By now many of you have the book Qigong: Foundation Practices – Twelve Health Exercises from the Wah Family System, or have attended classes and learned the exercises contained in the book psychologist los angeles . I sometimes get questions about how exactly to best use the exercises in different situations.
Of course your first priority is to simply learn the exercises so that you can perform the movements easily and comfortably, gradually improving till your breath is well synchronized with the movement and you become aware of energy flow along the meridians. After this there are many options of how you can use them for example in cure for plantar fasciitis.
Each exercise has a specific effect on one of the twelve main meridians and organs from the Chinese medical system, this structure lends itself to using the exercises in many different ways.
My personal preference most of the time is to perform all of the exercises together in one session, starting with the exercise that relates to the organ that is at peak activity levels at the time of day I am doing the exercises. This gives a good overall stimulus of the body’s energy system. In 5-10 minutes you can go through all twelve exercises, performing each once, and get a real energy boost.
In performing the exercises in this way you may find that there are one or two you find particularly difficult at that point in time, or you may feel quite stiff in some of them. If this is the case you can spend some extra time repeating those exercises several times. In this way you can improve the energy flow in the related organ and meridian before it becomes too much of a problem for your health. Alternatively, if you know you are having challenges with a particular organ at the moment you can spend additional time working on the related exercises to help you resolve the problem.
You can really do the exercises as many times as you like in a session, 3, 4, 20, 100. The key is to relax into the exercise and gently encourage your body to move more freely through it. Do not force yourself to bend further or stretch further, this will be counter productive. Also do not continue beyond your point of fatigue. When you’ve had enough, stop. You can always do more later.
The exercises can also be a great aid for learning if you have an interest in Traditional Chinese medicine. Tieing each meridian and organ to a movement is great for kinesthetic learners (people who learn via the sense of touch or movement) and can also help to develop greater insight into the nature of the meridians and the interelationships between the various organs, our external physical structure, posture and so on. Once you have developed your awareness of the meridians, you will be constantly reminding yourself of their location, direction of flow, sequence and time of peak activity – every time you do the exercises.
If you already have basic knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medical theory you can begin to use the exercises in more sophisticated ways. You can use the exercises in much the same way you would use other therapies, using mother and child theory, command and control cycles between the elements and so on. The system really is very flexible.
I hope this has given you a few ideas of ways you can deepen your understanding and practice of qigong. However you choose to use the exercises, the main thing is that you enjoy it!