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Earth Qi Gong for Women, Sneak Preview

June 21, 2007

Occasionally on the Blue Snake Books blog, we’ll feature sneak previews of some of our outstanding upcoming titles. This is an opportunity for you to get to know a book before it’s published. The content posted here may change during the editorial process.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of the upcoming book, Earth Qi Gong for Women: Awaken Your Inner Healing Power by Tina Chunna Zhang, an illustrated guide to healing for women of all ages through the gentle exercises of Qi Gong. Enjoy!

Earth Qi Gong for Women will be published in January of 2008. It’s already available to pre-order on Amazon.

Earth Qi Gong for Women

Qi Gong Practice

From practicing the basic movements of qi gong, you will eventually be able to feel every part of your body: skin, muscles, tendons, bones, and organs as well as the energy channels. At this point, your practice will evolve to include patterns that are more complicated; you’ll need to practice more and develop the ability to direct your qi with your mind. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve spent showing up to classes night after night or how great your instructors were—the depth of the awareness you have of your body and energy and your capacity to control and make adjustments to your energy flow according these feelings will show the true development of your practice. This type of understanding goes far beyond the routines that your masters or teachers guide you through in their classes. However, at this level, you definitely should feel that the healing aspects of the art have started, as many positive aspects of the practice become a delightful part of your life.

The healing power of qi gong is not expected to change or amend the body like a heart replacement operation would do. It is healing from the activation of one’s inner power. Your general health will improve and your organs will function better—your curved back will get straighter, you will manage your anger better, and you will be happier. The medical aspect of qi gong is primarily preventative. It also helps during the recovery period from an illness.

Prevention is the central concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine; concurrently, the healing power of qi gong is seen as an awakening of your nervous system and a strengthening your immune system. Awareness helps you learn to trust your body’s wisdom, which always tells the truth and can be like an alarm telling you to wake up and prepare to fight off attacks to your body caused by various diseases. When you are able to tell when you are getting sick or feel that one of the organs is deficient in qi, you will probably have a better chance to take some action, like resting, or seek different ways to heal the problem before the situation gets worse. Especially for chronic pain or diseases, qi gong is perhaps the best way to gently ease the pain, and regulate the conditions of one’s illness.

Qi gong healing is a way to understand the truth of the disease. The reason some people are always sick while others rarely fall ill may simply be because the strengths of people’s immune systems varies. Qi gong exercise empowers the immune system to prevent and heal disease and injury. To make this kind of healing be present all the time, you need to practice daily. Of course, all humans have an innate ability to feel their own energy levels depending on their health at a specific moment. When you are sick, you definitely do not feel as good as when you are healthy, and you do not need training to be able to feel the difference. But you do need training to become aware of blockages—remember, even a small one in either the body or the mind may cause serious health issues. You must teach yourself to feel the level of your body that knows the secret of how to supercharge its strength and to control its health in a way that goes far beyond the body’s original capabilities.

You may go through the following stages as your awareness of your body increases during qi gong practice.

You allow your body to sink comfortably into the earth.
You enjoy the pleasurable physical movements in Qi Gong practice.
You can feel the warmth in your palms and feet.
Your balance and flexibility improve.
Your physical health is enhanced internally.
Your standing or sitting meditation seem more effective than before.
You clearly feel the connection between your physical body and your mind.
Your energy increases through practice.
You recover quicker from illness.
Now, you smile.

Healing by Raising Your Emotional Intelligence

Qi Gong healing also affects the health of the brain, simply because the brain is part of the body. Practicing the motions of qi gong exercises, particularly the medical qi gong that helps blood circulation, in a calm and relaxed mood helps to improve emotional and mental health. Also, the fact that every part of the body participates in the exercise in a coordinated and well-focused manner helps you obtain the ability to control the central nervous system, which then becomes more efficient at receiving and passing on information between the body and brain. When the brain is better controlled, it will direct the methods of change and improvement in a balanced way.

Qi Gong practice is about always being in a calm state of mind, using slow motions without any hurry. This is a set up for its fundamental function of calming the emotions. The practice is never used for competition with others rather it’s simply for feeling and experiencing your own emotions and your own energies. It is about taking time to release the stress from your life that makes you tense, nervous, and depressed. During the practice, you must always stay focused and relaxed, which is an effective way to bring your nervous system back into balance, returning you to your natural calmness and giving you a sense of emotional control over various aspects of life.

Since every person has a unique response to her emotional energy flow, it is good to experiment with a variety of approaches to managing and reducing the negative emotions in order to learn what works best for you. In qi gong practices, there is, however, a commonly shared format that helps regulate emotions. During qi gong practice, you must feel your own body and mind through these sense-stimulating movements and stay calm and focused in order to communicate with your nervous system.

You may experience the following common processes as you increase your emotional intelligence.

Clear your mind of all extraneous thoughts.
Scan your mind with qi gong motion to find a spot where a feeling is particularly intense.
Smoothly move qi into your mind using these pleasant feelings until you feel comfortable.
Do not force the issue and push for a release—a bit at a time is just as effective.
Trust your mind and body to recognize how much they can do at this moment to release some of the tension.

You will get better at all steps over time with more Qi Gong practice.

Tina Chunna Zhang

A professional tai ji quan instructor, personal trainer, and award-winning athlete, Tina Chunna Zhang is the founder of Earth Energy Qi Gong for Women. A popular leader of workshops and retreats worldwide, she lives in New York City.

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