Basic Concepts of Chi Kung

This guide is intended to orient new Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung students to the theory and methods of these arts. These methods are very old and they work. It is simple: if you pay attention, learn how to practice, and practice regularly, you can improve your health and change your life. The investment in time and effort will be repaid a 1,000 times over by extending the length and improving the quality of life.

The Goal of Chi Kung
Chi Kung means to endeavour to breathe well! Skill and success in cultivating your life force energy or Chi. The goal of these methods is to:

  1. Align and Balance the Structure of Your Body.
  2. Open and Mobilize Your Joints.
  3. Help You Move in a Harmonious Way.
  4. Circulate, Cleanse, and Store Your Blood and Chi.
  5. Promote Your Inner Balance and Mental Calmness.

Ideally, all of the joints, bones, and tissues of the body are properly aligned, freely moving, and relaxed. The brain communicates through healthy nerves to every area of the body, maintaining proper muscle and organ function. The Blood, Lymph, and Chi circulate freely, cleansing, protecting, and nourishing the body.

How Does Chi Kung Resolve Many Health Issues?

By aligning and balancing the structure of the body and opening and mobilizing the joints, we can resolve many health issues. The function and movement of the entire body is controlled by the brain. When the entire spine is mobile, aligned, and balanced, the brain can send clear messages to the organs, which can then function in harmony to promote health.

When the spine loses its flexibility and becomes stiff or locked due to injury, Practice Chi Kung at Your Favourite Spot and Heal Yourself Spot illness, or lack of systematic exercise, this process of communication is interrupted and more illness or imbalance may slowly develop. If nerves are pinched by muscular tension or an imbalance that pulls the bones into constricted alignments, then nerve pain, often radiating far from the location of the pinched nerve, can result.

How Does Chi Kung Improve the Health of Your Joints?

Every joint has an optimal relationship to the bones and tissues around it. If the bones and joints are properly aligned, movement is strong, balanced, and stress free. When joints are not moved in the best position and alignment, then the joint transfers stress to surrounding ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Over time, these elements will slowly weaken and become susceptible to sudden injury. This is the case with many knee injuries. The ligaments and cartilage around the knee may have been first weakened gradually over time by poor knee alignment and then suddenly injured during activity.

In addition, joints may develop adhesions or scar tissue that restricts the joints’ movement to safe and pain free patterns. Unfortunately, these restrictions may cause many other problems, like loss of mobility, pinched nerve pain, and reduced blood circulation. Gently opening and stretching the joints and surrounding tissues can restore proper mobility and position. Many shoulder injuries, pains and loss of movement are related to adhesions and scar tissue caused by unresolved injuries or lack of exercise. By using deep breathing and stretching movements we are able to break thru scar tissue and adhesions to restore proper function and mobility.

Chi Kung Teaches You How to Move Correctly

Move in a harmonious way that does not strain the joints, tendons or ligaments. If there is pain in the joints it usually means the body is misaligned in such a way that the joint is supporting more weight than it should. The function of the joints is to provide points of articulation where movement is possible. The function of the bones is to provide structure, while the muscles support the structure and move it. Learning to systematically move with proper body alignment can prevent problems and allow the body to heal.

As children and young adults, we are taught the rules to games and given balls. Unless someone becomes a serious athlete, they are not taught how to move. Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Kung are great systems of movement when taught by an expert instructor. The first step is understanding good posture. The second step is learning how to move while maintaining good posture. If the body has good structure or alignment it will not be injured, stressed, or weakened by exercise. Then exercise can help to circulate the vital fluids of the body and nourish and cleanse the body.

Chi Kung Improves Your Blood and Chi

When the tissues of the body are relaxed and free from constriction caused by tension, misalignment, or scar tissue then the fluids of the body can circulate freely. These fluids include both the blood and the lymph. The blood brings vital nourishment from food, and oxygen from the air, to every cell in the body. In addition, the blood carries away the waste products from cellular metabolism and cleanses the body. The lymphatic system also cleanses the body and has an important role in the immune system’s defense of the body. When the blood vessels and lymphatic system are squished or compressed it is difficult for them to perform their vital roles of cleansing and nourishing the body.

This is like a crimped garden hose. Little water comes out even though the water pressure is high. When we relax the body and promote proper movement and circulation of the vital fluids, the body can heal itself. It is very simple. If you remove blood circulation from any part of the body, it quickly atrophies and dies. Restore blood circulation and vigour and strength soon return.

Many modern urban people have deficient Blood and Chi. This is true of many vegetarians. It is also true of most people who lead a sedentary life. Signs of deficient blood are a pale complexion, cold hands and feet, and reduced sex drive and stamina. If the blood is deficient, then the Chi is almost always low as well. Signs of deficient Chi can include low energy, low spirits, and difficulty concentrating.

There are many types of Chi and many distinctions that can be made about Qi. The most ancient image of Chi was the steam rising from cooked rice. We will define Chi as the life essence that is associated with Breath and Blood. The Blood and the Chi are related.
Chi Promotes Your Inner Balance and Mental Calmness
The mind and body are linked. If the mind is tense and the emotions unsettled, then it is often impossible to relax the body. If the body is in pain or weak, it is difficult feel good mentally.

As we stand calmly, or move slowly and breathe, the mind slowly settles and calms down. As the mind calms, the body relaxes. As the body relaxes, the breath sinks deeper, and the Chi sinks into the area below the navel known as the Tan Tien.

This is called becoming centered and grounded. You will feel more connected to the earth, with a lower centre of gravity and very physically present in your body. Then your mind will also feel calm, clear, and focused. During long periods of correct practice, deep states of meditation and feelings of bliss will occur.

There are some things that can only be sensed, but can’t be explained with words!

Remember: There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the moment…

A person’s whole life is a succession of moment after moment… If one fully understands the present moment, there is nothing left to do, and nothing else to pursue.

You must study this well!