Qi changed my life and set me on a big adventure

My first experience with energy healing was when I had a serious injury healed. That night, Qi changed my life.

After an accident, where I injured my lower back, I was on sick-leave for almost four months and then on “light duties” (no lifting of heavy objects) for a further 18 months. The prognosis was not great and I was informed that I was developing (quite rapidly, it seemed) scoliosis, that nothing could be done, that I should continue taking the painkillers and that I was to expect it to get worse.

This was rather devastating as I had always been active and it meant that I would never get back to practicing martial arts (Karate and Hapkido). But I knew that I could not lie down and have self-pity so I joined a Taiji class in the hope that the gentle movements would help. Having watched Taiji, I thought that the art looked effortless……………. I would soon learn the real story.

Anyway, during one of the classes we were visited by martial arts Master (Capitalised for all the right reasons), Master Joseph (Joe) Bell, from another Chinese Internal system (Huang Kung Shou Tao). For some reason, one that I still do not understand, our teacher had the Taiji class doing press-ups…… All except me. The visiting Master inquired why I was not doing the exercise and my back injury was explained to him. This Master had a reputation of being able to manipulate the Qi and to have healing hands. At that time of my life I knew that this was a load of b*ll*ks…………. If it was not physical, it did not exist!

Qi changed my life
Qi changed my life #therapeuticqigong #medicalqigong #trueqigong

To cut a long story short, he asked if he could examine my back. I had nothing to lose. It was not a “hands on” examination although he did touch my back a few times. He was moving his head towards my back as though he was listening for something. Then he held one of his hands in front of me and one behind (about 10” off my body) and I still thought it was a load of nonsense until I was microwaved The heat started from deep inside me and radiated outward. It was VERY strange.
After the 5 minute treatment, I was told that I should feel a difference but that if my back became sore again he would revisit and treat me again.

For the next month I was asked the same question at each class “How is your back?” Still being unsure of what had happened and having my skepticism levels rising again I lied and said that it was still a bit sore. It was not until six, or seven, weeks had passed that I admitted to myself (and my teacher) that the pain had gone on that night and had never returned.

The change of life thing? It set me off in a completely unexpected direction (the right direction) and I was to spend the next ten years investigating and experiencing Qi through Qigong and then Shiatsu. Then, as a result of three “coincidences” and a couple of lucid dreams, I was fortunate enough to meet with the Master again. I asked to become one of his students and he promptly refused………………. I was “not ready”. However he did agree to work with me to see if I could attain his level of acceptance. Almost two years of monthly, intense teaching, sessions passed before I was told that I had been accepted and even more fortunate to be accepted as “inner sanctum” and taught on a one to one basis. I have all but given up teaching martial arts but I am passionate about continuing my Qigong journey while teaching Qigong and Taiji as well as practicing Shiatsu and Healing Qigong.

It’s strange to think that one of the most fortunate incidents in my life was an accident!

See – Mayo Study Finds External Qigong Relieves Chronic Pain

Qigong for Stress and Anxiety – Find and maintain calmness

As far as benefits are concerned, I think that the title of this course does not go far enough in getting the message over. Yes, it tells you that the main, the overall, benefit is in overcoming anxiety and stress. But these Qigong can also help you to stop that anxiety, or stress, recurring before it has a chance to get another grip of you. The Qigong for Stress and Anxiety course is based on the exercises that I teach and prescribe to patients who are suffering from either.

Qigong for Stress and Anxiety

Anxiety and Stress are so prevalent nowadays that I find myself dealing with these conditions as often as physical ailments. Seeing a therapist on a weekly basis is often not affordable for many people whether that is financially or time-wise. My goal is and has always been to make a difference, not make a fortune. So to enable and empower my patients, I teach them these Qigong. The benefits are plain to see from the positive results gained and the amazing feedback received.


At the end of this course you will be able to practice these exercises. Exercises that, when practiced properly, will empower you and help you win back your life.

The course is structured to in exactly the same way that I teach my patients. You need to adhere to that structure to gain the benefits. Please follow that structure as it provides all the information you need in order to do the Qigong properly.

If you suffer with anxiety or stress, enrolling on this course can be your first step to finding calmness, maintaining that calmness and reclaiming your life.

Reviews

  • “I have found the two movements that Des introduced in this short course very useful for stress. I really like the idea of finding your own anchor (in this case the mudra of your own choosing) when you are relaxed and calm. This way your mind links the anchor to the feeling of calm and relaxation. I have used my mudra several times and it has worked well. Thanks Des for an informative and well paced course.” P.H.
  • “Excellent course. The exercises are very effective, especially when practiced regularly. I very much like Des’s teaching style – he spends a lot of time making sure the student learns the correct posture and breathing, and explains why this is so important. Des is clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about the practice of true Qigong. This is my second of Des’s courses and I am feeling the benefits of a daily Qigong practice.” E.O.
  • “Don’t be put off by the instructor’s seemingly “nonchalant” personality. He knows his stuff and gives you excellent explanations and encouragement. He is Scottish, so his accent is quite pronounced, but it seemed to me that for French speakers, it is quite understandable. Moreover, you can use the subtitles … Follow its slow pace, see hypnotic, it will be all the more positive for your practice. I feel great benefits from the first viewing!
    Thank you so much for your explanation about the Mudras, witch you present as an “anchor” (that’s the term in French) and not as a “magical position for the hands :-). It was a revelation to me ;-)!
    Lots of explanations given, just two exercises, but extremely effective, to do every morning!” – B”
  • Thank you so much for this excellent course, Des Lawton! I took Qigong courses before, but this one has a totally different quality. I have to say that doing the exercises not totally relieves me from anxiety, but also takes me back to the calm and blissful side of life. Thank you again!” – K.R.
  • “I have found this course to definitely be worthwhile to do. I came across this course by chance and I have come to realise it is a ‘shinning gem’ which once put into daily practise becomes undeniably a means of calming the mind. The instructor, Les Lawton is an experienced and knowledgeable teacher who clearly and succinctly explains and demonstrates how to the perform Qigong exercises. I look forward to doing his other courses.” – J.P.
  • “I thought the course was easy to learn from the detailed instructions and demonstration of the various movements involved in this qigong set. I would certainly recommend this course to all those who may suffer from the common ailments of anxiety and stress.” – R.D.

Qigong for Stress and Anxiety – The Benefits

  • These exercises can home in on the root cause of your stress and anxiety, whether it is spiritual (by that I mean the consciousness), whether it is communication, or whether it is emotional. Sometimes it is a combination of all three.
  • These Qigong can relieve insomnia. If your sleep pattern is poor your, physical, energy levels will be low. Exhaustion can, all by itself, cause low mood, distress and anxiety. It affects our cognitive processes and causes foggy thinking, poor efficiency and frustration. This leads to increased stress and anxiety levels. It is a cycle that needs to be broken.
  • By dealing with any insomnia, these Qigong will also increase your physical energy levels.
  • As your anxiety drops, or your stress level lowers, your feeling of well-being and positivity increases.
  • They can dispel the negative thoughts and patterns that are often associated with anxiety, or stress.

The, free preview, Introduction lesson explains the course in depth. It is now up to you whether you take that first step.

Booking onto the course

The Qigong for Stress and Anxiety course is based on the exercises that I teach and prescribe to patients who are suffering from either.
#trueqigong #medicalqigong #therapeuticqigong #qigonganxiety #qigongstress

Further details can be found in the free previews

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £34.99). Offer ends 21/10/2021
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Qigong for Stress and Anxiety

Questions asked about these Qigong exercises

Q: Mixing this set with Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Hi Des,
I have been practicing the CFS exercises every morning, and I am really enjoying them. I know it is very early days and it will take time to see the full benefits, but already I feel they are having a positive effect.
I wanted to ask you please about your Stress & Anxiety course. I am wondering if that course may also help me as stress, anxiety and worry are things I have quite a problem with…and I’m sure it must exacerbate my CFS symptoms. I found a demonstration video on your website and I tried out the exercises, and I am thinking about booking the course. But before I do I wanted to ask if you think the Stress & Anxiety exercises are suitable to do along with the CFS exercises? (I’m wondering if they might counteract eachother – the CFS ones building energy and the stress ones relaxing and taking the energy away again?!) If they can be done together, can they all be practiced together in the same session, or should they be done separately? If I do them all together, is it important what order I do them in?
Or is it better to continue with the CFS exercises on their own for a longer period of time before adding any more?

Also, I know you said in the CFS course to practice in the morning, which I am doing…but I wonder is it ok to practice at other times of the day – either as well as or instead of the morning?

I am sorry for asking so many questions! Please only reply when you have the time…there is no hurry.  In the meantime, I will continue enjoying my daily qigong practice!  🙂

Kind regards, E.O.

A: Hello E,
Questions are not a problem so feel free to ask. I will always answer as soon as possible. Let’s take your questions one at a time.
Stress and anxiety are both huge burners of energy and will always have a detrimental effect that will slow down your recovery from CFS. They may well be a major contributor to it.
The Qigong used in these courses are complementary, in fact synergistic, and will not deplete your energy.They can be practiced as part of the same session, or each have their own session (the work of the Qigong continues well after each session finishes).
Listen to what your body and mind is telling you. In the morning, if you feel that increasing your energy is more important, do the CFS exercises. If you feel anxious, do those for S&A. Later in the day, if you feel up to it, do the other set (ie CFS in the morning and S&A in the afternoon).
Listen to your body and mind when choosing what exercises you will be doing and in what order. Don’t rationalise………….. go with your gut feeling.
Remember to work within your current, physical, ability. Small steps mean continuous gains.
Kind regards, Des

———————————————

Further reading about Qigong for Stress and Anxiety

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.

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 Functions of the Yin Meridians within Qigong

When practicing Qigong, once the functions of the Yin meridians are understood the practitioner will have a deeper understanding of what benefits each Qigong brings. In this article I will cover both the classical TCM functions and those attributed through the art of Zen Shiatsu.

FIRE – Heart

Functions of the Yin meridians - Heart meridian
#trueqigong #SBqigong

TCM Functions of the Yin meridians

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

Zen Functions

  • Represents compassion and governs the emotions and Spirit.
  • Controls blood circulation.
  • Adapts external stimuli to the body’s internal environment.



FIRE – Heart Governor

Functions of the Yin meridians - Heart Governor meridian
#DesLawton #trueqigong

TCM Functions of the Yin meridians

  • It protects the heart.
  • It governs the blood .
  • It houses the Shen (consciousness)

Zen Functions

  • Assists the heart in controlling circulation.
  • Governs the vascular system.
  • Protects the heart

EARTH – Spleen

Spleen meridian
#trueqigong #SBqigong

TCM Functions of the Yin meridians

  • 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.

Zen Functions

  • It governs the digestive secretions.
  • It governs the reproductive hormones relating to the breasts and ovaries.

METAL – Lung

Lung meridian
#trueqigong #DesLawton

TCM Functions of the Yin meridians

  • 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).

Zen Functions

  • It governs the intake of Qi and elimination of gasses through exhalation.

WATER- Kidney

Kidney meridian
#trueqigong

TCM Functions of the Yin meridians

  • 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.

Zen Functions

  • It governs the endocrine system, controlling spirit and energy to the whole body.
  • It governs resistance to mental stress through the control of the hormonal secretions.
  • It detoxifies and purifies the blood.

WOOD – Liver

Liver meridian
#trueqigong #daoyin

TCM Functions of the Yin meridians

  • 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.

Zen Functions

  • It stores nutrients and energy.
  • It governs the distribution of energy.
  • It cultivates resistance against disease.
  • Supplies, analyses and detoxifies blood to maintain physical energy.

Qigong for Chronic Back Pain – Get moving again

Practicing Qigong properly, guided by the tuition in our online Qigong for Chronic Back Pain course, could have a massive impact on your life. If you are suffering with chronic back pain, whether that is sacral, lumbar, thoracic, or cervical these exercises can help reduce that pain and increase your mobility. They are done in a seated posture and gently, very gently, increase the muscle tone while simultaneously increasing your range of movement.

Qigong for Chronic Back Pain

#trueqigong #deslawton

I believe in empowering my Shiatsu clients who suffer with chronic ailments such as back pain. To do this I often teach and prescribe the appropriate Qigong that can assist in ridding them of chronic pain and helping them on the road to recovery. Any chronic pain will also have a psychological impact on the sufferer that can lead to lethargy and depression. Qigong, when practiced properly, increases energy, vitality and mood.

The feedback that I have received regarding the effect of Qigong has led me to create a series of online courses for people who are suffering from chronic ailments. Not everyone has access to a Shiatsu practitioner but most people have access to the internet and this course should be of real benefit to them. I am now starting to receive feedback from those who are using this facility and gaining from it.

Reviews

  • “I have been using these movements twice daily for over a month now and my lower back pain has improved. I have also found that the rest of my back has also benefitted, particular if I have spent a long time on the computer .” PH.
  • “Because Dez Lawson [sic] knows how to teach qigong and the qigong methods that he teaches provide results. After doing just one of his qigong for back pain exercises the lower back pain that I had been hampered by was significantly healed. I never expected such fast results. The healing has continued thru the completion of this brief course and I am so indebted to Des Lawton for returning my back to full functioning and eliminating the pain.” S.M.
  • “This is a good practice for me. The movements are simple and allow me to listen to my body.” C.B.M.

In this course, each of the seated Qigong exercise will be broken down into two lessons: The instructions, including movement, breathing and focus and then a follow me video that is filmed, for more clarity, from two angles.

These three exercises are those that i teach and prescribe for chronic back pain. When practiced on a daily basis they can gradually increase mobility, strength and stability in the back.

Booking on to the course

Further details can be found in the free previews
Discount price: £15.99 (Normally £34.99). Offer ends 21/10/2021
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Qigong for Chronic Back Pain

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

Further reading about Qigong for Chronic Back Pain

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.

Online Qigong: Eight Exceptional Vessels

the eight exceptional vessels qigong
#trueqigong #deslawton #therapeuticqigong

The Eight Exceptional Vessels course work with the Qi that is stored in the Eight Exceptional Vessels (aka the Extraordinary Meridians). These vessels are often likened to reservoirs that store Qi and blood while the Meridians can be likened to rivers that carry the Qi. Learn how to guide your Qi and have tangible Qigong.

Online Qigong: Eight Exceptional Vessels

This course includes:
Over 2 hours 30 minutes of on-demand video
1 article
4 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access (covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee)
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here – Online Qigong: Eight Exceptional Vessels

Recent reviews

  • “Every bit of this course is well worth your attention. There is so much knowledge shared here. I went through this course earlier than I initially intended and earlier than Master Des would suggest himself because I wanted to know what this set does, the information about affected master points etc. Inspired by a few of his courses I had taken, I knew there would be more valuable discoveries here. Truly exceptional and I recommend this course (and others by Des Lawton) to anyone who wants to practice authentic Qigong.” S.K.
  • “Super! This course is well structured and contains a lot of information. Des explains the course material very well and thorough. He also offers illustrations and additional material to make it easier to understand the movements and the intention behind it. I am looking forward for the next course. Thank you!” S.P.
  • “I am so glad I chose this course. It is set at a pace I can work with and each movement clearly explained. The illustrations are helpful and the two views make errors less likely. I also appreciate being able to practise along with the instructor in the sections where the movements are repeated. Des Lawton is an impeccable instructor.”
  • “Very informative and deeper than anything I have yet come across. This is what I have been looking for: a more in depth approach. I thank 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!” T.C.
  • “Excellent instructor! Beautiful material!” L.Mc.

More reviews below

What Will I Learn?

  • Create a quiet body/mind by using Wuji stance.
  • Practice three Qigong exercises that work specifically with the Extraordinary Meridians, the Exceptional Vessels.

Requirements

  • No previous knowledge of Qigong required. This course is suitable for all levels.

Description

As well as using the Yi (that is the brain), the eyes and the breath to guide the Qi, these exercises also make use of the Master Points and the Coupled Points.

The quality, essence, of the Qi of the Exceptional Vessels is tangibly different to that of the Twelve Meridians. These exercises will open out an opportunity for you to experience this for yourself.

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here – Online Qigong: Eight Exceptional Vessels

Students’ Questions

Question from Steven

Repetitions & Pauses to Listen to the Qi?
Could you kindly remind me of the traditional way to practice the entire set of movements i.e. Is there a recommended number of repetitions as per Shibashi (6 times for the majority and 12 for 3 of the movements)?
Also, is it generally okay, (or even recommended) to stop at any chosen place and just listen to the Qi?
Thank you very much. I really am enjoying how the set is unfolding for me when I practice it.

Answer from Des
As with all Qigong, I do not recommend counting the number of repetitions. Just practice until you feel like stopping, or moving to another exercise. If you are counting you are not focused on the Qigong.

Once familiar with the exercises you should be listening to the Qi throughout. Think about it like driving a car………….. you are inside the car, in control of the car, but your awareness must also be outside in order to drive safely. With listening it is not about safety (but that is also a reason for listening). As a beginner it is easier to listen before and after so that any differences can be observed.

As an advanced practitioner, you can stop and listen without losing the thread of the exercise. Indeed, there should always be a pause that is just long enough to acknowledge the triggering/opening of the Master and Coupled points in the feet.

—————————————–

Question from George

How to perform entire set ?
So, I have learned all 3 exercises. Do we practice thw entire set of exercises by doing 1,2,3 in succession and then repeating that 8 times in a row or do we perfom exercise 1 eight times followed by exercise 2 8x in a row and then 3 8x in a row?  Is it like heaven and earth where we do the entire sequence and then just repeat that ?

Answer from Des
Hello George,
As they were all developed to do the same job, you can do these Qigong individually and do not need to do them as a set.
I usually recommend, to my students, that they practice one exercise a day (with eight, focused, repetitions). By working in this manner it helps to maintain real focus during the Qigong. It also allows you to note the subtle differences.

See all the questions asked by students about these Qigong exercises

Reviews from our online Qigong – Eight Exceptional Vessels course

  • “This was a fantastic course that went into great detail in the subject. I would highly recommend this course for those that want to work specifically on the Eight Exceptional Vessels. Very good course!” W.A.
  • “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. One thing I would hope to be included in the course is a pdf of the points the instructor references as the protocols are taught.” M.H.
  • “informative – easy to understand – deep – applicable – wonderful” G.L.
  • “I have been doing qigong and taichi for years, and I find the course simple and at the same time meticulous. Structured in a simple way to learn and at the time for thanks to the different sections.” x.
  • “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.” F.W.
  • “Great class this my third video with Des,I always learn something.” D.R.
  • “Really enjoyed course. Have been meditating on the eight exceptional vessels for awhile and now having the movements to work with as well is ‘exceptional’ . Thank You.” J.Z.
  • “Loved the flow of these exercises and the feeling of peace as I carried them out. Found the focus points after the exercises particularly helpful. Thank you for another great course!” C.W.
  • “The course is easy to follow, and the instructions are clear and detailed. I also like the instructor’s style of teaching.” S.H.
  • “Excellent explanation of the subtleties of wu ji. I felt an immediate shift while practicing under the guidance in this video. Alot of these subtleties are overlooked, but here they are explained with great clarity. Thank you for creating this course!” B.B.
  • “Clear instruction and demonstrations. Feel the chi when do the movements. Each movement has multiple parts. Plenty of follow along repetitions and tips to get the patterns. Thanks.” D.D.
  • “Great courses – already have completed one from this teacher.” S.J.

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

Online Qigong: Four Shen Qigong – open the mind

The Online Qigong: Four Shen Qigong course contains exercises that are Active, Spiritual, Qigong. That is to say that the body movement is one of the tools used to help guide the Qi and the exercises are used to alter states of awareness, giving access to higher levels of being and increasing perception.

#trueqigong #DesLawton #Shen

Online Qigong: Four Shen Qigong

This course includes
2 hours on-demand video
2 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access (covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee)
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £49.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Online Qigong: Four Shen Qigong

Recent Reviews

  • “i enjoy his company and accent and deep eperience in coaching tai chi and chi kung and translating some of the dimensional and multi energy phenomena an unnaclimatised student of chi kung energy work might encounter” M.M
  • “The attention to detail in this course is helping me to understand how to do the practices properly and get a deeper experience of the benefits of qigong. I have a deeper understanding of how to work with Qi.” K.L.
  • “Good videos, well structured teaching and more detail than you will find in most places. I’ve enjoyed all of Des’s courses I have taken.” S.D.

Requirements

  • This Online Qigong course is for people who are already serious practitioners of Qigong, people who want to continue on their Qigong journey and take their practice a higher level.
  • Participants need to be familiar and comfortable with Wuji stance and horse riding stance. They should be adept at sinking the Qi and raising the Shen.

What Will I Learn?

  • These are, Spiritual, Qigong………Spiritual in the sense that they work with the consciousness, the Shen…….. They can, among other things, take you to a place of tranquillity where answers can be found, often without questions needing to be asked.

Description

  • The exercises involve the Shen, that finer quality of Qi that is connected to our consciousness, our Mind, our Higher Self.
  • They entail raising the vibration of the Shen, and the awareness of self, the Qi of our body and mind.
  • They entail awareness of other as our awareness is expanded beyond our physical body.
  • Finally, they allow access to our Higher Self so that we can have meaningful dialogue and receive guidance.

Online Qigong: Four Shen Qigong – Benefits

These, Spiritual, Qigong can provide the practitioner with a place of respite, an internal quite that removes them from the chaos of daily life.  The first three are from a discrete set and are used to guide you to the centre of the cyclone. The cyclone of egos that life creates and that causes turmoil and stress. It is a place of tranquillity where answers can be found even without questions being asked.

Within this space, the practitioner’s awareness of Qi, of energy, begins to develop. Awareness that can lead to: –

  • Increased tangibility of the Qi and awareness of it throughout the body/mind.
  • The ability to see Qi (energetic body, etc).
  • The ability to taste
  • The ability to smell
  • The ability to hear

In most cases the practitioner will find that they have a dominant sense.

  • Exercise 1 facilitates the Inward journey, the awareness of self.
  • Exercise 2 facilitates the Outward journey, the awareness of other.
  • Exercise 3 raises the vibration of the Shen while strengthening the practitioner’s rooting of the Qi.
  • Exercise 4 is used to open dialogue with your Higher Self, your Shen, or Consciousness.

Students’ Questions

Question from H-A

Powerful sensations.
I am not sure how to proceed with these  exercises of the Shen. I had these “burning hands” again yesterday and could not sleep properly. I noticed that my feet went rather cold after a wile as well during the practice so I do feel a bit insecure now whether I do it wrong…?

Kind regards, H-A

Answer from Des
These exercises have a goal but each of us has a different path to that goal. This means that we will all have different experiences in getting there. However there are a lot of those experiences that are commonly shared and you are currently going through them.

I will cover the tangible feelings first.

  • The “burning hands” is very common for two reasons. Firstly because the hands are the first place where most people are aware of Qi in any strength. Fire Qi (With the Shen exercises this is from Heart Governor 8).
  • The “cold feet” is a sign that your awareness of Kidney Qi is getting stronger. This is starting at Kidney 1, the point where we “connect to the earth”, the point we use to keep us grounded during Qigong.
  • Water controls Fire and we need this, along with the connecting of the Chakras, to keep us grounded. What you are telling me is that you are already aware of both of these energies. Qi is not always comfortable and there can be feelings of “density and aching in the bones”, “heavy & cold feet”, “heat in the lower abdomen”, “burning hands”, etc.
  • What is happening with you is that Fire & Water are getting stronger (along with your awareness of them) and they will balance out and the discomfort will dissipate as they do so.
  • So, you are getting it correct.

As for the sleep issue, that is due to the Shen being active and I will cover this and what to do about it at the next class. I will go over a couple of methods of settling the Shen for sleep.

—————————————–

Question from Shaz

Crossing the arms.
Hi Des, When you cross arms in front of the body after the expansion is there a specific way to cross the arms (right in closer to the body as you do), does it vary (male, female or based on hemispheres) or do we go with what feels most natural for us?

Also – if the cross is in front of the heart chakra for ex 3 where is it for ex 1 and 2 – or is it much the same physically and more that we bring attention there for ex 3?

Thanks 🙂

Answer from Des
It does not matter whether it is left hand in front or right hand in front. It tends to alternate once you stop thinking about it (Yi) and the consciousness (Shen) takes over. The Shen will bring balance. If you let your elbows drop, during the crossing of the arms, you will find that the wrists cross in front of Ren Mai 17 (or thereabouts).

By crossing the wrists at this point it means that when the elbows are drawn outwards the triangle is formed over, and surrounding the Heart Chakra. As the triangle is being lowered you are strengthening the downward connection between Heart Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra and the Dantien. This is strengthening the connection between the spiritual and the physical (extremely important when working with the Shen).

Exercise 3 is more powerful and requires more focus to remain grounded if you are not already adept at doing that. It is important that these exercises are done in the stages shown in the course in order to advance. There are a couple of drawings, submitted by one of my students, that show what can be experienced with these exercises. This student is still working exclusively on exercise 1. Shen Experiences.

—————————————–

Question from Lesley

Fire/water paths
Hi Des. Looking at the diagram you provide, I see that the Fire path comes up Du Mai, and the Water path comes up Chongmai. When it comes to Yamen, you show the path going over the top of the head and down to Yintang on the Fire path, but you say to take the awareness through the head. Can you clarify please?

Answer from Des

Ah, difficult to simplify………….. As with almost all energy work the answers are never quite black and white. You are already aware that even though a Qigong exercise may be for a particular Element it also affects all of the others to a lesser degree.

I think that the easiest way that I can answer this is in saying that with the Water path the Qi, on reaching Yamen, uses the collateral between it and the Yintang almost exclusively. With the Fire path the Qi is shared between the collateral and Du Mai (Although not mentioned this stimulates Baihui “the Hundred Meetings” and enhances the expansion/outward awareness).

Without sinking into the murky depths of percentages………………. Oh well, let’s dip our toes…………..

Water Path – think of it like 90% through the collateral.

Fire Path – think 50% for each

It is not as clear cut as that but the tongue position, in conjunction with your Yi, acts like flow controller. The better the focus of the Yi the more control you have over how much and where the Qi is being directed.

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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

Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures

Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures - Harmonizing Stomach & Spleen
#trueqigong #DesLawton #10Fundamentals #baduanjin

The Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures is an ancient Qigong that is little seen let alone practiced nowadays.  These treasures share, in name, a number of exercises that are in the Ba duan Jin (The Eight Section Brocade) and the exercises look similar.  However, the focus in the Ten Fundamental Treasures, the emphasis, is not the same.  I practice both of these sets and they are, internally, completely different.

Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures

This course includes
3 hours on-demand video
3 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access (covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee)
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Discount price: £29.99(Normally £59.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures

Recent Reviews

  • “This has to be my favourite of Des’s courses so far. With his usual clarity and attention to detail a thorough understanding of the 10 exercises is achieved.”. A.A.
  • “Detailed, thorough and inspiring.” K.

Requirements

  • This course if for intermediate and advanced Qigong practitioners who wish to expand their experience of Qigong.
  • This course has some exercises that can be, physically, challenging so a reasonable level of leg strength and flexibility is required.

What Will I Learn?

  • Some of the Ten Fundamental Treasures have different levels and some have alternative methods. In this course you will learn the ten exercises, including all of the levels and alternatives.
  • You will also learn about the proper stance, posture, and focus that is required.

Description

This Online Qigong course is for intermediate to advanced practitioners and is not really suitable for beginners.  The emphasis, as with all Active Qigong, is on creating internal movement that has been stimulated, in part, by external (that is physical) movement.

Any physical raising, or lowering of the Wuiji stance should secondary.  It is the raising and lowering of the Qi that is important.

Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures – Benefits

The numerous benefits of these exercises include:

Uphold the Heavens

  • Strengthens the function of the Three Burning Spaces. That is the Upper Heater, that benefits the Respiratory System. The Middle Heater affects the Digestive System. Finally, the Lower Heater aids Sexual function.

Harmonising Earth

  • Promotes and maintains Qi flow in both the Stomach and the Spleen meridian.
  • Helps relieve digestive disorders of an emotional nature.
  • Has a calming effect on both the Yi (reasoning mind) and the Shen (consciousness).

Looking Backward

  • Promotes the healthy flow of Qi in Lung meridian and its partner, Large Intestine.
  • Promotes  Qi flow in the Gall Bladder meridian the Liver meridian.

Pulling the Bow to Shoot the Hawk

  • Beneficial to Liver and Gall bladder Qi.
  • Beneficial to Lung and Large Intestine Qi.
  • Helps clear blockages at Big Bone and LU1.

Shaking the Head and Waving the Tail

  • Stimulates the Digestive System and the circulation.
  • Removes excess heat from Heart meridian, and cools and tonifies the blood.

Holding the Fists Tightly and Staring with Glaring Eyes

  • Strengthens Liver Qi.
  • Strengthens the metabolism.

Abdominal Lift

  • Stimulates the internal organs.

Spring with the Toes

  • Benefits the blood vessels in the lower legs.
  • Stimulates the Du Mai GV and Ren Mai CV meridians.
  • Stimulates Chong Mai, the Thrusting Vessel.  This is one of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians.

Hold the Toes and Strengthen the Kidneys

  • Stimulates Kidney Meridian.
  • Promotes healthy Qi flow in Bladder & Kidney.

Change the Sinews

  • This is a Five Element exercise that balances the Yin and Yang energies as it encourages Qi flow throughout the entire meridian system.
  • It assists the body’s homeostasis, maintaining the natural equilibrium of the metabolism and physiology.
  • Brings physiological, psychological, and spiritual balance.

Students’ Questions

Question from Robert

Lower back
hi les in hold toes and strengthen kidneys and shaking the head i see that you stand up with straight back head first do you ever articulate through the spine and leave the head till last? iff i have to pick up something heave from the ground this would be bad body mechanics as i have been told to straighten up holding close.

Answer from Des
There are many Qigong that “uncurl” from the lower back with the head being “lifted” at the end of the movement. One of the reasons for (and benefits of) rising this way is that it aids the process of opening the spinal Kua. It also, as you have pointed out, lowers the stress on the lower back.

The method used in both of these exercises is to keep the Shen raised throughout the movement. This means that the crown of the head is constantly pulled away from the sacrum. It is this “pulling” that keeps the back straight without any additional tension. I am not sure if you are aware of the unbendable arm “trick”. In this you get someone to hold their arm out and keep it straight as you try to bend it………… your strength against theirs. You might, or might not, be able to bend it depending on who is stronger. Now we come to the “trick” and get the person who is holding their arm straight to point their finger at a distant object………… All they are doing is focusing on keeping in line with that object but that focus increases their strength by changing the way the maintain structure. It is the same with raising the Shen. The reasoning here, within Qigong, is that the Kua are open and remain open throughout the exercise.

In “Holding the Toes….” With proper posture (From Wuji) and with the Shen raised there should not be strain on the lower back. However if you do have an existing weakness (that will cause blockage in the Kua) you can uncurl from the lower back until that rectifies.

It is the same with “Shaking the Head….” Make sure that the Shen is raised and you have that feeling of a slight stretch of the spine. It is amazing how different the exercise feels when this is done.
The bottom line is that each of us is aware of our own limitations and we should work within them. Work within your easy motion barriers and those barriers will recede……….. Trying to fight through them is often counterproductive.

—————————————–

Discount price: £29.99 (Normally £59.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here Online Qigong: Ten Fundamental Treasures

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

Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade

Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade
#trueqigong #deslawton #therapeuticqigong

The exercises in the Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade course are multi-layered in that the more you practice them the more you will get from them. Initially they work on your structure/posture and gradually increase your understanding of the fundamentals of Wuji stance, Horse Riding stance and Empty stances. This is done through the sinking of Qi while, simultaneously, raising the Shen.


Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade

This course includes
2 hours on-demand video
2 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access (covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee)
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade

Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade – Recent Reviews

  • “Precise Teaching, Great course!” C.W.
  • “I enjoyed the course very much. My awareness of the Qi has increased significantly, since the instructor drew our attention to the sensation of it in our bodies, particularly the hands, which I found amazing!” G.H.
  • “All exercises shown in de [sic] videos can be followed easily, instructions are very clear.” E.J.
  • “Good detailed explanation and good video-quality with different camera-angle.” H.E.M.
  • “Thank you for another incredible course. You are very generous sharing this knowledge with us. The teaching method is perfect – I’d say even the teachers presence is there while practicing along with the videos. All the best.” S.C.
  • “Excellent instruction and pace. The pointers before each movement practice are great.” M.C.

More reviews below

 

What Will I Learn?

  • In this course you will learn the seven exercises that make up the Embroidered Brocade.
  • You will also learn about the proper stance, posture, and focus that is required.

Requirements

  • No prior knowledge of Qigong required. This course is for all levels.

Description

Although having similar names, the Embroidered Brocade and the Eight Pieces of Brocade (AKA the Ba Duan Jin) are two entirely different sets. The Embroidered Brocade is a set of seven Qigong exercises, namely: Folding Over, the Circle of Light, the Billowing Sail, the Sun and the Moon, the White Crane, the Snake, and the Taiji Walk.

Benefits

The numerous benefits of these exercises include:

  • Stimulating Qi flow in the Yin and Yang meridians of the legs.
  • Stimulating Qi flow in the Arm Yin & Yang meridians.
  • Opening Ming Men and Dazhui (Du Mai 14). AKA “Big Bone” this is the first thoracic vertebra, where the Qi can often get stuck.
  • Bringing awareness of and building the skill of sinking the Qi while raising the Shen.

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here Online Qigong: Embroidered Brocade

Students’ Questions

Question from Sebastian

Areas of focus – additional information?
Another superb quality course, thank you so much!
Just out of curiosity – in addition to increased awareness of Qi and all the Qigong goodness these exercises do for us, are there are any more areas of focus for the exercises within this set, such as awareness on particular acupoints, meridians, gates, and any additional detailed information regarding their benefits? If so, would you be able to provide this information here or direct me to some reference articles etc.?
Thank you.

Answer from Des

Folding Over – The focus is on using the hands to trace and stimulate the three Yin meridians and the three Yang meridians in the legs.
Circle of Light – The focus is on the Yang meridians in the arms. It is the hand position (pinkie fingers/outside edge of the hand floating upwards and outwards) that does this.
You can experience this if you stand in Wuji with the palms facing inward (as in Snake) and Listen to where the Qi is most intense. It should be on the inside of the arms. Then adjust the hand posture until you feel that intensity move to the outside of the arms and into the Yang meridians.
Billowing Sail – The focus should be mainly on KD1 as the weight is rooted and the Qi sunk into the rear foot. Then focus on the separation, the disconnection, and reconnection of KD1 in the front foot. The focus remains in KD1 (front foot and the weight is rooted and the Qi is sunk. Remember that the Qi continues to sink beyond the rooting.
Focus on the crown should not be compromised throughout the exercise.
Additionally, all the Kidney points and Bladder points in the ankle are being stimulated (opened).
The Sun and the Moon – Constant attention on sinking the Qi through KD1 while raising the Shen (This keeps the Kua between the vertebrae open). Also focus on keeping the Kua at the hips crease and in the shoulders open.
The White Crane – The same focus as Circle of light but with the addition of focusing on  HG8 (on inhalation, when the palm is facing rearward) and on HT9 (on exhalation, as the hand lifts).
The Snake – The focus is on the Yin meridians in the arms. It is the hand position (palms facing inwards) that does this. You can also focus on Liver meridian (LV8 is usually the first point to open) by adjusting the angle that the foot is turned out at before sinking.
The Taiji Walk – focus on sinking the Qi and raising the Shen, then connecting both at the Lower Dantien before attempting to move. As soon as any of these is lost, stop, repeat and start again.

See all the questions asked by students about this set of Qigong

Reviews from our online Qigong – Embroidered Brocade Course

  • “A informação transmitida é extremamente relevante e apresentada de forma bastante clara. A lamentar as pontuais falhas de sincronia entre as falas do instrutor e as respetivas legendas, no entanto, dado o meu conhecimento da língua, isso não representou um entrave à perceção. De louvar o foco atribuído ao verdadeiro Qigong, que me fez mudar a minha perspetiva do mesmo e a forma como vou passar a ensinar. Um sincero obrigado! Parabéns pelo trabalho desenvolvido e pela partilha!” Nuno
  • Translation: “The information transmitted is extremely relevant and presented very clearly. To regret the occasional mismatches between the instructor’s speech and his subtitles, however, given my knowledge of the language, this was not a hindrance to perception. To commend the focus on the true Qigong, which made me change my perspective and how I will teach. A sincere thank you! Congratulations on your work and sharing!”
  • “A very well thought through and comprehensive course. It was very well explained.” L.J.R.
  • “This is my second course on Udemy with Des and once again he delivers brilliant material. Really clear instruction with a level of detail that is great for beginners and more experienced Qi Gong practitioners alike. While I am hugely enjoying my Heaven and Earth practice, a recent injury to my lower back led me to this course and it is very good indeed. Audio and video top notch, and Des has a huge amount of knowledge. Previously I had a 1:1 Skype lesson with Des to check-in on my progress, which was even more helpful than the Udemy course alone, as it provded real-time feedback. Can’t recommend this highly enough.” M.S.
  • “I am interested in learning about how qi works and this instructor is doing a good job of explaining it.” K.S.
  • “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.” J.K.C.
  • “Very clear instructions, easy to follow. Sound and picture quality excellent.” L.R.
  • “Very well explained and demonstrated” K.L.

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

Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin – enhance your Qi

The set being taught as true Qigong in the Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin is also known simply as the Five Yin Qigong. The name of this set is a bit of a misnomer as there are six yin meridians and these exercises work with all six.  In all, there are nine separate exercises in this course as it also covers variants for some of them.

#trueqigong #DesLawton #qigong #5Yin #fiveyin

Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin

This course includes:
2 hours on-demand video
23 downloadable resources
Full lifetime access (covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee)
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin

Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin – Recent reviews

  • “The course is absolutely wonderful! Very detailed which I really enjoyed. The teacher talks at a good pace. The supplemental PDFs were very useful.” I.E.
  • “Yes, this course is fantastic! My energy level spiked after only a couple of days of doing the first three exercises. I’m going to polish them up and can’t wait to get into Dez’s other courses!” E.
  • “Clear and easy to follow teaching.” M.
  • “I recently completed the Five Taoist Qigong on the Udemy platform (although it’ll take awhile to master them, of course). It was recommended by my therapist, who is a Taoist, to help with my recovery from complex PTSD.
    The course is OUTSTANDING and one of the few things that’s actually providing relief… so thank you!” E.R.
  • “Precisamente o que estou a obter: Competência e praticidade.” J.S.
    (Translation: “Precisely what I am getting: Competence and practicality.”)
  • “Very impressive! Professional, encouraging and enjoyable as a doorway to Qigong for a regular daily practice. I do appreciate the high quality of this Qigong course and the friendly, clear presence of Des. It was perfect for me to learn online at home without too much doubting whether I will do wrong movements. Every detail of the moves is explained thoroughly so I was able to follow it easily. Thank you!” H-A. G.
  • “I really love this course, I just started to learn those exercises a few weeks ago, and I am enjoying practicing this qigong in the morning before work. The instructions for each exercises are clear, and the teacher, Mr Lawton is very good at demonstrating and explaining the movements. It is a beautiful set of qigong, I especially like that there are not to many movements to learn for a beginner, and that I can focus on just a few movements done well with feelings. Thank you Mr Lawton.” G.L.

More reviews below

What Will I Learn?

  • How to work with all the Yin meridians.
  • The best way to get the most benefit from these exercises.
  • The variant exercises for three of the Elements.

Requirements

  • No prior knowledge of Qigong required. This Online Qigong course is for all levels.

Description

The Five Taoist Yin Qigong, like many other sets, has gone through a few transformations as teachers emphasize different aspects of the exercises. With three of them, that is Earth, Metal and Wood, along with the original exercise, I will be showing you alternative methods that are equally valid, that move the Qi in the same way, and I’ll let you choose whether you prefer one or other. In my own practice, I tend to use both and just flow into the one that my body mind leads me to. Heart and Heart Governor meridians can be worked either individually, or together.

The course contains
  • Fire: Heart and Heart Governor – This exercise is done in three different ways, to do three different tasks, and you will learn all three.
  • Earth: Spleen – You will learn two variants of this exercise, each working with the meridian but having slightly different uses.
  • Metal: Lung – You will learn two variants of this exercise.
  • Water: Kidney.
  • Wood: Liver – Again, you will be taught two variants, each with slightly different qualities.

There are also downloadable files that contain information pertinent to the course

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin

Recently asked students’ questions

Question from Robert

Is there a particular sequence for this set?

Answer from Des

Hello Robert,
Each of these Qigong can be done as an individual exercise if the practitioner wants to focus on that particular quality. However when you want to perform the entire set it is most beneficial if done in either of these two sequences: –

  • Using the Sheng Cycle, the feeding cycle, of Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood.  Depending on what Element you wish to finish on (to focus on most) you start with the next Element in the sequence.
  • Using the Ke Cycle, the controlling cycle, of Fire – Metal – Wood – Earth – Water. Again, if you start on the next Element in the sequence to the one want to finish/focus on.

Regards,
Des

—————————————–

Question from Lorraine

First thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

When you talk about the tip of the tongue touching the palate….   Well.. should I be removing my full upper denture in order to actually touch the physical palate ?    Or is it more an energy connection that will work “through” the denture material? 

I know it seems a siily question,  but it is nagging me  to no ends.

Again many thanks for sharing and apologies too. ..  I already bought 3 other of your courses through Udemy.  before I got to lesson 32.  🙁      But I will keep your website in mind from now on.

Cordially,  Lorraine

Answer from Des

Hello Lorraine,

LOL, the denture can stay in place………..

The position of the tongue is rather like the postures, stretches and tensions we use to help guide the Qi. By using this position we are “programming” our Qi to follow the microcosmic orbit, flowing up Du Mai (Governing Vessel) and down Ren Mai (Conception Vessel).

There are actually three different positions that are used in Qigong with this being the most used. The positions, through practice, determine the direction of flow and what Vessels are being used.

I’m glad that you are enjoying the Qigong.

Kind regards,

Des

Reply from Lorraine

many many thanks for this quick reply. I have now,  one less distraction to worry about when practicing  🙂

Lorraine

See all the questions asked by students

Online Qigong: Five Taoist Yin – More Reviews

  • “Professional course with fair bit of detail – by FAR the best information I have been able to find on the Daoist Yin Qigong moves. I’m reasonably experienced in taiji and qigong, and found this helpful, including the repetition of the basics (you really can’t get enough of that).“ S.D.
  • “This is my fifth course with Master Des. Such depth, clarity and authenticity in teaching Qigong are very difficult to find elsewhere. Thank you!” – S.K.
  • “Fantastic. I feel brand new with a new health toolbox. Many thanks Desmond.” J.M.
  • “This is one of the best courses I have ever taken part in. A lot of information is offered ,, and since we cannot absorb it all at once, i will need to revisit it again and again. … and each time there will be new stuff for me to learn. It is so much better than just a “regular class” .. I am looking forward to practicing. and coming back for more tweaking. .. Thank you so very much :)” L.R.
  • “Enhance health and expand consciousness. The instructor is easy to understand and he presents clear explanations for the movements and their benefits.” D.T.
  • “I really like the emphasis on the subtlety of movement. This is something I’ve felt lacking in other Qiqong courses I’ve done. I also appreciate all that Des has said prior to doing any of the movements and how important it is to get the stance right.” V.F.
  • “This is the second of Des’s courses I have completed – I have another waiting – and the more I do of these the more I appreciate the way Des tells you everything you need to know and guides the through each stage carefully, sensitively, and in a friendly way. All in all you learn Qigong in great depth with it being a thoroughly enjoyable experience.” R.M.
  • “Yes often times Qi Gong Courses are too pricey and give you little explanation. As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, it is nice to have something in line with what I know is true.” J.P.
  • “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.” L.A.
  • “clearest Wuji stance definition I’ve ever received :)” T.H.
  • “Yes. It delivered fast effective results in a short amount of time.” S.E.
  • “Very clear and expert instruction” J.D.
  • “I like the instructors 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.” M.H.
  • “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.” L.R.
  • “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!” M.C.
  • “Very good explanations and contextualisation; the subtitles reinforce the very valuable content.” M.
  • “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.” R.L.
  • “Very detailed and useful. I feel that this is authentic qigong with all the benefits that go with it.” K.L.

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

Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth

Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth
#trueqigong #medicalqigong #therapeuticqigong

The stand alone exercise in the Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth course is for people who are serious about Qigong, true Qigong, no matter what their current level of experience is. It is for people who want to practice true Qigong, to work Internally, rather than practicing slowed down aerobics.

Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth

This course includes:
2 hours on-demand video
1 article
1 downloadable resource
Full lifetime access (covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee)
Access on mobile and TV
Certificate of Completion

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here  Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth

Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth – Recent Reviews

  • “I think this is one of the most in depth description I have ever experienced in an online course. Connecting Heaven and Earth is not my favorite qigong form (hence not 5 stars), but that is just me, and the course is really good all the same.” P.S.
  • “fantastic course, real internal neigong as its meant to be practised! follow the instructors guidance and you will know what its like to really feel your qi” S.H.
  • “Thanks Des. Thoroughly enjoyed this course. I have been practising Qi Gong for quite a few years and it was great to go back and experience this lovely course. Cant wait for the next course. Highly recommended.” D.J.
  • “Fantastic course. Des is extremely thorough – his guidance has helped me to really embody what this ancient practice is all about. I have been practicing Reiki for 16 years so really appreciate the detailed explanation of the wuji stance. I can feel the difference energetically if I am not standing properly in this posture. I like to do this in the morning just after I have done my yoga / Pilates stretches – it really sets me up for the day along with the Qigong for anxiety and stress.” C.W.
  • “I think this is the most in depth description I have ever experienced in an online course. Connecting Heaven and Earth is not my favorite qigong form (yet), but that is just me, and the course is great all the same.” P.S.
  • “I felt immediate benefit from the contents and presentation of this course, and intend to practice it many, many more times before moving deeper into Qigong for health practices. Des gives excellent advice and leaves no stone unturned (even reminding us not to review it before completing it, which is a bad habit of mine). SO, all the reviews you see here are genuine and seem to be highly rated. To sum up, the practice is bottomless and is presented as well as it possibly could be, with experience and love for the practices. Great job, great value to those who don’t mind spending a bit to improve themselves.” S.H.“A clear structured course with many useful details and hints also for the more experienced Qigong practitioners. Thank you very much.” – M.D.
  • “Very professional and thorough. I truly enjoyed it and planning to watch it again. I would definitely recommend it.” P.K.
  • Exactly what I wanted and presented in a clear, easy to follow and understand manner. Very much appreciated in this when we need the most healing. I instantly purchased another course from this instructor with more to follow. Thank you!” E. Mc.
  • “Yes, it was exactly what I was seeking. Finding a gigong teacher with understanding of the energetics is unusual. Yet, that was why gigong was created in the first place. Desmond Lawton is an exceptional teacher and very detailed. I have recommended him to other people who report becoming adherents as well.” E.B.

More reviews below

What Will I Learn?

  • The importance of creating a quiet body/mind through the use of Wuji stance. Poor posture creates distraction, noise, that interferes with the focus needed to guide the Qi.
  • How to make use of the subtleties within the movements and postures to accurately guide the Qi.
  • You will learn how to use the breath to guide the Qi and to help change the brainwave pattern from Beta wave to Alpha wave.
  • What listening jing is and how to use it in order to gain tangible awareness of the Qi and the changes produced during Qigong. If you do not know what it is that you are meant to be guiding how can you guide it?

Requirements

  • No prior knowledge of Qigong required. This course is for all levels.

Description

This Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth course is for people who are serious about Qigong, no matter what their current level of experience is. It is for people who want to practice true Qigong, to work Internally, rather than practicing slowed down aerobics.
Qigong is an Internal skill with the function of enhancing the practitioner’s Qi (energy) and the flow of Qi within the meridian system and energy body.
The movements and postures that Qigong uses are NOT Qigong in its entirety. They are one of the tools used to guide the Qi………………. just ONE of the tools.

Discount price: £19.99 (Normally £39.99)
Purchase, using the link below, before 21/10/2021 and get one month free access to one of our online classes (Terms and Conditions).
Book here  Online Qigong: Connecting Heaven & Earth

Students’ Questions

Question from Steven

Sinking the Qi through Kidney-1

Apologies in advance if this is an odd question however, it is very specific to my practice.

With ‘sinking the Qi through Kidney-1 in mind, what would be the implications of doing this practice without K1 connecting to the earth?

I am a long-term yoga practitioner / meditator and feel very grounded and at peace, when doing some Qigong movement while seated in Padmasana, or the lotus posture (so K1 is not earthed as the soles are facing up).

I am quite new to meridian theory, but am enjoying finding harmony with it and the yogic system of Nadi energetic pathways.

With your level of knowledge in mind Des., I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you.

Answer from Des

The first thing that I want to explain is that KD1 is used to sink the Qi and to “ground” us because we are physical beings who live on a physical planet where gravity does the physical grounding for us and, as bipeds, we stand on two feet. Basically, it is a natural and easier to understand process.

Secondly, to attain Wuji stance and the quiet body/mind that it produces the physical weight must be directed through the KD1 area.

Thirdly, when both weight and Qi are directed through KD1 it is possible to reach an even quieter condition where the subtler qualities Qi can be experienced.

You can sink the Qi through KD1 when standing, sitting, even lying down as it is not a physical process. It is an energetic process. You are connecting to the universe via the Earth. Different traditions and teachings use other “connecting points”, or “anchors” to do this. I was taught to connect via the Solar Plexus chakra. None of the systems I am aware of anchor via the head and this may be a safety mechanism (discovered through trial and tribulation) to protect the practitioner.

Reply from Steven

Thank you for that timely and all-embracing response to my question.

————————————–

Question from Antione

Cold Hands
I’m wondering what the indication is for getting colder and colder during exercises. Underneath soles of feet remains warm, but hands get cold. I’ve worked with a Five Element Acupuncture practitioner and know my primary element. Even working with just that element hands are going cold. Is this the wrong exercise for me at this time?

Answer from Des

Hello Antione,
before I can give you an answer I will need some more information.
Does this happen during all exercises that you do?
Does this only happen during all the Qigong that you do?
Are there certain Qigong, or Qigong movements, that cause this?

Kind regards,
Des Lawton

Reply from Antione

Hi Des,
Thanks for your response.
It seems to have worked itself out. Originally, my hands were getting cold only when doing connecting heaven and earth qi gong, even if I worked on only one element at a time. A few days later the cold was gone and now I’m experiencing regular heat and tingling which I usually equate with the qi experience.

Best Wishes For The Winter Holiday,
Antoine

See all the questions asked by students about this Qigong exercise.

Reviews from our online Qigong course

  • “I felt immediate benefit from the contents and presentation of this course, and intend to practice it many, many more times before moving deeper into Qigong for health practices. Des gives excellent advice and leaves no stone unturned (even reminding us not to review it before completing it, which is a bad habit of mine). SO, all the reviews you see here are genuine and seem to be highly rated. To sum up, the practice is bottomless and is presented as well as it possibly could be, with experience and love for the practices. Great job, great value to those who don’t mind spending a bit to improve themselves.” S.H.
  • “I really enjoyed this course, the attention to details is one of the things that make this course so interesting and well done. The movements themselves are simple and easy to learn, and this was important to me, I find it hard sometimes to learn complicated moves. This is my third courses from Des Lawton and they are all very well done and inspiring. Also in the past I had some questions for Des and he was quick at replying my emails and at answering my questions, and that made me feel like the instructor really cared. Thank you Mr Lawton for a great course.” G.L.
  • “A beautiful course from a humble master. Honestly the best I have ever experienced. Fantastic detail, guidance, clarity – I will hold on to this master for my QiGong learning!”
  • “Excellent information and, rarely shared insight about the subject!”
  • “Excellent course. Great explanation of theory and good, clear instructions. Well paced. Highly recommended”
  • “I really enjoyed this course. It was very detailed and the description of the effects of each movement was very helpful. Usually you are taught just the movements but not about the meridians etc. I thought Des was very patient and seemed to explain just about every question which could be raised. Very highly recommended.”
  • “This course has given me a wonderful foundation to start from. Des provides detailed fundamentals and easily digestible instructions for the course provided.”
  • “After many courses, I found this method related to my needs exactly. Relaxed, and clear.”
  • “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!” “A thoroughly enjoyable, well presented and comprehensive course during which very thorough explanations and demonstrations were given. I particularly found being able to see the positions performed both from a front and side view very helpful and also the information given on the points on the meridians affected in each of the positions. This course really is as close to one to one tuiton as you can possibly get on line. Thank you, I loved it!”
  • “I have been doing qigong and taichi for years, and I find the course simple and at the same time meticulous. Structured in a simple way to learn and at the time for thanks to the different sections.”
  • “Great class this my third video with Des,I always learn something.”
  • “YES”
  • “The descriptions of the movements; external and internal are so clear. The discussion on what to focus on after learning the movements helped me immensely. Extremely well taught.”
  • “This Qigong course is so applicable and well done–a real treasure to add to your toolbox for promoting wellness. Instructor Des Lawton of “Connecting Heaven and Earth Qigong” is an adept teacher of ancient and complex material, whose method transmits the essentials to students, allowing them to achieve a meaningful practice immediately, creating the foundation for continued study. There was emphasis on developing self-awareness and attunement to the mind-body connection which is helpful in all aspects of improved quality of life. An example of this was the lesson on posture that through practical exercises brings to light awareness of one’s body’s habitual balance developed over a lifetime so that the student can develop correct stance and connection to maximize energy flow and centering. Another amazing asset is that unlike many other online course instructors in this discipline, Mr. Lawton is personally accessible and answers questions, truly caring about providing each one of his students an engaging, rewarding experience. I look forward to learning more from this gifted and professional teacher!”
  • “This is the best Wuji stance explanation I’ve found. Very very good teacher. I am happy and grateful that I found him. He explains all in detail and slowly. It is exactly what you need when you are new to this.”

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 Fibromyalgia

Qigong for Fibromyalgia – Empower yourself to health

The reason that I created the Qigong for Fibromyalgia online course is that as part of my Shiatsu practice I often teach and prescribe appropriate Qigong for Fibromyalgia sufferers and, from the feedback that I have received, each of them has benefited from practicing these exercises.

Discount price: £15.99 (Normally £34.99). Offer ends 21/10/2021
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Qigong for Fibromyalgia

Recent reviews

  • “Des explains the underlying processes and principles of Qigong in a way that is easy to understand and acceptable. I hope to be able to use what he has passed on in the course in order to help others who come to me to learn.” L.R.
  • “The instruction is very clear for basics, resources are helpful, and the instructor’s attitude is encouraging and gives hope of improvement.” D.K.

In this course, each Qigong exercise will be broken down into two lessons: The instructions, including movement, breathing and focus. Then a follow me video.

The three exercises shown in the course are among the most common of those that I prescribe and they should provide relief from symptoms. But as everyone is different their Fibromyalgia symptoms can also be different. This means that tailored treatment is more likely to be successful in keeping symptoms at bay and empowering the sufferer, giving them the opportunity to be proactive when dealing with their condition. That said, the three exercises that I have selected for the course should reduce many of the symptoms as they are among those most commonly prescribed.

Using Qigong is a slow, gentle, process that gradually reduces pain, increases mobility and increases stamina. However, it is not a quick fix but, with daily practice, these benefits grow and stabilise.

Qigong for Fibomyalgia – the Benefits

  • The first exercise works with the Yin and Yang meridians in the legs. It increases overall energy, it increases flexibility and it reduces pain.
  • The second exercise works with the Gall Bladder and Liver meridians. It increases flexibility in the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. It also reduces pain.
  • The third exercise increases flexibility in the hips and the lower back. It also reduces upper back pain, lumbar pain, hip and thigh pain.
Qigong for fibromyalgia - wuji stance
#trueqigong #medicalqigong #therapeuticqigong #fibromyalgiatreatment

Booking on to the course

Further details can be found in the free previews


Discount price: £15.99 (Normally £34.99). Offer ends 21/10/2021
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Qigong for Fibromyalgia

Further reading about Qigong for Fibromyalgia

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.

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 Functions of the Yang Meridians within Qigong

When practicing Qigong, the functions of the Yang meridians are often overlooked, or misunderstood. In this article I will cover both the classical TCM functions and those attributed through the art of Zen Shiatsu.

FIRE – Triple Heater / Triple Warmer

TCM Functions of the Yang meridians

Triple Heater meridian. the functions of the Yang meridians
#trueqigong #SBqigong

Combined, the Triple Heater has a general function of transportation (via the water passages) and heat distribution throughout the body. it is also connected to the Lymphatic System (Defensive Qi).
“The Triple Heater is in charge of the correct direction of movement of all types of Qi in all parts of the body”
It is related to the “Three Burning Spaces”. That is the heart, the solar plexus and the Dantien.

Upper Heater

Is described as being “like a mist”.  It comprises of the Heart and Lungs and transports the Qi, in the form of vapour, to all parts of the body.  It controls the outward movement of Defensive Qi to the skin.

Middle Heater

Is described as being “Like a foam”.  It is like soaking things in water to cause decomposition.  It comprises of the Stomach and Spleen and is in charge of digesting food, transforming it and transporting it, in the form of Food Qi, to the Lungs and Heart.  It controls the movement of Nutritive Qi, moving ST Qi downwards and SP Qi upwards.

Lower Heater

Is described as being “like a swamp”, acting like a channel for water.  It comprises of the Liver, Kidney, Bladder, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine.  It transforms the “clean” food for use by the body, excreting the waste substances and fluids.  It has a downward function/movement to facilitate urination.

Zen Functions

  • Controls Spirit and Organs, circulating Qi to the whole body via the Three Heaters.
  • Protects the body through the functioning of the Lymphatic System.
  • It is the body’s thermostat, producing and regulating heat.

FIRE – Small Intestine

Functions of the Yang meridians - Small Intestine meridian
#trueqigong #DesLawton

TCM Functions of the Yang Meridians

  • Separates the pure from the impure. That is to say, sorting and absorbing.

Zen Functions

  • Digesting and assimilating food, governing the total body energy.
  • Absorbs mental anxiety, emotional excitement, and shock.



EARTH – Stomach

Functions of the Yang meridians - Stomach meridian
#SBqigong

TCM Functions of the Yang meridians

  • Controls the rotting & ripening of food.
  • Controls the transportation of food essences.
  • Controls the descending of Qi.
  • Is the origin of fluids.

Zen Functions

  • Governs the functioning of the digestive passages, especially the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.
  • Governs the reproductive, lactation, ovary, and appetite mechanisms.  It also governs the menstrual cycle.

Metal – Large Intestine

Large Intestine meridian
#trueqigong

TCM Functions of the Yang meridians

  • Governing Qi and respiration.
  • Controlling the circulation of Qi in the blood vessels and meridians.
  • Controlling the dispersion and descending of Qi.
  • Regulating the water passages (through the dispersing and descending functions).

Zen Functions

  • Intake of Qi and elimination of gasses by exhalation.

WATER – Bladder

TCM Functions of the Yang meridians

Functions of the Yang meridians - Bladder meridian
#SBqigong #trueqigong
  • Transformation of fluids by Qi (i.e. storage and excretion of the urine).

Zen Functions

  • Governs the autonomic nervous system, especially in relation to reproductive and urinary functions,
  • Related to the mid brain and assists the Kidney in relation to the hormonal system.
  • Purification and elimination of urine.



WOOD – Gall Bladder

Gall Bladder meridian
#trueqigong #SBqigong

TCM Functions

  • Stores bile and secretes it into the duodenum to break down fats.
  • Assists Liver with the distribution of Qi.

Zen Functions

  • Distributes nutrients and balances total energy through the action of the digestive fluids (hormones, saliva, gastric acids, etc).

Yin & Yang and their relationship

Yin & Yang and their relationship is the Chinese concept of two complimentary yet opposing qualities of Qi and therefore everything in the universe can be described in terms of Yin or Yang. The literal translation of Yin is “The shaded side of the valley” and Yang is “The sunny side of the valley”. Yin/Yang is both a way of thinking and a description of the way in which Qi works. For each there is an opposite: Hot/cold, up/down, hard/soft, material/spiritual, etc. The continuous flux of Yin and Yang give impetus to the development of everything, “Yin and Yang are the law of Heaven and Earth, the outline of everything, the parents of change, the origin of birth and destruction….”

Yin and Yang cannot exist independently as they are mutually dependent. There can be no extreme, within Yin there is Yang and within Yang there is Yin. Each can be further sub-divide as within Yin there is also Yin; they are used to provide a reference point for description of phenomena- low, lower, and lowest. Yin within Yin within Yin. When one reaches an extreme it becomes the other.

Yin Yang Taiji
#trueqigong #SBqigong

The now world famous Taiji symbol shows the two aspects of Yin and Yang as though they were two fish swimming round in a tight circle, chasing each other. This shows the relationship between the two – balancing each other, opposing each other, and becoming each other. If observed closely it can be seen that the white fish has a black eye and vice versa, showing that each contains a seed of the other. However if the eye of the fish were magnified it would become another Taiji symbol ad infinitum.

My Qigong Master gave the best description I have come across of the inter-dependency of Yin, Yang and Qi. He posed his students many questions, one of which was “How many sides does a coin have?” The usual answer he received was “Two”. He would then send his student away to ponder on the deeper meaning. After a while he would laugh and explain that the coin has three sides, the Yin and Yang were the two faces, and the Qi, which holds both together, was the edge. Yin and Yang are but perceptions of the quality of the Qi.

Yin and Yang represent the two opposite aspects of everything and the implicit conflict and interdependence of these aspects. Generally, anything that is moving, ascending, bright, hot, hyperactive, including functional disease of the body, relate to Yang. The characteristics of stillness, descending, darkness, degeneration, hypoactivity, including organic disease, are related to Yin.

The terms Yin and Yang were coined to try to understand the dualistic nature of the Universe……………. What do I mean by that? Well, in order to describe anything we MUST have something to compare it with. Yin or Yang cannot exist independently………….. You cannot have the concept of “up” without that of “down”, or that of “hot” without cold, etc.

There is a broadly held misconception about Yin and Yang where people, or things are described as one or the other. If I was to describe anything as Yin, it would be meaningless unless I had something else to compare it with.

For example, if we look at Yin & Yang and their relationship, using Yin and Yang as a description of height you can see that:

  • Your ankle is Yin to your knee or your hip.
  • Your knee is Yang to your ankle but Yin to your hip.
  • Your hip is Yang to both your knee and your ankle.

So, to describe one thing as being Yin, or Yang, you need to have a point of reference.

Five Taoist Yin Instructor Course

Five Taoist Yin Instructor Course – Autumn 2020

2020.07.20 – Please note that this course is now fully booked.

the five taoist yin instructor course
#qigong #qigongscotland #trueqigong #daoyin

The Five Taoist Yin Instructor course is now online! As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic I began streaming Qigong classes and with so much positive feedback like “The online classes felt more like one-to-one tuition” I made the decision to continue these classes indefinitely and to expand the streaming to include Instructor courses. The fact that participants were able to focus more made this an easy decision.

The live course is run over three full day workshops but, as this is impractical online, we have decided to trial it as twelve two-hour workshops with a live assessment. as with the live course, it is limited to ten participants.

The Five Taoist Yin Instructor course is only suitable for experienced practitioners. Please visit the Five Taoist Yin Qigong if you only wish to learn these exercises without the assessment, or if you wish to gain experience of this set before joining the course.

The Five Yin Qigong enhances the Qi flow in the Yin meridians. This Instructor course provides an in depth, experiential, understanding of the Five Taoist Yin. It also includes all the tools and information needed to teach these exercises as true Qigong (Certificated by the San Bao Martial Arts School). As with any Qigong, anyone can mimic the movements of these exercises and perform them as a physical exercise. However, without knowledge and experience of the Internal workings they are not doing Qigong.

Although named the Five Taoist Yin, this set works with all six Yin meridians and, as there are variants of four of the exercises there are actually ten exercises in total.
Metal: (Lung) has two variants.
Wood: (Liver) has two variants.
Earth: (Spleen) has two variants.
Fire: (Heart and Heart Governor) has three variants.

Course content

  • 24 hours tuition.
  • Access to downloadable recordings of the workhops
  • Diagrams of the Yin meridians and focus points.
  • Assessment.
  • Certificate of successful completion on passing the assessment.

Syllabus

  1. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Lung and Kidney.
  2. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Reprise of the Lung & Kidney exercises. The Liver exercise.
  3. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Reprise of the Lung, Kidney & Liver exercises.
  4. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Reprise of the Lung, Kidney & Liver exercises. The Heart Governor (Pericardium) exercise.
  5. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Reprise of the Lung, Kidney & Liver exercises. The Heart exercise.
  6. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Reprise of the Heart Governor & Heart exercises. Working with both meridians simultaneously
  7. Opening the energy gates & Wuji stance. Both versions of the Spleen exercise. Reprise of LU, KD, LV, HG & Ht.
  8. Reprise of all the exercises.
  9. Q&A. Variants for the Lung and Liver meridian exercises.
  10. Q&A. The Heart Governor and Heart exercises in more depth.
  11. Q&A. Teaching practice.
  12. Q&A. Teaching practice.

The assessment is based on the ability to perform and explain: –

  • Wuji stance.
  • Horse riding stance.
  • Both versions of the Lung exercise.
  • The Kidney exercise.
  • Both versions of the Liver exercise.
  • The Heart Governor (Pericardium) exercise.
  • The Heart exercise.
  • Both versions of the Spleen exercise.

Depending on numbers, the assessment may be done in small groups

Participants requirements

  • Access to broadband that is capable of streaming video.
  • A webcam and microphone, where the camera can see the entire body. This is necessary for me to be able to see if you are doing the exercises correctly and also for the assessment.
  • Enough space to do the exercises.

2020.07.20 – Please note that this course is now fully booked.

Five Taoist Yin Instructor course details:

  • Location – Streamed from Zoom
  • Dates – 21/09/2020 till 07/12/2020
  • Time – 18:00 – 20:00 (London)
  • Cost – £350.00
  • Assessment date – 12/12/2020
  • Assessment location – East Kilbride, Scotland
  • Details – Focusing on the postures, the focus, and gaining awareness of Qi flow in these exercises.
  • Instructor – Des Lawton
  • Guidelines – Can be viewed here
  • Further information – ‘Phone Des on 01355266011 or use the form on the Contact Us

A deposit of £50.00 is required, with the balance to be paid on or before 24/08/2020. Bookings made after 24/082020 must be paid in full.

Payment by PayPal, or BACS (please contact us)

Five Taoist Yin Instructor course

I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions

The functions of the Yin Meridians

Lung Meridian

  • Governing Qi and respiration.
  • Controlling the circulation of Qi in the blood vessels and meridians.
  • Controlling the dispersion and descending of Qi.
  • Regulating the water passages (through the dispersing and descending functions).

Spleen Meridian

  • Governs Transformation and Transportation.
  • Controls the blood, i.e. Keeping it within the blood vessels and making blood from food.
  • Controls the muscles and the limbs.
  • Controls the rising Qi (maintaining a balance with Stomach Meridian in the role of controlling of descending Qi).
  • Houses the thought (Yi): thinking, studying, concentration.

Heart Meridian

  • Controls the blood and the blood vessels.
  • Houses the Shen (consciousness).

Kidney Meridian

  • Stores the Jing, governs birth, growth, development and reproduction.
  • Produces bone marrow.
  • Governs the bones, brain and blood production.
  • Governs Water, and the flow of body fluids.

Liver Meridian

  • Storing blood.
  • Maintains harmonious and unobstructed flow of Qi, allowing good body function, especially in relation to; emotional activities, especially anger and mental depression.
  • Promotes the flow of energy to the other organs.
  • Produces bile and affects the secretion of bile.

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

Working with the Yang Meridians

Working with the Yang Meridians in Qigong

Working with the Yang Meridians, through the medium of Qigong has a beneficial effect on health and 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.

This article is a follow up to the one on the Yin Meridians but this time I am concentrating on the Yang. Again, the benefits listed are only an example of what a Yang Qigong can be used for.  Please note that as even though a Qigong exercise is described as working on a particular Meridian it may not have the same effect as another. Some are more efficacious than others for particular ailments. Due to their intrinsic connection, when focusing on the Yang Meridian of any pairing you are also influencing its Yin partner.

In these examples of working with the Yang Meridians the exercises shown are from the Eighteen Posture Taiji Qigong (the Shibashi) and the Embroidered Brocade Qigong.

Fire (SI & TW)

Traditional Chinese Medicine functions: –

Small Intestine

  • Separates the pure from the impure. I.e. sorting and absorbing.

Triple Warmer

Upper Heater
Is described as being “like a mist”. It comprises of the Heart and Lungs and transports the Qi, in the form of vapour, to all parts of the body. It controls the outward movement of Defensive Qi to the skin.

Middle Heater
Is described as being “Like a foam”. It is like soaking things in water to cause decomposition. It comprises of the Stomach and Spleen and is in charge of digesting food, transforming it and transporting it, in the form of Food Qi, to the Lungs and Heart. It controls the movement of Nutritive Qi, moving ST Qi downwards and SP Qi upwards.

Lower Heater
Is described as being “like a swamp”, acting like a channel for water. It comprises of the Liver, Kidney, Bladder, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine. It transforms the “clean” food for use by the body, excreting the waste substances and fluids. It has a downward function/movement to facilitate urination.

Zen functions: –

Small Intestine

  • Digesting and assimilating food, governing the total body energy.
  • Absorbs mental anxiety, emotional excitement, and shock.

Triple Warmer

  • Controls the Spirit and Organs, circulating the Ki to the whole body via the Three Heaters.
  • Protects the body through the functioning of the lymphatic system (conserving the balance of the fluids in the body, removing bacteria and toxins, and conserving protein in the cells. It is a major factor in our immune system).
  • It is the body’s thermostat, regulating and producing heat.

The Circle of Light, from the Embroidered Brocade (an Arm Yang Qigong). According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the benefits of working with Small Intestine and Triple Warmer Qi include:-

Circle of Light - From the Embroidered Brocade Qigong
#qigong #trueqigong qigongscotland
  • Muscular and tendon stiffness in the upper back especially for GV, BL & SI meridians.
  • Stiff neck, occipital headache, earache and giddiness.
  • Clears the mind (Shen), gives clarity to make difficult decisions.
  • Shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, intercostal neuralgia.
  • Allays depression and mood swings caused by Liver stagnation.

Earth (ST)

Traditional Chinese Medicine functions: –

  • Controls the rotting & ripening of food.
  • Controls the transportation of food essences.
  • Controls the descending of Ki.
  • Is the origin of fluids.

Zen functions: –

  • Governs the functioning of the digestive passages, especially the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum.
  • Governs the reproductive, lactation, ovary, and appetite mechanisms.
  • It also governs the menstrual cycle.

Twisting the Waist and Pushing Palms, from the Shibashi. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of working with the Stomach Meridian exercise include:-

Working with the Yang Meridians - Twisting the Waist and Pushing Palms
#SBqigong #shibashi
  • Sinus & nasal congestion, trigeminal neuralgia, nosebleeds, and upper toothache.
  • Lactation problems, stimulates the ovarian hormones.
  • Pain in the abdomen, heartburn, thirst, menstrual pain, mental irritation, and anxiety.
  • Tonifies deficient Qi & blood, strengthens the body & mind.
  • Regulates defensive Qi.
  • Low libido, loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea, and any stomach disorder.
  • Tiredness in the legs, knees, or wrists.
  • Used to treat phlegm and damp conditions, mucus, etc.
  • Calms the mind (Yi).

Metal (LI)

Traditional Chinese Medicine functions: –

  • Governing Qi and respiration.
  • Controlling the circulation of Qi in the blood vessels and meridians.
  • Controlling the dispersion and descending of Qi.
  • Regulating the water passages (through the dispersing and descending functions).

Zen functions: –

  • Intake of Qi and elimination of gasses by exhalation.

Broaden the Chest, from the Shibashi. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this Metal exercise include:- 

Working with the Yang Meridians - Broaden the Chest, from the Shibashi

#SBqigong #shibashi Working with the Yang Meridians
  • Pain relief in the head, face and upper teeth.
  • Stimulates the intestines, constipation, takes energy down the body.
  • General well-being, strengthening and eliminating tiredness in the upper body, pain in the upper body and abdomen.
  • Reduces heat, diarrhoea, abdominal distension, cystitis, eczema, psoriasis, hives.
  • Frozen shoulder, neuralgia of the arm and shoulder, hemiplegia.

Water (Bl)

Traditional Chinese Medicine functions: –

  • Transformation of fluids by Qi (i.e. storage and excretion of the urine).

Zen functions: –

  • Governs the autonomic nervous system, especially in relation to reproductive and urinary functions,
  • Related to the mid brain and assists the Kidney in relation to the hormonal system.
  • Purification and elimination of urine.

Rowing a Boat, from the Shibashi.According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this Water exercise include:- 

Working with the Yang Meridians - Rowing a Boat, from the Shibashi.

#SBqigong #shibashi Working with the Yang Meridians
  • Eye problems, red eyes, blurred vision, headaches behind the eyes, facial paralysis.
  • Occipital headache, stiff neck, stimulates the memory, eye & nose problems, and nasal congestion.
  • Acute, or chronic, lower backache.
  • Calf spasms, sciatica, pain on the sole of the foot.
  • Painful periods with dark clotted blood, dysmenorrhoea, and menhoragia.
  • Dizziness, insomnia,and aching lower extremities.
  • Used for clearing heat, good for cystitis.

Wood (GB)

Traditional Chinese Medicine functions: –

  • Stores bile and secretes it into the duodenum to break down fats.
  • Assists Liver with the distribution of Qi.

Zen Functions: –

  • Distributes nutrients and balances total energy through the action of the digestive fluids (hormones, saliva, gastric acids, etc).

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

Painting Rainbows, from the Shibashi. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the uses and benefits of this Wood exercise include:- 

Working with the Yang Meridians - Painting Rainbows, from the Shibashi.

#SBqigong #shibashi Working with the Yang Meridians
  • Dry & painful eyes and conjunctivitis.
  • Temporal, or frontal, headache.
  • Sinus congestion.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus.
  • Clears heat in the Lower Heater, Tonifies Qi & blood, and also tonifies KD Yang (Bladder).
  • Hip & leg pain, sciatica, lumbar pain, and lumbago.
  • Pain & spasms in the legs & knees, ankle pain, and weakness in the legs.
  • Promotes the flow of Liver Qi.

Summary of Working with the Yang Meridians

Remember that when working with the Yang Meridians the more you put in the more you get out, but this does not mean that you overdo things. Take your time as Qigong must be practiced on a regular basis, it must be practiced properly and practiced before any benefits can be gained. Remember that Qigong is the art of working with Qi, it is Internal and the important thing is that you work with Qi, focusing on it.

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.

The Art of Healing with Qigong

The Art of Healing with Qigong
#qigong #trueqigong #DesLawton

Healing with Qigong (pronounced chee gung) has been used in China for centuries. It is still being used in the 21st century alongside “modern” medicine and that says a lot about its efficacy. It is the art or science of using, working with and cultivating Qi (Chi) “life energy” to enrich one’s life by controlling and strengthening the flow of Qi throughout the body.

This information is written from the point of view of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Please do not be put off by the terminology of Water/Metal imbalances, as these are only ways of describing the illness from a TCM perspective.

Healing with Qigong

Qigong is an art, which is steeped in history, legend and myth, has its roots in ancient China, growing as a healing art over thousands of years. It is the forerunner of, and is therefore based on the same principles as, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Tuina, and Shiatsu.  At present it is still being developed and researched as a cure, and preventative of illness by Qigong masters and by medical establishments and universities in China, America, Russia and Japan. In China, Qigong is often used in conjunction with Traditional Chinese and Allopathic Medicine to increase the healing power/rate – This wonderful system can also be utilised to enhance any of the Complimentary Healing systems as well as being used as a self-development and self-healing system.

Often after giving a treatment we ask ourselves if we could have done more.  We often see people who need frequent/regular treatment but who cannot afford the cost.  One way we can deal with this dilemma is to recommend some form of self-help such as diet, exercise etc.  However one of the most powerful self-help systems is often overlooked, primarily because of lack of experience – Qigong.

Healing with Qigong exercises – Two examples

It is my intention to outline two Qigong exercises which were be used to treat a client. The first deals with an imbalances in Metal, but which also treat other chronic ailments.  The second has a calming effect on the body, the brain and the consciousness. My intention is to show the basic exercise listing pathogenic factors it may be used to treat, then show a modification to the exercise that will enhance it, making it more potent in treating Metal disorders/imbalances.  The beauty of these exercises lies in their simplicity and power.

Qigong promotes the smooth flow of Qi within the meridian system, bringing harmony and balance to the Whole (Body/Mind/Spirit).  Each exercise has both a tonifying and sedating quality (i.e. It can either increase or decrease the amount of Qi within the meridian) and can be prescribed using Five Element Theory or Kyo/Jitsu, as would be done in Shiatsu, etc.

The stances for both exercises are the same; feet are shoulder width apart with the weight evenly distributed, the knees are slightly bent, the coccyx is tucked in slightly, and the head is held upright as though suspended from above.

The breathing should be natural and it is important that the movement follows the breathing and not vice versa.  Breathing should be through the nose and concentrated on the Tan Tien (a point 2 – 3 inches below the navel).  Throughout the exercise, the tongue should touch the palate just behind the front teeth.

BROADENING THE CHEST:

Healing with Qigong - Metal exercise

a) Inhalation – Turn the palms to face each other as though holding a balloon, raise them to chest height while simultaneously raising the stance, then move them laterally/horizontally as though the balloon was expanding.

b) Exhalation – Move the arms medially/horizontally to the original distance apart, lower the stance/arms while turning the palms obliquely downward.

N.B.  Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed and that the elbows are pointed down so that the arms are not “locked”. There should be a harmonious co-ordination between the raising and lowering of the arms/stance and the breathing.  Repeat about six to eight times.

PRESSING PALMS IN CALMNESS:

Following on from the last exhalation:

Healing with Qigong - working with Metal imbalances in TCM

a) Inhalation – Turn the palms upward with the fingers pointing at each other, and lift the hands to eye level.

b) Exhalation – Turn the palms down, again with the fingers pointing at each other, and press down until the hands are level with the hips.

Repeat about six to eight times.

This is good for regulating the breathing and balancing the blood pressure.  It strengthens the function of the Kidney, calms the nerves, can alleviate tinnitus and dizziness, and also has an effect on arthritis of the knee.

As stated, each exercise should be repeated about six to eight times (but do not get too focused on counting) and should be carried out twice a day – morning and early evening.

Using the art of Qigong

Excellent results are achievable but are entirely dependent on the client practising diligently.  One example of how potent Qigong is, is that of a 13-year-old boy with severe asthma.  When he first came for treatment (Shiatsu) he was dependent on daily medication involving three different inhalers.  His treatment consisted of three Shiatsu sessions, which started to stabilise his condition, and he was then prescribed two Qigong exercises.  Eight months later, his mother telephoned me with the news that he had been off medication completely for the previous five months and that he had only had one asthmatic attack in this time.  He had remained calm during this incident and used Qigong to overcome it in a controlled manner.

His mother had viewed this as almost miraculous, but the real miracle was that her son had the discipline to practice his Qigong each and every day – he had been empowered with the ability to heal himself.

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

Course Feedback – The Eight Exceptional Vessels

Eight Exceptional Vessels course feedback

Udemy, where Ihave our online courses hosted, ask all the students to leave ratings and reviews. Here is some of the Eight Exceptional Vessels course feedback that I have received.

From Lynn

” Excellent instructor! Beautiful material! “

From Walter

“This was a fantastic course that went into great detail in the subject. I would highly recommend this course for those that want to work specifically on the Eight Exceptional Vessels. Very good course!”

From Ben

“Excellent explanation of the subtleties of wu ji. I felt an immediate shift while practicing under the guidance in this video. Alot of these subtleties are overlooked, but here they are explained with great clarity. Thank you for creating this course!”

From Xabier

“I have been doing qigong and taichi for years, and I find the course simple and at the same time meticulous. Structured in a simple way to learn and at the time for thanks to the different sections. The teacher seems a bit concerned about his accent: I have not had any problems and I am not a native English speaker. In addition, subtitles can be used if necessary.”

From Dean

“Clear instruction and demonstrations. Feel the chi when do the movements. Each movement has multiple parts. Plenty of follow along repetitions and tips to get the patterns. Thanks.”

From Maxine

“I thought the course was well presented and interesting”

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!”

Eight Exceptional Vessels course feedback
#trueqigong #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.

Faux qigong

Faux qigong – are you practicing it?

Avoid faux qigong and find a true qigong teacher like Des Lawton
#trueqigong #DesLawton


What is the difference between true Qigong and faux qigong (fake). True Qigong works with the Internal and circulates and enhances the Qi. The other, the bogus one, doesn’t. It is purely External and works with the physical body and, at best, there is some “wooly” mention of Qi. How can you tell whether it is fake or real? Simply ask your teacher what Meridians, Vessels, Points, or Elements an exercise is working with. Ask about the process, about how each physical action is affecting the Qi flow. If they cannot answer, or the answer is vague waffle, I’m afraid you are probably not doing Qigong……………..
Why do qigong when you could be practicing Qigong and benefit the Internal as well as the External?

The gulf between the two is succinctly described in the following video.

What is the difference between Dao Yin and Qigong?

None! The same thing with a different name.You may have noticed that I used lower case in the second “qigong”. This how I differentiate between true Qigong and faux qigong. In this short video Master Yu Boyang differentiates between the real and the faux by using the more ancient term of “Dao Yin” for the Internal art, saying there is a difference and that qigong tends to be practiced as an external, physical, exercise.

The Master was being polite! I’d rather call a spade a spade.

Understand the difference and save yourself from wasting time and energy rather than gaining it. Don’t settle for the fake…………. search for the real deal!

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

Tanzan and Ekido

Tanzan and Ekido
#trueqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on girl”, said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he could restrain himself no longer.

“We monks do not go near females”, he told Tanzan, “especially not young and beautiful ones, it is dangerous. Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there”, said Tanzan, “are you still carrying her?”

We all carry too much baggage around………………. Learn to let go.

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.

Attaining Mastery

The Master looked at his new apprentice…….. “Here, have these” he said as he handed over a lump of rough-hewn wood and a saw. He showed the apprentice how to use the saw and said “Go saw”.
He was then taught how to keep his saw sharp and clean.

When the apprentice got the hang of sawing, the Master gave him some finer grained wood and a sharper, finer, saw. He said “Go saw”.

Then it was the same with a chisel………….. “Go chisel”.
He was then taught how to keep his chisel sharp and clean.

When the apprentice’s sawing and chiselling  skills were good enough he was introduced to measuring and marking……… Then given plans to mark out, saw and chisel the finest wood into shape.

The years went by and each shape that the apprentice made was put into one of two piles. One pile increased rapidly, the other barely grew. Then, one day, the apprentice handed over his most recent piece and the Master smiled. He walked over to the tiny pile and picked up the pieces. Handing them over to the apprentice he said “Go assemble”. This is Qigong…………..

Mastery of Qigong - assembling the puzzel
#trueqigong #DesLawton

The Master can only lead the student so far. It is the student that completes the journey to Mastery. Attaining Mastery of Qigong – assembling the puzzle

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

Using Imagery

Using imagery within Qigong
#trueqigong #qigong #DesLawton

When using imagery the pictures we form in our mind are one of our greatest inner resources.  In the past two decades there has been a growing appreciation of the integration of body, mind and spirit and that if we use any therapeutic practice that addresses each of these aspects, we have access to the body’s healing resources. In this way we treat the whole person in a manner that is holistic in its truest sense.  People who use imagery will have discovered just how useful and versatile it is and how it can integrate body, mind and spirit.  The conscious and creative use of images gives us a method, through visualisation, guided imagery, or interactive image work, to influence our lives. Imagery can affect our lives positively or negatively so our thoughts and visualisations need to be positive in order to support healing.

Simple examples of imagery

Our thought, memories, beliefs, moods, feelings and sensations are, subconsciously, translated into images, and together they form the basis of how we experience ourselves.  Mostly we believe them to be unchangeable.  However through any simple relaxation and visualisation exercise (for example imagining ourselves lying on a beach, hearing the gentle lapping water, feeling warm, relaxed, happy in the company of those we love) we can experience changes in thought or mood.  We can experience psychological and physiological changes by simply imagining ourselves exposed to the thing that frightens us most and feeling that knot in our stomach and possibly a cold sweat too. Or by visualising a plate of our favourite food and notice how we salivate and that our stomach rumbles.  These very simple examples show how the imagination influences us and is so integrated into our experience of life. It demonstrates the great untapped potential of the mind if we decided to utilise it.

Studies done

The study of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has done much to validate the therapeutic use of imagery.  Research shows how the use of imagery can increase immunity, change unhealthy psychological patterns and positively influence healing.  (Pert 1997)

Imagery has a tremendous range, from simple visualisations described above, to very specific use – to stimulate bone or wound healing for example – right through to interactive imagery, where a dialogue between body and mind, or the conscious and the unconscious self, or the personal and the transpersonal, is possible.  Imagework, the most developed form of interactive imagery, is a self-help tool which enables us to feel and be more fully ourselves and gain insight into the source or meaning of illness, or in another context they can underpin the emotional and psychological care of patients, and even more importantly, it can be a means for personal development for us all, restoring the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual balance – health promotion in its truest sense.

Imagery within Qigong

You can use imagery within the art of Qigong in a couple of ways: –

  • To assist the movement of Qi throughout the body and mind. However just using imagery is not as effective as using Listening Jing but by using both the input of imagery and feedback of listening you can enhance, or create, particular Qi flow efficiently.
  • When practicing Qigong and with the the body/mind quiet your Shen (consciousness) can be accessed and let roam free……………. When doing Shen Qigong the imagery that manifests is no longer the input it is the feedback. The brain (Yi) is not manufacturing these images, it is interpreting the experiences of the Shen.

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

Medical Research on Taiji

Medical Research on Taiji - Link to Taiji classes availability in Scotland
#trueqigong #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 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Practicing true Qigong – learned from our online Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome course, can have a big impact on people who are suffering with this ailment. 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.

The feedback that I have received about the efficacy of these Qigong has led me to create an online course for people who are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Not everyone has access to a Shiatsu practitioner but most people have access to the internet and this course should be of real benefit to them.

Recent reviews

  • “Excellent course. Well suited for someone with CFS. With the seated instructions I feel I can do the movements, it does not feel above my ability. I really enjoyed the way Des teaches – calm, clear and encouraging. Highly recommended.” D.A.
  • “I am completely new to Qigong. I was interested in giving it a try, but didn’t know where to start. I am so pleased I found this course, which is specially tailored for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Des is clearly very experienced and knowledgeable, and is an excellent teacher. His instructions are very clear and easy to understand, and it is great that he has an understanding of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and really cares about the health and wellbeing of his students. The course is divided into small bite-sized sections, which makes it easy to take in all the detailed instruction without ever feeling overwhelmed. I have now finished the course and will be practicing these exercises daily, while coming back to the instructions regularly to refresh my learning. I am looking forward to discovering the benefits to my health over the coming weeks and months.” E.O.
  • “The course is excellently communicated and the instructor obviously has a wide breadth of experience and a passion to share it. Useful to anyone who wishes to feel the potential benefits of practicing Qigong daily, it is not overly demanding but IS powerful. You DO NOT need to be suffering CFS to take benefit from this information. A small enhancement could be the inclusion of a pdf for each stage, just showing a still photograph of each transition point. This would negate the need to re-watch the full length video and would serve as a quick reminder for those who just want to jog their memory and get on and practice. Overall though, I am addicted to the presenters passion for the subject, and I am feeling the benefits of the practice.” S.H.
  • “It works. Love his courses. Wonderful human being.” A.K.
  • “This was a wonderful course. I can already feel the difference and I can see that I’ll be going back to this course repeatedly thank you for this pleasant and practical course.” C.K.
  • “This is my first qigong course. I hesitated to sign up because I didn’t know whether the several exercises would be accompanied by enough basic information. This course exceeded my expectations with providing a solid foundation and much to think about with practice. (Previously, I watched several internet videos, but never gained a comprehension of what was involved or felt a difference from daily practice.) The combination of fundamentals, careful instruction and PDF leaves nothing out. The instructor is calm, caring and gives hope for improving stamina, focus and the issues of CFS.” – D.K.
  • “I’m not affected by CFS but bought this course and practice these exercises because I find them really powerful. Mr Lawton’s courses are hands down the best I’ve been able to find anywhere.” – Sebastian
  • Very well detailed, easy to follow and fascinating.” – R.M.
  • ” Clear and detailed.” – K.L.

Discount price: £15.99 (Normally £34.99). Offer ends 21/10/2021
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

“Qigong does not produce quick fixes but, through time and practice, it has a cumulative effect on health and well being. How long it takes is dependent on many factors, the biggest two being frequency and quality of practice.
If you follow Des’s guidelines in this course I feel sure that you will notice a difference……… but try to be patient with yourself and give the Qigong (and yourself) a chance.”
N.D.

Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
#trueqigong #medicalqigong #therapeuticqigong #chronicfatiguesyndrome

In this course, each Qigong exercise will be broken down into three lessons: The instructions, including movement, breathing and focus in the standing position. The instructions, including movement, breathing and focus in the seated position. Finally, a follow me video that can be used whether you are standing or sitting.

These three exercises have been chosen as examples of the Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that I prescribe. However, they are not the only exercises that I use for this condition as treatment is tailored to suit the needs of the individual. That said, they are among the commonest ones that I use.

Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – the Benefits

  • The first exercise works with the Stomach and Spleen meridians. When the energy in these meridians is low your entire physical energy is also low. The benefits of bringing Stomach and Spleen back into harmony are: Better flexibility in the muscles, better muscle tone, increased physical energy and increased ability to exercise (increased stamina).
  • The second exercise is a Lung meridian exercise that also works on the Large Intestine meridian. Enhancing Lung Qi increases energy levels and reduces fatigue in the upper body. It increases vitality, reduces melancholy and low mood. Enhancing Large Intestine Qi reduces fatigue in the lower body and increases determination, it also allows you to let go of negative thoughts and patterns.
  • The third exercise is a Five Elements exercise that brings balance to the entire energy system and then goes on to maintain that balance. The first two exercises will lift your energy levels and this one is effective at maintaining them.

We also provide online tuition, via Skype. For details and availability please use our Contact page and leave your details.

Booking on to the course

Further details can be found in the free previews

Discount price: £15.99 (Normally £34.99). Offer ends 21/10/2021
The course is hosted on the Udemy learning website and is covered by the Udemy lifetime access guarantee.
Book here
– Qigong for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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

Questions asked about these Qigong exercises

  • Q: Mixing this set with Qigong for Stress & Anxiety
    Hi Des,
    I have been practicing the CFS exercises every morning, and I am really enjoying them. I know it is very early days and it will take time to see the full benefits, but already I feel they are having a positive effect.
    I wanted to ask you please about your Stress & Anxiety course. I am wondering if that course may also help me as stress, anxiety and worry are things I have quite a problem with…and I’m sure it must exacerbate my CFS symptoms. I found a demonstration video on your website and I tried out the exercises, and I am thinking about booking the course. But before I do I wanted to ask if you think the Stress & Anxiety exercises are suitable to do along with the CFS exercises? (I’m wondering if they might counteract eachother – the CFS ones building energy and the stress ones relaxing and taking the energy away again?!) If they can be done together, can they all be practiced together in the same session, or should they be done separately? If I do them all together, is it important what order I do them in?
    Or is it better to continue with the CFS exercises on their own for a longer period of time before adding any more?

    Also, I know you said in the CFS course to practice in the morning, which I am doing…but I wonder is it ok to practice at other times of the day – either as well as or instead of the morning?

    I am sorry for asking so many questions! Please only reply when you have the time…there is no hurry.  In the meantime, I will continue enjoying my daily qigong practice!  🙂

    Kind regards, E.O.


    A: Hello E,
    Questions are not a problem so feel free to ask. I will always answer as soon as possible. Let’s take your questions one at a time.
    Stress and anxiety are both huge burners of energy and will always have a detrimental effect that will slow down your recovery from CFS. They may well be a major contributor to it.
    The Qigong used in these courses are complementary, in fact synergistic, and will not deplete your energy.
    They can be practiced as part of the same session, or each have their own session (the work of the Qigong continues well after each session finishes).
    Listen to what your body and mind is telling you. In the morning, if you feel that increasing your energy is more important, do the CFS exercises. If you feel anxious, do those for S&A. Later in the day, if you feel up to it, do the other set (ie CFS in the morning and S&A in the afternoon).
    Listen to your body and mind when choosing what exercises you will be doing and in what order. Don’t rationalise………….. go with your gut feeling.
    Remember to work within your current, physical, ability. Small steps mean continuous gains.

    Kind regards, Des


    ———————————————
  • Q: Number of repetitions
    Hello Des,
    Thank you for your reply to the review I left for the CFS course. It really is a brilliant course – I’m so happy I’ve done it.
    I have a question please about timings/repetitions of the exercises…
    I have only just started a daily practice after completing the course a few days ago (I’m sorry, I forgot you said to wait a month before reviewing…I was just excited and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it!). I’ve started by doing 10-15 minutes every morning, but I’m not sure how to split the time between the 3 exercises. I’ve been trying to divide the time equally and doing about 8 repetitions of each (you gave this number in the course). But it’s hard to get the timing right without counting (I found on your website your answer to one of your student’s questions where you advised against counting). I have a timer app which I can set to various intervals, but that’s tricky as each exercise is a different length and I don’t know how to time it for a certain number of repetitions.

    So what should I do? I’m sure I’m over-thinking it! Should I just set the timer for, say, 15 minutes and just do whatever feels right each day? (and I know I should do less than that if it feels too much any day). But does it matter if I don’t spend equal time on each exercise? or if I find I spend longer on one and I don’t have time to complete all three, is that ok?
    What would you recommend? E.O.

    A: Do whatever feels right on the day. This is a question that is often asked and the answer is always the same. Concentrate on the Qi rather than the counting and when dealing with CFS this is of even more importance.
    To begin with, as you are learning the exercises and becoming more familiar with them, counting is OK. Once you are happy with them your body/mind will let you know when to change, when to stop. It becomes a non-thinking decision.
    The number of repetitions will change constantly but if you feel that exercise (a) is always repeated more that exercise (c) it may be fatigue, that you might not have consciously noticed, that is creating this pattern. In that case you can reverse the order.
    There may be some days when you only do one of the exercises, or two of them. This is absolutely fine. Once again, your body/mind will guide you to what is needed.

    Kind regards, Des

Further reading

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.

Nothing hurts

Yamaoka Tesshu
#trueqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen visited one master after another. He called upon Dukuon of Shokuku.

Desiring to show his level of attainment, he said “The Mind, Buddha and sentient beings do not exist, the true nature of phenomena is emptiness, there is no realisation, no delusion, no sage and no mediocrity, there is no giving and nothing to be received”.

Dukuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.

“If nothing exists”, enquired Dukuon, “where did this anger come from?”

Wisdom and experience cannot be found in books………….. only in life!
Yamaoka Tesshu was young when he learned this lesson and I doubt it if he needed to be taught twice.

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.

Taoist Wisdom

“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” (Lao Tzu)
Your Qigong journey should have preconceptions. Focus on the few and miss the many of the myriad of qualities of Qi.

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Taoist Wisdom
#trueqigong #DesLawton #qigong #taoist

“He, who rushes ahead, does not go far.” (Lao Tzu)
Some of my hill walking friends like to get to the top of a mountain as quickly as they can while the rest of us meander up, chatting, observing flora and fauna as we do so. We all walked the same distance but the tortoises went far further than the hares.
This is the same within Qigong and Taiji…………… If you rush you miss so much. Even going slowly you often have to go back and cover the same ground again because you have missed, or misunderstood something.



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“Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.”  (Lao Tzu) When listening to your Qi, do not anticipate or expect anything in particular because that is all you will ever get. If you are truly listening you will experience far more.

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“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” (Lao Tzu)
Some think that they can learn Qigong from a book. I’ve never been on a plane but I’ve read the flight manual. Who wants to fly with me?


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“He, who stands on tiptoe, does not stand firm.” (Lao Tzu)
Wuji is the foundation that allows your body and mind (Yi) to be still. On tiptoe you are unstable and your body is so “noisy” that it drowns out the whisper of your Qi. Live your life with the qualities of Wuji and stay connected to yourself and to the universe.


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“Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heaven.” (Lao Tzu)
Make sure you have the ability sink the Qi and the ability to keep the body/mind grounded before practicing Spiritual Qigong. It is your tether, safety net, and route back.


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“Failure is an opportunity.” (Lao Tzu)
Do not expect your Qigong journey to be linear. You will often experience “setbacks” and need to go back over old ground. This is the opportunity to experience the things you missed. The things that may not have seemed relevant at the time and that you did not require on that part of your journey. But these are the things that you need now to progress.


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“Watch your actions; they become habits.” (Lao Tzu)
If you are aware of good actions, proper posture, proper focus, etc you should maintain them and make them habitual. All bad actions, poor posture, poor focus, etc should be recognised and eliminated. Habits are hard to break once they become ingrained so it is best to stop bad ones before they gain strength.


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“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” (Lao Tzu)
Keep your Shen light and your Qi will be lively………….. Let it dance!


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“When in stillness you should be as the mountain. When in motion you should move like the water of a river.” (Master Wu Yu-hsiang).

Although this is aimed at the art of Taiji it is equally relevant to Qigong. Stillness within the body and mind, through Wuji, produces the composure of a mountain It is in this state that you are truly aware of the flow of the Qi. Its current, like that of water, having many qualities………. From smooth and quiet to cascading like a waterfall.


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“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” (Lao Tzu)

When you don’t let go you stay as you are because there is no room for growth, no room for the expansion of experience.
Within Qigong, if you hang on rigidly to one tangible experience of Qi your Yi will always mould the Qi in that pattern. It is only when to let go, when you use passive awareness and “listen”, that all the other patterns/essences/flavours can be experienced.


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“Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.” (Lao Tzu)

Be here and now, find stillness. Be passively aware of self and Qi. You will never find yourself out there, only in here.

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“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.” (Lao Tzu)

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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“The wise man looks into space and knows that there are no limited dimensions.”  (Lao Tzu)

The wise man accepts and does not reach out for boundaries. To truly experience Qi do not reach out, accept it for what it is at that time. Passively aware

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“A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.” (Lao Tzu)

Liken your body with a terrace of nine levels. Stability, Wuji stance, must be constructed from the base.

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From Wang Zongyue

“Quiet like a mountain. Movement like a river”. From “Kung Hsin Chieh” (Wang Zongyue)

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” (Wang Zongyue)

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
#trueqigong #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
#trueqigong #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
#trueqigong #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

Questions about The Five Taoist Yin

questions about The Five Taoist Yin

Working with the Yin Meridians - Metal
#trueqigong #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 Robert

Is there a particular sequence for this set?

Answer from Des

Hello Robert,
Each of these Qigong can be done as an individual exercise if the practitioner wants to focus on that particular quality. However when you want to perform the entire set it is most beneficial if done in either of these two sequences: –

  • Using the Sheng Cycle, the feeding cycle, of Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood.  Depending on what Element you wish to finish on (to focus on most) you start with the next Element in the sequence.
  • Using the Ke Cycle, the controlling cycle, of Fire – Metal – Wood – Earth – Water. Again, if you start on the next Element in the sequence to the one want to finish/focus on.

Regards,
Des

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Question from Lorraine

First thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

When you talk about the tip of the tongue touching the palate….   Well.. should I be removing my full upper denture in order to actually touch the physical palate ?    Or is it more an energy connection that will work “through” the denture material? 

I know it seems a siily question,  but it is nagging me  to no ends.

Again many thanks for sharing.

and apologies too. ..  I already bought 3 other of your courses through Udemy.  before I got to lesson 32.  🙁      But I will keep your website in mind from now on.

Cordially,

         Lorraine

Answer from Des

Hello Lorraine,

LOL, the denture can stay in place………..

The position of the tongue is rather like the postures, stretches and tensions we use to help guide the Qi. By using this position we are “programming” our Qi to follow the microcosmic orbit, flowing up Du Mai (Governing Vessel) and down Ren Mai (Conception Vessel).

There are actually three different positions that are used in Qigong with this being the most used. The positions, through practice, determine the direction of flow and what Vessels are being used.

I’m glad that you are enjoying the Qigong.

Kind regards,

Des

Reply from Lorraine

many many thanks for this quick reply. I have now,  one less distraction to worry about when practicing  🙂

Lorraine

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Question from Irina

This was my first introduction to Qigong and I have really enjoyed it. I’ve been suffering with vertigo for the last couple of months. Based on the Shen cycle my understanding is that I should end it with the water element. Should I keep doing the same cycle or should I switch it up at some point? What next course would you recommend? Thank you!

Answer from Des

Hello Irina,

Yes, if you are performing the entire set you should finish with Water if you are suffering with vertigo. Depleted Kidney Qi is often associated with dizziness and vertigo so you might benefit from practicing the Kidney exercise (and any other Kidney Qi Qigong you know).

The depleted Kidney Qi may be caused by either Metal not feeding it, or Wood demanding too much. I would therefore recommend that you practice the Lung exercise followed by the Kidney exercise for at least a week.

Connecting Heaven and Earth (as taught in the course) is a great 5 Elements Qigong that will help to keep your entire system in balance.

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Question from Lessen

Hi Des!
I’m fairly struggling with the moves at the beginning, and really would like to try to perfect my position before moving along with the course. Am I doing a mistake? Should I first go through all lessons and then come back to them to perfect my position and moves?

Answer from Des

For most people, the Fire exercise is the one that takes the most time and effort to learn.

You can break it down into two components and work with what is happening below the waist (remembering to keep the crown raised at all times. You can then focus more on what the hands are doing.

Work your way through the entire set. You will find some are much easier to learn and by continued practice of the whole set you will find that your body will start to settle into the movements.

When I am teaching this set, in a live situation, it is tha Fire exercise that demands the most time.

I hope that this helps.

Des

Reply from Lessen

This helps exactly as needed! I will then follow along and repeat the process 🙂
Thanks a million Des!

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Question from Robert

like this course and explanation most why no follow along at the end des

Answer from Des

I assume you mean a video with all of the exercises done in sequence?

As explained in the Introduction to the Five Taoist Yin Qigong video, each of these Qigong can be done as an individual exercise if the practitioner wants to focus on that particular quality.

However whe you want to perform the entire set it is most beneficial if done in either of these two sequences: –

– Using the Sheng Cycle, the feeding cycle, of Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood.  Depending on what Element you wish to finish on (to focus on most) you start with the next Element in the sequence.

– Using the Ke Cycle, the controlling cycle, of Fire – Metal – Wood – Earth – Water. Again, if you start on the next Element in the sequence to the one want to finish/focus on.

I’m sure that you will appreciate that with so many options it would be problematic to either film all the options or to pick one in preference over the others.

Regards,
Des

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Question from Prashant Srivastava

How safe are these Qigongs?
If we don’t get them exactly right, are we jeopardizing our Qi? Is there any particular Qigong to be more cautious about?

Answer from Des

Hello Prashant,
These exercises are safe to practice. The very worst you could do is, through lack of proper focus, enhance your Qi in another meridian.
There are other Qigong that can be dangerous if practiced improperly by someone with limited experience. These are Inner Sanctum and I only teach them  face to face, on an individual basis. As these will never be taught online by me and as I am not aware of all the Qigong (including faux qigong) that is being broadcast on Udemy I cannot answer this further.
Kind regards,
Des Lawton

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Question from Kuraijam

What is the optimum duration of practice singly as well as in sequence?

Answer from Des

I would normally teach each exercise for eight respirations. With Fire and Earth that means eight respirations to each side. However, with personal practice I don’t count but it probably averages out the same.

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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

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Question from Ruth

Hi Des,
Thanks a lot for the fantastic Qigong classes on Udemy.
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

Answer from Des

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.

Answer from Ruth

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.
I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year.
Kind regards,
Ruth

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
#qigong #trueqigong #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 Steven

The Embrace
Hi des, I’m really enjoying taking my time with this course, trying to get the posture correct! I have a question, during “embrace” do I only need to focus on the movement of the chi between the two energy points?

Answer from Des

Connecting Heaven and Earth can be practiced in a number of ways. By that I mean that, using the same physical movements, you can alter what work you are doing Internally by using different focus. The version taught in this course is to work with the Five Elements and the “Embrace” movement enhances Earth. Here we are building up the connection between the Heart Mu point and the Stomach Mu point.

So, the short answer to your question is yes.

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Question from Steven

Male / Female?
As we do ‘The Embrace’ and ‘Washing the Face’, does the hand that is on the outside vary depending on male or female practitioner?

On other Qigong sets, and with other teachers, I have repeatedly been told ‘for males the right hand is on the outside’ and vice-versa for females. Is the aspect relevant for Connecting Heaven and Earth?

Answer from Des

No, it does not matter. What you will find is that it starts to alternate, naturally, without you thinking about it.

This “rule” of Qigong where the placement of the hands is guided by male/female adds an uneccessary complication to Qigong (as do some of the other rules that were added to give this natural, experiential, art an air of accademia).

It does not take into consideration the person’s sexuality, or whether they are right-handed or left-handed, etc.

Qigong is the art of working with Qi, not the art of waving our arms in pretty patterns. It is the Yi that guides the Qi and, initially, we use the breath, the eyes, subtle tensions and stretches, and the movement as additional tools to do this.

With Connecting Heaven and Earth there are three ways in which you can use the exercise, using exactly the same physical movements, by changing the focus. In this course it is taught as a Five Elements exercise but it can also be practiced as an Eight Exceptional Vessels exercise, or as an “Inner Alchemy”exercise.

In the Five Elements version, the action of Washing the Face is drawing Qi up along Kidney meridian, from KD1 to KD27 as the hands are raised to the forehead.

I hope this helps

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Question from Steven

Sinking the Qi through Kidney-1

Apologies in advance if this is an odd question however, it is very specific to my practice.

With ‘sinking the Qi through Kidney-1 in mind, what would be the implications of doing this practice without K1 connecting to the earth?

I am a long-term yoga practitioner / meditator and feel very grounded and at peace, when doing some Qigong movement while seated in Padmasana, or the lotus posture (so K1 is not earthed as the soles are facing up).

I am quite new to meridian theory, but am enjoying finding harmony with it and the yogic system of Nadi energetic pathways.

With your level of knowledge in mind Des., I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thank you.

Answer from Des

The first thing that I want to explain is that KD1 is used to sink the Qi and to “ground” us because we are physical beings who live on a physical planet where gravity does the physical grounding for us and, as bipeds, we stand on two feet. Basically, it is a natural and easier to understand process.

Secondly, to attain Wuji stance and the quiet body/mind that it produces the physical weight must be directed through the KD1 area.

Thirdly, when both weight and Qi are directed through KD1 it is possible to reach an even quieter condition where the subtler qualities Qi can be experienced.

You can sink the Qi through KD1 when standing, sitting, even lying down as it is not a physical process. It is an energetic process. You are connecting to the universe via the Earth. Different traditions and teachings use other “connecting points”, or “anchors” to do this. I was taught to connect via the Solar Plexus chakra. None of the systems I am aware of anchor via the head and this may be a safety mechanism (discovered through trial and tribulation) to protect the practitioner.

Reply from Steven

Thank you for that timely and all-embracing response to my question.

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Question from Antione

Cold Hands
I’m wondering what the indication is for getting colder and colder during exercises. Underneath soles of feet remains warm, but hands get cold. I’ve worked with a Five Element Acupuncture practitioner and know my primary element. Even working with just that element hands are going cold. Is this the wrong exercise for me at this time?

Answer from Des

Hello Antione,
before I can give you an answer I will need some more information.
Does this happen during all exercises that you do?
Does this only happen during all the Qigong that you do?
Are there certain Qigong, or Qigong movements, that cause this?

Kind regards,
Des Lawton

Reply from Antione

Hi Des,
Thanks for your response.
It seems to have worked itself out. Originally, my hands were getting cold only when doing connecting heaven and earth qi gong, even if I worked on only one element at a time. A few days later the cold was gone and now I’m experiencing regular heat and tingling which I usually equate with the qi experience.

Best Wishes For The Winter Holiday,
Antoine

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Question from David

What’s the different doing Tai Chi or Qigong?

Answer from Des

TheTaiji forms can, in one respect, be alikened 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.

Reply from Steve

There’s an interesting video on YouTube about this called “Should You Learn Qigong, Tai Chi, or Both?” by FlowingZen.  Just thought I’d mention it as it maybe helpful to some.

Answer from Des

Having practiced both for three and a half decades I can say that both are excellent for health and well being. However not everyone has the time to learn Taiji in depth and it can take many years of practice before the real benefits are achieved. On the other hand, Qigong is much easier to learn and the practitioner can gain the benefits in a much shorter time.

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Question from George

Full Exercise
So unlike other Qigongs I have done in the past, we are supposed to practice the full cycle of movements many times as opposed to repetitions of the an individual movement…. In other Qigong programs they would have you do “raise hands” 6 times in a row and then move on to “sliding hands down mirror” 6 times in a row etc. until the end.

Answer from Des

Yes. If you follow the instructions in the course you will see that all six movements, in the order that they are taught, makes up one exercise.
As explained in Lecture 11, the videos of each component are there to help you understand each and then perform them as a sequence/exercise as shown in Lecture 18.
CH&E, as taught in this course, is a Five Element Qigong. What you appear to be describing, from your past experience, are Qigong that work with one meridian, or one pair of meridians.

I hope this helps.
Des

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Question from George

Dan Tien meditation
Great course! At the end of the exercise movements you tel us to be still and listen to our Qi.. At the end of alot of Qigong teachers say to focus and meditate on breathing in to the Dan Tien to bring the qi back and store it there….. should we do that for this exercise?

Answer from Des

Hello George,
The last movement of Connecting Heaven and Earth is doing just that………….. it is drawing Qi to the dantien. Each cycle (from Raising the Hands to Saying a prayer) should be practiced as an individual exercise…………. What I mean by that is do not just flow from Saying a Prayer into Raising the Hands without acknowledging the end of one cycle and the start of the next. This helps keep you focused and helps build up that reserve of Qi.
Why spend time “listening” to your Qi? How else are you going to appreciate the changes that are occurring during the practice of and as a result of any given exercise.

I’m really glad that you have enjoyed the course.
Des Lawton

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Question from Albert

Lung meridian
Hi des, Thank you for this amazing course. I’ve been learning the movements and inner workings, but i’m wondering if I have to focus on both lung meridians points during raise hands or only the one on the right?
Besides that what is the max time you can do the exercises? 
Regards
Albert

Answer from Des

Hello Albert,
You focus on both sides (by getting the hands and arms in the correct position) with all of the movements.
Regarding the maximum time, or number of repetitions: –
Don’t count as this means that you are counting rather than doing Qigong.
Immerse yourself in the exercise as long as you are comfortable.
My own experience is that it is such a calming and beneficial exercise that I set an alarm if I have other tasks to do that are time oriented. That was through the experience of bein late for appointments because my “let’s do this for around 10 minutes” turned into half an hour……….

Reply from Albert

Thank you for your prompt reply. I was a bit confused with the diagram, showing only the right meridian. From now on I will be focusing simultaneously on both sides of the body.
It’s my first time doing qigong exersizes focusing on the meridians. This is exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks again.

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Question from Cecilia

What types of Qi are being stimulated during the sliding hands down the mirror and saying a prayer positions, please?

Answer from Des

Hello Cecilia,
There are actually three answers to your question. CH&E can be used as a Five Elements, an Eight Exceptional Vessels, or Qi/Shen Qigong.

As a Five Elements exercise, in Sliding Down a Mirror your awareness should be focused on Gall Bladder Meridian. This awareness builds during the last part of the raising of the hands when you position the arms so that you feel a slight stretch across the lateral rib cage during the last part of the upwards arc. Doing this promotes Qi flow from GB21 to GB25 and once you are aware of this you guide the Qi down the legs using the Yi, the breath, and the movement of the hands.
Saying a Prayer is used to close the exercise by drawing the Qi to the Dantien.

As an Exceptional Vessels exercise, in Sliding Down a Mirror you are activating Heart Governor 6 (Neiguan) and Lung 7 (Lieque).
In Saying a Prayer you are activating Small Intestine 3 (Houxi).

As a Qi/Shen (AKA “Inner Alchemy”) both of these movements are used as part of the mechanism to raise the Shen, raising the awareness above the head so that the awareness is beyond the physical body. I have not covered the Inner Alchemy version in this course as it is too advanced and requires close monitoring until the student is adept enough to be safe.

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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.

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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

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.

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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 Shea

When you mention the posture tests, it is not clear what the results mean…

You say one of two things will happen – a reaction against (and tester removed finger) or a tipping off balance. I assume the reaction is healthy and the tipping is not? Or are both indicative of bad posture?

Answer from Des

Hello Shea,

Both results, the tipping backward and the stumbling forward then the pressure/push is quickly removed, are signs of a faulty stance. The tipping backward results from the person having their weight on the heels and they are, therefore, already leaning back slightly. As for the reaction that causes a forward stumble……… The natural reaction when someone pushes against you is for you to push back. If that push is quickly removed your body still has that impetus to push forward (hence the stumble). If the posture is good the force of that push/press is diverted downwards and through the feet. In Wuji stance there is no need to push back. This means that when the finger is removed there is no movement in the body of the person being tested.

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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 Gerardo

Hi, Des. I really like your courses and your teaching method. My question right now is, in this series, Connecting Heaven and Earth, the excercises are done according to the control cycle, rather than the creation cycle. Why is that? Also, I’ve noticed that for the wood and earth elements we work with the yang meridians, whereas we use the yin channels in the rest. Is there a particular reason for this?

Answer from Des

Five Elements exercises use both of the Cycles and there are also some that do not follow either. I have given an example of each: –
– The Five Elements Dance follows the Creation Cycle, starting with Fire, and also has two movements that utilise Chong Mai.
– Connecting Heaven & Earth follows the Control Cycle, starting with Metal, and also has a specific closure that centres the Qi (using Chong Mai).
– Change the Sinews, from the Ten Fundamental Treasures follows a mixture – Water, Fire, Metal, Earth & Wood.

Five Elements Qigong is more beneficial (more efficient) for keeping balance in the Qi rather than attaining that balance. So, if there was a chronic/long lasting imbalance I would deal with that by using an exercise, or exercises, that would feed or control to bring about that balance. Then use a Five Elements exercise because it is better at maintaining that balance. My personal choice would be to practice a Qigong that followed the Creation, or the Controlling, Cycle.

Regarding whether the Yin or the Yang meridian is worked on………… As they are intrinsically linked, working on one will affect the other. I believe that the development of any Qigong will have gone through many changes (sometimes by more than one Master) in order to create an effective, flowing, exercise. This would mean that, dependent on the final choice of movements, it was the movement that dictated which meridian would be focused on. At some point during its development it must have been decided that Connecting Heaven and Earth would be performed in Wuji stance. This effectively stops the practitioner from being able to apply focus to Liver meridian, or Gall Bladder meridian, in the legs. This left those parts of the meridians in the upper body to place the focus.  Likewise for access to Stomach and Spleen meridians.

I hope that this goes some way to explain.

Response from Gerardo

Thanks! As usual, good answers bring new questions, but I’ll save them for later.

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Question from Simon

What to ‘look’ for?
Hi Des. I’ve been practising the first three movements daily now (am slowly adding more each week). I have two questions that are related that I wonder whether you can help with. Firstly, I know you elude to this in an earlier part so the course, but what is it that I should be ‘looking’ for in feeling Qi? Secondly, should you do the exercises with eyes open or closed? The reason I ask, and the next bit might sound daft, but with my eyes closed, after a few minutes of the first movement, I get a pretty consistent ‘tingling’ for want of a better word (a bit like goosebumps but without the bumps?) from around my right knee that appears to travel upwards. With eyes open this doesn’t happen. Sorry, having written and now re-read it, it sounds rather mad, but I’m curious.
By the way, I love the clear and simple directions, along with the theory to back up the movements – great stuff.

Simon

Answer from Des

Hi Simon,
Not mad at all………….. They are questions that I get over and over.

“………………..what is it that I should be ‘looking’ for in feeling Qi?” You are “looking” for two things………. nothing and change. This might appear to be an ambiguous answer. It is anything but! Qi is experienced in many, many, ways and a common error that is made by practitioners is that they look for, or feel for, the same sensation/manifestation every time they practice. By using “Listening Jing” and being passively aware you open up your opportunities to experience the vast array of Qi. You experience these by noticing change……… The experiences of the subtle changes that occur in the Qi are almost always impossible to describe to your satisfaction and (when it is the Qi that you are describing) you find yourself saying things like “It is a bit like…..” “……… It kind of reminds me of………” Do you recognise that difficulty in description?  It can get very frustrating if you are trying to describe what you are experiencing because you are fettered by language that describes the physical as you try to describe the energetic.

“should you do the exercises with eyes open or closed?” Open or closed eyes are dealt with in stages. Initially the eyes should be open as this assists you to guide the Qi during the movements. Once you start to become aware of the Qi (and you are) you can close your eyes and “Listen” to how it moves and changes. For beginners, having the eyes closed can be a disadvantage and slow progress. However, as I have said, once you start to be aware of the Qi there is an advantage in closing the eyes as this removes visual distraction and you are then using the Yi (cognitive mind) to guide the Qi while getting the feedback (experiencing the changes and movement) using “Listening Jing”.

“The reason I ask, and the next bit might sound daft, but with my eyes closed, after a few minutes of the first movement, I get a pretty consistent ‘tingling’ for want of a better word (a bit like goosebumps but without the bumps?) from around my right knee that appears to travel upwards. With eyes open this doesn’t happen.” When you are closing your eyes your body/mind is becoming quiet. With your eyes open your surroundings, what you are seeing, is creating “noise”.

It is great to hear of your progress!

I hope that this helps. Des

Reply from Simon

Hi Des, thanks, your reply is much appreciated. In fact this morning I experienced that same feeling running along the neck and side of face whilst performing ‘Sliding down the mirror” – more or less along the same path as noted in the introductory notes there.

Best wishes
Simon

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Question from Hugh

Hi Des, I’ve recently joined your Qigong course, Connecting Heaven and Earth and now practice daily. I’ve really enjoyed learning this form and would like to learn more. I note you have some other courses and I was wondering if you might suggest another to try or perhaps a sequence in which to take the courses on? I would also like to develop some knowledge of the theory behind the forms. Could you recommend a book perhaps that would give some theory regarding the points that are mentioned and perhaps how different movements relate to the body and health.
I also practice Wing Tsun which is focused externally. At a recent seminar I cam across Qigong and the tangible reality of internal arts fascinated me and started me on this path. I am now very keen to learn more. Connecting Heaven and Earth has been wonderful, so I would be delighted if you could offer some further advice.

Regards,
Hugh

Answer from Des

Hi Hugh,
Given your Wing Tsun background, I recommend the Embroidered Brocade as your next course. As well as being excellent Qigong these exercises really make you work on posture, rooting the body and sinking the Qi………… All of which are necessary in Qigong. But they will also have an effect on your Kung Fu as they were developed, in part, to increase Peng. They were the first Qigong that I learned and I still practice them regularly over thirty years on. Testament to their quality.
Regarding books. I do not know of any that are Qigong specific (a project that I have been wrestling with for many years) but there is a book on general TCM called “A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth” by Tom Bisio that is well worth having in your reading list.
I’m really pleased that you enjoyed CH&E and that your Qigong journey is well and truly started.

Des

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Question from Leigh

When crossing your hands either at the heart, or at the third eye does it matter which hand is closest to the body for each move?

Answer from Des

No it does not really matter. You could focus on alternating left and right but this is an additional distraction. What you will probably find is that your arms will start to cross in an apparently random manner as the Yi guides them, subconsciously, to maintain balance in the Qi.

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Question from Linda

For ‘eagle spreads its wings’, should the fingers be spread as wide for both the upward and downward movement?

Answer from Des

Yes, you need to keep the fingers spread for both movements.

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Question from Karen

Why do we splay the fingers slightly for eagle spreads its wings and then keep them closed for saying a prayer?

Answer from Des

The hands are opened like this so that the acupuncture point, Heart Governor 8 is opened/activated. The point is in the centre of the palm.

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Question from Karen

Saying a prayer
When guiding the Qi down towards the Dantian is it 3 dimensionally through all meridians in the body or should I be guiding the Qi through a linear channel like chong mai, ren mai or just between the hands or a different specific pathway?

Answer from Des

The focus is between the hands. The intention is the Dan Tien.
With the intention on the Dan Tien, the Qi starts to accumulate there even before the hands start to lower.The lowering of the hands enhances this attraction to the Dan Tien and the accumulation of the Qi.
Even though the hands, the physical part of the exercise, are downward the Qi is drawn from all directions to your “centre”.
This, effectively and efficiently, guides the Qi through all the meridians and extra vessels.
NB. For beginners. You are not drawing ALL your Qi to the Dan Tien (not possible). You are, for want of a better description, putting newly earned cash in the bank.

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Question from Lesley

Dominant hand

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

Answer from Des

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.

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Question from Lesley

Qualities of Chi/Qi
If you are constantly ‘sinking the chi’ in Wuji, what distinguishes this from guiding the chi along the various channels? Is there a different quality to the Chi that sinks and the Chi that is being guided, or is it being divided in some way?

Answer from Des

Short question……………. Longer answer! This is going to take me a while to get the wording right (or as correct as my vocabulary will allow).
I’ll answer the last bit first…………. No, you are not dividing it. You are connecting it……… sort of. That is to say that, through the action of sinking the Qi and raising the Shen, YOU are consciously connecting to your energy body. Although we are looking at this, thinking about this, in a two dimensional manner…………. Up and down……… the expansion of our awareness of the energy body is in ALL directions (even though we might not be aware of this initially).
This action is only possible when our body/minds are quiet (I know that I keep on repeating this but it is crucial) and it is through this expansion of awareness that you become, truly, aware of your Qi. This awareness goes beyond the physical body.
All of these essences, these qualities are always connected (ie. They are always interacting and communicating) with these connections explained in the Five Element Theory.
The distinction that you ask about is that the sinking of the Qi and the raising of the Shen expands your awareness of self, of the energy body as well as the physical body. You are then using this awareness to guide the Qi to various points and in various directions, depending on the accuracy of your Qigong. During this guiding you will experience the quality of the Qi that you are working on.
Additionally, how you experience the sinking Qi and raising Shen, and how you experience the Qi of the meridians (How your brain interprets what it is “feeling”) will not always be the same. This is because of what is known as your “condition”, the effect that your environment and life in general is having on you, affects the flow and the qualities of the Qi.

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Question from Craig

connecting the shoulder
I was wondering if you could clarify the method used to keep shoulders dropped and connected during raise hands and sliding down a mirror movements, are there any visualizations that can be used to train the correct movement in the shoulder joint?

Answer from Des

The method of visualization that I prefer is to have “heavy” elbows. By that, I mean that the elbows are always hanging down, that the shoulders are not strong enough to lift them. Even when the hands are above shoulder level, or above the head, the weight of these “heavy” elbows keeps the shoulders down………….. and connected.

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