Tricky Gates

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Tricky Gates

Postby gareth » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:34 am

I have two questions about Small Circulation which I would be interested to hear people's views on :-

1. The Conception Vessel is numbered CO1 at the Huiyin and finishes at CO24 around the mouth. Why then do we circulate qi from the mouth down to the huiyin and not the other way around ? Why was it numbered this way if the qi actually flows in the opposite direction ?

2. There are a lot of warnings about the 3 gates in small circulation and how you can damage yourself by leading qi in the wrong path. First of all can I say that in 20 years of working with qigong I have never met anyone who has hurt themselves through practicing qigong. Maybe the people I have met have never built up enough qi for it to do any harm, or maybe the warnings are just unwarranted.

What I don't understand is the warning that if you don't control the Weilu you can lead qi into the legs and paralyse yourself. (Don't we lead qi into the legs for Grand Crculation ?)

Also, if you don't control the Yuzhen you can damage the brain. (Don't we lead qi into the brain for Xi Sui Jing and also to open the 3rd eye ?)

I don't understand at what point it is dangerous to lead qi into these areas and at what point it becomes acceptable. Surely it is better to lead qi into these areas whilst your qi is still weak and won't do any harm, rather than to wait until you have abundant qi at which point presumably it becomes dangerous. However, we are told to practice small circulation first and then Grand circulation later, but surely the qi will be stronger by this point and more risk of damage ? Also, with Brain Washing you do not start this until you have built up a lot of qi in the dan tian first, so again it is presumably going to be stronger and more risk of damaging your brain.

Are these warnings just intended for beginners who have not learnt how to circulate qi properly and may not know how to remove any blockages that may develop ? Surely a beginner's qi is too weak to do any harm anyway ?

Has anyone personally experienced any bad side effects from qigong ?(and I don't mean just hearsay).

I would be very interested in other views on these questions.

Thanks

Gareth
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Postby pacek » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:42 pm

Hi Gareth !
This topic has already been treated here, take a look at this topic written by laotse "walking into the fire - small circulation"
What about your progress with YI JIN JING. Saludos

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Postby gareth » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:18 am

Hi Pacek

Thanks for pointing that out - I hadn't spotted it !

However, nothing written there has changed my scepticism about qigong being dangerous. I am yet to meet or even talk to anyone who has actually done themselves any real damage through qigong. Headaches and uncomfortable sensations I can accept, but brain damage and paralysis I find very hard to accept without speaking to someone this has happened to, or reading some well documented proof.

Yi Jin Jing is going well. It is very hard to keep to the schedule sometimes though. How are you finding it ?

G.
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Postby Douglas Scott DuLac » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:24 am

Hi there,

In my Oct. 1992 Inside Kung-fu B.K.Frantzis talks about 'Chi Disease.' And he writes,'In each of these cases I have either known the individual or the problem has actually occured to me.' I hope this helps!
Case 1: Too much cih is painful.
While studying hsing-I nei gung practice of sinking the chi to the lower dan tien, and after about two years of practice this stated student began to get very powerful.This student decided to look for secret techniques of various hsing-I teachers on his own. What he learned he diligently practiced.
His perseverance back-fired. After a year of practicing these techs. ,"though none were inherently bad," the combination resulted in all sorts of problems. While attempting to force his chi into his dan-tien, it "went into his genitals." This emptied his chi from his middle burner(internal organs) and into his lower burner. This disrupted his chi in the middle burner. It resulted in mental and physical problems including involuntary semen emissions and hallucinations. "He lost his job and his impending marriage had to be postponed." "It took a herbal master and their master ,Bai Hwa, to bring him back to near normal." (He was lucky that he was in China to get the needed help).

Case 2: Sexual Chi Gung
A sexual chi gung master and friend of B.K. Frantzis's teacher was reknowned in China for his chi gung. This system included forcing (sucking ) sexual chi up the anus and spine and hanging weights from the testies and penis.
Everything went well for many years. "He considered people who didn't practice to be wimps." In his sixties his legs began to collapse, and he needed a cane just to walk soon after. The energy in his lower body collapsed because of the specialized form of weight lifting. He basically burned up his chi reserve. He was strong and sexually powerful in his youth, but it had a cost. Old age was miserable for him.
One of Hung I Hsing's students practiced the techniques of Chiao's and died of heart disease at the age of 47.("one of the potential dangers of chi xue gung is heart problems.")

Sexual control techniques can damage the sexual apparatus. If the sexual organs are weak to begin then you should be especially careful. According to B.K. F. swollen testies and internal bleeding can occur. Women,, too, are not without precautions, such as false pregnancies and erratic menstrual cycles.

Case 3: White Crane Chi Gung
B.K. F. knew a man who practiced white Crane. A common tech. of Shaolin chi gung is to pack energy into the body. It includes forceful breating, body contractions, and a sense of physical and energetic strength. This person died after causing a hemorhage to his lung.

Microcosmic
A practitione was forcefully practicing the small heavenly orbit by squeezing his anus and lifting his energy up with his breath.
The more he did this the stronger he fealt. He ended up burning himself up,mostly his kidney and heart energy. Symptoms were cold, clammy sweats, involuntary tremors , extreme sensitivity to cold, and loss of vitality. He was told to keep pushing the blockages through to come out on the other side, in terms of health. It took five years for B.K. to get this man past the symptoms.

Case 4: Vibrating-Crane styles
Some people who practice Shaolin animal styles vibrate and condense chi in the body, " the breath oscillates rapidly and the chi is vibrated inside the tissues, bones, brain and muscles.
The side effects can be an uncaring demeaner, megalomania, and mental illness, as well as others. B.K.'s medical chi gung teacher in China informed him that certain types of vibratory practices historically had a high casualty rate. His teacher said she remembers cancer patients brought their symptoms under cntrol and out of remission with chi gung and then started vibratory practices, and they returned to the hospital to die.

It doesn't say why they died in the magazine, but I'm sure B.K. feels it was due to vibratory practices, or he wouldn't have mentioned it.
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Postby gareth » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:14 am

Hey Douglas

Thanks for taking the time to reply in such depth. I don't personally know B K Frantzis (although I have some of his books) so would not challenge anything he says unless I had some hard evidence. However, this again is just a repitition of what someone else said about someone else, as these things always are. It always seems to be hearsay and never any hard evidence. What are the facts and the details of these cases ? Did the people in question have any congenital defects that may account for these problems ?

I believe in qigong. I believe it is very powerful and can do great things for your body. I just wish someone would come up with some hard evidence to prove or back up their warnings about how dangerous it is.

For now I will remain sceptical but with an open mind. Who knows, maybe in a few years I will be a brain damaged person in a wheelchair telling you all that I have found proof at last !
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Postby Dvivid » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:07 pm

Hi Gareth,

I appreciate your skeptical and logical mind. However, I seriously recommend you trust Master Yang on this topic. Im sure you are an experienced practitioner, but no offense, Master Yang is more so. And all of his unparallelled research and his experience led him to devise his safer process of training.

Master Yang's white crane master's uncle paralyzed himself practicing small circulation. It is no joke. Frantzis is another one of the few qigong teachers today whom you can surely trust. I believe the white crane qigong practitioner he mentioned was a close frend of Dr Yang as well.

Your logic sounds reasonable, but it is backwards.

Yes, it is safe to lead qi to the legs and brain when you have developed only a certain percentage of Qi, but it is a bad habit.

The idea behind NOT leading Qi into the brain, or into the legs for grand circulation, is that you instead continually develop the other, safer vessels until they are widened and capable of very high capacity, so that when you do build truly abundant Qi, it naturally flows in the safer vessels. When you lose balance or control, and there is an 'overflow', you do not want to risk having that Qi circulate into the legs or brain.

Im sorry, but I believe very few practitioners today have 'abundant qi' by ancient standards. I do not, and I have been training for 7 years. Especially recently, I practice daily privately and in my classes. Only after practicing correctly and diligently for quite a while, you begin to realize the range of difference in your Qi status. Once it starts to really build up, you realize how far you have to go, and how broad the spectrum really is; how delicate the balance is. It is a very natural, gradual process of building qi while physically maintaining equilibrium with kan and li, and while developing and establishing the appropriate mental state.

And then you have sex, or eat poorly, or your sleep pattern is disrupted, or you allow yourself to be affected by stress, and you lose balance and take some steps back in your progress.

Once you have developed truly abundant qi, maintained in the safer vessels, conceptual, governing, and belt, only then should you very carefully move on to the other vessels, under the guidance of a teacher that can observe you objectively and guide you when you encounter difficulties.

Qigong is challenging enough without adding the possible dangers of uncontrolled Qi flow to the legs or brain before you know how to handle it.

I definately encourage all YMAA students interested in qigong or practicing qigong to adhere closely to Dr Yang's prescribed training progression, just as you are asked not to alter aspects of your training of the other curriculum in Taiji or Shaolin without first discussing it with him.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Douglas Scott DuLac » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:00 pm

Hi Gareth,

You know, if you think about body mechanics you can see the logic in over doing anything...Lifting weights one can build up too much muscle in any one group of the body. This leads to an unproportioned structure. It can also lead to a reverse tension on the muscles opposite them: extensors vs. retractors. This also leads to an imbalance of energy in those areas. Simply, one area is working too hard to counter balance the other.

If you apply that knowledge to chi gung you can see how over-doing an area, if it is too abundant especially, can lead to an imbalance. This imbalance creates side effects. It's all logical and mechanical. If a person has megalomanic, tendencies, for example, and trains in chi gung then that psychological imbalance can over charge an area simply due to too much tenacity(?). And we're talking about the nervous system, bio-electricity of the body.

What happens if one over-charges a circuit breaker in a house? It blows the fuse!

I'm not saying you should be afraid or apprehensive. I'm just saying have faith in the lineage that this training comes from. There isn't 5,000 years of experience for nothing...

It sounds like you have enough experience to make good decisions, Gareth. I think going at the training with a mind set of, 'here we go,' is better than, 'Oh my gosh, what's happening to me?'

Maybe attentiveness and awereness is better than scepticism. Scepticism loweres the energetic quality.
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Postby gareth » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:41 am

Dvivid & Douglas

Thanks for both of your sensible and honest answers. I do treat qigong practise with respect and try to follow the advice I am given. I do not try to do things wrong just to see what happens, I try to stick to the correct method. I am not being disrespectful to Dr Yang or any of the other Masters who talk about the dangers, I just wish there was some concrete evidence. Anyway, I will continue to practise with an open mind and see where it leads.

Thanks again

Gareth
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Postby joeblast » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:38 am

Gareth, is the cautioning word of a master with many years experience not enough? As far as concrete evidence goes...are you looking for some sort of case study or something? I think the only people qualified to remedy such issues are the masters that either directly have experience or have treated them. As such, they're the people you most want to listen to...I'm not seeing how 'concrete evidence' really fits here!
.02....have a good one!
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Re: Tricky Gates

Postby SunTzu » Wed May 09, 2007 12:15 am

gareth wrote:1. The Conception Vessel is numbered CO1 at the Huiyin and finishes at CO24 around the mouth. Why then do we circulate qi from the mouth down to the huiyin and not the other way around ? Why was it numbered this way if the qi actually flows in the opposite direction ?


I've done some quick research in "Small Circulation" and on www.acuxo.com but I cannot find a valid reason for it. It seems, when looking at the meridians, that 6 meridians begin at the end of an extremity and 6 meridians begin in the eyes (3) and chest (3) area. It probably has a good reason, but unfortunately my knowledge doesn't reach that far. Unfortunately, I don't know which organs are Yin and which are Yang. I don't have that info with me now, but it would be interesting to see IF either of the entire lists belongs to Yin or Yang organs. And more important if the same principle applies to all the vessels as well.

extremity:

Kidney
Large Intestine
Liver
Small Intestine
Spleen
Triple Burner

eye/chest:

Bladder
Gall Bladder
Heart
Lung
Pericardium
Stomach
Do not try !

Do, or do not !
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Postby joeblast » Wed May 09, 2007 10:50 am

quote from tcm.health-info.org
There are 2 types of internal organs: Zang are considered Yin organs, Fu are considered Yang organs. Yang organs are in charge of transforming food and drink into Qi and Blood. They receive, move, transform, digest, and excrete. The Yin organs store the vital substances (Qi, blood, Essence, body fluids) in pure refined forms from which they have received from the Yang organs after they have been transformed. They Yang organs do not store anything, they are filled, perform their functions of extraction of pure essences, and empty waste. The Yang organs can be viewed as the functional aspect of the Yin organs, i.e. the stomach is the functional aspect of the Spleen.

Yin: Heart, Liver, Lungs, Spleen, Kidneys, Pericardium
Yang: Small Intestine, Gallbladder, Large Intestine, Stomach, Bladder, San Jiao

just some info I dug up. along the same lines as gareth's original question, why do the pericardium and heart channels start at the chest and end at the fingers, as opposed to the large & small intestine channels which start at the fingers? (those go through the chest to the face though..)
Do yin & yang channels "go" (for lack of a better term) in opposite directions? I noticed yin meridians in the legs numbered upwards, yang numbered down; same for ht, pc, li, si meridians I mentioned above...at the moment I have no idea what the functional impact of that would be.

here's a good link to acrupuncture points, you can hover over each point for an exact location.
http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncturepoints/locations_theory_and_clinical_applications

back to work...
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Postby Alex_Qc » Mon May 28, 2007 8:38 pm

Hello Gareth,

Actually, Master Yang told us a case story about.. himself! It's not about small circulation, but still, this hints that Qigong can sometimes be dangerous.

About ten years ago, Master Yang tried the following experiment: he laid down in a warm bath, and he began marrow washing. His idea was to "suck" the Qi/Energy from the warm water into his marrow. It is reasonable since there are Qigong where you exchange your Qi with your environment.
It didn't really work, and the next day his skin was red and he wasn't feeling good at all. These symptoms appeared after only one training session.

I acknowledge this is but one example, but it tells us to ponder and be careful in our training.

(By the way, he said he want to try it again someday now that he is more experienced.)
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Postby joeblast » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:57 am

Alex, did he elaborate at all on what he would do differently?
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Postby Dvivid » Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:46 am

There seems to be some confusion regarding the direction of the flow of qi. Here's a simplified way to think about it:

Qi is stored in the center of the abdomen. The enteric nervous system in the guts. The real Lower Dan Tian.

Qi is transported by the blood throughout the entire body.

In addition, the body has an energetic circulatory system, which originates in the abdomen.

Qi flows out from the navel, from huiyin, and sometimes from mingmen, into the small circulation "orbit" around the centerline of the body.

The natural flow of Qi travels from the navel, down the front of the belly, between the legs, around the tailbone, and up the back (outside of the spine). It continues up and over the top of the head, down the front of the face (tongue touches the roof of the mouth during practice), and down the center of the chest back to the navel.

This is small circulation. It happens every day in a 24-hour cycle. The Governing Vessel up the back, and the Conceptional Vessel down the front of the body are comprised of the tendons.

There are vessels in the arms and legs also. Qi travels from the point between your shoulderblades, out and down the back of the arms (the "top" of the forearms) to the hands, and then back up the inside (yin side) of the arms to the chest, and into the Conceptional vessel. The 'vessel' in the arms isn't recognized as such in TCM, but its there, and its the same thing: a major energetic circulatory pathway. Call them meridians if you prefer. Dr. Yang breaks with tradition and says there's vessels in the arms.

Qi also travels down the outside of the legs to the feet, and back up the inside (yin side) of the legs to the huiyin (yin meeting place). Move the huiyin gently with each breath.

I think.
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Re: Tricky Gates

Postby gnoqis » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:10 am

gareth wrote:in 20 years of working with qigong I have never met anyone who has hurt themselves through practicing qigong. Maybe the people I have met have never built up enough qi for it to do any harm, or maybe the warnings are just unwarranted.


May I suggest other possibilities you did not mention.

Misinterpretation of results. Ignoring certain effects. Self deception.

Mind body practices can have adverse results that the practitioner re-interprets into positive results or is led by others to accept as positive results, or even as signs of progress.

One can experience poor results from not practicing enough or by going through the motions without focus and genuine desire.

To guard against this tendency one simply has to be objective. Is this practice helping me cope with life and thrive? Does it have a positive effect on my relationships, on my peace of mind, on my abilities?

If there are adverse results, one has options to adjust the practice, deepen understanding of correct practice, or even change practices or compensate in other ways.

Dr. Yang soberly explains in the Embryonic Breathing video that the practice seemed to, shall we say, increase his forgetting abilities, and so he intentionally does things to exercise his memory functions.

For me, just trying to remember the Taiji forms my teacher presents is plenty of memory exercise!
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Postby artanes » Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:13 pm

if you want to know more about the zang and fu organs and their functions, read "The Yellow Emperor's Classic On Medicine".
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Dr Yang's prescribed training progression [Qi Gong]

Postby robmanzanares » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:23 pm

Hello Everyone,

I am student of qi gong for 2+ years. House-holder with children that perseveres with daily practice of various wai/nei dan forms and Taijiquan as time and weather permits.

After reading the Topic: "Tricky Gates" I discovered the following passage:

"I definately encourage all YMAA students interested in qigong or practicing qigong to adhere closely to Dr Yang's prescribed training progression, just as you are asked not to alter aspects of your training of the other curriculum in Taiji or Shaolin without first discussing it with him."


QUESTION:
What is Dr Yang's prescribed training progression [Qi Gong]?

Sincerely Yours
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Postby Dvivid » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:23 am

I recommend this book as an answer to that question in detail.

Image

http://ymaa.com/publishing/books/internal/qigong_meditation_small_circulation

This thread also discusses Small Circulation:
http://www.ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1367
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing
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Postby joeblast » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:10 pm

I have the book and DVD, both are awesome. You seem to pick up stuff from one that you missed with the other!
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I have some experience with this

Postby Virochana » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:01 pm

I have some personal experience with this.

But first, there is a huge difference between forcing chi and a natural practice of chi. The internal pathways open up much inner space and deeper dimensions, including the wisdom needed to correctly do the practice itself, while the outer physical orientated pathways are more limited. A forced practice will, by its very nature, be using more of the outer, which definetly has its concerns.

I use to do some forms of pranayam where the breath was held for about 2 or 3 minutes per cycle for about 90 minutes at one of the centers below the navel. The experience was fantastic, but it was pulling energy from other parts of the body resulting in sickness which i persevered through, but then realized the unbalanced nature of the practice itself and stopped it. The practice was not flawed, rather my forcing it was.

I have also had pains in the chest with other practices that some would consider dangerous, again because i enjoyed the effects of some practices so much that i wanted to push it (there is a reason thay ambition should not be a driving force for practice).

I have since learned that the experiences and states forced practices glorify in the literature come of their own accord once everything is in place, which is not just what most people think of chi as, but the completeness and love of your being as well. For example, the breathless state, the ability to be of greater help to others, effortless lengths of very alive internal sitting, etc.

If you want to experience chi dangers for yourself; it is not hard, just go against the prescribed wisdom and find out. No one's experience is going to replace your own - but really pay attention to what the other parts of your being are feeling and how you experience divinity as well.

You do not need volumes of chi to do this, just enough strength and determined persistance to force things. It is good to get experience, but do not be too foolhardy and go past the point where you really hurt yourself, i.e., stop if you see little blisters popping out on your skin in minutes, or you become obsessed with only yourself, etc.

If you do not want to try that, then surely you must have experienced your heart racing, or the inability to go to sleep, etc, as the results of some practice sessions. Now imagine that you keep doing the practices causing this, and keep amping it up - can you not see the outcome. And what is it that brings back balance.

By the way, i again started doing 3 minutes per breath as a natural part of a practice, but this time i was not aware it was that long and the longer duration just worked out that way, and suprised myself when one day i timed it - cultivating yourself from the inside out is the best.

If tomorrow it is 15 seconds per breath my practice will be none the poorer - the safer forms of practice are not just safer, they often have more depth to them that it takes many years to realize.
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