Dragon Qigong

The method for practicing the Taoist qi-gong

This Qigong method is a prolonged technique for qi cultivation and movement, practitioners need person-to-person coaching and demonstration by instructor at the very beginning stage, and they would successfully pass the junior stage, the pathway of the qi flow is very unique, all concerns must be guided personally by an experienced instructor.

This type of qigong method is based on the curve path as the Yin and Yang fishes illustrated in the Eight Diagrams symbol, the qi flow is circulated around the whole of a body according to the rule of conversion between

Yin and Yang. Nose is used for in breath which is taken from external air

under the direction of mind thinking and moved downward to the throat, same as swallowing of water down through the throat (while the qi is sunk to the throat before the qi flow from breathing reaches the level of eyebrow. Herewith, the body posture should be “hold in the chest” and “sink the shoulder”, a slightly opening mouth, upper and lower tooth touching together, and tongue raised up, with convergent gaze, the whole body loosened up, the vertebra at the back become a bit bending shape as the “body portrait of monkey”. Any move in connection with the posture should be in a state of “closing stance “, virtually a Yin nature of body

posture. As the breath continues downward to the “Tan-zhong Acupoint” and drawn in there. And when the qi is then mindfully directed to the “Ming Men” acu-point which is located at the kidney level of the back spine, “hip squat with the drawn in belly”, two legs slackened with the knees slightly bent, physical tactics are “mind concentrated on Ming Men, relaxing belly for sinking the condensed qi into bones”, then direct the qi downward along the “Chang Qiang Point (GV1)” up to the perineum point, as the relaxed upper part of body sitting on a chair, the weight of the body is supported by the feet, mostly will be on the heels. Up to the moment, “tucking the tailbone under and hang up the

crotch” being carried out at the same time. As the qi pass the “perineum” and becomes a state of the “lifted crotch”, then contracting the lower private parts, when drawing back the lifted lower belly the in-breathing will be converted into the out-breathing, When taking breath the mouth and nose remain open, up and lower tooth are separated, the tongue is falling down, when uplifting the head “an substantial energy leads to the head upward”, the qi should be directed to the “Huang Ting Point” and the “Ming Men Point”. The qi will go through the throat to the crown of head. At this point the spine of the body is upward extended and erect with relaxed mind, and loosened shoulders and chest slightly popped out, all muscles and the skeleton are openly stretched out, raised up right neck

“energy drawn to the crown of the head”, the mind is concentrated on “Bai Hui Point”. A process of breath has been completed, a conversion between the Yin and the Yang, a body respiration containing both internal and external movements has been fully completed.

Mind must be concentrated when doing exercises, the direction of the qi should follow the arc path as the figure 8, all beginners must follow the feeling of a conversion between Yin and Yang by association on the procedures along the route of the qi movement, and every reaction on the body, consultation with an coaching master should be sought after in time as any question or doubt arising.

Long term consistent practicing of the qigong of “Circulation Internally in Dan-tian” and “keeping mind on Ming Men” could be the way to cure a variety of normal deceases, such as hormone imbalance, adenitis, heart diseases, gout diseases, naturopathic diseases, high or low blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, gastroptosis, prolepses of the uterus, prostate diseases, hemorrhoid, sexual function, sexual dysfunction, degenerative spondylolisthesis, hucklebone neuralgia, and frozen shoulder etc. chronic diseases as well as injuries on body and repetitive pains, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis etc. that relate to the pains resulting from illnesses of muscles and skeleton. Hypo genesis, brutishness and constitutional debility among children, physical functional retrogression among aging people group etc., the rehabilitation therapy process can be carried out at step-by-step through the meditation practice.

Introduction to “Circulation Internally in Dan-tian”

Taoist Qi-gong has a history of over a few thousand years, “Dan-tian Qi-gong” is one of them. “Alchemy of Elixir” is an ancient Chinese doctor who placed herbs in pot, and made them decocted by fire till they formed into the shape of pills, they were the medicines released to patients. While “Immortalizing Qi-gong” namely “Dan-tian Qi-gong” is an imagination of the “alchemy” process conducted within the inner body, wishing great fitness and healthy longevity for life.

The following text gives out a brief introduction to the “Dan-tian Qi-gong” in the form of the “Circulation Internally in Dan-tian” as practicing “keeping mind on Ming Men and direct the qi adhering to the back”, and the “loosening belly and sinking the qi permeating into bones” of tai chi. The exercises can be repetitive, and also combined into the moves in a whole form of tai chi practice, in a way of “internal and external simultaneously”, fundamentally it becomes the “Qigong Tai Chi Quan”.

The qigong is a “moving” in nature but not “static”, it must be conducted in connection with physical movements. The consciousness must accord to the thoughts of Lao Zi, so as to guide absorbed “external qi” along specified path of inner body in a way of “specially led qi for effective softness”, and also it must be completed in cooperation with the body movements in the form of deep breathing at the belly. All actions of tai chi chuan move must be gently at an even speed, it follows the rule of inter conversion between “Yin and Yang” as to infinite opening and closing, drawing in and give out functional organs of internal and external body, effectively and smoothly transfer fresh oxygen to all parts of a body, and feed sufficient supplies evenly to every part of a body, physical functions are enhanced dramatically, then the objective of heath maintenance would be reached.

From the perspective of qi-gong, traditional Chinese medicine assets that vigor (vital energy) is determined by the level of strength. A person who has a good state of vigor is in a healthy condition, vise verse an unhealthy condition. “Oxygen” is so vital in West medicine, Oxygen would be used for any patient in a first aid setting, followed by normal treatment. However, oxygen therapy would benefit patients only by the successful supply of oxygen to the body, while, the jargon “clearing up channels and collaterals (meridian)”, “going through acupuncture points” used in the Chinese medicine, which just refers to the aim to increase the supply of oxygen.

“Oxygen” and “Alchemy of Elixir” is interrelated, fire needs “oxygen” to burn. According to the doctrines of Chinese medicine, the “Ren and Du Meridians” are the most important acu-point part in human body, where the “Ming Men Point” of the “Du Meridian” denotes “fire”, the “Ming Men” refers to the gate of life, life relies on heat energy, “Ming Men Point” is a place for producing heat energy. “Ming Men Point” is between two kidneys of the lower back spine at about the level of waist, kidney denotes water in the doctrine of “acupuncture points of channels and collaterals”, a warm temperature of the “water” indicates a normal condition of kidney, lower temperature of the “water” indicates a poor function of the part, colloquially it is said the “vital energy” is undergoing declined.

The ancients regarded “Ming Men Point” as a burner, the kidneys residing each aside were imaged as two pots of water, “Ming Men Point” located between the second and third lumbar vertebrae, just beneath the two kidneys, and opposite the navel. When practicing the Qigong of “keeping mind on Ming Men”, the “Oxygen” breathed in is consciously directed to the “burner”, “Ming Men Point”, and opening/closing motions are carried out simultaneously, as if the temperature of charcoal fire in stove is intensified by drawing and pushing the handle on bellows for smelting iron in ancient time, the “fire” of Ming Men is getting exuberant heat, consequently the kidneys and even the whole body are getting warmed up. Warmed energy represents the vital strength of the functions on human body. The purpose of practicing Qigong is to practice “Energy, Qi, Spirit”, bone marrow in the vertebrae represents the physical modality of “energy, qi, sprit” which is closely related to the condition of whole body and even the health of next generation.

There is a strict set of criteria on this type of qigong practicing, beginners have to receive direct coaching and demonstrative instruction personally from instructor for a successful completion rather than self studying by reading.

Master Ho developed his own style of Qi Gong is accordance with the ancient Taoists principle of “keeping the mind at Ming Men”. The long time practitioners of this Qi Gong will enjoy a range of benefits, including but not limited to reduction in weight, increased flexibility and generally a healthier body.

Unlike other forms for Qi,Gong, Master Ho’s style focuses on drawing the breath down towards the Ming Men. The Ming Men is located on the back, beneath the kidneys and opposite the navel. In Master Ho’s Qi Gong, the Ming Men should be thought of as a pump or a sponge. When the spine contracts or expands, the Ming Men would also contract or expand, drawing in or pushing out the Qi inside the body according the practitioners will.

An important point to remember when practicing this Qi Gong is to relax. Relaxing allows the Qi to flow through the body freely and unhindered by any tension. The idea of relaxing is to let loose of any and all muscles that are not needed to perform actions. A good thing to remember is to clear your mind and focus on your breathing. To think of any part of your body is to create a force or tension in that part of the body.

Stand up with the spine straight and shoulders relaxed, like a string suspending your head from ceiling. The legs should be a little less than shoulder width apart, making sure not to straighten them fully. Hands should be relaxed and hanging loosely by your side. Rest the tongue on the soft pallet behind the upper teeth. This is to prevent you from breathing through the mouth. This would be the starting position.

2. Breathe in slowly through the nose while tucking your tail bone (coccyx) under. Lower your head a couple centimetres as if you are helping the breath move downwards.

Focus your attention on the breath going down your throat, in through the chest meridian (Tan Chung) and sinking downwards as if being drawn in by the Ming Men. As you continue tucking in your tail bone, your knees would bend slightly and your weight should gradually shift towards your heels. As your breath/attention reaches the Ming Men your body weight should be almost, if not fully on your heels, with the body in the posture of a monkey.

In: (1) Feel the breath enter through the nose, the chin tucks slightly. (2) The head nods more down as the breath passes down the throat (3) The energy moves through the lung, the chest opens towards the back to let the energy move to the back. (4) The energy moves to the Ming Mun point between the kidneys in the spine. At this time, the back is rounded. (5) the energy moves down along the tail bone, the back becomes more rounded. (6) the energy moves to the perineum, which then contracts to lift the energy up to the genitals which are point (7). From there the energy moves back to the Ming Mun point.

Out: From the Ming Mun the energy moves up along the spine and it is important to note that the energy moves not only up the spine, but from everywhere in the body at the level of the Ming Mun (the entire belly). Thee feeling is like steam lifting up and stretching the entire body. The energy moves to the top of the heat (Ba Hui point)

Additional details:

The action of tucking in the tail bone will naturally make your lower back start curving outward. This movement contracts the Ming Men which helps draw the breath downwards through the Tan Chung, and into the Ming Men – like a pump. This movement would also cave the shoulders inward slightly which would help the breath sink down towards the Ming Men. By the time your breath reaches the Ming Men, the shoulders should be slightly caved in, the lower back curved, and the legs slightly bent, hence the body posture should look like that of a monkey.

3. Continue breathing in slowly and focus on the breath moving from the Ming Men down towards the tailbone, through the perineum (space between anus and groin) and into the testicles for males or womb for females.

The movement of your body should follow the movement of your breath, with the tail bone moving forward and up in a circular motion. The lower back should start to straighten up, as the body begins to rise. Your weight should begin to shift towards the Yong Quan points on the front of your foot, raising the heels. Remember that your breathing and movements should be synched. From here the body continues to rise as the breath gets drawn in back towards the Ming Men through the Hei Hoi (Meridian just below the navel).

Additional details:

When moving the tail bone up in a circular motion, imagine a hand on your lower back pushing up diagonally, this is useful in preventing you from sticking your back out too much. The transfer of the weight from the heel to the front of your foot should be smooth and controlled, following the movement of your breath and body. Again, imagine the Ming Men as a pump when performing the circular movement with your tail bone – When the tail bone moves forward and up, the Ming Men Pushes the breath out towards the groin. When the breath reaches the groin, the Ming Men draws the breath up towards itself like a vacuum, hence the breath moves around in a circle, with the pushing and pulling action of Ming Men.

4. Once the breath has reached the Ming men, begin to exhale slowly through the mouth, in synch with your rising body. When exhaling, the breath should move up the spine from the Ming Men towards the crown of your head.

As the breath reaches the crown it should be released through the crown. At this point your weight should be fully on the front of your feet, resting on the Yong Quan points. The spine should be straight with the chest slightly out and head raised as if a string is suspending it from the ceiling. The knees should be slightly bent.

Additional details:

When exhaling, it should be as if the breath is hot air coming out from the stomach. The spine should continue to straighten up as your body continues to rise and the body weight shifts towards the front of your foot. With the body straightening, the Ming Men will expand and push the gathered breath upwards towards the head.

General Considerations:

One breath usually takes around six to ten seconds to complete, but generally the slower you do this Qi Gong, the better. Slight discomfort may be felt at first, but with practice the body will loosen up and will attain comfort whilst practicing.

The abdominal muscles should be relaxed at all times as you are not using them to perform the actions required for this Qi Gong. Remember to concentrate on your breath, following its every move. It may be hard to concentrate at first, but with practice you will eventually be able to physically feel the Qi, which would help you with your concentration.