Updated: Aug 1
Qi is an abstract term many of us know about as Chinese Medicine practitioners. But, when it comes down to it, we don’t know qi even though we were trained in Chinese Medicine. There is an old saying you don’t know qi unless you did a 100 days of qi gong. Why 100 days? Referring to the Jade Emperors Heart Sutra, one may find mention of practicing your energy work or doing such things as qi gong or meditation for 100 days. Jeffrey Yuen also mentioned doing qi gong for 100 days spanning through one whole season to achieve a certain effect.
In the world of qi gong, doing your qi work for 100 days will essentially become your teacher. The experience and transformation that occurs is the result of qi accumulating and becoming sufficient to enhance functions of the body to such a degree that the health shifts and increases. As the saying goes, “…after qi gong you’ll have 3 ounces more qi”. But what some are unaware of, is that regular modern exercises such as sports, running, weight lifting, and cardio consume your qi and bodily resources. And while these exercises provide many benefits both mentally and physically, they consume your jing and qi. The experiences and
sensations that qi offers, as well as the insight and intuitive experiences, will be unique to the practitioner.
I always tell my students and patients an analogy of a poor person with no money and no resources to survive, can’t buy food, pay bills, travel, or do simple things. But, with say $50,000 they can do all of it including travel around the world. Now as a human, without qi and life force your body dims down, functions less than optimal, and accumulations of metabolic waste and toxins build up in the body. The organs can’t operate well and malfunction including the brain so consciousness decreases and the brain functions incoherently resulting in poor judgment and decision-making. But with the addition of qi and life force, the body, organs, and systems get booted up and begin to grind through metabolic waste cleaning up the system so the function can return to a more optimal level.
Simply adding qi and life force to the body allows it to work and work to higher degree. Remove the qi and life force and watch the body wither and age.
Getting qi is easy, but few take time to do the work or really know where they stand with the amount of qi they have. I’ll make it simple, the more qi you have, the less you age, the more qi you have, the healthier you are, the more qi you have, the more potential for healthy longevity. Take a look at the Blue Zones of the world where more people living over 100 years old can survive and thrive. These people naturally have more qi and life force. Now, go to any large city in the US and count all the hospitals and clinics. The reason we find so many is that there are a lot of sick people. Our lifestyle, diet, and environment are not ideal
for promoting a lot of qi and life force. Our food is either irradiated by gamma rays or microwaved, hence it loses its qi, not to mention the lag time between harvest and consumption. Few Americans have the blessing of eating food picked on the same day. Qi only lasts for 3-7 days in the food before the electrons and photons start to decrease, while other more hearty foods can last longer. Hard squashes, beans, and grains have their qi lying dormant until they are sprouted and then consumed. Overall, most of us in the US aren’t getting qi through our food compared to 80 years ago when backyard or local gardens were the bulk source of our it.
Some time ago, one patient came to me for treatment and presented with a double mastectomy with most lymph nodes removed from her armpit due to breast cancer. She now had severe edema in her arms that looked extremely swollen from her upper arm to her hands. It looked really bad and she was just not happy. She was very fatigued and didn’t have much energy to do anything. Logically, by examination, we may consider the scar tissue from the surgery as the cause. Additionally, because of the removal of the lymph nodes, she does not have a drainage system to allow the water or lymph to move out of her arm. She
tried many treatments and medications with no major effect.
I gave her qi gong treatment only, no acupuncture, no herbs, and nothing else. Just a non-touch technique I learned from my master that he called External Qi Healing (EQH). After her first treatment, she returned and said she had a lot more energy and that something unusual happened. She said she urinated more than ever for two days. She said she never had gone to the restroom so much in her entire life. After urinating for 2 days straight, her arms reduced in size. I thought that was a pretty cool result from a treatment that was a non-touch therapy-EQH.
I thought about this case for years into the future because it was so fascinating to me. I typically wouldn’t even see such a result from diuretic medications that patients take or even from my acupuncture and herbal formula prescriptions. This result is not a typical one, so what happened?
As the body's life force decreases so does every aspect of the human body to such a point that it can barely function. At this stage the body degenerates, telomeres shorten, and the immune system can’t check viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells. The organs slowly stop working allowing not only metabolic waste to accumulate but also the circulation begins to stagnate and accumulate.
For this patient, I realized that she was alive, but barely. When I cleaned her energy field, balanced her 3 dan tiens, and charged her organs, her body had something to work with. It had qi, the qi turned the system on and it could function. No qi, no function! Think of a battery-operated machine, with a low battery the function reduces. The human is like a battery with Bai Hui (Du 20) being the + charge and Yong Quan (Kid 1) being the – charge. When her body was charged with qi it activated her lymph and kidneys to function better than it could do so before, so it naturally cleaned up the body by eliminating what shouldn’t be there. Excessive and frequent urination for 2 consistent days was the result. After two days it stopped because all the qi I put in the body ran out. At that point, we did another treatment to keep it up. But to do her own qi gong would be best.
Just like her, maybe we need more qi? Our qi gets consumed daily and after years our qi depletes, so we age. As for practitioners, we must place a caution on practitioner burnout, which is when our qi has exhausted itself. As we age our body talks to us telling us something is wrong by giving us symptoms that can be organized into modern diseases with names and ICD-10 codes as you already know.
The thing about qi is the majority of people don’t know its limits or its advanced possibilities. By practicing qi gong, practitioners can collect, move, and direct qi into their own bodies, which enables them to move qi in their patient’s bodies. This is an advanced technique that has to start somewhere.
Being taught an authentic qi gong form would be where to begin. As the internet has many Youtube videos, it could be a way to get started, but it can take you only so far. Many insights and techniques are not released to the public or put into videos. Traditionally, qi gong is taught step by step orally in person. Many forms of qi gong exist today, just to mention here, some are for exercise, some are for healing, and some are for advancing the self or even used to heal others. Each form has its characteristics, but as you become an authentic qi gong practitioner you’ll need a combination of forms to address the many aspects of the body, mind, and spirit. These need to be threaded together with guiding principles and philosophy, which some are within Chinese Medicine training, but some are only taught when one reaches a certain level.
No matter the level you are, if you are human and live in this world as I do, we all could use help through advanced training in qi gong to continue our personal advancement and growth to become a higher conscious person with a higher frequency and vibration. To do this is through qi and life force. Qi as a medicine, is right in front of you and just sitting there waiting for you. As Lao Tzu says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
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As a practitioner and certified instructor of Wudang Qi Gong and Daoist Arts, Justin teaches in his clinic and retreat-style conferences in Costa Rica to those who are interested in these ancient arts. For more information, please sign up to our newsletter so you can receive our future articles and upcoming classes.