitals and suppression of information concerning medical qigong. What was once mainstream in the 80's and 90's and demonstrating tremendous growth is now a shadow of itself in China.

To sum this posting, I would suggest to each person reading that they open their minds to the concept of "world medicine" and not dismiss these amazing therapeutic forms from China. Unfortunately many people are still under the mistaken impression that allopathic western medicine is the only "proven" form of medicine. This simply is not so. Although scientific investigation and study is valuable, history of use has over and over again proven to be our ally in investigating the validity of medicinal therapeutics. Just look at the many western allopathic compounds that were proven by scientific study to be safe and have efficacy which were later proven, through history of use, to be harmful with no efficacy. These Chinese medicine forms have a vast history of use in proving their safety and efficacy and are now being investigated through the western scientific model.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Neigong: Yang & Yin / Heaven & Earth Qi Chi Chee

Preface statement: Most Taoist Alchemy systems utilize a Yin/Yang fusion for growth within the system.
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Holy smakerals batman! Such a simple subject and I am totally blown away at the misconceptions I have been hearing, or rather seeing posted on forums. Heaven is Yang, Earth is Yin. I think that is one thing that is not questioned. Well...., it could be. But lets us just say it is not for the purpose of this article.
Here goes an attempt at explaining these things which are really unexplainable. A person cannot tell another exactly what Yin Qi or Yang Qi feels like - it is impossible and is a thing which can only be experienced for oneself.

Lets start with Earth. After all, we do live here - at least some of us.

Just what the heck is Earth Qi? Do different systems have an Earth Qi that is totally different than other system's Earth Qi? Can a person feel Earth Qi? Are their specific exercises one has to do to feel Earth Qi?

Dang - so many questions yet you wanted answers not questions, eh?

OK. First off there is not a different Earth Qi from one system to the next. In essence, we are all speaking of the same thing. Yes, different systems have different ways of approaching the Earth Qi concept. Some, I believe, use it but do not even recognize it (weird huh!).

Next I would say that Earth Qi most definitely unquestionably absolutely without a doubt CAN be felt and/or experienced. And yes, I can easily prove this by allowing each person to prove it to themselves. That is, each person who is actually willing to study a valid system instead of reading a book and thinking they do understand based on introductory descriptions in said books. I have a secret to tell you - the books are written as introductions and NEVER contain the complete teachings. And this is really as it should be as these things get quite involved as one progresses.

For instance, one beginners method that is quite valid for experiencing Earth Qi, a method that is quite common among MANY different cultures and MANY different systems within those cultures, is to simply make contact with Earth - sitting on Earth.

Does the above method work?
Yes, I certainly would say so. I have seen Shamans who basically utilized this method who were very good at manipulating Earth energetics.

Does adding a wire to Earth make a difference?
It depends. If one is sitting on Earth they are already making contact and a wire does nothing at all. If a person is ONLY making contact through the wire then mostly what will happen is a static discharge which WILL make a difference in one's energetic sensitivity. But this difference is not so much nor as good as simply sitting on Earth due to contact area. The FIELD of Qi is what we are looking for, not a static discharge or current flow through a wire, even though for others reasons a static discharge is quite helpful.

But what does the above do for a person?
It lets them experience what I will call SURFACE EARTH QI.

Wait a minute, I thought you said that the concept of Earth Qi is the same among systems.

Well, it is and it isn't.

I will further explain. What beginners feel, for the most part, is the surface Earth Qi.
But there are different layers of Earth Qi and I will simplify (yeah, I know...) this and divide it into 3 basic layers 1) Surface Earth Qi, 2) Mid Layer Earth Qi, and 3) Core Earth Qi. Of course this simplification doesn't recognize the fact that many different levels of vibration occur as one sinks deeper therefore rendering said simplification totally inaccurate. However, it really is a good way of considering the different frequencies, this dividing of Earth Qi into 3 basic layers.

So who feels or can manipulate the Mid-Layer? An accomplished practitioner of several years is usually one who can. This requires one to raise their energy body vibration to the point of actually being able to go this deep.

OK. So who can feel and manipulate the Core energetics? The adept can. One who has studied with a teacher who understands these layers, who has put much time&effort into practicing, and who has reached a certain level of accomplishment with wai qi liao fa. It really does require one to put in much time&effort to actually be able to do so, though.

Wait a minute - how come I have never heard of this before?
There are teachings usually not talked about. But I love hiding things in plain sight. The truth is, many will read this but only one in 10,000 will ever actually study the teachings and practice the internal cultivation to the point where anything I have said will have any actual meaning for them.

But what about you saying anyone can prove this to themselves?
Oh, that is quite easy. There are 3 or 4 specific exercises in the Gift of the Tao system that, when performed for a period of time, MOST people will tell you they CAN feel the difference between Earth Qi and Heaven Qi. In fact, I guarantee it - feel Earth Qi  TO YOUR SATISFACTION THAT IT IS SO or within 30 days from the purchase of a Gift of the Tao DVD  get a full refund (less shipping cost)

OK. Now what about Heaven Qi?
I do think I will save that one for a future blog post.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Only 3 Things Needed!

I would like to comment on the apparent misunderstanding of the 3 things needed in order to progress.

1) Be a good & moral person

It seems many have a problem with the word "moral". And I am sure one reason this is so is due to religious connotations from religions that wish to control others. However, it does seem a bit odd to me that most would object to the word and it leads me to wonder just where everyone is coming from. Do you not wish to do the "right thing", in harmony with Tao, at any given moment? THIS is what I mean by 1) BE a good & moral person.

To explain further, one can look at it like this: "Moral" means reaching a level of connection & harmony with one's true self - not the intellectual brain oriented thinking, but the part of us that actually ALWAYS knows the right thing to do in any moment. 
Therefore it is very simple to be a good & moral person. All one has to do is reach the level of truly understanding and interacting in harmony with one's true self, then dance in the Wu Wei so that one's true self is acting in harmony with the moment by moment changes in the universe and the related energy flow. Then every choice is "moral" at any given moment. 

Simple, eh? Yes it is. HOWEVER (of course there is a "gotcha"), simple does not mean easy.

If it is not easy, how does one go about it?
I was taught that before we can actually disassociate from mind chatter which is a part of the great computer that has become "master" while our true self is given back burner as a slave of this lifetime, we have to first clean up our act. That is, the energy body must reach a vibrational level that is beyond the mental contamination of this world. And we do that by practicing High Level Qigong which has as one of its main goals the goal of raising the energy body vibrational frequency.

Of course it is called gungfu for a reason. It does take the time & effort, which many are unwilling to do. 

2) Practice Your Qigong
I do believe the explanation is taken care of in the above paragraph. Plus we get all sorts of amazing side-effects like we don't get as sick as before we practiced and we can tap into healing energetics to help others.

3) Calmness
Calmness is extremely important since we lose our connection/harmony with our true self when we are not calm. When we practice our qigong we calm others due to the nature of the field (one can look at is as "magnetic induction if they wish). HOWEVER (another "gotcha", in a way) when we are not calm we effect others negatively. I say "in a way" because if we actually practice the high level qigong which induces calmness in itself, all it takes is simple reminders to remain calm up until a point that the common aspect IS calmness. But due to human emotion we do need to remind ourselves if we get off tract.

I propose that if everyone practiced these 3 things that eventually this world would be much more in harmony and everyone in it would be much more in harmony with others. Wars would end. Peace would be upon us. Creative energetics would flow unimpeded.
WOW!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

On Tai Chi & Qigong; Are They the Same?





My opinion comes from many years of observation. I have had many tai chi practitioners come through my classes; the oldest  had practiced tai chi for 90 years! What I found was a completely different understanding of energetics and that the energetics do differ significantly from qigong; and let me be clear I am really speaking of neigong versus what some call qigong that are more calisthenic oriented or are simple breathing exercises.

I have found Tai Chi to be a great physical exercise that also produces many mental as well as physical benefits, also, in the classical TCM sense, helps restore energy circulation through the channels. I have no problem with this and do suggest Tai Chi as a great exercise. But when it comes to transmutation and raising the vibration of the energy body - not so much.

There was an interesting article about the history of tai chi in one of the MA magazines a few years ago. And that was about the reason it is currently taught to do slowly. Seems that (a long time ago and far away) one of the top teachers injured himself and during his recovery had to do the movements slowly because he couldn't do them fast like what was currently taught. So everyone else started doing it slowly due to the current top master doing so. Of course I realize the popular view among the martial folks is that it is done slowly so as to learn the exercises (which I agree with) and the popular view among the tai chi-as-qigong folks it is done slowly to maintain proper alignment for energy circulation and to feel the qi.

One of the differences of opinion about Tai Chi is due to the fact of the difference in the way people are taught.  I was shown each move's martial application which adequately demonstrated Tai Chi is a vicious and brutal martial art. Can a person slow it down and utilize it as a "qigong"? I say yes but with certain caveats. One is that a qigong form (preferable an internal form) should be practiced concurrently with a person utilizing the qigong energetics inside the tai chi. The other is that there are certain carryover energetics from the fact that each of these moves were designed to maim someone (stop the heart, break the jaw, displace the shoulder etc). An attached "karma" or perhaps just to say "attached energetics" would be one way to look at it. I can demonstrate this with a field of horses. If I do Gift of Tao neigong movements the horses are attracted and come very close and get in a really relaxed droopy jawed, almost closed eye state. The very second I switch over to either tai chi or hsing I (with no change in body tension or sudden move) the horses jump to attention and the leader walks out to challenge, although he does have a confused stance as if to say "But you are my friend, why are you challenging me?" It is quite obvious to me that they are picking up on the energetics difference. And, I have performed this experiment many times and with different horses.

Also, I have met very few who could adequately perform Wai Qi Liao Fa from doing only tai chi.

My own personal conclusion is to practice neigong alongside the tai chi and integrate these energetics inside the movements. Although from my experiments with animals (PETA, no animals were harmed during this testing) I also conclude there is no way to separate the martial energetic attachment. Dilute it, yes; separate it, no.

Stillness-Movement Neigong Workshop June 22nd, 23rd and Optional 24th, Springfield, Missouri

Join us for the Stillness-Movement and Gift of the Tao neigong workshop June 22nd and 23rd. Optionally, add the June 24th Clinical Applications day where you will learn medical qigong and introductory Chinese Taoist Medicine. At the I44 Holiday Inn & Suites with free shuttle to/from the airport.
www.qigongamerica.com

To register:
http://store.qigongamerica.com

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Neigong in Terre Haute, Indiana March 23,24,25

Join us to learn Stillness-Movement & Gift of the Tao Neigong Saturday & Sunday. On Monday, join us for Clinical Applications day for medical qigong and Chinese Taoist Medicine (Neuro-Energetic Qigong Bodywork). Learn how to help others!

Teacher Michael Lomax has over 35 years clinical experience with qigong, neigong, medical qigong & Chinese Taoist Medicine.
To be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wu Wei; Understanding what it means...

This post is based on reading the most bizarre definitions of Wu Wei, usually referenced by some type of literature that is  most likely mistranslated by an academic who does not practice the Taoist energetics necessary to understand the concept. I have talked about this subject before but let's revisit.

Q] OK. So what is YOUR definition of Wu Wei?
A] Uh, there isn't one. 

Q] What the heck! Here I thought you were going to tell me what Wu Wei is?
A] Sorry, can't do that. I can talk around the subject but no way in heck can anyone define "Wu Wei". Wu Wei can ONLY be experienced/practiced.

Q] OK, so talk around it then.
A] Lets make it easy. Here is a step by step way from the Taoist internal arts practices: 

1) Learn authentic internal qigong 
2) Practice the method
3) Through the practice burn though all the filters we set in the energy body from birth to NOW. Simple calisthenic practice exercise will not accomplish this - true energetic practices can.
4 ) Raise the energy body vibration to be in resonance with Heaven
5) Practice LISTENING, then
6) Follow that Listening in the moment of the moment; this implies acting on each moment of the moment

Simple,yes? 

Q] Oh sure, it is simple; what the heck do you mean by LISTENING?
A] LISTENING is that flow of information through which, by stilling the mind and cutting the internal dialogue, raising the energy body vibration, and tuning into HEAVEN in the moment of the moment, we flow alongside in harmony with Spirit or Tao's manifestation. LISTENING is a dynamic process, never static.

Any intellectual reasoning has no meaning concerning Wu Wei as it is its own thing that is separate from brain/mind. In terms of our interaction, being that it is dynamic and never static, "Dance in the Wu Wei" is a more accurate way of looking at it.

Thus while I would agree that it is described in the Taoist literature , that description, when analyzed by the mind, has no meaning and is indeed totally misleading. The literature was based on a practitioner's experience , not the intellectual concept as formed by the mind. The meaning only becomes clear with the internal Taoist practices and until that internal "harmony of notes" is accomplished all the talk is simply not the thing itself and will never be the thing itself. Only the Dancing will be the manifestation of (our interaction with and practice of) the thing itself.

For those that practice the Arts and do accomplish the burning through of filters, the raising of energy body vibration, and who do LISTEN/Act in harmony with the flow, the results will be always in harmony and can be quite bizarre at times, with convoluted deep meanings that transcend any mental attempt of analysis. The resulting meshing of energetics result in manifestation of much mind-boggling synchronicity and with one always being where they need to be and doing what they need to do - all without doing anything (conscious/mental).

Join us in 2013 for our Stillness-Movement Neigong workshops:
Distance Neigong - Jan 20, Feb 3, Feb 10, Feb 17

USA Stillness-Movement Neigong & Gift of the Tao Workshop location TBA March 23,24 with optional Clinical Applications of Medical Qigong March 25