Category Archives: General

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The Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong

Working with the Qi of the Extraordinary Meridians. This course is suitable for all levels.

These Qigong exercises work with the Qi that is stored in the 8 exceptional vessels (aka the Extraordinary Meridians). These vessels are often likened to reservoirs that store Qi and blood while the Meridians can be likened to rivers that carry the Qi.

This course usually costs £65.00

Over 50% discount on this course……….. So you get it for £31.99!
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Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong

A Five Elements, stand-alone Qigong exercise. This course is suitable for all levels.

Connecting Heaven and Earth is a stand-alone, Five Element, exercise that is powerful, efficient, and effective.

This course usually costs £65.00

Over 50% discount on this course……….. So you get it for £31.99!
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The Five Taoist Yin Qigong

Working with the six Yin meridians – Lung, Kidney, Liver, Heart, Heart Governor & Spleen. This course is suitable for all levels.

Also known as the Five Taoist Yin, the name of this set is a bit of a misnomer as there are six yin meridians and these exercises work with, were designed to work with, all six.

Both Heart and Heart Governor meridians are worked within the one exercise, either individually, or together.

This course usually costs £65.00

Over 50% discount on this course……….. So you get it for £31.99!
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The Embroidered Brocade Qigong

This course is suitable for all levels.

Although having similar names, the Embroidered Brocade and the Eight Pieces of Brocade (AKA the Ba Duan Jin) are two entirely different sets.  The Embroidered Brocade is a set of seven Qigong exercises, namely:  Folding Over, the Circle of Light, the Billowing Sail, the Sun and the Moon, the White Crane, the Snake, and the Taiji Walk.

Practice of the Embroidered Brocade set takes between 20 to 30 minutes.

This course usually costs £65.00

Over 50% discount on this course……….. So you get it for £31.99! Get your discount here – Coupon

The Four Shen Qigong

This course is only suitable for advanced practitioners.

The Four Shen exercises are Active, Spiritual, Qigong. That is to say that the body movement is one of the tools used to help guide the Qi and the exercises are used to alter states of awareness, giving access to higher levels of being and increasing perception.

This course usually costs £65.00

50% + discount on this course. Only £31.99. Get your discount here – Coupon

The Ten Fundamental Treasures

This course is only suitable for advanced practitioners.

The Ten Fundamental Treasures is another, ancient, Qigong set that is little seen let alone practiced now.  It shares, in name, a number of exercises that are in the Ba duan Jin (AKA The Eight section brocade) and the exercises look similar.  However, the focus, the emphasis, is not the same.  I practice both of these sets and they are, internally, completely different.

This course usually costs £90.00

50% discount on this course. Get your discount here – Coupon

Ten Fundamental Treasures Qigong Course – Scotland

Ten Fundamental Treasures Qigong Course –  June 2018

As part of their ongoing courses, San Bao School is running a Ten Fundamental Treasures Qigong course in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. The two-day coursecovers the ten exercises, in depth, and provides beginners with a great foundation in Qigong while, at the same time, introducing more advanced practitioners to the subtleties contained within each exercise.

Ten Fundamental Treasures Qigong courseQigong (Chi Kung) is the art of working with energy, your life energy.  The external movements are only a small portion of the work that is being done as the practitioner moves their Qi around the meridian system.  To the external viewer, Qigong can look like slowed down aerobics but these exercises are much, much, more than that.  The external movements are there to assist the practitioner to prompt internal movement in their Qi.

True Qigong is only achieved when there is internal movement and waving your arms around while bobbing up and down is a very poor mimicry of this wonderful art .

The Ten Fundamental Treasures

  • Uphold the Heavens to Empower the Three Burning Spaces (San Jiao)
  • Harmonising Spleen and Stomach
  • Looking Backward
  • Pulling the Bow to Shoot the Hawk
  • Shaking the Head and Waving the Tail
  • Holding the Fists Tightly and Gazing with Angry Eyes
  • Abdominal Lift
  • Spring with the Toes
  • Hold the Toes and Strengthen the Kidneys
  • Change the Sinews (Yi Chin)


This San Bao Qigong course is relaxed and allows everybody to learn at their own pace.  There is no rush, no pressure, and no competition.



Qigong course details:

  • Location – East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire
  • Date – 10th & 11th June 2017
  • Time – 10.00 till 16:00
  • Details – Focusing on posture, on learning Qigong, in depth, and gaining awareness of Qi flow.
  • Cost – £120.00
  • Booking – Pro Holistic Qigong Courses Scotland
  • Instructor – Des Lawton
  • Further information – ‘Phone Des on 01355266011 or use the form on the Contact Us



Location of course


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Embroidered Brocade Qigong Courses – 2017

Embroidered Brocade Qigong is rooted in the principles of Taiji and is especially beneficial to Taiji players.  It takes around  20 –30 minutes to do the whole set.

Course date: Saturday 11th November 2017

Embroidered Brocade Qigong


  • Folding Over
  • Circle of Light
  • Catching a Ball (aka Billowing Sail)
  • The Five Elements (aka The Sun and the Moon)
  • The White Crane
  • The Snake
  • The Taiji Walk

Workshop details:

  • Location – East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire – location map
  • Dates – Saturday 14th May, and Saturday 26th November 2016
  • Time – 10.00 till 17:00
  • Cost – £60.00
  • Details – Focusing on posture, on learning Qigong, in depth, and gaining awareness of Qi flow.
  • Instructor – Des Lawton
  • Guidelines – Can be viewed here

For further datails and booking, visit Pro Holistic – Embroidered Brocade Qigong course

The Five Yin Qigong Courses – 2016

Workshop details:

  • Location – East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire  – location map
  • Dates – Saturday 25th June 2016
  • Time – 10.00 till 17:00
  • Cost – £70.00
  • Details – Focusing on the postures, the focus, and gaining awareness of Qi flow in these exercises.
  • Instructor – Des Lawton
  • Guidelines – Can be viewed here
  • Further information – ‘Phone Des on 01355266011 or use the form on the Contact Us

The Five Yin Qigong concentrate on the Qi flow in the Yin meridians.  The course concentrates on using the physical movement, the breath, and the eyes.  It is only with correct posture, relaxed breathing, and accurate that the practitioner will progress with any Qigong exercise.

The Five Yin Qigong

  • Lung Meridian – Metal
  • Spleen Meridian – Earth
  • Heart Meridian – Fire
  • Kidney Meridian – Water
  • Liver Meridian – Wood

For further datails and booking, visit Pro Holistic – Five Yin Qigong Course

Extraordinary Meridians Qigong Course – 2016

These Extraordinary Meridians Qigong / Neigong (aka Eight Exceptional Vessels) exercises work with the Qi that is stored in the Extraordinary Meridians.  The Extraordinary Meridians can be likened to reservoirs while the Meridians can be likened to rivers.  Most Qigong exercises concentrate on the Qi flow in the meridian system.

extraordinary meridians qigong 04As well as using the Yi, eyes and breath to guide the Qi, these exercises also make use of the Master Points and the Coupled Points to activate the Qi in the vessels.



  • “I’m really happy with what I gained from the course; an appreciation for the intention and focus of qi gong with regards energy and the points, correct movements, and the confidence to continue practice at home. The website resources are brilliant as a follow up. Thank you very much Des.”
  • “……….thank you so much for Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I loved your way of teaching. I feel confident and keen to continue practicing what I’ve learned – which was exactly what I was hoping to gain, so much appreciation to you!”
  • “I didn’t realise until several days later that the reason I think I enjoyed this workshop more than the course is because the stance doesn’t change. It allowed me to stop thinking about what was next and where my feet needed to be so I could just focus on the qigong.”
  • “…………. It helped me to appreciate it more as an energetic practice with intention and focus on energy flow, as opposed to simply awareness on physical movement.”



Workshop details:

  • Location – East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire  – location map
  • Dates – Saturday 23 April 2016, or Saturday 29th October 2016
  • Time – 10.00 till 16:00
  • Cost – £60.00
  • Details – Focusing on posture, on learning Qigong, in depth, and gaining awareness of Qi flow.
  • Instructor – Des Lawton
  • Guidelines – Can be viewed here

For further datails and booking, visit Pro Holistic – Extraordinary Meridians Qigong course

Bowen Method

Bowen Method

Bowen Method - image of a Bowen treatment

The Bowen Method was developed by Thomas A. Bowen (1916-1982) of Geelong Victoria in Australia. Bowen had a gift for healing but lacked professional training (details of his life history, professional training and work experience are in dispute) and there was an attempt by the Victorian Government to discredit him and his new technique. This prompted him to continue with vigour and it is estimated that in 1975, Bowen was treating 13,000 patients per year.
After launching an enquiry into alternative health practices, the Victorian government must have been a tad red-faced when it was discovered that not only were his clients reporting remarkable progress, Bowen was achieving these results with treatments that usually involved only two or three sessions per client. The Victorian Government’s attempt to discredit the technique turned out to be its biggest promoter.

Initially, Tom Bowen agreed to train only a half dozen students. Among those initial students were the Osteopath and Natural Therapist, Oswald Rentsch and his wife Elaine and since Bowen’s death, the Rentsch’s have led the expansion of The Bowen Method globally. They have spread Bowen throughout Australia, New Zealand, North America, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Austria, France, Italy, Israel and South Africa.

Bowen Method is a non-invasive, gentle, complementary therapy that triggers and empowers the healing and repair mechanism of the body. It uses light, precise rolling “moves” on muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves that are at specific sites on the body. The purpose of these “moves” is to deliver signals to the nervous system that stimulate a healing response encouraging the body to return to its natural state of alignment, balance and wellbeing. In essence, Bowen Technique assists the body to heal itself, accessing the natural healing power of the body, the ability to heal ourselves.

Back and neck pain, sciatica, frozen shoulder, headaches and migraines are among the ailments that Bowen may provide relief for. Additional benefits of Bowen Therapy include improved circulation, lymphatic drainage, improved immune system function and improved elimination and detoxification.

A Bowen session usually lasts up to an hour during which the therapist will be able to perform the specified “moves” through loose light clothing. With no oils used with the Bowen Technique, the receiver has no need to strip. The therapist will gently use his fingers and thumb to roll muscles, fascia and tissue to stimulate blood flow and increase energy. Between “moves” the therapist will usually take a short pause (possibly leaving the therapy room) allowing the receiver’s body the opportunity to readjust.


Therapist info

Bowen Method - the Bowen logo


If you wish your website to be included on this page please see our Resources Page for details.



Bath Bowen Clinic

One Space

Bowen Technique Solihull



Further information on the Bowen Technique including case studies, etc.

If you wish to add further resource information about Bowen Technique please contact us with the details.

Please note that makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness. is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.



Women’s Self Defence Course – East Kilbride March 2013

Women’s Self Defence Course

The Women’s Self Defence course focuses on practical, no nonsense, self-defence techniques for women.   It is not designed to teach all the complexities of a martial art where it can take  years of practice before you can defend yourself properly. What it does teach is  a method by which you can effectively defend yourself using a handful of proven techniques that will help you overcome most situations.You are not required to be particularly fit to take part in this programme, however if you are significantly overweight, elderly, have not exercised for a long period of time, or suffer from diabetes, heart, respiratory or back problems, it is advisable to consult your doctor before commencing any type of training.



  • “I work in a pub so it means finishing late at night, so I signed up for the course
    in case I ever need to defend myself.”
  • “I just want to be able to defend myself when I am out alone and it will be handy
    at home because I live by myself.”
  • “All I came for was to learn how to protect myself because I think it is important
    that you can.”
  • “I’d just like to be able to feel safe and know that I can defend myself should
    something happen as you just don’t know what people are capable of sometimes.”
  • “I think being able to defend yourself is important as anything can happen and you
    need to be prepared for this. I thought this course would be ideal for me to learn
    how to.”


  • “Very good course – has made me consider my surroundings on a night out and my abilities to get out of a situation.”
  • “Gave confidence so as not to be fearful and that you do not need to use brute force.”
  • “The course has given me confidence to defend myself.”
  • “Excellent course and the instructor was very informative.”
  • “I loved finding out all about the pressure points.”
  • “I have really enjoyed this class; I hope that I won’t need to use it though.”




  • Did the course meet your expectations? 100% YES
  • Did the course cover the syllabus? 100% YES
  • Were the tools/methods taught useful? 100% YES
  • Do you feel more enabled as a result of the course? 100% YES
  • Do you think that a ten-week course was long enough? 100% YES
  • Would you recommend this course? 100% YES



  • Prevention and Avoidance
  • Awareness and Self Confidence
  • Fear and its Effects – adrenaline and how to make use of it
  • Strike Effectively



  • Awareness and posture
  • Psychological defence
  • Wrist hold escapes
  • Clothing hold escapes
  • Arm hold escapes
  • Choke hold escapes
  • Hair hold escapes
  • Using your voice effectively
  • Finger locks
  • Wrist locks
  • Arm locks
  • Shoulder locks
  • Choke holds
  • Take down methods
  • Body weapons – effective strikes
  • Utilising weapons to hand


Location – East Kilbride/Glasgow
Date – Commences on Tuesday 5th March 2013
Time – 21:00 till 22:00
Cost – £80.00

N.B. Pre-booking is essential.  Deposits (£10.00) can be made through Paypal at Pro Holistic

This course is being provided by San Bao

Examples of Five Element Relationships in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Five Element Relationships in Traditional Chinese Medicine

In each example, the circled grey element is the Kyo and is therefore seen as the cause of the illness rather than the symptom.

Mother failing to nourish son.

In this case, treatment would be to: –

Five Element Relationships - Mother failing to nourish son

  1. Providing that the mother is not excessive, tonify the son then the mother.
  2. If the mother is excessive, sedate the mother and tonify the son.
  3. Alternatively, tonify the son and then tonify the controller of the mother.


Son taking too much from mother.

In this case, treatment would be: –Five Element Relationships - Son taking too much from mother

  1.  Sedate the excess (the son).
  2.  Tonify the mother.
  3. Tonify the controller of the son.



Controller exerting too much control.

In this case, treatment would be: –Five Element Relationships - Controller exerting too much control

  1. Sedate the excess element.
  2. Tonify the Controlled element.
  3. Tonify the Controller of the excess element.


Controlled element rebels against/insults the Controller.

In this case, treatment would be: –Five Element Relationships - Controlled element insults the Controller

  1. Sedate the Insulter.
  2. Tonify the Insulted.
  3. Tonify the Insulted’s parent


When using the Five Element theory it must be understood that the Kyo/Jitsu methodology of working is still valid – as Kyo/Jitsu are in an energetic relationship, you can find area of Kyo within an excessive (Jitsu) meridian, and areas of Kyo within a deficient (Kyo) meridian.  To confirm the relationship use palpation, treating and listening, and find the connection.

  • When treating a deficiency problem, look at the Sheng cycle to create/boost energy.  On the Sheng cycle, deficiencies occur when the parent is not feeding the child, or when the child is taking too much from the parent.
  • When treating excess, look at the Ko cycle

Diagnosis and Treatment

  1. Symptoms and observation.
  2. Diagnosis from Hara etc., using kyo and jitsu.
  3. Recognise the relationships between (a) and (b).
  4. Make up a composite diagnosis.
  5. Use Five Element theory to decide what meridians should be treated.
  6. Prepare treatment plan.
  7. Treat.
  8. Conclusions.

Example 1.

LI kyo – Inability to release.treatment plan 1

HT jitsu – Emotional problems.

Causes: –

Internalisation causing emotional problems, with an inability to let go.


Tonify BL (Ko for HT).

Working down the body, tonify ST (Sheng for LI) and LI.


Example 2.

LV kyo – Control, planning, decision making.treatment plan 2

HG jitsu – Emotional protection.

Causes: –

Lack or over control, with an inability to make decisions, leading to emotional problems.

Treatment: –

Sedation of HG.

Tonify Water, KD (Sheng for LV) and BL (Ko for HG).



Comparison of Zen Shiatsu and Five Element Theory

Comparison of Zen Shiatsu and Five Element Theory

The central concept of Oriental Medicine is all physical disease is the result of disruption/obstruction in the flow of Qi (intrinsic energy).

Zen Shiatsu


zen shiatsu - masunaga shiatsu

Zen Shiatsu operates on the theory/concept of Kyo and Jitsu within the meridian system of the body.  The terms Kyo and Jitsu are used to describe the quality of the Qi in the meridians and acupoints.  Kyo means empty, depleted, or hypo and can be associated with the Chinese concept of Yin whereas Jitsu means full, in excess, or hyper and can be associated with Yang.

As with the Yin and Yang theory, Kyo and Jitsu are relative descriptions of Qi and one cannot exist without the other.  Kyo being the underlying cause of the illness and tends to be covert, while Jitsu is manifest as the effect and is generally overt.

When a diagnosis is carried out using Zen techniques (ie. Asking, listening, hearing and observing) on the Hara or the Yu points the object is to find the dynamic between the meridians and this is generally manifest as being between the most Kyo and most Jitsu meridians.  Once the diagnosis is complete the treatment is decided on, normally the Jitsu meridian is sedated and the Kyo meridian tonified.  The exception to this is when the patient is chronically Kyo in which case sedation is not carried out.

This method of working can also be carried out within a single meridian when, if the overall diagnosis of that meridian is Jitsu, any Kyo points can be tonified and filled by transferring the Qi from the Jitsu to the Kyo.  It a may also be found that there are Jitsu points within a predominantly Kyo meridian and, once again, the Qi can be transferred and balanced within that particular meridian.

Zen Shiatsu also has meridians which are supplementary to the TCM ones and Masunaga’s Shiatsu recognises twelve meridians in the arms and twelve in the legs.


Five Element Theory within Shiatsu

Five Element Theory - shen / ko diagram

Five Element Theory also works with the principal of empty (Yin) and full (Yang) points but expands the concept/theory of Yin and Yang so that there are defined qualities of Qi for each Element and the need to relate one quality with another (Yin needs Yang and vice versa) is gone.

The Five Elements (Qualities) are descriptive of the quality of Qi as it changes from Yin to Yang and then back.  It follows the cycle of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood……… then back to Fire.  Each meridian is associated with one of these Elements and as such it is placed in the cycle.  For example, the Metal Element is made up of the Lung and Large Intestine meridians.  This is further broken down within the Element and the meridian pair is split into Yin and Yang.  In the case of the Metal Element, Lung meridian is Yin while Large Intestine is Yang.

The Five Element system is made up of the creative, or Shen, cycle which works on a mother to son basis following the previously described cycle.  When using the Five Element Theory for treatment, three meridians are worked on (Triad).  There is also a control, or Ko, cycle in which one of the Elements has a direct controlling influence over the other: Fire – ko – Metal, Earth – ko – Water, Metal – ko – Wood, Water – ko – Fire, Wood – ko – Earth.

On the Shen cycle, Yang feeds Yang and Yin feeds Yin.  On the Ko cycle Yang controls Yin and Yin controls Yang.

Once a diagnosis has been completed the associations between the symptoms/observations and the diagnosis are noted.  A composite diagnosis is then carried out, the meridians that are to be worked are decided, a plan of treatment is decided and, finally, the treatment is carried out.  On the face of it, The Five Element system appears to be much more complex but it is really straight forward.  It also strengthens the treatment by having a third meridian assist in the rebalancing of the other two.


  1. If you took the example of someone who was found to be LU Jitsu and KD Kyo, using Zen Theory you would simply sedate LU and tonify KD.  However, using Five Element Theory you could sedate LU, tonify KD and tonify SI, or TH, using the Ko cycle to control LU.
  2. Another example could be of a client who showed KD Jitsu and LU Kyo (the opposite of the previous example).  Using Zen Theory it would be a case of sedating KD and tonifying LU.  If Five Element Theory was used you could sedate KD, tonify LU and tonify ST, utilising the Ko cycle to control KD.If, for example, the client was chronically Kyo and alternative treatment plan (using the Five Element Theory) would be to leave KD, tonify ST to control KD, tonify LU and, lastly, tonify SP to bolster LU through the Shen cycle.

There is compatibility between the two systems that can be seen when using the Five Element treatment method.  If you find Jitsu within a Kyo meridian you can simply use Zen Theory to move Qi from one part of the meridian to another.

Makko Ho Exercises for Qi Developement

Makko Ho Exercises

The Makko Ho (Makko-Ho) are the meridian stretching exercises that were developed by Mr. Nagai as an aid to promote health and well-being. The stretches are designed to stimulate the flow of energy (Qi) in the meridians as well as stretching and strengthening the muscles.
When he was 42 years old, Mr. Nagai suffered a stroke that paralyzed half his body. Doctors said that he would never recover his full body movement but he was determined to find a way back to full health and prove the doctors wrong. It took him three years to gain his full health during which he developed the Makko-Ho exercises.


Makko Ho - Makko-Ho Metal posture

A basic rule of thumb is that you should, over time, increase the stretch until you get close to your own limitations, using the breath while remaining calm and relaxed. It is more important that you are aware of the tensions in the body that occur during the execution of the exercises than trying to undertake overly strong stretches.
The exercises enhance the Qi flow in all twelve meridians with each stretch working on a Primary Meridian pair according to the Five Elements (Qualities) of Chinese Medicine.


  • Primary Fire – Heart and Small Intestine meridians
  • Secondary Fire – Heart Governor and Triple Warmer meridians
  • Earth – Stomach and Spleen meridians
  • Metal – Lung and Large Intestine meridians
  • Water – Bladder and Kidney meridians
  • Wood –Gall Bladder and Liver meridians

The most important thing is to learn to breathe properly, to allow your body to benefit from the positive energy (Qi) that they take in with each inhalation and let their body benefit from the elimination of negative energy when they exhale.
There is a great description of the Makko-Ho at Pro-Holistic