Chi Kung was originally researched and developed by the Chinese to promote good health. For more than 4000 years they have investigated human Chi circulation, its relationship with the seasons, weather, and time of day. They have found that Chi is closely related to the altitude, location, food, emotional state, and even the sounds a person makes. They have done much research into methods of keeping the Chi circulation naturally healthy. These methods can roughly be divided into the categories of maintenance and healing. The first category specifies methods which can be used to maintain a person's health, and minimize the degeneration of the organs in order to increase the lifespan. The second specifies techniques which can be used to cure illnesses.
For maintenance Chi Kung the Chi is built up either by Wai Dan or Nci Dan, and then guided by the mind to circulate through the entire body. According to acupuncture theory, smooth Chi circulation is the key to health. When Chi is stagnant in a channel, the related organ will be weakened and will degenerate.
For curative Chi Kung methods, techniques are applied by patients to control the Chi circulation and gradually heal the disordered internal organs, or cure an external injury. The most generally used methods for doing this are acupuncture, masssage, and rubbing. Although Wai Dan and Ne; Dan are primarily used to maintain smooth, abundant Chi circulation, advanced meditators sometimes use them to eliminate internal bruises and Chi stagnation caused by injuries. Recently, it has been found in China that Wai Dan and Nei Dan can be used to cure some cancers.
From acupuncture theory we know that the Chi channels are distributed over the entire body. These channels are closely related to the internal organs and are also related and connected to each other. All these channels have terminals at the hands, feet or head. Because of this fact, the Chinese doctor looks at the patient's face, tongue, and eyes and feels the pulses in the wrist to understand the severity of the illness and its prognosis.
For the same reason, a person can also stimulate the Chi circulation by massaging the ears, hands, and feet to gradually recover or increase the health of the Chi circulation. These reflexology techniques have proven very effective.
In this chapter the diagnostic techniques of Chinese physicians will be briefly described in section two. The theory and techniques of acupuncture will be discussed in section three. The reader who wishes more depth of coverage should refer to specialized texts on these subjects. In section four the theory and techniques of massage will be introduced, and skin rubbing methods will be summarized as well.
When a person is sick, his Chi circulation is irregular or abnormal—it has too much Yin or too much Yang. Because all Chi channels are connected to the surface of the body, stagnant or abnormal Chi flow will cause signs to show on the skin. Also, the sounds a sick person makes when speaking,coughing, or breathing are different from those of a healthy person. Chinese doctors therefore examine a patient's skin, particularly the forehead, eyes, ears, and tongue. They also pay close attention to the person's sounds. In addition, they ask the patient a number of questions about his daily habits, hobbies, and feelings to understand the background of the illness. Finally, the doctor feels the pulses and probes special spots on the body to further check the condition of specific channels. Therefore, Chinese diagnosis is divided into four principal categories: l)Looking (Wang Chen)\ 2)Listening and Smelling (Wen Chen); 3)Asking (Wenn Chen); and 4)Palpation (Chei Chen).
Obviously Chinese medicine takes a somewhat different approach to diagnosis than Western medicine does. Chinese doctors treat the body as a whole, analyzing the cause of the illness from the patient's appearance and behavior. Often what the Chinese physician considers important clues or causes are viewed by the Western doctor as symptomatic or irrelevant, and vice versa.
Next, we will briefly discuss the above four Chinese diagnostic techniques.
1. Looking: (Wang Chen)-Looking at the spirit and inspecting the color.
(a) General Appearance: Examine the facial expression, muscle tone, posture, and general spirit.
(b) Skin Color: Examine the skin color of the injured area, if the problem is externally visible, like a bruise or pulled muscle. Examine the skin color of the face (Fig. 4-1). Since some channels are connected to the face, its color can tell the Chinese doctor what organs are disordered or out of balance.
(c) Tongue: The tongue is closely connected through channels with the heart, kidney, stomach, liver, gall bladder, lungs, and spleen (Fig. 4-2). In making his diagnosis, the Chinese doctor will check the shape, fur, color, and the body of the tongue to determine the condition of the organs.
(d) Eyes: From the appearance of the eyes a doctor can tell the liver condition. For example, when the eyes are red, it means the liver has too much Yang. Also, black spots on the whites of the eyes (Fig. 4-3), can tell of problems with the Chi circulation, degeneration of organs, or stagnancy due to an old injury.
(e) Hair: The condition of the hair can indicate the health of the kidneys and the blood. For example, thin, dry hair indicates deficient kidney Chi or weak blood.
(f) Lips and Gums: The color of the lips and their relative dryness indicates if the Chi is deficient or exhausted. Red, swollen, or bleeding gums can be caused by stomach fire. Pale, swollen gums and loose teeth might be a symptom of deficient kidneys.
2. Listening and Smelling:
(a) Listen to the patient's breathing, mode of speech and cough. For example, a dry, hacking cough is caused by dry heat in the lungs.
(b) Smelling the odor of a patients breath and excrement. For example, in the case of diseases caused by excessive heat, the various secretions and excretions of the body have a heavy, foul odor, while in diseases caused by excessive cold, they smell more like rotten fish.
3. Asking: This is one of the most important sources of a successful diagnosis. The questions usually cover the patient's past medical history, present condition, habits and life-style. Traditionally, there are ten main subjects a Chinese doctor will focus on in this interview. These are: a) Chills and fever, b) Head and body, c) Perspiration, d) Diet and appetite, e) Urine and stool, f) Chest and abdomen, g) Eyes and ears, h) Sleep, i) Medical history, and j) Bearing and living habits.
4. Palpation: There arc three major forms of palpation (touching or feeling) in Chinese medicine:
(a) The palpation of areas which feel painful, hot, swollen, etc. to determine the nature of the problem. For example, swelling and heat indicates there is too much Yang in the area.
(b) The palpation of specific acupuncture points on the front and back of the trunk. For example, if the doctor senses a collapsed feeling, or the point is sore to the touch, this indicates the possibility of disease in the organ with which the point is associated.
(c) The palpation of pulse: Traditionally, the radial area pulse on the wrist (Fig. 4-4) is the principal site for pulse diagnosis. Although the pulse is specially related to the lungs and controlled by the heart, it reflects the condition of all organs (Table 4-1). The doctor checks the following: the depth (floating or submerged), the pace (slow or fast), the length (long or short), the strength (weak or strong), and the quality (slippery, rough, wiry, tight, huge, fine, or irregular). Usually it takes several years and hundreds of cases to become expert in the palpation of pulse.
Recently inspection of skin eruptions on the ears has been used in Chinese diagnosis. A number of sites have been found on the ear (Fig. 4-5) which become spontaneously tender or otherwise react to disease or injury somewhere in the body. Stimulation of these ear points in turn exerts certain therapeutic effects on those parts of the body with which they are associated.
This section serves only as a brief introduction to Chinese medical diagnosis. Interested readers should refer to books about Chinese medicine for more information.
Heart and Lungs
Heart and Lungs
Stomach r 7-9 am
Pericardium _ 7-9pm
Large Intestine 5-7 am
Small Intestine 1-3pm
1-3 am Spleen Kidney 9-11am 5-7 pm
Pericardium _ 7-9pm
Large Intestine 5-7 am
Small Intestine 1-3pm
Small Intestine Heart
Small Intestine Heart
In this section we will discuss how acupuncture is used, and why it works. Since Chi Kung exercises and Chi circulation theory are based on the results of acupuncture research, we believe this short theory summary will help the Chi Kung practitioner to understand the theory of the exercise.
The Relationship between the Points of the Left Ear and Surface Anatomical Structures
In order to understand acupuncture, one should know first what "Ching" and "Lou" are. Then he should understand what their function in the body is and their relationship to health. "Ching" and "Lou" are the Chi channels which connect the inside to the surface of the body, and which relate the internal organs to each other. They correspond with the vascular system with its arteries, veins, and capillaries. "Ching" are the main Chi channels which are distributed in the body, and are the paths of Chi and blood circulation. Usually, these Ching are found under a thick layer of muscle, and so are protected from the external influence, the same way the arteries and main nerves are are. There are twelve main Ching which connect the internal organs with the rest of the body. "Lou" are the minor Chi channels which connect the Ching to the surface of the body.
In addition to Ching and Lou , there are eight vessels which serve as balancing channels. These vessels also circulate Chi, however their function is different from Ching and Lou and they are called the "Strange Ching of the eight vessels" ("Chi Ching Ba Mei"). Among these eight vessels the Ren and Du vessels are most important.
Acupuncture theory classifies the internal organs into two kinds, viscera and bowels. According to Chinese theory, viscera are the organs which store essential substances for the body's use. These are the lungs, kidney, liver, heart, spleen, and pericardium. The bowels are organs which do not store substances, but eliminate them, being essentially hollow. These are the large intestine, gall bladder, urinary bladder, small intestine, stomach, and triple burner ("San-jiao"). Viscera are Yin, while bowels are Yang, and they are grouped in pairs which are closely related with each other. It is important to note that in Chinese medicine, the term organ refers more to the functional system of that organ than to the actual physical lump of flesh. Hence, two of the organs in the Chinese system, the pericardium and the triple burner, have no corresponding organ in the Western system at all.
In classifying channels there are six degrees of Yin and Yang used to describe the six that terminate in the hands and the six that end in the feet. The Yin channels are Taiyin, Shaoyin, and Jueyin. Taiyin is the very strongest most vigorous Yin. Shaoyin contains some Yang, and Jueyin is exhaused Yin and is found where two Yin channels meet. The-Yang channels are Taiyang, Shaoyang, and Yangming. Taiyang is very strong, young Yang. Shaoyang is Yang that has begun to deteriorate, and fangming is extreme Yang, and is found where two Yang channels meet.
In Yin and Yang theory, Yang is characterized by the outside of things, while Yin is the inside. In consonance with this principle, the twelve channels are considered Yin or Yang depending whether they are found on the inside or on the outside of the arm or leg. There are three Yin channels on the inside of each arm and leg, and three Yang channels on the outside. Of the two main vessels which make up the small circulation the Ren, which is found on the front of the body, is considered Yin, and the Du, which is found on the back, is considered Yang.
• Chi circulates Within this system continuously from the surface to the interior and back to the surface. The paths of the channels are as follows:
Upper Limb-y/n Ching: movement is from the chest to the hand
Hand Taiyin: Runs from the top of the chest, along the inside of the arm, and ends on the outside of the thumb.
Hand Shaoyin: Runs from the armpit, down the inside of the arm, and ends in the little finger.
Hand Jueyin: Starts in the chest, runs up the chest, then down the middle of the inner arm and ends at the middle finger.
Upper Limb -Yang Ching: movement is from the hand to the head.
Starts at the end of the little finger, then runs up the outside of the arm, behind the shoulder, across the neck, and ends in front of the ear. Starts at the tip of the ring finger, then runs up theoutsideof the arm, around the shoulder, over the ear, and ends near the outside of the eyebrow.
Starts at the tip of the index finger, runs along the outside of the arm, and ends near the nose.
Lower Limb-F/'/J Ching: movement is from the foot to the chest.
Foot Taiyin: Starts at the tip of the big toe, runs up the inside of the leg, and ends at the top of the chest.
Foot Shaoyin: Starts under the little toe, rises along the inside of the leg, and ends near the collarbone.
Foot Jueyin: Starts on the outside of the big toe, then the in side of the leg, up the trunk, and ends near the nipple.
Lower Limb-yang Ching: movement is from the head to the foot.
Starts at the inner corner of the eye, runs over the head, splits and runs in two channels down the back, joins on the back of the thigh and ends on the little toe.
Starts at the outer corner of the eye, travels over the head, around the back of the shoulder, down the side of the chest and the outside of the leg, and ends in the fourth toe. Starts under the eye, runs down the front of the body, then down the outer front of the leg, and ends up in the second toe.
Ching are connected with one another at the extremities, where Yin meets Yang, and at the chest and face, where Yin meets Yin and Yang meets Yang (see Table 4-2). For the purposes of this table, the circuit starts above the nipples, moving through the channels in the order shown. Remember that there are two symmetrical systems, one on each side of the body.
Table 4-2 Order of Chi Circulation
Acupuncture theory also relates the organs to the five elements (Wu Hsing): metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. These relationships are shown in Table 4-3 and Fig. 4-6. The five element theory is used to describe how organ systems influence each other through constructive and destructive sequences.
physicians found that a healthy person should not be too Yin or too Yang. When a person is ill, the acupuncturist will use needling or a few other methods to regulate the Chi flow and bring the person back to health. The reader should understand that it is not only the cavities lying on the channel corresponding to the afflicted organ that are used. Since the channels are interconnected and affect each other in various ways, cavities throughout the body are used to
rebalance particular organs. To do this, an acupuncturist must understand the relation of Chi flow to the seasons and the time of day, as well as the interrelationship of the channels.
In the case of non-organ problems, such as muscle pain or a joint injury, the acupuncturist will usually needle cavities near the injury which are not on the channels (remember, almost half the known cavities are not located on channels). This kind of treatment will increase the Chi circulation in the injured area and remove the stagnant Chi.
This has been only the briefest of introductions to the principles of acupuncture. The author hopes that the Chi Kung practitioner is able to gain a basic knowledge of Chi circulation. If the reader is interested in further research, there are many books available. The following are suggested: 1 .The Theoretical Foundation of Chinese Medicine Systems of Correspondence, by Manfred Porkert. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, 1978.
2. Acupuncture A Comprehensive Text, Shanghai College of Traditional Medicine. Translated and edited by John O'Connor and Dan Bensky, Eastland Press, Chicago, 1981.
4-4. Massage and Rubbing
People have always instinctively rubbed sore muscles and other painful areas to ease their pain and to help the sore muscle recover more quickly.
Long ago it was found that this kind of rubbing can cure a number of disorders such as headaches, joint pain, and uneasy stomach, and that simple rubbing can even strengthen weakened organs.
Massage has been known world-wide. The Japanese have used acupressure, which is derived from Chinese massage, for centuries. The Greek upper classes have used a form of massage, slapping the skin with switches, to cure various disorders. However, the Chinese have fully systematized massage to agree with the theory of Chi circulation.
There are three categories of Chinese massage. The first is massaging the muscle: the second, massaging the cavities, or acupuncture points; and the third, massaging the nerve and channel endings. Each category of massage has its own specific uses, but generally a mixture of the three is used.
Massaging the muscles is used to relieve soreness and bruises. The masseuse follows the direction of the muscle fiber using the techniques of: rubbing, pressing, sliding, grasping, slapping, and shaking. The result is an increase in the circulation of blood and Chi on the skin and in the muscle area. It also helps to spread accumulated acid, which collects in the muscles due to hard exercise, or blood (in the case of bruises), or stagnant Chi, allowing the circulation to disperse them more quickly. Commonly this type of massage is also used to help a person overcome a feeling of weakness or tiredness.
The second category of massage is massaging the acupuncture points. These same points are used in Japanese acupressure, with the addition of a few other points. The principle of massaging the acupuncture points is the same as in acupuncture theory, which is to stimulate the channels by stimulating cavities that can be reached easily by rubbing or pressing with the hands, rather than needles. In acupressure some non-channel points are used to stimulate the local minor Chi channels to help circulate energy locally. Figs. 4-7 through 4-12 show the common acupuncture points used in massage.
The third category of massage is to rub or press the endings of the nerves and Chi channels. These channels are located on the hands (Fig. 4-13), feet (Fig. 4-14), and ears (Fig. 4-5). One can easily rub with a circular motion the zones which correspond to the different organs, or which are effective for specific symptoms or illnesses. This form of massage is known in the West as reflexology. Theoretically, if the channel endings are rubbed, the Chi will be stimulated to a higher level, which will increase the circulation and benefit the related organ or cure the illness.
Juque Zhongwan Tianshu
Daju Zhongji Qugu-
Juque Zhongwan Tianshu
Daju Zhongji Qugu-
Tianzong Gaohuangshu Shenzhu
Mingmen Dachangshu ■ Ciliao
Tianzong Gaohuangshu Shenzhu
Mingmen Dachangshu ■ Ciliao
Intestine liP HiD:
23. Sciatic Nerve
25. Small Intestine
Hand Forms and Common Methods Used in Massage
Knuckles-single, double, and four fingers for circular rubbing and pressing (Figs. 4-15 through 4-17)
Side of the fist for circular rubbing (Fig. 4-18)
Fingertips for tapping and circular rubbing (Fig. 4-19)
Root of the palm (Base of the thumb) for circular and straight rubbing and pressing (Figs. 4-20 and 4-21)
Base of the fingers for circular and straight rubbing and pressing (Figs. 4-22 and 4-23)
Side of the palm for pressing and rubbing (Fig. 4-24)
Pineal Throat Thyroid Pituitary Stomach Hip and Knee Gall Bladder Lungs Kidney
Sigmoid Colon Transverse Colon Descending Colon Ascending Colon Shoulder Solar Plexus
Illeocecal valve (r)
Ovaries, Testes Pelvic Area
Elbow for circular rubbing and pressing (Fig. 4-25)
Fingers for grasping muscles (Figs. 4-26 through 4-29) Pinching the skin and shaking (Fig. 4-30)
Slapping with the back or the side of the hand (Figs. 4-31 and 4-32)
Very often, when you have an injury such as a bruise or strained joint, you will automatically use the hand to rub the injured area. This rubbing will reduce the pain and ease the nerves and muscles. Theoretically, this kind or rubbing will cause the Chi to circulate, which in turn will prevent stagnation of Chi in that area because of the injury.
In Chi Kung, rubbing or friction is used to increase heat or Chi on the skin, which increases the energy potential there and causes Chi to circulate deeper into the body. Rubbing the face correctly can help greatly in keeping the skin looking youthful, by keeping it well nourished with the flow of Chi and blood. As was mentioned earlier, some parts of the body such as the palm (Fig. 4-13) and the sole of the foot (Fig. 4-14) have channels ending there and rubbing these spots will increase the energy flow in the channels and benefit the corresponding organs. This is different from massaging the channel zones which was described in the previous section. A good example of this is that rubbing the palms together briskly in cold weather will not just keep the arms and hands warm, but the internal organs as well.
Rubbing the skin over some of the organs will increase the function of the organs through the local energy flow caused by the rubbing. For example, rubbing the stomach will lessen pain and increase digestion. Rubbing will also relax the nerves in the area. The same principle holds true for the kidneys.
The large joints of the body: shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles are easily injured by overexercise or too much stress on the ligaments. When such injuries do not heal completely, arthritis commonly results. Rubbing the joint area will relax the joint area while stimulating energy circulation, which helps the injured area to heal. In addition, rubbing may even help to cure arthritis after it has set in.
Rubbing methods appropriate to each area of the body:
Face: Rub the eyelids and eyesockets with the fingertips lightly, with a circular motion. Rub the cheeks with light strokes of the fingertips from the nose outward to the sides of the face (Fig. 4-33).
Stomach: Use a circular motion to harmonize with the curve of the intestines (Fig. 4-34).
Foot: Rub and press the zones shown in Fig. 4-14 (Fig. 4-35).
Hand: Rub and press the zones shown in Fig. 4-13 (Fig. 4-36).
Kidney: Rub with a circular motion using the sides of the palm (Fig. 4-37).
Wrist: For joint rubbing, the main purpose is to warm it, not to stimulate the muscles. Rub the wrist by stroking it along the direction of the arm and in a circular motion around the joint (Fig. 4-38).
Elbow: Rub lightly both up and down the arm and around the arm (Figs. 4-39 and 4-40).
Shoulder: Rub lightly both up and down the arm and in a circular motion (Fig. 4-41).
Knee: Rub lightly both up and down the leg and in a circular motion (Fig. 4-42).
Ankle: Rub lightly both up and down the leg and around the joint. Also rub and press the zones shown in Fig. 4-14 (Fig. 4-43).
4-5. Miscellaneous Chi Kung Exercises Swinging the Arms (Bai Bi)
In the last 50 years an exercise developed from the principles of Yi Gin Ching has become popular. Although the exercise is very simple, the results in strengthening the body and curing illnesses are very significant. Theoretically, when the arms are swung repeatedly, the nerves and Chi channels in the shoulder joints are stimulated to a higher state, and this Chi will flow to the areas of lower potential to complete the circulation. Because a number of the Chi channels connected with the different organs terminate in the hands, swinging the arms increases the circulation in these channels. Arm swinging will not only increase the Chi circulation, but will also increase the flow of blood from the relaxed up and down motion. As a matter of fact, this is the same principle of Wai Dan described in Chapter 2.
From the last 50 years of experience, we know that a number of illnesses can be cured simply by practicing swinging the arms frequently. For some cancers the increase in Chi circulation will help the degenerated cells to function normally and eliminate the cancer. According to Chi theory, cancers are caused by the stagnation of Chi and blood, which results in changes to the structure of the cell. Several types of cancer that can be cured by swinging the arms are cancers of the lungs, esophagus, and lymph. Other kinds of disorders that can also be helped by swinging the arms are: hardening of the liver, paralysis caused by high blood pressure, high blood pressure itself, heart trouble, and nervous disorders.
The method is very simple. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, with the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth. Swing the arms forward until they are horizontal with the palms facing down (Fig. 4-44), then swing them backwards as far as possible with the palms facing up (Fig. 4-45). Keep the entire body relaxed. Start with 200 to 300 repetitions, then gradually increase to one or two thousand or up to half an hour.
Walking in Place
Many of the channels terminate in the feet and pass through the hip joints. Walking in place has many of the benefits of swinging the arms for similar reasons. As a matter of fact, the reader can do both at the same time.
Stepping on bamboo rods will stimulate the feet where several channel endings are located. This practice is almost like massage, and the principle is the same. In the United States many health stores sell small wooden rollers that are designed for this purpose. Experiments have even shown that this exercise can help some people grow taller.
In China one occasionally sees people holding two metal balls the size of ping-pong balls in one hand and rolling them around. This has the same effect as a hand massage. It stimulates and develops the finger and palm muscles and stimulates the reflexology zones (Fig. 4-46) of the palms. The balls are especially good for people who are bedridden and cannot do other exercises.
The Six Sounds
Certain sounds a person makes can affect the circulation of Chi. Man has always made sounds when ill or stressed. The sounds are the same for all people around the world. Basically, the function of these sounds is to relieve the interal organs of distress through the lungs. Oriental physicians have investigated the matter scientifically and found that different sounds will affect different organ systems, and high and low tones of a sound will affect the same system differently. Buddhist and Taoist publications describe how different sounds, with varying pitch, are used to relieve or cure several illnesses.
The Taoist documents consulted are: Tai Sam Yu Tzou Tzan Ching by Huang Tian-San, and the Chen Gin Fan by Sun Ssu-Mao (581-907 A.D.). The Buddhist texts are the Shao Tze Kuan by a Buddhist named Tzu Jee Da Shy of Tian Tai Dson and the Shan Po Lou Mi passed down from For Shan (Buddha Mountain).
The following table (Table 4-4) lists the six sounds, their corresponding organ, season, element, external body part, and kind of disorder helped. Both Taoist and Buddhist versions of the sounds are given. The differences may be attributed, in part, to different transliterations of the same Indian Buddhist source text.
The six sounds should be done in one continuous breath. This will cause the chain relaxation of the corresponding organs. Also, the sound should not be loud. When a loud sound is made, the corresponding organ will become tight and this will stagnate the Chi circulation. The sounds should be soft, barely audible, and relaxed.
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