Medical practitioners are not so secretive about chi kung, as they tend not to be interested in the darker side of its application. As power is derived from the shadow intuition or id, they usually aren't very good with it. Most of their training is with the intellect and memory, so they must resort to the knife for surgery or the acupuncture needle for generation. Practitioners of preventative medicine like chiropractors tend to have more skill, particularly after a few years of practice. It's all written down, has been for centuries. Many of the great karate masters have stated that to attain real greatness as a practitioner of karate you must become a healer. Most people don't have the clit or balls to go for it. Besides, it's dangerous.
If you don't know your meridians you're going to have one hell of a time figuring out how to effectively use chi. At the shi-doshi training that Hatsumi held in Ishizuka's dojo during the celebration of his thirtieth year as grandmaster of the Togakure Ryu, he informed everyone there that if they really wanted to become accomplished at ninjutsu they must learn to think and study like medical doctors. There are many good books around now on acupuncture, shiatsu, and if you must, dim mak (Butoku-den, Dim Mak, Bernola and Morris, 1993). Knowledge of anatomy is essential to understanding yourself as well as dissecting others. In the long run you'll get a lot more use out of alternative medical skills than fighting skills. Applying chi kung to healing is one cf the so-called siddhi or magics associated with enlightenment. Reiki, medical chi kung, shiatsu, homeopathy, and therapeutic touch are all based on the principles of harmonizing the flow of life energy to speed or restore healing energy as opposed to curing. Once you have learned how to generate and move energy through your own body it is a simple procedure to offer this blessing to others. You don't have to be deeply religious in the mundane sense. Practically anyone can give someone else a little blast of energy. I've been told by Crystal Kroll-Young that in Canada where therapeutic touch is part of the training for most nurses, no hospital staffed with TT nurses has ever been sued for malpractice. The trick is in intention.
Shiatsu, one of the Japanese massage therapies, is based on manipulation of the body's energy points and meridians, as is acupuncture. If you have chi there is no need for needles and microwattage since you provide the energy. All of the strikes in ninjutsu when applied properly are directed toward meridians, kinesiology release points, or acupuncture points (tsubo). I've been told they are different, but if they are it's in degree more than placement. (Dr. Michael Fenster and I are researching fifty of the ryu's recommended points of retaliation [kyusho]from both the Eastern and Western medical perspective. We published a manual showing thirty-eight of these points after identifying them in four other systems.) If you've learned how to absorb and move energy a ninpo workout is like getting rather violent massage combined with chiropractic manipulation-one of the reasons why Hatsumi says the practice of taijutsu alone can bring enlightenment. Chi kung is a body skill.
If your partner is inept, you may get to work on your self-healing skills. If your partner is very inept or you haven't learned to go with the flow—a trivialized statement that has many levels cf meaning-you can take or give yourself serious damage and get to meet an expensive and disapproving physician. Relaxation and good intentions are essential to high-level ninjutsu; that is one of the reasons the angry individuals tend to leave the art. They can't loosen up enough to do taijutsu without getting hurt. I have heard seminar attendees complain that their girlfriends are better at shiatsu massage than some of the ninja teachers. It takes a powerful soft hand.
In my discussion of kundalini in chapter three, I describe some of the dangers of being stiff-necked. I received an energy blast to the major meridians while standing nearly motionless, doing something that is supposed to be pleasing and relaxing. I fell to my knees and threw up, and it took six years and some help to heal. Take an energy blow when you're off balance, unaligned, frustrated, and angry from the full-body movement of whatever training partner has slammed you. . . . Your bones will knit eventually. Do some of the full extension blows and kicks when you're stiff and uptight and see what happens to your body. I saw Mark Ken-worthy attempt a power mule kick out of a roll without warming up. He rolled around screaming as the muscles and ligaments tore loose in his quadriceps. He kicks very hard automatically because he trained for many years in karate. The bruises from internal damage went from his knee to his groin. His wasn't a steroid accident. Run hot angry emotions through your meridians and see if you like the migraine feeling. All fear and anger is an attempt by the social self to prevent change. Let the cosmos decide. Study on this.
When I was about twenty-five, I was living in Los Angeles on Manhattan Beach and decided to join the Los Angeles Police Department. They were helpful, as not too many college graduates/veterans are interested in police work. The physical at that time consisted of three X-rays: the head, chest, and legs. They took seven of me. When I asked the doctor why, he informed me that practically every bone in my body had suffered at least a hairline fracture: football, boxing, wrestling, jujitsu, karate, judo, kung fu, bar brawls, falls, car wrecks-an exciting life of near misses but considerable contact. They weren't going to take me, as I'd be pensioned out with arthritis by the time I was thirty-five.
When I was around thirty-eight and living a sedentary academic life, I dropped my daughter as I was picking her up because cf the arthritic pain in my thumbs. She probably weighed less than sixty pounds. I'm forty-eight now, have no arthritis, no pains, and feel great. I place the blame for this rapid decline on returning to the martial arts, meditatively studying chi kung and ninjutsu, and practicing hoshin while having people half my age beat on my body twice a week. When the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing, regeneration can indeed take place. That's the way of endurance.
You can speed the process of healing or regeneration by stimulating the cell structure of the injured area with chi. In alchemy this is called transmutation or transubstantiation. In Methodism we call it the laying on of hands and in ninjutsu, as well as Tibetan Buddhism, it is one of the ways of taming demons. A thoroughly bad person requires a heavy healing hand. Those of us with a more intellectual inclination toward the "way cf death" or transformation of the self (which includes the study of disease) are easily sidetracked by the healthful benefits of self-protection. I'm happy to watch the youngsters whip on each other; I know what damage feels like. At my age, I'd much rather coach than experience.
Therapeutic touch is augmented by a knowledge of anatomy. It is particularly helpful if you study shiatsu and the acupuncture meridians so you can move energy most easily through another's body. Nurses are very good at it, if they are familiar with loving feelings, anatomy, and positive thought. Only a few male physicians seem to be aware of its existence. You might read Bernie Siegel or Larry LeShan. The magazine from Pacific Rim Publications called WuShu Qi Qongmay stimulate thought.
When we were studying the effects of shiatsu at Hillsdale College as part of our hoshin regimen, we discovered ways to reduce pain, speed healing, and increase or reduce strength. There are techniques for controlling menstrual cramps and PMS and for energizing the body. In the West shiatsu can be compared to kinesiology. I remember the beautiful young actress-in-training, Suzanne Carlson, giving us a lesson in intention: One afternoon we were discussing what point manipulations seemed to work and what seemed to have little or no effect in reducing menstrual cramps. One technique we'd found in an old Korean medical text on massage had general acceptance with the women in the class. Suzanne was saying it didn't work on her roommate at all. In fact, she had worse pains when Suzanne worked on her. I asked Suzanne how she felt about her roomie, and she expressed extreme dislike. After laughing heartily, I suggested that when she worked on her roommate to confine her thoughts to healing or maintain neutrality. When she did that, the techniques were effective.
The lesson in this is you get what you project. The healing energy of the open heart is light green in color. Any of the lighter colors will work; pink, white, bright yellow, and green are considered the best, but it's an individual thing relating to the chakras or Go Dai. Usually where there is an energy block or injury the molecular friction will heat up and/or thicken the area's energy field. It's like a stickiness in the air. Often just brushing your hand through it will begin its dissipation, and as the flow returns to normal the increased energy in the area will lead to a return of normal function. Skill levels can be developed from direct manipulation to healing from a distance, using the body's electrical fields in preference to the manipulation of muscle and bone. I have "watched" healers of great skill use these techniques and been on the receiving end to test their efficacy at Association for Humanistic Psychology conventions. It's another skill helpful in avoiding the scalpel as well as the sword. A study published in the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine journal Subtle Energies (Vol. 1, No. 1, 1990), in which the placebo effect was eliminated by using a double-blind study experimental format, showed an increase of healing speed by a factor of ten in the subjects exposed to non-contact therapeutic touch or external chi kung. Learning energy skills strikes me as an essential component of martial practice, from being a booster to first aid to an adjunct to strategy.
Self-protection might include the idea that the organs of your body are part of your self. The wellness and prevention move ments are not the blathering of airheads. A simple shiatsu technique controls and can eliminate tachycardia. Look up what your pharmacist or surgeon consider a cure.
When I was a medic in the army and practicing O'Neill Quick Kill (military application of combatic jujitsu emphasizing hand strikes and snap kicks, developed for the British Special troops by the Gurkhas and a former member of the Hong Kong police in World War Two), a friend who was a sergeant in the infantry and practiced a form of karate used to beat his knuckles on the cast-iron fences that surrounded our kasernes (barracks in Germany). He wanted me to break the knuckles in his hands so that the bone callous would be even thicker. I did it for him, since I knew he'd never play the violin and it made him happy. Miyamoto Musashi says that he dislikes hard hands. Art requires sensitivity. Energy moves through soft hands. Women tend to be better at healing.
Here's an exercise for you to try out.
Think about a time when you were relaxed and happy. Think about a time when you really loved someone or something. Put the care and affection you feel into your hands. Handle something alive, even a plant. I've potted plants that are ten years old and still doing fine under my sporadic care. I mow the lawn in my bare feet. Linda thinks I'm crazy. Her plants die with great regularity. According to the most recent medical research on chi kung published by the Institute for Noetic Science, these ancient and once-secret breath and movement techniques revitalize the endocrine. chakra systems, which correspond to the Go Dai. Practitioners live long lives without senility. The practices reduce or prevent hardening of the arteries as well as stimulate the central nervous system. I recently had the honor of meeting with Eurotechnical Research University's School of Polemikology, Rockwell College's Chinese Martial Arts department heads. Except for Brendan Lai, they are all in their seventies and it would be extremely difficult to place any of them older than fifty. Dr. Yuang (seventy-five, All China Wu Shu Champion and chi kung practitioner) still has black hair. None of their wives looked older than forty. Chi kung has shown a phenomenal effect and unique function in pre venting and treating disease; maintaining good health; increasing and promoting intelligence; resisting aging and retaining youthful appearance and body movement; raising working energy and efficiency; and strengthening and arousing the interior latent energy of the body. The therapeutic effect of qiqong is particularly noteworthy in the treatment of diseases afflicting the digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems.
I strongly suspect the exaggerated descriptions of the healing powers of the ancients worked as a rhetorical device, but I can easily see the wisdom of applying energy methods where appropriate. I trust my own experience and recommend you try it out yourself. It's a lot slower than surgery and seldom requires anesthetic. Don't rely on martial applications; try some different flavors cf bodywork. The basic material is the same but the application is quite different.
Following is a meditation used to increase one's ability to use therapeutic touch and expand consciousness. You are expected to have mastered deep belly breathing, the Secret Smile, and quieting your mind as described in chapter five on meditation. This is to be done in the sage position, seiza, or upright in a chair. Once you are in a deep state of relaxed balance and your breathing has settled, have a friend read this to you as a directed meditation.
Picture yourself walking along a beach. (Pause) As you walk you are beginning to shrink. This does not frighten you, as it is very interesting. You quickly find yourself going down to the size cf the sand grains upon which a moment before you were treading. (Pause) Soon the grains appear as mountains and then separate into worlds unto themselves as you continue to shrink down to the molecular level. (Pause) As you continue to shrink and slip between the atoms, each atom seems a star or diamond in the emptiness and you can faintly see the energy lines that connect them like a web or net flung out of points of light. (Pause)
You continue to shrink and fall through space, flying like a bird though you are in a vacuum, eventually approaching a point cf light you pick from the web. As you grow closer it begins to appear as a world, and then our beloved Earth as seen from space.
(Pause) You continue to approach, huge in comparison but still shrinking rapidly as you enter the atmosphere and fly down through the blue sky over ocean waves toward a sandy beach. You float up to a likely landing spot and hit the position you like to use for meditation. You open your eyes.
Practice this until it becomes easy to shrink your consciousness and send it out scouting along the energy lines or the spaces between. I think the therapeutic touch applications will become evident when you are able to project your intent into your hands and beyond. Some people pick this up with remarkable speed, and for others it doesn't seem to have much effect beyond being an interesting visualization. This exercise can be considered a preparation and aid to achieving astral projection as well as a tool for achieving more precise and subtle healing. Play with this, as it is an exercise congruent with more than one esoteric tradition.
When you have trained your mind to project an intention, such as liking or alertness, you can move that projection through the practice of chi kung concentration into another person's aura or into the proper meridian. Working on your therapeutic touch prolongs your life as a protector and healer, as well as increases your power as a teacher.
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