Learn Qigong at The Wee Retreat

Learn Qigong at the wee retreat - ba duan jin
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Join us to learn Qigong at The Wee Retreat. Our new class commences on Wednesday February 6th where we will be learning, popular demand, the Five Taoist Yin Qigong.

Great to see that the class is already half way booked!

We would all like to make improvements to our health and well being (and therefore to our lives). In the western world this usually involves going to the gym and expelling lots of energy while thinking about the other things that we “should” be doing.

There is another way, one that has been practiced in China for thousands of years. It can be practiced anywhere and anytime and is a pleasure to do. It is a method that does not need specialised equipment or lots of space. So, if your goal for improvement includes any of the following, Qigong pronounced chee gong) may well be your best way forward.

Would you like to: –

  • lower your stress levels
  • increase your vitality
  • have better quality sleep
  • have better posture
  • reduce the number of tension headaches you get
  • have a better, more efficient, immune system
  • lower, or regulate, your blood pressure
  • reduce chronic pain

The first set of Qigong that we will be covering is the Five Taoist Yin. They are easy to learn and, once learned, they are an enjoyment rather than a chore.  An hour out of your day to attend this class could have a lasting, beneficial, effect on your life.  So, what are you waiting for?

Where: Learn Qigong at the Wee Retreat, 2 Myrtle Park, Glasgow, G42 8UQ

Times: Wednesday evening from 7:30 till 8:30

Cost: £32.00 per month

Booking: To guarantee a space call me on 01355266011. Or take a chance and just drop in on the night.

Instructor: Des Lawton

Medical Research on Taiji

Link to Taiji classes availability in Scotland
#SBqigong #qigong #taiji #DesLawton

During their medical research on Taiji, researchers in the United States, medical researchers analysed 47 studies looking at Taiji and the impact that it had on people with chronic health problems, like heart disease or MS.

Their findings, published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, were that
Taiji could improve balance control, flexibility and even the health of the heart and it was also stated  that Taiji also reduced stress, falls, pain and anxiety.

This art originated in China, centuries ago, as a martial art but its health giving properties were such that it is now widely practiced purely as a health and wellbeing exercise.

Taiji utilises abdominal (Dan Tien, or Hara) breathing, relaxation and fluid, graceful, movement throughout the set of movements, known as the “form”.  In doing so it can produce changes the brain wave pattern (lowering to Alpha waves), also producing a bio-feedback loop that gradually deepens this relaxation, slowing respiration and producing a profound feeling of wellbeing.

Taiji players know through experience that it can have a profound, positive, effect on their health, improving memory, concentration, digestion, balance and flexibility. It is also beneficial for people with psychological problems, such as depression, anxiety or stress through the inner calmness that it produces.

The study (by doctors at Tufts-New England Medical Centre, Boston) suggests there is medical evidence to back up those claims.

Medical Research on Taiji – The results

Their findings, based on a review of studies published in both English and Chinese state.

“Overall, these studies reported that long-term Taiji practice had favourable effects on the promotion of balance control, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness and reduced the risk of falls in elders”.

Taiji helped to reduce “pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects”.

Importantly, they also recognise that Taiji also has benefits for people with serious, chronic, conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.

Link to Taiji classes availability in Scotland
Medical Research on Taiji found great benefits

“Benefits were reported by the authors of these studies in cardiovascular and respiratory function in healthy subjects and in patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery as well as in patients with heart failure, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.”

Taiji has been used in Chinese hospitals for years in the treatment of chronic illness and also prescribed to people who have had heart attacks and heart surgery.  It used to be the case that this type of treatment regime was written off as “quackery” by western doctors.  Not so now!  Now we see Taiji being recommended as a post heart bypass, etc. exercise.  Not only that but many doctors are also practicing this art to benefit their own health.

Taiji is a wonderful art to learn……………………. It’s never too early and it’s never too late!  There is bound to be a Taiji class in your area……………….. go find it now!

Interested in Qigong? Why not join our Qigong community on Facebook. We are a group of friendly practitioners who are keen to share their experience! Click here to request to join – San Bao Qigong

Qigong for CFS – manage your recovery

Qigong for CFS
#CFS #SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

As part of my Shiatsu practice I usually teach/prescribe appropriate Qigong for CFS to patients who are suffering from this ailment. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis [ME] or Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease [SEID]) is extremely debilitating and care has to be taken during treatment so that energy is not drained any further. Qigong, when practiced properly, increases energy, vitality and stamina.

Accuracy brings results

It is vital that the Qigong are carried out correctly for their full benefits to be appreciated and to do this the practitioner needs to be aware of, and to make use of, all the subtleties that lie within the movements.  This is why this video can only go part way to convey the Internal workings of Qigong and it was never designed to be used for instructional purposes. Trying to understand what is happening by merely following a video is not enough but even by copying the movement and breathing, some benefits may still be felt.

We provide online tuition, via Skype where all of the subtleties within each Qigong are explained and taught. For details and availability please use our Contact page and leave your details.

Please note that these two Qigong have been chosen as examples as they are beneficial for increasing vitality and stamina. However, for effective treatment, the Qigong for CFS regime should be tailored to suit the needs of the individual and that these needs will change as treatment progresses.

The two Qigong for CFS that we are concentrating on are all dealing with deficient Qi in the Yin meridians.

  • Broaden the Chest: to increase the gaseous exchange, and to combat low vitality, depression and lethargy.
  • Turning to Gaze at the Moon: to combat lethargy and tiredness, mental fatigue, lack of willpower and lack of memory.

I recommend that, where possible, you keep your bedroom window slightly open at night as stale air (A build up of carbon dioxide) will make a fit and healthy person lethargic so it is the last thing that you need when your energy levels are already low.

Guidelines for practice

  • Practice in the morning with the window open or, if possible, outside.
  • Do not overdo things. Small steps lead to bigger gains.
  • Take your time.
  • Do the exercises seated if you are too tired to stand.
  • Build up over time but you only need to repeat each exercise eight times. They do not work in the same way as physical exercises so it is most definitely not a case of “No pain, no gain”!

Our Qigong for CFS Videos

I hope that you find these Qigong useful in aiding your recovery.
Des

Interested in Qigong? Why not join our Qigong community on Facebook. We are a group of friendly practitioners who are keen to share their experience! Click here to request to join – San Bao Qigong

The therapies provided by Pro Holistic are of a Complementary nature. You are advised, in the first instance, to consult a medical practitioner in order that you receive a medical diagnosis. Self-diagnosis is not recommended and internet-based advice is no substitute for a face-to-face visit with a medical practitioner.

Taoist Wisdom

Lao Tzu - Taoist Wisdom
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Taoist wisdom has, for millennia, given us hints and guidance for a successful, content and full life. Spiritually successful…………….

I will, time permitting, be looking at a number of them and giving my own insight into what message I have received from each in regard to Qigong and Taiji.

Lao Tzu’s Taoist Wisdom

“Intellectual knowledge exists in and of the brain.
Because the brain is part of the body, which must one day expire, this collection of facts, however large and impressive, will expire as well.

Insight, however, is a function of the spirit.
Because your spirit follows you through cycle after cycle of life, death, and rebirth, you have the opportunity of cultivating insight in an ongoing fashion.
Refined over time, insight becomes pure, constant, and unwavering.

This is the beginning of immortality.”

We begin our Qigong and or Taiji journey using intelectual knowledge. We rely on our brain to remember the sequence and try to understand the postures. We are learning, not being.

Through practice our journey takes us to the stage where the sequence, the breathing and the postures are second nature. This is when the brain steps aside for these aspects yet it can still be engaged in the attempt to look for, reach out for, the Qi. It is here that we can become stuck, bogged down, in our exploration of Qi. At best we are doing, we are still not being.

It is only when we stop reaching out and start to “listen” to the Qi. When we “listen” our reasoning finally steps aside and we experience without the encumbrance of questions or the need for reasons. Our Yi (brain) is redundant and our Shen (spirit) is now in the driving seat. We are now being!

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From Wang Zongyue

“Quiet like a mountain. Movement like a river”. From “Kung Hsin Chieh”

Only when the body/mind is quiet will you really appreciate the flow of the Qi.

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“The body must be upright and comfortable and able to cope with impact from any direction.”  From “Kung Hsin Chieh”

More wisdom about he need for proper structure that is pertinent to both Taiji and Qigong. It is through proper physical structure that we can create the stillness that allows us to listen to our Qi and our Shen.

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Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.


Living in the Present

Living in the present - Lao Tzu
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

How many times do we need to be reminded that we should be living in the present, to be 100% here and now? I have picked three of my favourite pieces of wisdom on this matter, each from a different background but each with the same message.

From Taoism

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu

From Islam

“Man has less than he suspects of: time, friends, hope, or qualities.” (proverb). Leave the past in the past, don’t try to live in the future, be now and gain more of each.

From Christianity

“I was regretting the past
and fearing the future.
Suddenly, my Lord was speaking:
“My name is I AM”
He paused.
I waited.
He continued:

“When you live in the past,
with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard.
I am not there.
My name is not – I WAS.
When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard.
I am not there.
My name is not – I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment,
It is not hard.
I am here.
My name is I AM.”

Helen Mallicoat

When you try to live in the past YOU are no longer there. When you try to live in the future YOU have yet to arrive. Only when YOU live in the present can YOU say “I am”.

We fret about the past and we worry about the future. Our society is geared up to keep it that way, designed to keep us discontented. We cannot change the past but we can change our attachment to it howvever we can only do that in the here and now. We can feel powerless about the future and if indeed we are powerless then we should accept that and get on with what we have, but we can only do that in the here and now. If we feel that there is something that we can do about our future, no matter how small, we can only do it in the here and now. It is in the here and now that we can find enlightenment, find peace, find contentment, find ourselves.

There are many, many, examples of this message from all over the world and from all belief systems. Do you have one that resonates with you? If you do, can you share it with us?

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Qigong Questions & Answers

 #SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

I have had very many Qigong questions asked of me over the years and I wish that I had kept a note of all of them. That way I could follow my own progress as my answers must have changed over the years in line with my own understanding. These are the Qigong questions and answers that I do have on record and I will add to them as more questions are asked.

If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box.

General Qigong Questions & Answers


From David

What’s the different doing Tai Chi or Qigong ?

The Taiji forms can, in one respect, be likened to Qigong as they use posture, movement, breath and focus to align and direct Qi. They are like long, complex, Qigong.
However, there are a number of differences too:- Taiji is a martial art, Qigong isn’t. Taiji forms can take years to learn but many Qigong exercises may only take a few hours to learn the movements. The benefits from practicing Qigong are quicker to attain.
This isn’t a comprehensive list but these are the main differences.

Regards,
Des


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From Ruth

I’ve got a question regarding the horse stance. I was told that the knees need to be over the feet to prevent knee injury as they are not weight bearing but weight transferring joints. It doesn’t look like that from your demonstration. Could you please explain a bit more? Thanks a lot.

Kind regards,
Ruth

Working with the Yin Meridians - Wood
Qigong Questions & Answers
Horse riding stance.

Hello Ruth,
When doing/learning most Kung Fu it is correct that if you are in a low horse stance the knees should be above the feet. But the emphasis there is on building physical strength in the legs as well as stretching the Adductor muscles. In most cases, people tend to push too far and there is a fair bit of discomfort……….. The term “No pain, no gain” seems to be the anthem.

In Qigong, in the Taoist Qigong that I was taught, the emphasis is on quiet stability that allows you to be aware of the Qi flow rather than on the pain of a stretch. Even so, if you stand with your feet double shoulder width apart and let your body sink through relaxation and have an outward intention for the knees (thinking outwards continually realigns the knees) you will find that when you finally achive a low horse stance (if this is your goal) your knees will be over your feet.

As a teacher I am fully aware that students will try to follow my breathing pattern, my stances, etc. so I am careful to start at the most comfortable for them and then watch them progress.

Regards,
Des

Hi Des,
Thank you so much for your quick answer. It all makes sense now. I like the outward intention when practicing horse stance so that the knees don’t knock together.
I guess it will be like the 70/30 rule (or rule of thirds). Don’t push it! A deep horse stance will develop with time and practice.

Kind regards,
Ruth


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From Jeni

How do you “Listen” to the Qi?
Not getting stuck just not sure how you listen to Qi. I can feel the Qi but I certainly can’t hear it or I am not sure how to listen to it?

Hi Jeni,

Listening Jing (Listening to Qi) involves passive awareness. By that, I mean that you are, tangibly, aware of the Qi and paying attention to what it is doing……………. what you are experiencing.

One method that I use to help students understand what this means is that I get them to imagine that they are standing in the middle of a forest, Standing silently and still…………… That is when the forest becomes alive with sounds, with smells, with observation of the flora and fauna. If you go tramping about, making lots of noise, you trample the flora and scare off the fauna.

During Qigong there are two processes being used with Qi.

  • One is to direct the Qi (using the movements, focus, etc.).
  • The other is being quiet, having no input, not tramping about and reaching out to “feel” it. Initially this is done after performing an exercise but with experience you can “listen” to the effect as you do any Qigong.

The Active (moving) Qigong exercise is the cause……………. Take time, in stillness, to be aware of but not disturbing the effect. The quieter your body/mind the more you will experience.

If you always feel Qi in the same way it is probably because your mind is moulding it in that fashion. In that case you are not “listening” you are reaching out, having input,and shaping the result.

I hope that this goes some way to explain what “listening” means.

Des


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From Lesley

Is it helpful to use your dominant hand as the ‘receiving’ hand, or vice versa?

Hi Lesley,
Most people usually use their dominant hand for transmitting Qi. However this is not really necessary and you can use both hands for both tasks. It is, actually, only the Yi that gets in the way……….. the brain, and old thought patterns, making things difficult.

Many years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a lady who was a healer who worked with Qi on a daily basis, and who had real control over its transmission. She never called it Qi, but Qi is only a word. Anyway, her lineage taught that women transmitted with the left hand and received with the right. Men were the opposite. My martial arts background had taught me to transmit and receive with both…………… so we just kept working that way.

It’s a case of whatever floats your boat 🙂 ………….. Dogmatically following rules closes the mind and restricts your growth.

Regards,
Des



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Are you looking for Qigong Questions & Answers?

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Taiji Classics – What do you get from them?

Taiji Classics - Chen Man Ching
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

What do you get from the Taiji Classics? Do they give you any deeper insight into your Taiji? Chen Man Chin said “The Classics are our best link to our Taiji past. They are the basis of the art. By their nature they are discursive and redundant, but at the same time, profound. In the present era, when Taiji has proliferated into so many schools, the Classics can be used as a model. If any system violates the Classics, then the systems are wrong.”

Unfamiliar language and concepts

The Masters were using language and examples that would have been familiar to their students and peers but we, in the 21st century, are far removed from them and that has led to much debate regarding their true meaning. The problem that I see with much of that debate is that people are looking for a discrete definitive meaning where there may actually be more than one. I have found that my grasp of any of the Classics is tenuous as they appear fluid making my understanding dependant on my place in the universe at the time (where my head is). I’m not trying to be flowery here………… It is like Yin and Yang. It depends on where you are on that cycle that determines what is Yin, or Yang, in relation to you.

The Classics remind me of the I-Ching in that the I-Ching does not hand you answers on a plate. It stimulates a process in the consciousness (the Shen) that leads you to your answer. Your Shen already knew the answer, it just needed a prompt and a connection between it and your brain (the Yi). Many of the Classics are as pertinent to Qigong as they are to Taiji and the examples I have chosen are testimony to that.

So here are two examples that appear to have come from the same root but the wording has changed slightly. Are they saying the same thing and making the same point, or are these Masters focusing on a different facet of the same thing?


“Move the Qi like a curved thread with nine pearls without the slightest interruption.” From Kung Hsin Chieh …………
“To circulate the intrinsic energy through the body one must act as if one were passing a thread through a pearl having nine zig zag paths, a slow and even course that leaves no corner untouched.” From An Explanation Of The Thirteen Postures By Wang Chung-Yueh

Both of these may refer to the alignment of the nine joints/gates: ankles, knees, hips, spine, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers. But they may also refer to the nine angles of attack. They may refer to something altogether different. Let’s have a closer look at these pearls and their threads with the help of some simple graphics.

Taiji classics – the nine pearls threaded

Taiji Classics - The 9 pearls threaded, or the one pearl threaded 9 times.
Taiji Classics – The nine pearls threaded.
  • Even though the pearls (and the holes through them) are smooth and the silk thread is smooth, if there are gaps between the pearls then the thread can bend at sharp angles and increase friction and tension.
  • If the holes through the pearls are aligned they are more easily threaded but they do not have an influence on each other.
  • If the pearls are aligned and kept connected each has an influence on the rest.
  • If they are connected then there can only be shallow angles………. A close-set sting of pearls bends in an arc, keeping the friction to a minimum.
  • This connection of and lining up of the joints/gates allows for optimum Qi flow and it is synergistic in nature. So is this the lesson?

Taiji classics – the one pearl threaded nine times

Taiji Classics - The one pearl threaded nine times.
Taiji Classics – The one pearl threaded nine times.
  • With Taiji there is an element of physical defence so the Qi, and therefore the Po (body) must have the ability to flow unhindered to deal with attacks from the nine directions (Only eight arrows but the central red dot indicates a linear,straight on, attack).
  • With Taiji and Qigong it is emphasising the ability to create flow and focus of the Qi in any direction through both the physical and the energetic body.
  • In this example too there should be no sharp angles. Sharp angles necessitate stopping and starting. Soft angles, curves, allow you to maintain and increase the flow.
  • Once again, I am making an observation of one possible meaning of this touchstone. Is it the only meaning? What does it imply to you?

This is only one example but I feel that it is enough to whet the appetite for discussion. What do these two touchstones say to you? How do they affect the way that you practice your Taiji or Qigong? Answers on a postcard please, or just use the comments board………………..

Questions about The Five Taoist Yin

Working with the Yin Meridians - Metal
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Over the decades I have had the opportunity to answer many questions about the Five Taoist Yin (AKA the Five Yin) Qigong that have been asked by my students. I’m sure that there are plenty of other questions out there and that some practitioners may already be asking some of the same questions so I thought that it would be a good idea to add them to the Pro Holistic blog. That should, in theory at least, give practitioners who are not my direct students the chance to find the answers that they seek. If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box.

Question from Shaz

For the Metal / Lung exercise is there are correct way to rotate the hands? Do that rotate around the thumb, around the centre longest finger, around the baby finger). These all feel different to me so was wondering if there are any guidelines or suggestions.

Answer from Des

For the Lung exercise:-

  • Just turn the palm upwards without the need to focus on any particular axis (this is the same when you turn the palm downward). Your focus should already be on the thumb as you do this.
  • Then “extend” through the thumbs as you open the arms. By this I mean that you slightly stretch the thumbs physically (as though you were giving directions and pointing with the thumb) and, more importantly, guiding the Qi to LU11 and through it.
  • By having awareness of LU1 opening as you are conscious of the Qi extending through LU11 you will appreciate the connection between the two and gradually your experience of the entire energy field (meridian) will become more substantial.

Regards,
Des

Do you have questions about The Five Taoist Yin?

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth Qigong

connecting heaven and earth qigong
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Over the decades I have had very many questions about Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong asked of me. Many are repeated so I thought that it would be a good idea to add them to the Pro Holistic blog. That should, in theory at least, give practitioners who are not my direct students the chance to find the answers that they seek. If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box.

Question from Celeste

The embrace. You say in the set-up to cross the wrists as you link with CV-17. Are you using the inner and outer gate points (PC-6 and TW-5) at the same time you are moving the qi along the CV or is there some other reason you crossing at the wrists instead of say aligning the lao gung? Thank you.

Answer from Des

Hi Celeste,
There are two functions happening during this part of the exercise, both working with Chong Mai (the Thrusting Vessel).
Firstly, by crossing the wrists at HG6 (Nei Guan), you are activating Chong Mai.
Secondly, you are strengthening the connection between the Heart Chakra (Ren 17) and the Solar Plexus Chakra (Ren 12). Ren 12 is the gate, or connection, between the heavens (spiritual) and the earth (physical). This connection must be strong so that the heavens can meet the earth at the Dan Tien.

I know that different traditions have their own point from which they connect to the universe and I am not contradicting any of them. However, I was taught that we root through the feet because of gravity……….. rooting being a physical act. We also tend to use this direction when sinking the Qi. But at a more advanced level Ren 12 is used to connect with the universe (the Tao) with that connection radiating out in all directions.

Comment from Steven

This is a vital answer and information like this is needed to appreciate what the simple postures of this form are really doing for us. I would like to see a section added to the end of this course where Des describes what each posture is doing for us in terms of stimulating energy points and how that effects us. Without this information the student upon learning the form is still left wondering why he would want to continue doing the form. In other words, what am I supposed to be getting out of this? Knowing the benefits could be a great tool for motivation.

Reply to comment

Hello Steven,
It is understood that the Universe links us all (I don’t want to get too flowery here) and your message appears to be additional proof of that.

Less than 48 hours ago I was covering CH&E during the Qigong section of a class. I was explaining just how versatile, beneficial and powerful it is (No need to explain its beauty or the peace it brings as everyone who practices it experience that quickly). I went on to explain some of the movements and what they are producing in relation to opening points and stimulating Qi flow.

Some of the students had already experienced and acknowledged a few of these “triggers” but I could see their faces light up as other points of focus (“triggers”) were brought to their attention and they became aware of the changes in the Qi that were occurring.

So, as we finished, I thought it would be a good idea to add a short video to the online course………………… However, it would need be added to the end of a long list that I am working on…………… Your message has promoted it and I will try to get it filmed next week.

Thanks for the prompt!
Des

Reply from Steven

Thanks Des for the reply and the great news that eventually you will be adding an informative video to the course. Having a sense how thorough you endeavor to be, I thought my request might make sense to you. Almost every qigong dvd that I have seen neglects to provide enough information about what exactly is going on during the form. The result is that you might have found a diamond necklace but not knowing the value of it, you might consider it as a string of rocks and thus discard it too soon.
Steve


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Question from Joshua

Questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth - guiding the Qi.
Questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth – guiding the Qi.

Hi Des, just a question regarding where i should keep my awareness during the exercise. Should my mind be focusing on guiding the qi throughout the meridians mentioned on each exercise or should I just keep my mind empty and focus on listening/feeling where the qi goes during the exercise.
Thanks

Answer from Des

Hello Joshua,
Initially, as in the vast majority of Qigong exercises, you should focus on guiding the Qi through the meridians. In CH&E this is done by making sure that the postures are correct for you to open/activate the acupoints/meridians. Also by using the focus to actively guide the Qi along the meridians. Once you have practiced this way for a while you can move on to keeping the mind empty and “listening” to the Qi flow. Most students find that the transition from guiding to listening is done incrementally as they guide, then listen to make sure that they are accurate in the guidance.
Regards,
Des


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Question from Steven

Hi Des,
Next course? I have just learned Connecting Heaven and Earth and I would like to know how long should I wait until I then add the next course that I selected, The Embroidered Qigong? I plan to do both of them as part of my daily qigong practice.

Answer from Des

Hello Steven,
You can practice both in tandem as they are complementary. By doing this you should start to be aware of the differences in the Qi flow and the quality of the Qi from each. The Embroidered Brocade, practiced properly, will develop good posture and a quiet body/mind as well as providing the benefits from healthy Qi flow.

I know that there are a lot of “qigong” exercises being taught and it can be frustrating when there is a lack of progress. You might become more physically flexible and strong but there is no advancement with regards to your Qi. Take your time with the Qigong that I am teaching. Be diligent in your daily practice. Take time to listen to the Qi.

Through inexperience, I thought that I knew the Embroidered Brocade once I had learned the physical movements………. I hadn’t! I was doing slow aerobics. It took me a long time to understand the need for quiet. It took me a long time to truly experience Qi. In these courses I am guiding students so that they do not experience all the dead ends that I did before I found the right master, one who provided me with the compass I needed.

I “learned” the Embroidered Brocade over thirty years ago and I learned Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong twenty odd years ago………… and I am still learning from them and from the other Qigong that I practice. Treat your Qigong as an adventure, keep an open mind, keep a quiet body, and enjoy.

Regards,
Des


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Question from Robert


I have more questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth Qigong than any other set.

I notice that in the embrace then washing the face you have first the left then the right hand inside is there a reason for this please by the way the best description of listening jin I have heard.

Answer from Des

Hello Robert,
I am often asked this question, or similar questions, relating to the hands crossing in Qigong. There are two schools of thought……………… two answers……………….. but one of them can impede on your Qigong.

The first method is to alternate with each repetition. So it would be left, right, left, right, etc. This, like counting off exactly how many repetitions you are doing, takes your focus away from the Qigong. It weakens the Qigong. This is why I never use, or teach, this method.

The second is to let the hands/arms cross naturally. They will alternate to suit the needs of your Qi (not in a left, right, left, right pattern but they will alternate to maintain balance) as your consciousness guides the movement. This is when the Shen works in tandem with the Yi.

With no need to keep count, or to keep note of what way we are crossing the arms, we can focus the Yi on guiding the Qi. This is best practice for Qigong.
I hope that this is of help.

Regards,
Des


————————————–

Question from Steven

Hi Des,
Next course? I have just learned Connecting Heaven and Earth and I would like to know how long should I wait until I then add the next course that I selected, The Embroidered Qigong? I plan to do both of them as part of my daily qigong practice.

Answer from Des

Questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth - guiding the Qi.
Questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth – Practicing other Qigong in tandem.

Hello Steven,
You can practice both in tandem as they are complementary. By doing this you should start to be aware of the differences in the Qi flow and the quality of the Qi from each. The Embroidered Brocade, practiced properly, will develop good posture and a quiet body/mind as well as providing the benefits from healthy Qi flow.

I know that there are a lot of “qigong” exercises being taught and it can be frustrating when there is a lack of progress. You might become more physically flexible and strong but there is no advancement with regards to your Qi. Take your time with the Qigong that I am teaching. Be diligent in your daily practice. Take time to listen to the Qi.

Through inexperience, I thought that I knew the Embroidered Brocade once I had learned the physical movements………. I hadn’t! I was doing slow aerobics. It took me a long time to understand the need for quiet. It took me a long time to truly experience Qi. In these courses I am guiding students so that they do not experience all the dead ends that I did before I found the right master, one who provided me with the compass I needed.

I “learned” the Embroidered Brocade over thirty years ago and I learned Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong twenty odd years ago………… and I am still learning from them and from the other Qigong that I practice. Treat your Qigong as an adventure, keep an open mind, keep a quiet body, and enjoy.

Regards,
Des


————————————–

Do you have questions about Connecting Heaven & Earth?

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Questions about the Embroidered Brocade Qigong

questions about the embroidered brocade
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

These are some of the very many questions about the Embroidered Brocade Qigong that have been asked of me over the years and I wish that I had kept a note of all of them. Unfortunately I didn’t but these are some of the Qigong questions and answers that I do have on record. If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box and I will add to them

From Robert

i already do billowing sail slightly different as turning the wheel of heaven but here the breathing is opposite i am used to breathing out as i sink forward and in as i sink back what is the reason for this please des?
ps great course

Hi Robert, before I can give you an answer can you tell me if you practice “Turning the Wheel of Heaven”, with the front foot peeled and lifted off of the floor in the same way? Or do you practice with the feet kept on the floor but with the front toes and rear heel lifting alternately?
Des

From Robert:
the version i do is from robert pengs 8 cycle chi qong sit back toes from floor not lifting foot completely and sit forward back heel lifted the breathing is from traditional tai chi out moving forward in sitting back yours is great teaching back your post awarness and listening are priceless incidentally udemy seems to have a virus any lesson i click on is already completed and i have too reset everything also the last 2 questions i have had to post twice as they are not coming up hope you get this one?

Hello Robert,
externally, these exercises are similar but internally they working differently. However both are, primarily, working with Water (the Kidney and Bladder meridians).

The Billowing Sail

BThe Qi is drawn up through KD1 in the rear foot on the inhalation. On exhalation it is guided down to KD1 in the front foot. The lifting/flexing action of the front foot stimulates the Bladder and Kidney points in the ankle.
Why draw up and then expel? Even without using visualization (you can augment this if you wish by using visualization) you are circulating your Kidney Qi, drawing in fresh Qi and getting rid of stale Qi.


Turning the Wheel of Heaven

When practiced properly this exercise sinks the Qi through KD1 in the front foot before sinking it through KD1 in the rear foot. Again, the flexing of the feet stimulates the Bladder and Kidney points in the ankles.

Where this exercise often goes wrong:-

  • Overextension of the forward and rearward movement means that the physical root is not through KD1 and that impedes the practitioner’s ability to sink the Qi through this point.
  • Pushing down on the rear toes to lift the ankle (usually caused by too long a stance). The ankle should peel off of the floor as a result of the sinking into the front foot.
  • Both feet flexing at the same time.

To summarise:-

Billowing Sail circulates and replenishes KD Qi as well as enhancing the practitioner’s ability to sink the Qi.
Turning the Wheel of Heaven enhances the practitioer’s ability to sink the Qi and also stimulates KD Qi.

Regards,
Des

—————————————–

Do you have questions about the Embroidered Brocade Qigong?

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Working with the Yin Meridians

Heart Governror meridian
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

When working with the Yin Meridians, Qigong can have a profound effect on specific ailments and help provide a route back to well-being. Each Element has its own qualities and governs certain aspects of our being. Therefore they have an impact on ailments that are associated with the things that they govern.

In this article I am concentrating on the Yin Meridians but will do a follow up for the Yang. The benefits listed are only an example of what a Yin Qigong can be used for and, as the exercises do not all have the same effects, some are more efficacious than others for particular ailments.

Fire (HT & HG)

Classical functions: –

Heart

  • It controls the blood and the blood vessels.
  • It houses the Shen (consciousness).

Heart Governor

  • It protects the heart.
  • It governs the blood.
  • It houses the Shen.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this exercise include:-        

Working with the Yin Meridians - Fire
Working with the Yin Meridians – Fire
  • It can be used to Calm of the Shen (consciousness).
  • It can be used to treat insomnia, night sweats, tiredness, anxiety, irritability, and pre menstrual stress.
  • It can alleviate the symptoms of Angina pectoris, or any feeling of fullness or pain in the chest.
  • It can help alleviate heart palpitations, and reduce high blood pressure.

Earth (Sp)

Classical functions: –

  • It governs Transformation and Transportation.
  • It controls the blood, i.e. Keeping it within the blood vessels and making blood from food.
  • It controls the muscles and the limbs.
  • It controls the rising Qi (maintaining a balance with Stomach’s role in the controlling of descending Qi).
  • It houses the thought (Yi): thinking, studying, and concentration.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this exercise include:

Working with the Yin Meridians - Earth
Working with the Yin Meridians – Earth
  • It has a calming effect on the Yi (cognitive mind, the brain) and relieving insomnia.
  • It can be used to reduce menstrual problems (especially pain).
  • It might be used in treating reproductive disorders.
  • It can be used to alleviate abdominal distension, constipation, and diarrhoea.
  • Spleen exercises are also used in the treatment of oedema in the legs, and painful/swollen knees.

Metal (Lu)

Classical functions:-

  • It governs Qi and respiration.
  • It controls the circulation of Qi in the blood vessels and meridians.
  • It controls the dispersion and descending of Qi.
  • It regulates the water passages (through the dispersing and descending functions).

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this exercise include:-

Working with the Yin Meridians - Metal
Working with the Yin Meridians – Metal
  • Used to regulate Lung Qi.
  • It can benefit respiratory ailments such as Heat in Lungs, fever, coughs, asthma, breathing difficulties, chest pains, and shoulder pain.
  • It has a beneficial effect on tonsillitis, thirst, and excessive mucus.
  • It can also be used to alleviate grief and sadness.

Water (Kd)

Classical functions: –

  • It stores the Jing, governing birth, growth, development and reproduction.
  • It produces bone marrow, thus governing the bones, brain and blood production.
  • It governs Water, and the flow of body fluids.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this exercise include:-

Working with the Yin Meridians - Water
Working with the Yin Meridians – Water
  • Using it to tonify KD Qi
  • It is used for tonifying the Yin and Yang of the whole body.
  • Used for calming the Shen (consciousness), it calms the fire of Heart energy, alleviates insomnia, and regulates sweating.
  • It is also used to alleviate dizziness, deafness, tinnitus, and epilepsy.
  • It has a beneficial effect on the hormone system with regards to menstrual pain, irregular menstruation, amenorrhoea & dysmenorrhoea, and impotence.
  • Kidney Qigong is used to treat chronic pain lower back pain, acute cystitis, and urethritis.

Wood (Lv)

Classical functions: –

  • It stores blood.
  • It maintains harmonious and unobstructed flow of Qi, allowing good body function, especially in relation to; (a) emotional activities, such as anger and mental depression; (b) In promoting the flow of energy to the other organs (c) In producing bile and affecting the secretion of bile.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this exercise include:-

Working with the Yin Meridians - Wood
Working with the Yin Meridians – Wood
  • It promotes the smooth flow of Liver Qi.
  • It can be used to treat migraine headaches, tension headaches, muscular cramps, and tight tendons.
  • It has a calming effect on bad temper.
  • It relieves Damp, urine retention, and burning urination.
  • It can be used to help strengthen the Spleen Qi and eliminate stagnation of the Spleen Qi ( some symptoms of which are distension & belching)

As with anything in life, the more you put in the more you get out. Your Qigong must be regular, and must be properly and diligently practiced for the benefits to be gained. Remember that Qigong is the art of working with Qi and not the art of swinging your arms about while bobbing up and down………….. 😉

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Five Taoist Yin Qigong – Course Feedback

The Five Taoist Yin Qigong - Fire
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

From Marina

“The best, most detailed, course in everything-important tai chi. The teacher is sincere in striving to relate all the nuances. LOVE this course and very much appreciate!”

From Arvind

“A very Good Course! and Useful.”

From Stephen

“Yes. It delivered fast effective results in a short amount of time.”

From Jenny

“Very clear and expert instruction”

From Livia

“The Five Taoist Yin Qigong” course offers detailed instruction and explanations regarding both internal and external aspects of the practice in addition to the instructor modelling poses, often shown from two angles and with arrows and lines added to highlight key areas of attention in posture and activation of qi: Des Lawton demonstrates teaching-integrity and respect for his students, and knows how to facilitate student understanding, awareness and true progress, encouraging the students’ desire to learn. I’ve taken other courses from people who may know how to go through the outer movements with good form themselves and have impressive “temple” credentials and an exotic nationality, but they lack the ability to impart knowledge which is the essential attribute of a teacher and also calls into question their own depth of understanding. Other aspects of this course that lead to more rapid personal growth are paradoxically the emphasis on 1) form and awareness versus speed and 2) cultivation of listening jing, which both initially require an exercise of patience. The course supplemental materials are helpful, including the subtitles, and it is also a tremendous resource that Mr. Lawton makes himself available to answer questions.”

From Lesley

“A great wealth of detail presented in a very clear way. Following the instructor as he carries out the exercise gives me a chance to experience the ‘Chi’ flow. Setting and quality of the recording (picture and sound) is excellent.”

From Mike

“I like the instructor’s openness with regard to his own experiences and his aims for the course. The lessons which he intends to impart will lead to a truer understanding of Chi.”

From Kevin

“Very detailed and useful. I feel that this is authentic qigong with all the benefits that go with it.”

From Tanner

“clearest Wuji stance definition I’ve ever received :)”

From Ruth

“Excellent course and detailed instructions as to how to do the movements – in particular the Wuji stance is explained in detail and very thoroughly. This stance has such a lot of different and confusing explanations online and in Qigong/Tai Chi books.”

From Mlnaa

“Very good explanations and contextualisation; the subtitles reinforce the very valuable content.”

This is just some of the feedback from our online Five Taoist Yin Qigong course. Pro Holistic also runs this course in Scotland as well as providing Qigong workshops for other organisations and schools. Please contact us if you require further details or would like us to teach a workshop, or course, for you.

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Course Feedback – The Eight Exceptional Vessels

From Tracy

“A great Teacher of Qigong, it was a privilege to take this course! I could feel the Qi moving while performing each exercise. Quick response to questions asked, much appreciated! I look forward to taking more courses in the future. Humble thanks!”

the eight exceptional vessels qigong
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton


From Kevin

“Very clear, detailed and authentic.”

From Jake

“Another good course from Des Lawton. From the course introduction and explanation of terms which are nice and clear, to the well structured lessons with lots of detail of what to focus on which enhances the exercises the course is well authored. Des is certainly well versed in Qi gong and has a good presentation manner which makes learning enjoyable. For me this course has enhanced my understanding of the workings of Qi gong and will improve my practice of other forms. I would recommend this course to both beginners and experienced practitioners as it is written and presented in such a way as to be easily followed by either.”

From Gunhild

“informative – easy to understand – deep – applicable – wonderful”

From Frank

“Thanks Des-I’ve been ‘practising’ Tai chi and qigong for many years and not been taught properly and was confused by the flowery language that often seemed more like poetry than guidelines.Your two current online courses turn theory into application and precise practice in very effective ways for me.I look forward to absorbing this knowledge at a gentle pace;so it’s great to have it available whenever I need it.”

From Mary

“I found this course to be well organized and well presented, by an instructor who clearly embodies the Qigong he has learned. The content is excellent. Thank you.”

This is some of the feedback from our online Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong course. Pro Holistic also runs this course in Scotland as well as providing Qigong workshops for other organisations and schools. Please contact us if you require further details or would like us to teach a workshop, or course, for you.

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Course Feedback – Connecting Heaven and Earth

Course Feedback - Connecting Heaven and Earth
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

From Linda

“Excellent course. The instructor is very knowledgeable, and explains all aspects of qigong very thoroughly. I would definitely recommend this course.”

From Marion

“enjoyed course learned several things I did not know even though I have been practising Tai Chi for a number of years.”

From Nick

“As a complete beginner to Qigong the pace, explanation and content is well presented and easy to understand.”

From Patricia

“This course is excellent! the pace is perfect with detailed instructions, the camera angles of the instructor, along with the meridian lines and points are also very helpful. The instructor is 100% knowledgeable and sincere.”

From Craig

“course is well structured and very detailed, using the methods taught in the syllabus i feel more confident of my practice of this qigong sequence and have a better understanding of the internal aspects of the practice to focus the mind to develop my practice. The individual break down of each movement is very helpful and gives you the internal meridian points to focus your mind on as you perform each movement, the completed sequence is very calming and i can already feel improved reduction in tension throughout the body the longer i perform the movements. The listening exercises are interesting and the changes in sensations vary with time and focus during practice . i would highly recommend this course for beginners and experienced qigong practitioners.”

From Frank

“Very comprehensive and multi-layered:a real masterclass!”

From Karen

“Excellent course. Clear and detailed video instruction building up the set/sequence slowly and carefully. Great student support. A real sense of one-to-one teaching with a personal touch from an expert.”

From Jake

“Introduction to self and Qigong very clear and understandable. The explanation of key words by text where the learner can review them later is very helpful, (also a good reminder for experienced learners). Breakdown of the moves were very well explained and gave ample time to practise. Explanations were very clear and understandable and directions easy to follow. Demonstration of the full movement was again very clear to follow and gave ample time to practice. Overall I feel this course was well put together, well presented and met the expectations. Course is ideal for both beginning and experienced learners, I myself was reminded of many aspects in relation to my Qigong practice which is always helpful. Having attended courses delivered in person by Des Lawton I can see that he has applied the same open indepth instruction here as he does in person. I would recommend this course to those new to Qigong and experienced practitioners.”

This is just some of the feedback from our online Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong course. Pro Holistic also runs this course in Scotland as well as providing Qigong workshops for other organisations and schools. Please contact us if you require further details or would like us to teach a workshop, or course, for you.

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Listening Jing – enhance your Qigong

Without Listening Jing (listening to the Qi) you cannot do Qigong.  Without listening you are merely doing aerobic exercises.

Disconnected piano keys

Listening Jing - Piano hammers and strings
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Imagine a piano where the keys are not connected to the hammers.  Every key sounds the same, the same dull clunk.  It is only when the key is re-attached that the strings can be hit and the note can be heard.  Qigong is like this.  The focus, the movement (in the case of active Qigong), and the breathing act like the hammers in the piano.  They connect the physical to the energetic.  It is only when you have this connection that hear the vibration and listen to the changes that are occurring, in the body/mind/spirit.  The more you listen, the more you connect the keys and hammers, the greater the range of qualities of Qi you will experience.

Using Listening Jing takes your Qigong to new levels……………..

San Bao School has a Facebook group where Qigong enthusiasts, students and teachers exchange ideas and ask Qigong related questions. You can find it here – San Bao Qigong

Course Update – The Exceptional Vessels

the eight exceptional vessels qigong
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

The 2019 courses are all filling (The Five Taoist Yin is already fully booked) earlier than usual. If you are interested in coming to the Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong you had better not wait too long as there are only three spaces left.

The Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong exercises work with the Qi that is stored in the Extraordinary Meridians (AKA the Exceptional Vessels).  The Exceptional Vessels 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 but these focus on the deeper, almost tidal, energy that make up those reservoires.

As 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

Feedback from previous courses: –

  • “…………. 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.”
  • “……….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!”
  • “A great Teacher of Qigong, it was a privilege to take this course! I could feel the Qi moving while performing each exercise. Quick response to questions asked, much appreciated! I look forward to taking more courses in the future. Humble thanks!”

Course date: Saturday 23/03/2019

Details here – The Exceptional Vessels

Stress and Respiration – Breathe your stress away

Stress and Respiration

stress management - stressed out
#stress #SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

The relationship between stress and respiration is a chicken and egg one.  Which came first? 

  • Psychological stress impacts on respiration.  It often induces shallower, more rapid, breathing.
  • Shallow, rapid, breathing can induce physiological stress that causes physical anxiety.  Those feelings of anxiety that are often described as “butterflies”, the ones that can make you feel sick.
  • Those symptoms of physical stress lead to a deepening of psychological stress.
  • Combined, they set a detrimental cycle in motion.  A cycle that grows in strength unless it is broken.

So it appears that the question of which came first is not really relevant.  What is relevant is that we are empowered to break the cycle by learning how to regulate our breathing.

Stress and Respiration – Where are you placed?

What is your respiration rate?  Breathing at your normal rate, how many times do you respire (breath in and out) per minute?  Go on, test yourself but do not force yourself to breathe slowly………. Breathe at your normal rate. It is not a competition! 12 to 16 respirations per minute is good………. Upwards of 16 is not so good…………….. 20+ and you are heading for the realms of hyperventilation.

Stress and Respiration – Using the cycle beneficially

Qigong exercises utilise relaxed, deep, abdominal breathing to calm the body and the mind.  They are simple and effective, and only take a few minutes to do.  They lower both psychological and physiological stress through the use of biofeedback.

  • The practitioner does the exercise at their own respiration rate (this can be high to begin with).
  • The focus on the breathing and the repetitive movement starts to affect the brainwave pattern, lowering it to Alpha wave.
  • Alpha relaxes the body and the breathing becomes more relaxed and deeper.
  • This, in turn, lowers the brainwave pattern further and induces further relaxation and a feeling of wellbeing.

Practiced on a regular basis, the practitioner’s respiration becomes slower, deeper, and more relaxed.  This can stop the stress cycle from being formed and induces calmness even in stressful situations.

Abdominal Breathing

Before moving on to the Qigong video I would like to give some instructions on how to practice abdominal breathing, using the diaphragm muscle and the abdominal muscles to increase your intake of air. This can be practiced either standing or when lying in the supine (on your back) position.

Stress and respiration - abdominal breathing
  • Place your hands over your lower abdomen and feel for it expanding and contracting. Don’t worry if you do not feel this as you are in the majority. Most adults shallow breathe to the chest.
  • Keeping your hands in the same position, on inhalation gently force that expansion. Gently does it because later on there will be no need for this forcing.
  • On exhalation, let the abdominal muscles relax before applying a small amount of tension to pull up to and slightly under the ribs.
  • On inhalation, relax and let the abdomen expand.
  • Follow this pattern and visualize this expansion getting larger and larger and, before long, you will no longer need to force it as the relaxation becomes enough.
  • Daily, regular, practice will eventually educate your body to adopt this natural, more efficient, way of breathing.

Stress and Respiration – Pressing Palms in Calmness

In this short video I will show you a very simple Qigong exercise called “Pressing Palms in Calmness”. This Qigong has been practiced for thousands of years and it does what it says on the tin as it lowers stress and anxiety. I can vouch for it and it has been tried, tested and given the thumbs up by students and clients.

Then, once you have had a chance to become familiar with the Qigong you can then compare how you feel, and also compare your respiration rate before and after practice.

This video is for demonstration purposes only and is not meant as a teaching tool. It is vital that the Qigong are carried out correctly for their full benefits to be appreciated and to do this the practitioner needs to be aware of, and to make use of, all the subtleties that lie within the movements. This is why this video can only go part way to convey the Internal workings of Qigong and trying to understand what is happening by merely following a video is not enough. However, even by copying the movement and breathing, some benefits may still be felt.

I hope that you find this Qigong useful.
Des

Interested in Qigong? Why not join our Qigong community on Facebook. We are a group of friendly practitioners who are keen to share their experience! Click here to request to join – San Bao Qigong

The therapies provided by Pro Holistic are of a Complementary nature. You are advised, in the first instance, to consult a medical practitioner in order that you receive a medical diagnosis. Self-diagnosis is not recommended and internet-based advice is no substitute for a face-to-face visit with a medical practitioner.

Course Feedback – The Embroidered Brocade Qigong

embroidered brocade - white crane
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

From Kevin

” Very well explained and demonstrated.”

From Lesley

” Very clear instructions, easy to follow. Sound and picture quality excellent.”

From James

” It is useful in expanding knowledge of Qigong, It is also a useful reminder if you are a visual learner as its handy to see the moves being done.”

This is just some of the feedback from our online Embroidered Brocade Qigong course. Pro Holistic also runs this course in Scotland as well as providing Qigong workshops for other organisations and schools. Please contact us if you require further details or would like us to teach a workshop, or course, for you.

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Thinking About Insomnia Keeps Me Awake!


#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Everyone has one of those nights when they cannot drop off to sleep. Insomnia on one of those nights is not a problem but when it runs to two, three,four and more there is most definitely a problem. Our sleeping hours turn into hours of restlessness and the hours when we should be awake and alert we find ourselves half asleep and unable to function properly.

This article is most definitely not anti Western Medicine. I am not saying that one system is better than the other. They both have their place and can, should, be used to complement each other.

From an Allopathic (Western) Medicine viewpoint there are many reasons for insomnia such as: stress, anxiety, depression, worry, grief, anger,chronic pain, neurological conditions, trauma, etc. Each of these causes are treated differently and usually treated with the use of drugs.

I want to focus on the causes of insomnia that are of a mental nature and how Eastern Medicine, in particular Shiatsu and Qigong, can have a beneficial impact. Rather than seeing stress, anxiety, depression,worry, grief and anger as six different causes I want to break the cause of insomnia into two sources. The two causes of overactive thoughts are the brain(the Yi) and the consciousness (the Shen). Each has its own patterns, or symptoms.

  • If your inability to sleep is because you are thinking about particular things (eg. Planning for an event) then it is the Yi,the brain, that is overactive.
  • Is your head filled with random thoughts that jump about, continually vying to attract your attention…………. like a hundred chattering monkeys? Then it is the Shen, your consciousness that is disturbed.

If the incidence of insomnia is recent I would recommend that you use self Shiatsu as a method. Or if it is chronic I recommend that you learn and practice the Qigong on a daily basis as well as using self Shiatsu immediately before going to bed. The need for the self Shiatsu should diminish as the effects of the Qigong become stronger.

Overactive brain – calming the Yi


Self Shiatsu for insomnia

foot Yi points - shiatsu for insomnia

There are a couple of acupuncture points that you can stimulate, using finger pressure, to calm the brain down. The points are Stomach 42 and Spleen 1, both of which are on the feet. You should apply finger pressure for between 10 and 15 seconds, making sure that your entire focus is on applying this.

Qigong for insomnia

There is one exercise that I recommend and teach to my clients, it is called “Pressing Palms in Calmness” and there are two versions. As the written instructions can only go so far in communicating the necessary information to practice Qigong properly and efficiently, it is preferable to learn from a qualified teacher.

With the feet shoulder width apart (in Wuji stance), stand with the arms held in front of the waist. Rest the tip of your tongue on the palate, just behind the front teeth. Breathe through the nose and concentrate your breath on the lower abdomen.

  1. Inhalation – Turn the palms upward so that the fingers are pointing towards each other, and lift the hands level with the forehead.
  2. Exhalation – Turn the palms downward, form a triangle by connecting the two index fingers and the two thumbs, and press down until the hands are level with the lower abdomen (the Dan Tien).
  3. Separate the hands and return to the starting posture.
  4. Repeat.

As a general rule, repeat about eight times although you might want to do more.

Overactive mind – calming the Shen


Self Shiatsu

Heart Governor 8 - shiatsu for insomnia

There is one acupuncture point that you can stimulate this time, again using finger pressure. This point is heart Governor 8 and it is located on the palm of the hand. You should apply finger pressure for between 10 and 15 seconds, making sure that your entire focus is on applying this.

Qigong

With the feet shoulder width apart (in Wuji stance), stand with the arms held in front of the waist. Rest the tip of your tongue on the palate, just behind the front teeth. Breathe through the nose and concentrate your breath on the lower abdomen.

  1. Inhalation – Turn the palms upward so that the fingers are pointing towards each other, and lift the hands level with the forehead.
  2. Exhalation – Turn the palms downward and press down, with the middle fingers pointing towards each other until they are level with the lower abdomen (the Dan Tien).
  3. Separate the hands and return to the starting posture.
  4. Repeat.

As a general rule, repeat about eight times although you might want to do more.

Sleep tight!
Des

Interested in Qigong?Why not join the San Bao Qigong community on Facebook. We are a group of friendly practitioners who are keen to share their experience! Click here to request to join – sanbaoschool.co.uk/community

Qigong for Back Pain – Which is Best

I’m often asked which is the best Qigong for back pain. There are a number of exercises that I teach any of my Shiatsu clients who have chronic back pain, each tailored to the individual, and always with the advice that they are practiced to the easy motion barrier (To the point BEFORE it becomes painful). I have listed three of them at the end of this article but first let’s look at the lower back and one of the common problems associated with it.

Your back is more, much more, than just your spine. It is an evolutionary marvel that works 24 hours a day, all year round, even when you sleep, to support your upper body.

Flaws and Problems

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However it is a marvel that is prone to flaws………… One of those “flaws” being hyperlordosis, commonly referred to simply as lordosis.  The S shape of the lower back, known as the lordotic curve, is natural in humans and it is this curve that aligns the upper body so that its weight is carried evenly by the pelvis. It allows humans to be truly bipedal and upright.

If the lordosis becomes exaggerated it can cause excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments as well as tilting the pelvis forward and placing more pressure on the discs. This leads to weakness and the possibility of chronic lower back pain.

Using Qigong to Treat Lower Back Pain

Using almost any Qigong exercise that utilises Wuji stance can help alleviate lower back pain. However for them to work the stance MUST be correct so that hyperlordosis is reduced through relaxation and not through additional tension to allow the coccyx to tuck/roll under. It is fundamental that Wuji is learned and used before the real benefits can be found.

Very often, when the lower back becomes weak, there is a knock on effect and the upper back, the shoulders and the neck tense up as they try to lend support.

Recommended Qigong for Back Pain

This list of Qigong exercises is far from comprehensive but each of them is extremely beneficial in relieving lower back pain, including chronic pain. They work with the meridians and acupuncture points that are associated with lower back pain as well as releasing tension in the muscles while simultaneously increasing their tone.

Qigong for back pain. Embroidered Brocade Qigong - Folding Over
Folding Over – Leg Yang movement

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

Udemy Codes

the eight exceptional vessels qigong
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This is the list of our current discount Udemy codes for our online courses at Udemy:

The Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong

Working with the Qi of the Extraordinary Meridians.

We are currently offering a 66% Udemy codes discount on this course……….. So you get it for £20.00!
Get your discount here – Coupon

Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong

A Five Elements, stand-alone Qigong exercise.

We are currently offering a 66% Udemy codes discount on this course……….. So you get it for £20.00!
Get your discount here – Coupon

The Five Taoist Yin Qigong

We are currently offering a 66% Udemy codes discount on this course……….. So you get it for £20.00!
Get your discount here – Coupon

The Embroidered Brocade Qigong

We are currently offering a 66% Udemy codes discount on this course……….. So you get it for £20.00!
Get your discount here – Coupon