By Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali
If you’re a fan of Dragonball Z then you’d probably be familiar with the word ‘Qi’ sometimes spelled as ‘Chi’. Most of us believe that ‘Qi’ only belongs to the fantasy world, however, it does exist in reality, and although exaggerated in the cartoon, controlling ‘Qi’ does increase your strength and endurance.
What is ‘Qi’?
‘Qi’ or ‘Chi’ is derived from the core concepts of the traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) (Maciocia, 2015). ‘Qi’ is universal, which embraces all the exhibitions of energy, from the most material facets (such as earth, flesh, and blood) to the most immaterial facets (such as light, heat, movement, thoughts, impulses, and emotions). The two opposite aspects of ‘Qi’ are termed as Yin and Yang, where Yin indicates the material aspects of ‘Qi’ and Yang specifies the immaterial aspects.
Harnessing your ‘Qi’
The energy we call ‘Qi’ is present in our surroundings, and in all the elements of nature. There are techniques to absorb that energy, and safely store it in your body’s power centers (Lin, et al., 2018). This energy can then be used to enhance your strength, health, and vitality to a significant level. The most famous technique to harness the ‘Qi’ is called ‘Qigong’, which helps to power up. Now don’t get the wrong idea that harnessing ‘Qi’ will provide you some kind of superpowers, yes, if mastered, it does boost up your strength, and improves your overall health and well being (Zeng, et al., 2014; Larkey, et al., 2018), however, obtaining superhuman strength or superpower of some kind is out of the question, unless you’re a ‘Saiyan’ from another planet.
The first thing that you need to know about mastering the ‘Qigong’ is that you need to be in an open area, where you can truly channel the ‘Qi’ present in the heavens and the earth to strengthen your health and improve your overall well being. I’m going to guide you through the complete process of mastering the ‘Qigong’. There are three steps to this, and if you master these steps, you’re going to successfully awaken, and increase your ‘Qi’ energy flow.
Step 1: The Posture
Stand upright, but in a relaxed position, and keep your feet at a medium distance from one another. Bring your knees in a relaxed state, and look forward, chin tucked in, and shoulders relaxed. You can also sit on the ground, back straight, chin tucked in, legs crossed, and shoulders relaxed. Now, in whatever position comfortable to you, cleanse your mind and focus on the posture without getting tense.
Step 2: The Posture of ‘Qigong’
The main purpose of this step is to gain an awareness of the ‘Dan Tian’. The ’Dan Tian’ also called the umbilicus is the area three fingerbreadths from the naval, it is the center of the ‘Qi’. Keep your posture right, bring your hands up, while your palms are facing each other, keeping them at a medium distance from one another. Now bring the hands closer to your chest, and if you’re standing then slightly bend your knees. Start breathing in, and focus on your ‘Dan Tian’.
Step 3: The Yin and Yang
The purpose of this step is the breathing awareness. Keeping the posture, open your hands to your shoulder width. Breathe out, while gently pushing your hands closer to each other without touching them. Now, as you breathe in, you open your hands at your shoulder width, and as you breathe out you push your hands’ closer without touching each other. Each time you breathe in and out, you imagine that there is some kind of magnetic force between your palms, you need to pull against this resistance as you breathe in, and push against it as you breathe out. Keep your mouth closed, and tongue touching your upper palate, breathe through your nose. Keep doing it until you master it.
The next thing you need to do is, imagine that each time the fresh and cool air that travels through your nose, down to your lungs and then to the abdomen, it fills your abdomen bulging it outwards, and when it escapes out from your nose it contracts your abdomen. Picture the air entering your nose, going through the trachea, down to the lungs and then filling the abdomen. Then picture it, leaving the abdomen, going up towards the lungs, then through your trachea and finally escaping through your nose. This process is called guided imagery.
Using the same guided imagery, imagine that when you breathe in, the upper portion of your abdomen expands, and the lower portion contracts, and when you breathe out, the lower abdomen expands, and the upper abdomen contracts. All through this time, keep your focus on your ‘Dan Tian’, the air you breathe in contains the ‘Qi’ energy, allow the ‘Qi’ to sink to your umbilicus, delivering strength to your body.
Step 4: The ‘Qi’ Awareness
Now, practicing the breathing exercise, bring your hands up towards your chest when you breathe in and bring your hands down towards your umbilicus when breathing out. Remember that your hands should be apart from each other at a medium distance, and palms should be facing each other. When you breathe in, feel the ‘Qi’ moving up towards the middle of your chest, and as you breathe out, feel it sinking down your umbilicus. If you don’t understand what ‘Qi’ is, then just consider it as an energy form. You just need to keep your focus on your ‘Dan Tian’. The sensation of ‘Qi’ will often feel heavy and slightly warm, however, it’s different to different people.
Keep practicing until you master the ‘Qigong’ technique. Do it at least for half an hour in the morning before going to the gym. With time you’re going to feel your strength and endurance increasing significantly. Practicing this technique is easy, and powerful. You can’t go wrong, you can either be good or perfect.
Larkey, et al., 2018. Body Composition Outcomes of Tai Chi and Qigong Practice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. International journal of behavioral medicine, pp.1-15.
Lin, C.Y., et al., 2018. Effect of Tai Chi and Qigong on Functional Physical Fitness in Elderly. 大專體育學刊, 20(1), pp.52-63.
Maciocia, G., 2015. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine E-Book: A Comprehensive Text. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Zeng, Y., et al., 2014. Health benefits of qigong or tai chi for cancer patients: a systematic review and meta-analyses. Complementary therapies in medicine, 22(1), pp.173-186.