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Qigong

This is from my teacher of Shibashi "I have recently received many emails from students asking if there is any particular Qigong they can do to protect themselves amid the current coronavirus epidemic. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your best weapon against this kind of outbreak is your own immunity. Here is a qigong practice to strengthen your immunity. http://youtu.be/ROCyfHthxlI


Qi Gong Shibashi


Qi gong is designed to improve health and wellbeing by increasing the subtle energy (chi/qi) in the body. IT IS DEEPLY FOCUSED ON WORKING WITH OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND ACTIVATING OUR HEALING CAPACITY. Its gentle rocking and stretching movements massage the internal organs, improve circulation and digestion. The chest exercises and controlled breathing are good for lung conditions and asthma. It activates and improves mental capacity by learning and remembering a new skill. Helps co-ordinate movement, mind and breath to create a calm, tension free body. It increases agility, flexibility, balance; strenghtening joints and muscles. It is relaxing and enjoyable to do.


Shibashi is easy to learn and can be done from a chair. In Malaysia and Indonesia it is considered a national exercise and over 10 million people practice it worldwide. Qi gong means energy exercise and Shibhashi means 18 movements (shi=10, ba=8, shi=movement) therefore it is an energy exercise of 18 movements, each working of specific energy meridians of the body (i.e. heart, liver, kidneys etc.) Qi gong Shibashi was developed in 1979 by Professor Lin Hou-Sheng, a renowned Qigong Master, Scientist and Master Healer.


My focus is on qigong as it has a meditative quality to it and works specifically with the energy systems of the body.  I have attended classes and workshops over the years and also spent four years learning the Tai Chi short form, which I found difficult to learn.  When I heard of Shibashi as a simpler and easy form to learn and remember,  I went on a teachers training course.


Spring 2018 saw me return for a course with Sifu on Qigong methods for treating different health challenges. 19 different areas were covered using specific movements, sounds, acupressure points and massage. These I will be incorporating into my classes as and when appropriate.


THIS IS RECENT EMAIL FROM MY TEACHER WHO IS IN RETREAT CONCERNING COVID 19 VIRUS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. I AM CURRENTLY DOING THE COURSE WHICH IS A FOLLOW ON FROM THE ABOVE


I have recently received many emails from students asking if there is any particular Qigong they can do to protect themselves amid the current coronavirus epidemic. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your best weapon against this kind of outbreak is your own immunity. There is no need to panic. Stress will only decrease your resistance. If you have subscribed to my newsletter long enough, you should remember I introduced a qigong practice to strengthen your immunity. Here is the link again: http://youtu.be/ROCyfHthxlI


Let’s look at the statistics coming from China, so we can understand how important it is to have a strong immunity. Most of those who died from this virus were over 60 and/or had pre-existing conditions which compromised health. One’s immunity often decreases with age and older people are more likely to have health issues. The mortality rate for those who had cardiovascular disease is about 20%, the highest among all pre-conditions. If you have cardiovascular disease, besides the qigong for immunity exercise, you should also practice the techniques from the Tai Chi & Qigong for Heart Program. Some people who are infected with the virus show no or very mild symptoms, and don’t get sick. Their body’s immune systems successfully deal with the virus. In addition, data shows that recovery rates improved after TCM doctors were invited to participate in healing, where previously they had only relied on Western medicine to treat COVID-19.

TCM focuses on prevention. In terms of treatment, one of its major emphasis is to create the proper environment for the body to boost its own immunity, so that the patients can heal themselves naturally. This approach has been successful in healing even serious conditions such as cancer. Thus, you should maintain a good immune system even when the current epidemic is over. Especially since these epidemics are happening more and more often: SARS in 2002 (10% mortality rate), H1N1 in 2009 which may have killed half a million people worldwide, MERS in 2012, and now the COVID-19.

In terms of Tai Chi and Qigong, besides the immunity, we also talk about Wei Qi. ‘Wei’ means protection. Wei Qi travels on our skin, surrounding our physical body like a protective shield, and flows into the body. It is our first defence against pathogens, toxins, and harmful conditions. When our Wei Qi becomes weak, these ‘bad’ things can penetrate our body causing imbalance or disease. Once the shield is breached, our immune system takes over the battle.

If you look at the case of the Diamond Princess Cruise, you will understand what I mean. Initially, only a few passengers of this cruise were infected by the COVID-19 virus, so the Japanese government quarantined the ship. Thousands of passengers and staff were confined onboard for 2 weeks, which resulted in with more than 700 getting infected. The videos showed they were not really quarantined properly, many of them were able to walk freely around the cruise and interact with each other. Many more should have contracted the virus. Yet not everyone was infected. There were even cases where those who shared the same tiny room with the infected ones for 2 weeks, tested negative. Why? What’s their difference? Obviously, it’s their Wei qi and immunity.

Generally speaking, by practicing any Tai Chi or Qigong our Wei Qi expands, thickens, and becomes stronger which gives us better protection. Our body’s immunity also improves at the same time. There are specific techniques that focus on strengthening these areas. Wei qi is related to our lungs. When our lungs are strong and healthy, our Wei Qi will naturally be strong as well. Originally, I planned to release the Tai Chi & Qigong for Lung and Immunity Program at the end of this year. Due to the current situation, I am releasing it now. It contains different practices including standing, moving & meditative qigong, as well as healing sound, massage, acupressure, advanced level Neigong, and dietary guidelines that specifically support the lung, Wei Qi and immunity. Be sure to share this newsletter with your family, friends and students so that everyone can better protect themselves in this crisis.


 

The benefits of Shibashi’s 18 movements


Shibashi is all about gathering subtle energy (qi/chi) into your energy system, which can be stored in the Dan Tian (an energy reservoir) which can be used at a later time when required. It is beneficial for those with low energy reserves due to illness or more specially ME for example. The whole practice encourages release of stress/tension in the body as well as helping to dissolve negativity.


Each movement affects different meridians of the body, increasing energy flow through them e.g. stomach, spleen, kidney, gallbladder etc.(please note they are not in the same area as the physical organs, they are meridian channels which correspond to the appropriate organ). Therefore a particular movement can be chosen to work with where there is a health concern.


Qi is also gathered through the specific points - the crown of the head (universal energy), soles of the feet (earth energy) and palms of the hands. They are called:


Bai Hui: a point on the top of the head at the crossing points of lines drawn between the tips of each ear and the nose to nape of neck. "Bai” means “hundreds” and

            “Hui” means “meeting”.  It is the point where many meridians meet. 

Lao Gong: a point on the palm of each hand (where the middle finger touches the palm if bent towards it).

Yuan Quan: the most inside point on the bottom of each foot if the toes are tucked in.  Yuan Quan means “bubbling well” or “bubbling stream”.


Throughout the sequence of movements energy is increased and this can be gauged by the energy felt in the palms, particularly at the end of the practice.

As some of the movements involve twisting at the waist, this causes a massaging of the all the meridians that run through the meridian belt at the waist, increasing the efficiency of the energy flow.


Kinesic energy is used to move the arms. To feel how this works: stand in a doorway and push the backs of your hands out to each side of the door frame, push for a couple of minutes then stand away, relax and watch the arms float up of their own accord. That is the energy you wish to harness and it easily comes with practise.


Shibashi:

increases inner awareness of the body, how less can be more. Doing the movement in a simplified way without causing discomfort. Ease of movement together with ease of mind. There is no competitive as aspect to it, it can be light and enjoyable. Everyone is one their own personal inward journey.


increases meditative awareness where the mind is focused on what you are doing, not running away with mind chatter. Once the sequence is learnt it has a calming and floating feel to it.

  

suits any age but in particular to those who have maturing bodies, as it works within your comfortable capacity. It can easily be done from a chair or even some of the movements laying on a bed. No matter what your ability there will be something in it for you.


opens the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow and wrists joints safely (good for arthritic /rheumatic joints).


encourages abdominal breathing to cleanse the body systems.


Shibashi can be developed and refined as you become more acquainted.


Getting started on your own

 

It is important to practise the basic (Wuji) stance. Feet are parallel, a comfortable shoulder width apart.  The spine should be straight allowing space between the vertebrae.  The lower back muscles should be relaxed and the knees soft with a feeling of sitting down slightly, so that there can be movement within the knees (no locking).  The neck needs to be aligned with the straight spine (no leaning forwards) so the chin is tucked slightly inwards.  The neck is elongated from the back not the front and muscles in the neck need to be long. This is important for the energy to be able to flow through the spine without obstruction.  

 

Watch video on youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7dtCxq6cQw


Or visit Shibashi website for video and further information http://www.taichi18.com/


A gift from Master Wing Cheung (who taught me)


"I have learned more than 30 different styles of Qigong. Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi is one of the most effective and easiest to learn. Most of my students are able to master it in just a few lessons. And many of them can feel the presence of 'Qi' traveling in their bodies after practicing for just 3 months.

I have created this free qigong video and instruction manual so that all can have a chance to study it.

I am sure you will benefit from this gift. Just follow the instructions and practice daily. Be sure to spread the word about this website so that more people can benefit from this qigong video."



In the class other qigong and tai chi movements are incorporated, as well as embracing when appropriate: Acupressure, Acu-Yoga, Reflexology, Self massage

 


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Subtle energy channels called meridians are worked on by the movements of Shibashi.


Meridians are like rivers that flow whilst vessels primarily are storage places, yet also have a flow to them.


There are 20 major meridians that connect limbs, internal organs and the surface of the body.


12 are primary meridians each connected to a major organ, as per the diagram. 6 of these are 6 yin and 6 yang


8 of the primary meridians are called extra-ordinary, functioning a reservoirs, supplying extra qi to the body when needed.


Governing (Du) and Conception Vessels (Ren)  are the main energy rivers of the body's yin and yang; whilst also holding energy them until it is needed.




Medical Qigong practice can involve regulating conception and governing vessels, this can be done with meditative awareness for healing purposes:


drawing yang upwards and yin downwards, known as the fire and water pathways.


Microcosmic fire or water orbits are taught as a meditation practice.


The governing meridian trajectory passes through all the yang channels, over which it is said to 'govern" often called 'Sea of Yang Meridians'. It nourishes the 5 ancestral organs.


The conception meridian trajectory, monitors and directs all yin channels including the stomach.  It is said to stimulate spiitual intuition. It also nourishes the uterus and genital systems