Tag Archives: Chi Kung

Taiji Shibashi Qigong Course

Taiji Shibashi Qigong Course –  2016

The Tai Chi Chi Kung Shibashi (十八), or the eighteen postures of Tai Chi Chi Kung, is a set of Chi Kung exercises that utilise Tai Chi stances and adhere to the rules governing them. Although this set was brought together in the 1980’s the individual exercises themselves date back centuries, even millenia.

The Shibashi Chi Kung focus on health and well-being, directing and promoting the flow of chi through the meridians. Although each of them can be practiced individually, or in any variation, the set flows beautifully, from one posture to the next,producing a feeling of inner calmness and wellbeing.

The health benefits from the Shibashi become clear when they are practiced regularly and, in effect, you are being proactive with your health and wellbeing. The Shibashi are easy to learn and can easily be practiced in a restricted space where the Tai Chi forms would be impossible.

Feedback from previous workshops

  • Did the workshop meet your expectations? – 100% Yes.
  • Did the workshop cover the syllabus? – 100% Yes.
  • Were the methods taught useful? – 100% Yes.
  • Would you recommend this workshop? – 100% Yes.
  • Is there anything you would like to see added to the syllabus? “Perhaps guidlines about how best to practice with a view to building confidence to teach others” *This is included in the Instructor Course.

“Really enjoyed this workshop – couldn’t have been better, fantastic day and I feel like I learned an enormous amount and had fun doing it!”
“I really liked that the meridians were mentioned within the exercises and found this useful.”
“I felt very well lead throughout the exercises and supported – thought it was a great course.”

 

The Shibashi Qigong course is suitable for everyone including: –

  • Beginners
  • Tai Chi practitioners
  • Chi Kung practitioners
  • Reiki practitioners
  • Shiatsu practitioners
  • Physiotherapists
  • Rehabilitation therapists
  • Exercise instructors
  • Group leaders

This Shibashi Qigong course, which can be used towards our certificated Shibashi Instructor course, provides a firm grounding in the Tai Chi Shibashi Chi Kung system.

Shibashi Qigong course information: –

Dates: Jan 23rd, Feb 27th & March 26th  2016
Times: 10:00 till 17:00
Location: East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
Cost: £70.00 per workshop, or £180.00 for the block of three.
Booking:  Pro-Holistic Taiji Shibashi Course

A deposit of £30.00 per workshop is required, with the balance to be paid on the first day of the course. Advanced booking is essential.

Further details of courses on Pro-Holistic Courses

This course is being provided by San Bao Martial Arts

Arthritis relief through Qigong

About Arthritis

Arthritis means “joint inflammation” and there are over 100 types including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Inflammation is one of the body’s natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain and stiffness. Prolonged, chronic, inflammation can lead to tissue damage.

Where two or more bones come together, such as the knee or hip they are covered with a smooth, spongy material called articular cartilage.  This cartilage cushions the bones and allows the joint to move, as it has no nerve supply, without pain. The joint is encapsulated by a thin film of tissue called the synovium and the synovium lining produces a slippery fluid called synovial fluid that reduces friction, acts as a shock absorber, nourishes the joint (supplies oxygen and nutrients) and allows the body’s waste management system to remove carbon dioxide and metabolic waste from the chondrocytes within the surrounding cartilage . The articulating bones are stabilised and held together by strong bands of tissue, called ligaments. Muscles and tendons also support the joints enabling movement.

With arthritis, an area in or around a joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, stiffness and, sometimes, difficulty moving. Some types of arthritis also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin and internal organs.

About Qigong

Qigong can help in the relief of arthritis pain.

Although the exercises that are now termed Qigong are estimated to be at least 5,000 years old, Qigong is a relatively new term to describe them (first used in the early 20th Century).  The type of Qigong that this article relates to is health giving, beneficial to Mind, Body and Spirit. Qigong combines graceful, flowing, movements with focus and breathing to increase and balance your vital energy (in Qigong speak this is the Mind – the Yi guiding the Qi). In “Active Qigong” there is movement of the body that gently utilize the full range of motion in your joints. Because Qigong is low-impact it has minimal impact on your joints and can be performed by almost anyone and although it is normally practiced in a standing position many of the exercises can be adapted for a seated posture.

There are numerous studies for the effect of Qigong on arthritis.  Here are a couple: –

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3200004/?tool=pubmed
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19389743

Benefits of Qigong

Qigong can be done while moving, lying down, sitting or standing, making it an ideal exercise for arthritis patients. With part of the focus being on correct posture, Qigong reduces the load/strain on joints.  Incorrect posture can lead to injuries and joint strain and blocks Qi flow.  The relaxed, deep, abdominal breathing increases oxygenation, benefits the cellular processes and can reduce stress and tension.  Not all Qigong is beneficial for arthritis so it is best to talk to an experienced qigong instructor about which exercises are right for you.

Here is one example of a simple Qigong exercise that can help.

This is good for regulating the breathing allowing the lowering of the breathing rate.  It is also good for maintaining the balance of the blood pressure, it strengthens the function of the Kidney meridian, calms the nerves (Shen), and it has a therapeutic action in the alleviation of arthritis.

Commencement:

Standing with the feet shoulder width apart, the knees unlocked (very slightly bent), the feet parallel, the shoulders relaxed and the tailbone (coccyx) tucked under.  Breathing should be relaxed, through the nose and into the abdomen (deep abdominal breathing using the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm).  The breath should be silent (with no tension in the throat) and the tip of the tongue should rest against the palate.
The movement should follow the pace of respiration…………. If you breath fast you move fast, breathe slow you move slow.  As you become more familiar with the movement you will notice that you start to relax more and your respiration slows down.  This bio-feedback will continue until your movement and breath are harmonious, relaxed and slow.

  1. Inhalation – With the palms facing downward, slowly raise the arms so that the hands are slightly higher than the shoulders, and extend the fingers.
  2. Exhalation – Keeping the spine erect, simultaneously lower the hands gently to waist level with the palms facing downward whilst bending the knees.  When bending the knees, the movement should not be excessive, and the knees should not extend beyond the toes (i.e. when looking down, with the back erect, you should just be able to see your toes).

N.B.  Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed and that the elbows are pointed down, with a “rounded” rather than angular feel/look to the arms.  There should be a harmonious co-ordination between the raising and lowering of the arms and stance.

This is the first of the Shibashi Qigong exercises and would normally be repeated six times if it was being done as part of the full Shibashi set.  However, as a solo exercise it can be repeated to your own comfortable limit……………… Take your time to build this up.

DAO-YIN (Qi Self Massage)

DAO-YIN (Qi Self Massage)

Dao-yin, “leading and guiding the Qi”, is really only another name for the art we now know as Qigong.  In the past, Dao-yin was one of the names used to describe the entire art, but since the popularisation of the term Qigong it is mainly used to describe the exercises used to “activate” the Qi prior to doing Qigong.

This short routine of Dao-Yin exercises takes approximately 10 minutes.  Done in the morning, preferably before breakfast, and will wake up your Qi and blood, energising you for the whole day.  Although these exercises are designed to be done in a standing position, most can be adapted for a seated position.

  • Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and the toes pointing straight ahead, with the knees slightly bent.  The spine should be erect (but not rigid), the head is held upright as though suspended by a single thread, and the coccyx should be tucked slightly forward to flatten out the curvature of the lower back.
  • Using the finger ends, tap all over the head and down onto the neck.
  • Flick the index fingers against the muscles at the back of the neck “Beating the Heavenly Drum”.
  • Using the thumbs, press lightly against the upper orbit of the eyes, working from the nose to the temples.  Be careful not to drag the skin, press then release before moving on.  (Repeat 3 times).
  • Using the index fingers, press lightly against the lower orbit of the eyes, working from the nose to the temples.  Be careful not to drag the skin, press then release before moving on.  (Repeat 3 times).
  • Using the index fingers, press lightly into the small indentation that is felt at the outer end of the eyebrows (This is the acupuncture point Triple Heater 23).
  • Using the index fingers, press lightly into the small indentation that is felt immediately below TH23 (This is the acupuncture point Gall Bladder 1).
  • Using the thumbs, press up lightly against the cheekbones, working from the nose out to the ears.
  • Using the thumbs, press lightly against the underside of the jaw, working front to rear.
  • Lightly pull the ears up, back, and down.  (Repeat 3 times).
  • Slow, gentle, neck rotations.  Do not try to stretch the neck or force the movement.
  • Supporting the right elbow with the left hand, tap down on the left shoulder using a loose fist and keeping the wrist relaxed.  Work the full length of the shoulder then repeat the exercise on the other side.
  • Using the same tapping action, work down the inside of the arms and then back up the outside.  (Repeat 3 times).
  • Tap lightly across the chest, then down the midline, and gradually work out to the sides.
  • Tap down the inside of the legs and then back up along the outside. (Repeat 3 times).
  • Massage the kidneys using the back of the hands.
  • Hold the palms against the Dan Tien (Hara) and allow the Qi to accumulate while “rooting” through the feet.

Other exercises that can be added to this routine include:

  • Rubbing the index finger back and forward under the nose.
  • Rubbing the centre of the palm of the hand (acupuncture point Heart Governor 8), in an anti- clockwise direction, against the tip of the nose.
  • Standing in a “horse” stance with the arms held out to the sides, transfer 70% of the weight to one leg as you lean over so that one arm is held above and the other is held below.  In this position, wriggle the fingers of the upper hand.  Transfer to the other side and repeat.  (Repeat 3 times to each side).

Qigong as a Healing Art

Qigong as a Healing Art

Qigong  (pronounced chee gung) is the art or science of using, working with and cultivating Qi (Chi) “life energy” to enrich ones life by controlling and strengthening the flow of qi throughout the body.

This information is written from the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Please do not be put off by the terminology of Water/Metal imbalances, as these are only ways of describing the illness from a TCM perspective.

Qigong is an art, which is steeped in history, legend and myth, has its roots in ancient China, growing as a healing art over thousands of years. It is the forerunner of, and is therefore based on the same principles as, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Tuina, and Shiatsu.  At present it is still being developed and researched as a cure, and preventative of illness by Qigong masters and by medical establishments and universities in China, America, Russia and Japan. In China, Qigong is often used in conjunction with Traditional Chinese and Allopathic Medicine to increase the healing power/rate – This wonderful system can also be utilised to enhance any of the Complimentary Healing systems as well as being used as a self-development and self-healing system.

Often after giving a treatment we ask ourselves if we could have done more.  We often see people who need frequent/regular treatment but who cannot afford the cost.  One way we can deal with this dilemma is to recommend some form of self-help such as diet, exercise etc.  However one of the most powerful self-help systems is often overlooked, primarily because of lack of experience – Qigong.

It is my intention to outline two Qigong exercises which can be used to treat imbalances in Metal, but which also treat other chronic ailments.  My intention is to show the basic exercise listing pathogenic factors it may be used to treat, then show a modification to the exercise that will enhance it, making it more potent in treating Metal disorders/imbalances.  The beauty of these exercises lies in their simplicity and strength.

Qigong promotes the smooth flow of Qi within the meridian system, bringing harmony and balance to the Whole (Body/Mind/Spirit).  Each exercise has both a tonifying and sedating quality (i.e. It can either increase or decrease the amount of qi within the meridian) and can be prescribed using Five Element Theory or Kyo/Jitsu, as would be done in Shiatsu, etc.

The stances for both exercises are the same; feet are shoulder width apart with the weight evenly distributed, the knees are slightly bent, the coccyx is tucked in slightly, and the head is held upright as though suspended from above.

The breathing should be natural and it is important that the movement follows the breathing and not vice versa.  Breathing should be through the nose and concentrated on the Tan Tien (a point 2 – 3 inches below the navel).  Throughout the exercise, the tongue should touch the palate just behind the front teeth.

BROADENING THE CHEST:

a)      Inhalation – Turn the palms to face each other as though holding a balloon, raise them to chest height while simultaneously raising the stance, then move them laterally/horizontally as though the balloon was expanding.

b)      Exhalation – Move the arms medially/horizontally to the original distance apart, lower the stance/arms while turning the palms obliquely downward.

N.B.  Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed and that the elbows are pointed down so that the arms are not “locked”. There should be a harmonious co-ordination between the raising and lowering of the arms/stance and the breathing.  Repeat six times.

This is good for dealing with insomnia, hypertension, relieving mental fatigue, and when used in conjunction with “Commencement” it can be used to treat asthma.

The exercise can be enhanced to focus more on Metal by adopting the alternative hand position shown, and turning the palms outward as the arms are moved laterally/horizontally.

PRESSING PALMS IN CALMNESS:

Following on from the last exhalation:

a)      Inhalation – Turn the palms upward with the fingers pointing at each other, and lift the hands to eye level.

b)      Exhalation – Turn the palms down, again with the fingers pointing at each other, and press down until the hands are level with the hips. Repeat six times.

This is good for regulating the breathing and balancing the blood pressure.  It strengthens the function of the Kidney, calms the nerves, can alleviate tinnitus and dizziness, and also has an effect on arthritis of the knee.

The basic exercise is primarily used to treat Water imbalances, however by forming a triangle between the index fingers and thumbs as you press down; it then becomes more potent for treating Water.

As stated, each exercise should be repeated six times and should be carried out twice a day – morning and early evening.

Excellent results are achievable but are entirely dependent on the client practising diligently.  One example of how potent Qigong is, is that of a 13-year-old boy with severe asthma.  When he first came for treatment (Shiatsu) he was dependent on daily medication involving three different inhalers.  His treatment consisted of three Shiatsu sessions, which started to stabilise his condition, and he was then prescribed two qigong exercises.  Eight months later, his mother telephoned me with the news that he had been off medication completely for the previous five months and that he had only had one asthmatic attack in this time.  He had remained calm during this incident and used qigong to overcome it in a controlled manner.

His mother had viewed this as almost miraculous, but the real miracle was that her son had the discipline to practice his qigong each and every day – he had been empowered with the ability to heal himself.