Dragon-Tiger Qigong Video and Book

Dragon-Tiger Qigong is a Buddhist exercise that came from the Shao-Lin Temple about 1500 years ago.  It is the first type of qigong that I learned and it is taught by B. K Frantzis and his teachers.  It consists of seven movements and is considered a medical qigong because the hands trace the extraordinary energy vessels (bai mai) and help clear out blockages to get the energy flowing in the body in a healthy manner.  It is a powerful qigong method that helps you get in touch and feel your energy, and it is used in China to help people recover from a variety of diseases, including cancer.  Below is a video that shows a teacher doing the form with two repetitions per movement.

A new book and DVD set on Dragon-Tiger were published by Frantzis in 2011. You can buy the book at a discount on Amazon, but the DVD has to be bought on the EnergyArts.com site.

I have read the reviews of others on the book on Amazon and noted that one person with multiple sclerosis found the book too complicated. Thus, she did not recommend the book for people who are very ill. Although the movement has only seven total moves, it does require some balance to perform and their are subtleties in the movements.

For those who have poor balance, the qigong exercises for developing proprioception and balance would be helpful, like those given in the middle of Frantzis’ meditation book Relaxing Into Your Being. If you consider yourself unable to do these exercises, also consider the exercises for MS in the book, Qigong for Multiple Sclerosis: Finding Your Feet Again.  However, I have taught the form to several people who have had MS with great benefit.  On a basic level, the form is not complicated and I would recommend it to anyone.  Books can make things seem to complicated for beginners, and this certainly holds for Frantzis’ books, as he is a stickler for details because of his extensive training and skills.

It is important to note that complicated aspects of the movements do not have to be taught initially.  There are even adaptations for people who cannot stand.  You can do it on a stool or even lying bed, using intention to substitute for completion of hand movements.  The number of repetitions can also be reduced to adapt to one’s capacity.  The basic movements can be learned within a weekend by most people.  The book and DVD can help refine your practice over time and be a valuable resource.  In-depth learning comes over time, as with all Taoist practices.  But health improvement can be obtained even when the exercises are not done perfectly.

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ChiLel and Zhineng Qigong – Healing Methods for Many Diseases

A wall squat exercise recommended by Dr. Ming. Ming stated this as a very important exercise.

ChiLel Qigong is a derived from the practices of Zhineng Qigong. The brothers Luke and Frank Chan developed ChiLel Qigong after learning the methods of Dr. Pang Ming, who was the founder of a very successful qigong therapy hospital in China. Dr. Ming, who was trained as a traditional physician, put together the Zhineng practices in the 1980′s from his training with many masters of qigong. What is amazing about Dr. Ming’s work is that over 95% of the patients who visited his hospital were successfully treated. There were 450 disorders treated in over 300,000 patients who entered his program, including various types of cancer, diabetes and disorders of the liver and  kidneys.

Lift Up and Pour Down Movement Performed by Master Zhankui Liu.

Dr. Ming, who is in retirement now,has published several books, including Developing Human Potential Through Qigong. His legacy lives on due to the work of the Chan brothers and several other disciples who have become teachers, including Patricia van Walstijn who founded the Chi Neng Institute in Europe and Eduardo García Osegueda in Mexico City. There is also the Zhineng Qigong Educational Corporation in the Midwestern United States, which includes three teachers who teach at cancer centers and other locations: Debora Lissom, Debra Weisenburger Lipetz and Jan Lively. More teachers can be located through the directory at the Qigong Institute.

The Zhineng Qigong method includes both static (standing) and moving forms. Students are taught how to breath naturally from the dantien. Visualizations are also important in helping learn how to use the mind to become familiar with ch’i. Sounds are used to set up resonations to help in clearing out blockages. All of these practices help practitioners expand both their inner and outer awareness, assisting in expanding of one’s consciousness and possibilities of healthier living and being.

References

Xiaoguang Jin and Joseph Marcello. 1999. The Science of Zhineng Qigong. Life More Abundant.

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Letting Go, The Tao Te Ching Verse 2

Letting Go, The Art of Not Grasping
- A Lesson in The Water Way of Taoism

NZ streamCreative Commons Licensephoto credit: tony_the_bald_eagle

   Things arise and she lets them come;
Things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

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T’ai Chi Ruler for Correcting Qi Deviations

For a simple way of beginning a qigong practice, you can do the simple movements of T’ai Chi ruler as shown in this video.  There are complicated variations, but the basics are shown in this video.

I will give you some advice on alignments and movements as well, that will supplement that information.  I recommend using it at the end of the day or whenever you feel out of wack.  It helps flush you out negative energies, balance and recharge.  I feel re-calibrated after doing the exercise.

One principle of all qigong and T’ai chi is to have an erect, but not stiff, spine.  Part of that postural rule is to allow the tailbone to drop, relaxing it downward.  Stand for a few moments before doing the ruler and allow that to occur, don’t force it.  Keeping an erect spine also applies to forward and backward movements – don’t lean into forward movements.  The movements should come from the waist, or the lower dantien.  The lower dantien is the energetic and physical center of origin of all qigong and T’ai chi movement forms.

The advice for the foot positions is fine, except that with practice, you can use a stance where the forward foot can be placed further forward.  When moving forward, don’t allow the forward knee to go past the toes.  And make sure that the knee is positioned so it moves over the foot, not to one side or the other.  This alignment is very important.

Various schools and teachers of qigong differ as to whether the back foot should move.  In the video, the heel of the back foot moves up when the weight is transferred to the front foot.  If you want, you can keep the back foot planted.  The forward foot goes from heel to toes and back.

You can see that T’ai chi ruler can be practiced with the ruler (chih) and without it.  The ends of the ruler are positioned in the center of the palm over the lao gong points.  If you don’t use the ruler, make sure that your lao gong points align and don’t angle away (as I see in the video).  Relax the elbows downward and relax your shoulders while you are performing the movement.

The movement of the ruler should be circular.  The direction can be changed.  Tracing the circle up and away from the body helps bring qi and increased energy and blood circulation in the upper torso, arms and head.   Tracing the circle down, out and then in towards the torso benefits the lower part of the body, legs and feet.  Movement down, out and towards the torso helps remove blockages, while the other method promotes the increase of energy.  Go in both directions to clean and recharge.

Keep breathing abdominally.  If you need a few moments before doing the exercise, stand for a few minutes in the wu ji posture and let the breathing become regular and drop to the lower dantien.

Practice for 5 to 10 minutes on each side of the body.  At the finish, place the palms of the hand over the lower dantien (right hand below left hand, or vice versa for men) and let the energy settle there for a few moments.

Okay, now that you mentally know these guideline, practice to develop your internal, corporeal knowledge!

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Medical Qigong Cancer Treatment

The following YouTube video shows a sonogram of a bladder tumor disappearing as a result of a type of medical qigong treatment that involves hand movements and chanting. This may seem impossible to someone who has little exposure to this healing modality; however, to practitioners who have been within a qigong community for several years, it is believable and it does happen. I personally have known people who have experienced remission from cancer following treatments at medical qigong centers.

The chant is directed at the tumor, helping effect dissolution of the mass, while the hand movements help the doctors make energetic contact with the tumor through the lao gong point in the palm of the hand. Qi can be emitted or absorbed through this point.  The doctors are well-grounded to help shunt the dissolved energy into the ground.

Medical Qigong Research for Cancer Treatment

This obviously is not the type of cancer treatment you normally find in the U.S. or Europe, but there are several medical centers where the effect of this type of treatment is being studied, not as a means of eliminating the cancer directly, but as a method of benefiting patients who are undergoing traditional chemotherapy programs – complementary alternative medicine (CAM), in other words. Randomized clinical trials have shown that patients have an improved sense of well being, less fatigue, fewer side effects from the chemotherapy and reduced inflammation. Studies that have focused in the past on survival rates have not been researched up to current scientific standards. I look forward to seeing trials reported that focus on medical qigong as a primary means of reducing cancer.

Availability of Medical Qigong Clinics

Medical qigong treatment is available in many locations across the world. China, of course, but you will find centers in the United States and Europe as well. For instance, there is the International Institute of Medical Qigong which has clinics in 18 states of the U.S., and in Bermuda, Canada, Belgium, Guatemala, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Look online and you will find more. These centers treat various ailments, sometimes specializing in certain areas.

Resources:

1. International Institute of Medical Qigong Clinical Directory

2. Impact of Medical Qigong on Cancer

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Quotes from the Tao Te Ching, Verse 15

Cover of "Taoist Meditation"

Cover of Taoist Meditation

The following quote is an excerpt from Verse 15 of the Tao Te Ching.  It describes an essential consideration for those who wish to successfully engage in Taoist Meditation:

Can you find the patience to wait until your dust settles and the water becomes clear?

Alternatively, there is another translation:

Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?**

Patience is the key.  Meditation practice over weeks, months and years, conditions your physical, mental and spiritual presence.  It is not like taking a tranquilizer pill, where you can expect almost immediate results.  The results of regular practice condition your mind to maintain a state where disturbing energy, coming from within or outside, does not ruffle you or stir up your dust.  In Taoist philosophy, the disturbing energy can emerge within or outside of you is called “Red Dust.”

The red dust consists of memories and attachments – opinions, desires, beliefs and fears.

Perhaps you are familiar with the phrase, “as within, so without.” *  Taoist meditation directly engages the body, nerves, intellect and psyche to address the red dust, or the confused qi, within one’s being.  It is an inner alchemy.  Allowing the dust or mud to settle is complemented by dissolving meditation practice, which  tames the central nervous system.  Once the CNS is calmed, stillness can take foothold in consciousness, making it possible to experience Awareness, or Cosmic Consciousness.

Thus, with practice, this Consciousness can become a living companion within that can be carried into the world, making you an instrument of peace, compassion and tranquility.

 

*which was derived from the ancient saying of Hermes Trismegitus – “as above, so below.”

**The second quote from the Tao Te Ching is from the Stephen Mitchell translation.

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Cancer Centers Promoting Qigong Exercises

This is a list of cancer centers that are promoting Qigong Exercises as complementary therapy for assist in healing from this disorder. This list is not all-inclusive, but it demonstrates the support for qigong exercises within the medical community.

Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center, University of California, San Francisco.  There is no fee for the classes, but you need to register (call (415) 885-3693) to join the group.  The classes are taught by a registered acupuncturist, Dr. Joseph Acquah.

The Supportive Care Unit of The Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, 3838 N. Campbell Ave, Tucson, Arizona. Call (520) 694-1812 for getting more information on classes that are scheduled for October. The teacher is Heather, who is experience in both qigong and Tai chi. She has studied under several masters of these arts. I recommend visting the web link to see an explanation on how qigong supports health and healing in ways that nutrition and Western exercise methods do not. Click to read more

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Practice Guidelines: Qigong Exercises for Health

Seated qigong exercise using turning at the waist.

Qigong exercises for health improvement have some guiding principles which are essential to help you get the most out of the time you spend in practice.  To that end, I have provided the following list of five pointers help improve the energy flow during your practice time. These pointers do not include recommendations on breathing, as that has been covered in previous posts regarding diaphragmatic breathing.

Maintain continuous movement. Continuous, unbroken movement is an aspect of the circularity of movement execution. While some qigong movements may outwardly appear to have linear aspects, there is circularity built-in when you perform them in an unbroken manner. Pay attention to the transition aspects of movements as the hands or body change directions and allow a circularity of rhythm to develop at these points. The flow of yin and yang energies will be enhanced and the movement of energy from and to the dantien will be noticed more.

Slowness helps create balance and coordination. When using qigong for healing, slowness facilitates integration of mindfulness. Mindfulness allows feeling to occur, which is needed for allowing interior energy work to happen and create change. Feeling imbalances, you work towards achieving balance. For instance, if you notice if you are too yang (tight) on one side you feel that tightness and allow it to dissolve. As balance increases, coordination increases.

Click to read more

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Master Lam Kam Chuen Free Qigong Videos

DAY 2

Here, Master Lam continues with his description of the Wu Wei posture that has the hands at the sides of the body. He introduces a warm-up exercises where the arms do circles in a plane in front of the body. As with other videos in this series, his teacher, Professor Yu, discusses the background of standing qigong meditation. The comments from his students regarding the perception of others who are not familiar with this exercise form are interesting, but not unusual, as many people find these kinds of exercises unusual.


Day 3

The Eight Brocades Qigong movement, supporting the sky, is presented at the beginning of this video. The next standing posture (Tan Po), holding the ballo0n in front of the heart is described. Hold the ballo0n gently, let it support your hands and let balloons support your elbows and your buttocks. Quote from this video, “it teaches you to be very patient.” He ends the video with a hip rotation exercise for warm ups. Click to read more

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One Finger Zen Meditation and the Chants

Yin and yang stones

Image via Wikipedia

The “One Finger Zen Meditation” is a powerful way to activate the qi in your hands and facilitate healing.  This Buddhist qigong involves the use of a 3-stage chant at the beginning and increases both your ability to sense the energy fields of others, as well as your ability to project healing qi towards others.  Most of the aspects of the moves are demonstrated in the video referenced below by Ken Cohen, but there are a couple of small changes regarding the chants in the intial phase which can increase this meditation’s effectiveness.  I also discuss the characteristics of the chants and their vibrational effects.

This qigong exercise is shown in the 24-minute video below and there is an Amazon link to the DVD to the left of this paragraph. It begins with the relaxed wuji standing posture, observing all of the alignments and postural recommendations which have been described in Standing Qigong for Healers.  In the next phase, you do the movement with the arms going up the sides of the body and joining above the forehead and going downward with the three chants, in the order of OM, AH and then HUNG. Click to read more

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