You feel dull and scattered: On days when you are exceptionally tired, or mentally fatigued, or just can't seem to focus on anything, or obsessed over the details of your training—stop and go for a long walk, ride your bike, do something physical that interests and stimulates you in a pleasant and moderate way
You feel cold all over or in specific parts of the body: In the first few months of regular training it is common to have sensations of excessive cold in the extremities, especially if you are a smoker or female, or to feel cold when practising standing quietly, as opposed to moving qigong. If the feeling of cold is accompanied by pain, stop training that method and consult a qigong doctor or acupuncturist. This may be the symptom of a deficiency of Yang energy
You feel numbness or tingling in the limbs or hands: Some experts, Erle Montai-gue included, have told me this is a frequent by-product of practising qigong and is a good sign. It means the Qi is trying to get through properly in areas where it has been blocked. However, if the numbness or tingling continues after you stop doing qigong, it might also be the symptoms of nerve damage in the affected limb or of something like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This tingling can feel like a mild case of when your foot goes to sleep, or it can feel like the vibrating/buzzing sensation that you get when you place your hand on a small motor housing.
You feel sore or in pain: I am afraid that some pain and discomfort is normally present in the first few months of training, whether you are doing everything correctly or not. Your body/mind, probably, doesn't like standing still, and it sends you signals designed to make you stop. Within reason, you should persist. Try tensing and releasing your toes if the pain is in your feet. If the pain is in your shoulders or arms, try holding the palm shapes closer to the body. If the pain is in the legs or lower back, try rocking the body forward and back or side to side.
Of course, you can also be standing with your butt stuck out and your spine arched, which means that you will experience pain for that reason. It is important to make sure that your posture is sound when doing any form of qigong, you don't go too fast or try too many repetitions of the moving methods. Don't ignore pain that is agonising, or sharp, or that persists after your training session.
You get a Headache or Aching Eyes: Headaches are often a sign of Qi congestion in the head and can be relieved by doing "grounding" methods or by massaging the appropriate acupuncture points on the body. You may experience aching eyes if you are staring too much in general, or when you are doing methods that affect the liver or strengthen the eyes.
Trembling: You could write a book on this subject alone. Many experts say that you must experience a probationary period of time in which you tremble, sometimes violently, for all or part of your qigong. Others say that you should never consciously induce trembling or shaking as a means of inducing physical relaxation or of encouraging the Qi to flow freely through minor blockages. You must also discriminate between the shaking that happens when you are doing standing still exercises as opposed to moving methods, where the shaking is more likely to be localised in the arms and shoulders and caused by excess muscle use or tension. If you are used to doing meditation or are strong but relaxed to begin with, you may never experience any significant shaking. Speaking from my own experience, I find that I tremble and shake much less than a few years ago when I do my standing. And when it still happens, it is usually on days when I was feeling tenser or more tired than usual. An episode of shaking should subside fairly quickly, although you may experience aftershocks a few moments later.
You experience excessive sweating even though you are standing still: There are several streams of thought on sweating in qigong. If you sweat while doing self-healing methods, you are too tense or using too much muscle, i.e., you are doing it wrong! However, many experts interpret sweating as a sign that you are doing the methods properly, and you are releasing stagnant Qi and toxins through the pores. The truth, probably, lies somewhere in between. I was sweating like a pig when doing certain methods for the first few months. Nowadays, I rarely sweat when doing the methods I practise regularly. And of course, if you are training outside on a very hot day—guess what? You should sweat!!!
You become Frightened or Startled: Many experts advocate training alone in a quiet and private environment. You can become very sensitive to outside stimuli—a sudden noise or a touch. Perhaps, it is like the phenomena you can experience when wakened during a dream, when you feel disoriented and are not quite awake. I have experienced this and seen it happen to others in my classes. It can "disturb and scatter the Qi"—as the traditionalists would say—so that you feel agitated and upset for quite sometime afterwards. N.B. Some experts maintain that your training should eventually reach the point when you can continue in a state of sung even though "Mount Tai should collapse at your feet."
You have difficulty sleeping: In general, the practice of standing and moving qigong will be very beneficial to your sleep patterns, as you become more relaxed and stronger internally. However, it is important not to do methods that are too stimulating before bedtime. Although, depending on the season, your health, and the time of month, you may find that any method will energise you too much if done too close to bedtime. A rule of thumb is to practise the most active methods in the morning and the quieter methods in the evening.
You start coughing for no reason: Assuming that you don't have a cold or flu, the most common cause of coughing is using too much muscle while doing methods that affect the lungs. Smokers may also find that they have coughing fits when doing even gentle methods. Another good reason to quit!
You get aroused while training: This is a very common side effect to qigong training and can be very disturbing to some people. It is important to remember that the Taoists often had a very healthy attitude to sexuality and realised that sexual energy is an important aspect of a healthy life. Some of the traditional methods are designed to restore normal functioning to the sexual organs, and becoming healthier in general can restore interest in such matters. Don't worry about transitory feelings of arousal while you train, and don't be surprised if you don't start being interested in such activity again if your interest had waned because of poor health or being stressed out.
You are hungry all the time or have lost interest in eating: Qigong can have a profound effect on your metabolism. Quite often it will make a skinny person regain an interest in food and gain weight, and a fat person lose weight even though they are not trying to do so! Some methods are more effective than others in this realm, and the adjustment is partly due to abdominal breathing massaging the digestive system, and partly due to a gradual change in how you approach eating on an emotional level, i.e., if you eat to compensate for depression or being overstressed, such cravings may cease as you become healthier through your training.
Was this article helpful?