Spring Clean Your Body with Tao Qigong
(Healthy Option, New Zealand Oct 2003)
Rejuvenation exercises, Bone Marrow Cleansing and Taijiquan
By Gabrielle Euteneuer - co edited by Tamara Bennett
Spring is the perfect season to detoxify the liver. In daoist Practice, the liver is associated with spring, expanding energy, kindness and generosity. This is also a great time to consider bone marrow cleansing.
Bone Marrow Cleansing uses internal power to strengthen and energise bones, the immune system and to improve blood quality. We have round and flat bones, which have bone marrow in the centre. Bone marrow produces red and white blood cells. With age and poor nutrition our bone marrow can transform into fat! With less bone marrow, our bones become fragile and break easily, our immune system becomes poor and we can experience reduced vitality.
The bone marrow cleansing practise can help to regrow the bone marrow, by cleaning the fat out of the marrow. This will bring Qi (= life force) into the bones and vitality back to your body. A good compliment to bone marrow cleansing is Taijiquan.
Taijiquan is an ancient daoist meditative art of motion.
In Taijiquan the whole body is flowing and relaxed while moving. The first step is to learn and remember the outer movements. When one practices all the movements in sequence, this is called the Taijiquan form. The second step is the internal practise. Through the natural, unrestricted postures of Taijiquan, the meridians (= energy channels) open more.
This allows your “Qi” to circulate freely and then multiply. This is the basis of vitality and health. Taijiquan can strengthen the nervous system and also relieve symptoms of chronic illnesses. The Inner organs are massaged and the glands will be harmonised. These smooth and slow movements benefit the connective tissue, tendons, muscles and circulation of Qi. It also creates flexibility in your body, mind and spirit. With this increased flexibility, possibilities become unlimited.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, Taijiquan was considered a secret practice. Now Taijiquan is very popular all over the world, especially because of the benefit of health and relaxation.
Tao Motion offers the sequence of Tai Chi Chi Kung founded from Master Mantak Chia.
An important aspect of this special sequence called "Tai Chi Chi Kung" from Master Mantak Chia is the Inner Structure of Taijiquan. The movements are easy to remember and have all the important aspects of Taijiquan in it. When you know the movements, Taijiquan actually begins.
The student will also learn to use energy in each posture. You can start to learn Taijiquan at any age. It does not require strenuous effort to accomplish. It can also be practiced into quite an advanced age. By practising Taijiquan for 10 minutes every day, you will experience the benefits immediately.
Both Taijiquan and Bone Marrow Cleansing create extraordinary strength, boost immune system health and offer great grounding for meditation.
More than 2500 years ago in remote places in China mankind was looking for methods to stay healthy and to increase their vitality and quality of life.
They started to investigate the reasons for living on earth and developed a special kind of living philosophy. This gives every individual their freedom to do everything as they please, as long they do not cause suffering to others. These are the ideal condition to support creativity and spiritual growth in humanity.
High in the mountains with nothing around other than nature, away from the normal daily life, the Daoists learned about the Qi (= life force) that surrounds us.
They discovered that there are three different sources of Qi:
- The Qi that comes up from the earth
- The Qi from the universe
- The Qi in our atmosphere, which is nature, combined with the sunlight
The Taoists observed that Qi goes through everything, through the trees, plants, and stones and also through humans. They realised that plants absorbed the Qi like nourishment and began to look to see how they themselves could use the Qi directly as nourishment.
More and more they concentrated inwardly to get the answers. They learned allot about the functions of the human body, the bones and organs and discovered that there is Qi in us as well. We call it Body Qi. This Body Qi is normally coarse. With age the human body gets more and more blockages, so the Qi starts to stagnate and then the person gets ill more easily. The Body Qi flows in special channels, which we call meridians.
To discover all of this, it took centuries, it did not happen overnight. Based on this wisdom are acupuncture, acupressure and the most important daoist basic meditation, the “Microcosmic Orbit”.
This meditation opens the two major meridians and helps to create a free Qi flow through them. Our whole organism will get more resistant against illness. When the Microcosmic Orbit is open again, we can easily check it every day in a few minutes.
Looking deep into themselves the Taoists also learned a lot about the anatomy and the functions of the organs and glands. The Qigong exercise “Inner Smile” has its roots here, which helps us to come in contact with our organs and glands and to make friend with them. By doing so, we will know in what conditions our organs are and prevent diseases.
The Healing Sounds help to harmonise our emotions.
Each organ has positive and negative emotions. Being emotionally unbalanced will increase the possibility of getting ill. The Healing Sounds help to transform negative emotions like stress and fear into life force. Negative emotions stagnate the energy in the organs. Nothing can move and vitality and light will have less and less space, which is the basis for healthy organs. Illness starts to spread. Special sounds, which will create vibrations combined with arm movements, bring the negative emotions into motion and then they can be transformed. To each major organ there belongs a different sound.
Imagine your organs are like a garden. The negative emotions are like the weeds; the virtues are the lettuce and vegetables. When we don’t look after them, the weeds will give them no place to grow and we will have nothing to harvest.
The Taoists wanted to get a healthy balance in the organs. Which means, a lot of space for the virtues and little space for the negatives, because in the right portion, they are very important as well.
So before practising the Healing Sounds we start to smile into the organ and come in contact with it. This smiling inwardly activates a special kind of chemistry, which helps to compost and to transform the negative energy into life force.
At the Tao Qigong workshops and retreats, participants will learn the Inner Smile, the Six Healing Sounds and the Micro Cosmic Orbit. Tao Motion offers 20 Workshops and Retreats during the summer 2003-2004.
The Liver Sound Practise
The liver is on your right side underneath your ribs. It is the biggest organ in your abdomen.
Sit straight up on a chair and place your palms, facing upwards on your legs. Feel the sole of the feet relaxed on the ground. Feel your breathing in your lower abdomen. Let the breath come and go very relaxed without forcing a pattern. Imagine a smiling energy, right in front of you, like golden, warm sun is shining on your face and your skin.
Breathe in this smiling energy and breath it out into your liver. Green light is the healing colour. The negative emotions are aggression, anger, jealousy and frustration. With the sound you are able to transform these into generosity, kindness and the ability to give and to share.
The next time, when you breathe in:
- Open your eyes
- Bring up your arms outwardly, beside your upper body
- Interlock your fingers and rotate your palms facing up
- Lean towards the left side
- Push up the heel of your right palm
- Look towards the ceiling
- Feel the stretch
- Breathe out with the sound SHHHHHHHHH
- When you are ready, respect the pause that might appear
- Let the breathing happen by itself, very relaxed
- Face the palms towards your body
- Green light is radiating, especially into your eyes, the windows of the liver
- Slowly bring down your arms
- Send green healing light into your liver and into the gallbladder
What do you feel? Are there any emotions or is there a temperature?
When the energy in your liver is in balance, it is warm and moist. The liver has the tendency to get too hot. If you feel, that there is too much heat. Then the next time, when we do the sound, breathe out the heat.
Come back into the beginning posture
- Open your eyes, breathe in, Bring up your arms again.
- Lean towards the left side, so the liver will get more space to transform
- Do the sound again SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
- After this, close your eyes
- Your palms are like spotlights, healing green light is expanding into your eyes, liver and gallbladder
- Smile into them.
Are there any feelings in your liver, or can you see something? Now the third time, again we do the sound more internal. And our attention is in the vibration, which the sound creates in the liver.
When you are ready:
- Breathe in
- Open your eyes
- Bring up your arms
- Do the sound again SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
- Smile into the infinity above you
- Invite the Healing light
- Guide this green light slowly down into the liver
It is good to practise the sound three times in a row, once a day. For a good spring detox, practise the liver sound exercise six to nine times instead.
There is a CD available, where you can learn Six Healing Sounds. Please check the website for this.
A Sea of Qi, Gabrielle
Inner Body Pilgrimage
Article in Fitness Life magazine January 2006