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  • Writer's pictureJohn Blue

9 Reasons to Practice Qigong-Massage

Hello friends!

I'm super excited to share a new video series with you! It's about 200 hours of a transformative qigong self-massage series arranged by Daoist Master Zhicheng. (TaoistStudiesInstitute.org)

It is a unique practice combining qigong and massage principles to promote self-healing and well-being. We have found it fantastic as a healing and training tool. After witnessing its effects, I consider it an essential part of our qigong and meditation curriculum. Here are 9 reasons why you will love this set, too!


(and if you stick around to the end, I promise you some pie.)



#1: Connecting to the Body

As I described in the last lesson, it's vital that we improve our ability to sense our bodies. By using our hands to contact our whole body, we get better at letting our consciousness connect with our tissues. Maybe I'm distracted, but my fingers tap on my chest, drawing attention back to my body.

My chest is here. Feel this? Stay present.

Feel this? It's wonderfully straightforward and effective in reconnecting our minds with our bodies, one finger at a time. 


#2: Feeling Inside the Body

It's also important to take our ability to feel to a deeper level. Literally. Our growing qigong skills require a capacity to sense the inside of the body during training. It becomes an integral part of our practice. The few beginners who can feel their bodies are usually only aware of the outside of their skin. They often have no relationship at all with the tissues below the surface. This massage takes the first and easiest step toward learning this skill. Perception can directly follow the warmth generated by our palms into the layers beneath our exteriors. By feeling the space beneath the surface, including the fascial and circulatory layers, we are one step closer to firsthand knowledge of our tissues. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, this is wonderfully nourishing for our channels and increases our capacity to release physical and emotional tension.


#3: Anchoring the Mind

One remarkable thing about the body is that it always rests within the present moment. By learning to sense your sensations clearly, you promote a stable anchor for your distracted mind. This easy and immediate somatic meditation delivers a host of benefits for soothing your psyche and heart. By developing your capacity to remain embodied, many facets of meditation become simplified. Remain aware of what is really happening rather than being lost in daydreams and thought spirals. Your body is here. Now. And this practice will help you refine that capacity for presence. 


#4: Calming the Intent

Throughout the set, we remember to relax the intensity of our minds. We can cultivate the quality of our touch which will help us adjust the quality of our intention and concentration. With practice, we develop a contact and focus that is present, peaceful, friendly, and gentle. We will mindfully encourage kindness and acceptance of our bodies and feelings. Many of us have stored up poisons like negativity and emotional repression. Sound familiar? We develop an antidote from open-hearted acceptance, a loving touch, and unconditional friendliness. This aspect alone is quite transformative and feels lovely. 


#5: Releasing Distractions

How do you respond to distractions during meditation? Do you push the thoughts away after the mind drifts into a daydream? Force your mind back to concentrate on the task at hand? It's an all too common habit and only empowers the cycle of mental tension. As we stop squeezing our minds and repressing our feelings, we can practice a healthier way of attending to our wandering imagination. The distraction is merely a symptom of agitation in the mind. Trying to force our thoughts to remain focused through control only agitates our minds further, making them more likely to wander again. Instead, we treat our thoughts with kind disinterest and learn to relax. Effortlessly, the awareness naturally becomes more anchored into the present moment and less likely to stray. It makes meditation and our daily lives much easier. 


#6: Cultivating the Dantian

Within any qigong set, it's essential to constantly return and settle awareness into the Middle Dantian space. This habit slowly nurtures an area of vast potential for our healing and is a vital step toward more advanced skills. Settling your attention and storing qi in this location makes it far more likely for your mind and emotions to remain grounded and relaxed. Coupled with a general sinking direction of the massage sequence, this becomes a very healing practice for those suffering from symptoms of 'qi rising' imbalances, which can manifest as symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, and headaches. 


#7: Softening the Hands

As you've learned by this point in the learning sequence, the ability to relax is of primary importance for our mind-body health. And one of the first places to develop softness is within the hands. Master Zhicheng constantly stresses the need to release them during training, and I know no better practice to cultivate this skill. There is a continuous reminder to let go of the hands and use them to communicate with the body's other tissues. Like one tuning fork causing another to resonate with the same frequency, the softness of the hands transfers to the different parts of our body. Bit by bit, we learn to let go, and it feels glorious. 


#8: Invigorating Circulation

The warmth and stimulation of our hands are very beneficial for local relaxation, blood and lymph circulation, and unwinding the tissues. Clearly, this is worthwhile by itself. Yet, by emphasizing the acupoints and channels of Chinese medicine, specific points on the body that enhance the body's energy flow, the methods become far more effective than any simple self-massage. I make a point of using the class series to teach principles and techniques of traditional Chinese medicine. We discuss the body's energetic anatomy, common imbalances, and opportunities for healing in a lighthearted and engaging manner. Students who follow through the 100 days of training will leave with a much broader understanding of Chinese medicine and self-healing. 


#9: Developing a Practice

Why did I arrange the class in this 100-day format? Because it's essential for progress to develop a strong habit of daily practice. I know that it is challenging in the beginning, so we arranged for the sessions to be live, among friends, to provide a sense of fellowship. This consistent and friendly community can make training much more accessible. I also answer questions during class so that it will feel more engaging, casual, and less intimidating. Each new class is purposefully different from the last for those quickly bored and distracted. For those who find it nearly impossible to stay centered during class, I make a point to constantly call your attention back to your body and our training. You might be lost in your thoughts, and suddenly, you'll hear me ask you to check your posture. I make a point to keep you returning to the practice, even during times of great distraction. If you have felt that meditation is too difficult, this is one method you can use! 


Laugh a bit. Smile at your distracting thoughts. Have a bit of fun with us, and enjoy your practice. 


Oh…

Here are the first 100 digits of π (pi): 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679


🟦 Research Links 🟦






🟦 Other Links 🟦


Remember that this is only a tiny part of a more extensive system and sequence of teaching videos.   Subscribe to my channel to learn more! 


Make sure that you begin your practice at the beginning of the sequence



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Endless gratitude to my supporters on Patreon for making this possible!  


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