Expecting too much from Qigong??

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Expecting too much from Qigong??

Postby dmattwads » Thu May 21, 2009 5:01 pm

I'm at a frustrating point in my life and Qigong practice. I have been doing Qigong for over a year now, but I still have to take St. John's Wort for my emotions, still get really bad hay fever in the spring, still have a hard time focusing, still have a fairly low energy level, all of which I hoped that doing Qigong would cure. How long is it supposed to take to get some results? Every now and then I'll try to stop taking St. Johns Wort to see how I'll feel, but I always don't do so well after a couple weeks of not taking it. I was hoping that this spring I might have much milder hayfever than usual (I get it really bad) but it has been really bad this year as usual. This whole year at University I had a very difficult time concentrating as usual. Yet all the while I was avidly doing Qigong in the hopes that it would fix these problems, yet it seems that it as not done so much for me so far, except during the winter I did not get a cold like I usually do which was nice. How long does one need to do Qigong for it to fix the "big problems" in their lives?
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Postby joeblast » Fri May 22, 2009 7:44 am

That's largely an individual thing, lots of factors will influence - what practices, how diligently you practice, other life factors can influence progress as well. Looking for qigong to 'fix the big problems in your life' perhaps isnt the right way to approach it...
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Postby Josh Young » Fri May 22, 2009 10:11 am

It will never be a path leading to a place, it is a tool that will help the journey.
Life is seldom easy but for a few people it is even more difficult. When things get tough try a little qigong breathing and inner posturing.

The key is relaxation, if you can relax in a moment of frustration you may gain some clarity that can help you.

You are asking questions, you recognize that you are having a difficult time, these are good signs, signs that you can and will improve.
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Postby BK » Sun May 24, 2009 9:49 pm

Frustration wastes energy. I now speak of my experiences, as a whole it is about balance. Balance in natural energy, food and air, thinking, exercise and the pre birth essence. If you sleep too much or too little, eat foods that are mostly ying or primarily yang, the body will be out of balance and react negatively. The other day, I went for a walk during lunch, I passed a man performing Tai Chi, I thought that this is good. On my return trip I saw the man sitting and smoking, I considered my own vices. Did he receive any benefit from performing Tai Chi?
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Postby Josh Young » Sun May 24, 2009 10:19 pm

The other day, I went for a walk during lunch, I passed a man performing Tai Chi, I thought that this is good. On my return trip I saw the man sitting and smoking, I considered my own vices. Did he receive any benefit from performing Tai Chi?

Undoubtedly he received a benefit from taiji, do you think he received a benefit from smoking?
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Postby Dvivid » Mon May 25, 2009 7:51 am

Dmatt: It is normal to get to a 'dark' period of frustration with qigong, where you start to have doubt and want more progress.

Qigong tends to have plateaus. You feel your qi at a certain level, and you have resulting benefits in your general vitality and such, and then it doesn't change and you start to wonder. And then one day you practice, and get really into it, and have a stronger experience, and you set a new plateau...

Right now is your opportunity to make progress with the emotional aspects of the training: humility, patience, perseverance, endurance, willpower.

Empty your expectations, and focus your complete attention on observing the breath during practice. Close your eyes and look into the darkness until you see a light. Turn your hearing inward and listen within your body.

Practice, practice, practice.
"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 BK » Sun May 31, 2009 12:52 am

I do not have enough facts about what he was smoking, the reasons and how often that he dose smoke to make any meaningful judgments about his health and actions.

That is why i considered my own vices and asked the question that I did.
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Postby Lo Han » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:38 pm

Hi Dmatt,

Practicing qigong and taichi regularly for about 2-3 years and then I got results.

Don't get me wrong though. I still have my lapses, and hayfever...I am
only human afterall, job, family, worldly stuff... but after that time, while my hayfever was still present, I no longer needed the heavy medication, or any at all really.
But really it was reduced to a mildly itchy nose, and just became...
managable.

Seated meditation has been a MAJOR helper in dealing with
concentration and emotional related issues.

Good luck,
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Postby clairvoyager » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:56 am

Dmattwads, I understand you, and I see myself reflected in you at some points in your post. Speaking for myself, I have realized over the years that I may have put too high an expectation on the qigong benefits. Not because I don't believe that qigong can improve every and each of the big issues in your life, but because of the degree of improvement expected for the effort spent. I think this is a major problem in qigong students. We expect to eradicate long held problems, probably based on conditions we've had since we were really young, just by doing some mild qigong every now and then. Well, that's not gonna cut it. Big gains need big investments.

In the world of qigong though, the more you push the harder it gets. But, how can you not hold expectations when you are seeking so badly? I struggle with that myself sometimes. Sometimes, I'd "push" to do something rather than relaxing into doing something, because I thought I'd improve faster... that's not the path of qigong. It's so tricky!!

Do you trust the theory and your teacher? It is not unusual that people are told one way to perform the exercises, but then they would think they are smarter than their teacher and do somewhat differently for "better" results. IMO, you need to have a certain "leap of faith", let things be the way they are, accept the situation, become present, let go of desires and expectation. Only that, is a major achievement in one's live. The rest, will naturally follow.

The best way to train for me is not to think about what I will gain, but just practice for the sake of the practice, because you feel good during and after the practice.
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Postby Dvivid » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:08 am

Try this:

Next time you practice, focus on reaching a deeper level of relaxation. Emphasize that skill only, for the entire duration of your next practice and see if that has any effect.

Sometimes we need to "change it up", and choose one aspect of the practice to emphasize to break through a plateau. One time you practice, focus entirely on breathing as slowly, deeply and quietly as you can. Nothing else.

The next time, focus on your body alignment: your skeleton lengthens upward from your strong root in the ground, while the muscles melt downward.

ETC

Try and report back.
"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 Ralteria » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:32 am

Josh Young wrote:
The other day, I went for a walk during lunch, I passed a man performing Tai Chi, I thought that this is good. On my return trip I saw the man sitting and smoking, I considered my own vices. Did he receive any benefit from performing Tai Chi?

Undoubtedly he received a benefit from taiji, do you think he received a benefit from smoking?



Thats the million dollar question on my end. I've received several health benefits from Taijiquan and Qigong, even when I'm only able to practice for about 15 min. a day during some periods. This is the first year I haven't caught a cold EVER.

And unfortunetly, I do receive a "benefit" from smoking. The benefit is not having my "Yi" on quitting smoking and fighting cravings, lol. I recently quit for 3 months and than just started back up again. It's a constant struggle. I got exhausted and just couldn't focus. It's back to the drawing board again. I thought I had it this time also. It is easier each time,though, thank goodness.

What I think alot of people think is that Qigong is often times a magic cure. As stated before in the post, it takes time. You are retooling the body and mind to function more efficiently. That takes years. However I think many generally look towards large changes in our lives or are trying to "fix" something. However there are smaller changes, subtle changes, that we can take advantage on.

In specific, one change I've had for myself is being able to differentiate between my Want to smoke and just cravings has been facillitated by Taiji/Qigong. It also helps me "feel" smoking more so I know what my withdrawls are like better (know your enemy) as well as "feel" the crappy effects it has on my body. This study of my own addiction mirrors many aspects in Qigong and the self awareness of the mind and body. Plus the more I train my intention the easier it has been to quit.

I know it sounds odd but the last time I quit I actually made my withdrawl symptoms go away in about 12 hours as opposed to the normal three days. I'm not sure how I did it, but my Yi to quit was so strong that I think my body just gave up :shock:
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Postby Josh Young » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:52 pm

I smoked for many years.
I quit easily once I lacked the will to smoke.
I do like tobacco as a plant and a strong medicine, but I think it isn't the type of medicine that should be used casually.
Some species of tobacco are considered sacred by several American cultures. I am sure in some context benefits can be derived from it's use, smoking perhaps included.

In modern terms you could examine the neuroprotective effects of nicotine against parkinsonism, that has been studied and published on but still doesn't make smoking a safe part of a daily lifestyle.

To alter the balance of the natural system of the body
seems contrary to the best interest of the system itself doesn't it?

If we have an element in our life that is out of balance, then we cannot expect qigong to correct what we must ourselves actively correct first, before we will be fit enough to properly practice and receive our optimal benefit of qigong practice.
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Postby Ralteria » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:29 am

If my post seemed like I was expecting Qigong to cure my addiction to cigarettes, than I must have been ambigous in my language. Trust me. I know who's shoulders that falls on.

The point I was trying to get at was Qigong helped me put them down the last time. And in addition to that I am still able to receive many of the benefits of Qigong regardless of my habit. I don't expect to progress much further than I have however. That still doesn't stop me from training however.

I quit easily once I lacked the will to smoke.


I quit easily three months ago. I started back up just as easy. I'm not sure how you got to the point where you just lacked the will to smoke. If you have any insight in to how that was facilitated I would be very much in your debt. Quitting is the easy part at this point (this is the 3rd time I've gone more than I month), staying quit is the problem I have.
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Postby Josh Young » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:53 am

I am aware of several people who use qigong in a way to try to recover from things they should change first, I did not mean to imply that you were among them, please forgive me if that is what I conveyed.

As funny as it might sound insight was all that was required to lose the will to smoke, or to gain the will to not smoke. I had wanted to quit for years, but there was a part of me that wanted to smoke too, so I never found the will.

In any voluntary action there is the direct precipitation of that action, in both a mental and physical nature, by choice. What facilitates and powers this choice may be called will and in this sense it is separate from thought. How much thought is required to walk or sit? Yet these actions are the result of will none the less.

Essentially we must use the influence of the power of suggestion on ourselves. We are constantly programming ourselves with our senses, environments, thoughts, cravings and such. The society we live in also includes it's own set of programming designed to mold our highly suggestible minds into the social roles that it maintains, for better or worse I might add.

What you read, see, hear, think and sense, all of these things create your identity, molding it and shaping it. Together your beliefs and thoughts, and sensory information form the very world in which you experience life. The control you have over this is indirect; you experience now constantly and cannot change it directly, however you can influence the tone of now by acting in it.

One thing that is good to use the moment for is to become aware of the sphere of your being. It certainly does not end at the senses. There is a gong here but it is yi-gong, not qi-gong.
If you can accept that belief and experience are not knowledge, and that we are without knowledge, then clarity can be had. With this clarity you can do nothing but accept that if you smoke, it is by choice alone and no other thing, and that if you do not it is again by choice.

What is a craving but a thought/memory?
Have no needless thought and how can desire be had?


But then this is my opinion, whatever truth it may contain is purely an illusion of the context in which your own mind can relate to it.

I think you should perhaps grow Nicotiana rustica, a sacred tobacco species that is almost never if ever used for cigarettes. It grows well in temperate regions. I have seeds if you want. My point being that perhaps you can enjoy tobacco without using it more than a couple times a year. You may get far more out of what it has to offer. There are amazing effects that occur with nicotine, but the symptoms of being poisoned cover these quite well. However since you cannot trust the tobacco companies if you wish to know tobacco well then grow one of the sacred species yourself.
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qiqong and smoking

Postby pammy » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:00 pm

I have been practicing qiqong and tai chi for over a year now and I smoke. I don't practice for a benefit, I just like the way I can feel my body. I like the way I relax into myself. I'm 60 and figure if I am going to smoke I need to do some extra good things for my body, like walking up hill, so that I breathe harder, exercising, drinking water, etc. I like smoking and don't see myself giving it up any time soon. Sure I could die from it but I could die from many things, so since I get pleasure from it I'll continue it.
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Postby Ralteria » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:40 pm

I can relate to that, to an extent. However, as the sensitivity to my body has increased over the years I've practiced qigong, especially after the period where I just quit smoking, I've noticed the difference. It's not overly dramatic but as my body expands on inhale I feel at about 2/3rds my normal expansion capacity. Since I practice qigong as part of my Taijiquan (or more appropriatly, I practice a qigong martial art), I find it a bit restricting on opening movements.

Not to mention the length of my breath is shorter which inhibits me from practicing the form (or any qigong movement) at my normal pace. And slightly reduced my sensitivity. However my reversion to smoking is only temporary. Obviously each person sets their own goals. As long as one gets what they are seeking I believe that is the point anyway.

One thing that is good to use the moment for is to become aware of the sphere of your being. It certainly does not end at the senses. There is a gong here but it is yi-gong, not qi-gong


Yes, which is exactly how I believe qigong (in sense) has helped me with my previous and soon to be current quitting smoking, lol. Understanding Will and Intent as being seperate from *though* so to speak.

We all have thousands of thoughts a day, constantly. Each time some sort of stimulu (anything really) is introduced to us it is triggered by the brains reaction to search through endless catalogs of previously garnered experience and pull the appropriate idea from our memory and hand it to us. The idea that we are ultimately seperate from this is what is astounding. The Will, or the Yi can chose to acknowledge it or not. Thus we truly do have free will, and really addiction is illusion.

However I do acknowledge that yi-gong is a "gong". And it does take practice (sitting meditation DING!!!!!) so I don't slight myself for slipping back, though I am dissapointed. It is, however, another chance to move forward with my own personal gongfu. I'm looking forward to it.
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Re: qiqong and smoking

Postby sysop » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:27 am

pammy wrote:I have been practicing qiqong and tai chi for over a year now and I smoke. I don't practice for a benefit, I just like the way I can feel my body. I like the way I relax into myself. I'm 60 and figure if I am going to smoke I need to do some extra good things for my body, like walking up hill, so that I breathe harder, exercising, drinking water, etc. I like smoking and don't see myself giving it up any time soon. Sure I could die from it but I could die from many things, so since I get pleasure from it I'll continue it.


The "logic" of "I'll continue to smoke and just do better things and that will make it better" is the same "logic" someone uses when they think their saving money in a savings account at 4% yet they have credit card debt at 9%. They're still negative 5%. In essence, they're damaging their body with the cigarettes yet expect the same damaged body to work even harder during exercise. This puts a double strain on their heart, blood vessels, lungs, and blood pressure.

I took my desire to smoke and made it my desire to practice taijiquan. Now I derive my pleasure from my practice.

Yeah, sorry, I'm a reformed smoker. The worst kind. :wink: LOL
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Postby dmattwads » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:23 pm

First of all I'd like to think all of those who have responded to this post, and have taken much of the advice to heart, especially about relaxing. As I was reading I noticed that the topic led to smoking/quitting smoking, and at first thought it was topic drift. But as I began to think about it, I realized that though I do not smoke, nor ever have, a lot of what I am wanting to change about myself has many of the features of nicotine addiction. In fact my acupuncturist gave me the same herbs to help me to chill as he does for people who are trying to quit, which he explained as a heart fire/ shen disturbance kind of problem. So speaking of such, what type of qigong is good for healing the shen as I have come to believe that probably most of my emotional issues are the result of a shen disturbance.
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Postby joeblast » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:43 am

"If you want to reverse decline, be rigorous about what not to do."
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Postby dmattwads » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:25 pm

Does anyone know what style of qigong is best for stabilizing the emotions?
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