Day 1: Learning Qigong Meditation

Figured I’d spend some time explaining this whole concept of “Qi” or basically our “life energy” in the name of qigong meditation. Rather than write a daily blog of the practice itself (since I’m just a beginner & would likely F it up), let me explain why this practice seems so powerful – even from only 1 full-day session of classes. Then I’ll report back at the end! This is so different than other forms of meditation most of us have tried.
 
My integrative psychiatric in NY who I love – is part western doc w a degree from Columbia, part mixer of all things from the earth/listening to his patient’s bodies. His grandfather was a mushroom farmer in Kentucky (not magic mushroom ;). So, he mixes what have traditionally been called “natural/eastern” practices & western meds (when needed). These types of docs look for solutions to what ails you, & then to make you the best version of yourself & thrive. They don’t just try to put a bandaid on symptoms. He is actually a practitioner of Qigong, himself.
 
Enter my instructor for this workshop – who goes by “Budiman.” He was born in Indonesia, went to London to study physiology & completed post graduate work there. Bc he learned western medicine, he himself wasn’t a believer in any form of meditation. Once back in Indonesia after school, his friend who was a believer, gave him a book to learn about Qigong. Budiman tried practicing it thru the book on his own for 9 consecutive months & felt no effects whatsoever. This furthered his skepticism.
 
It wasn’t until he took a proper course that he experienced what he now calls “success” & “broke through” after only 9 days of practice (will explain the meaning of these terms below)! He became so fascinated by his results & improvement in health (beyond what he learned about in London), he moved to China to become a certified teacher & has been teaching ever since – over 14k students to date – but rarely courses in English, so I feel lucky :). Even tho Indonesia is in SE Asia, Qigong is not popular here. It’s actually a Chinese practice. Budiman has brought it to Indonesia.
 
According to Budiman, there are two types of illnesses we acquire: 1) caused by bacteria/viruses that CAN’T be cured by qigong & necessitate medications, & 2) ailments caused by physical changes in the body on a cellular level like diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, that can begin to be reversed & often cured by qigong.
 
Follow his logic: we have over 100 trillion cells in our body. Cells split (feel like 9th grade bio yet ;)) & continue to be produced as other cells die. As is the case with most processes at high numbers, errors happen as cells multiply, & when our immune systems are strong, they sweep out those error cells.
 
As we get older & our hormone levels start to get unbalanced, our immune systems take a huge hit, which leads to damaged cells sticking around, forming polyps, then tumors, then spreading more damaged cells throughout the bodies & attacking good cells. Much like we say w MH we are all susceptible to life challenges…bc of the above we are actually all susceptible (every human), to damaged cells multiplying & causing illness.
 
The way we stop this from happening is by teaching our bodies to continue to create more & more efficient life force energy or Qi, so that our immune systems don’t weaken & slow down, & bad cells don’t harm us & cause complications. We also get more rich nutrients to all organs in our bodies, including our brains!
 
What exactly is Qi & how is it made? We get Qi from breathing air & eating/drinking foods from the earth. From the air we take in oxygen & get rid of what we don’t need on our exhale. From food we absorb the “essence” of the food (nutrients) & our bodies make us go to the bathroom to get rid of the rest! The oxygen & food nutrients go into the mitochondria of our cells (all 100 Trillion of them), & energy is produced & even stored in our cells.
 
Other than the Qi we got in the womb from our parents, this energy we make in the world when we live is our Qi. But, a couple of factors are at play – 1) the WAY & efficiency with which we make Qi is different in each of us & also naturally declines w age if we don’t do anything about it, & 2) this Qi energy flows throughout our body through “meridians” (which have been acknowledged by the World Health Organization). Just like our blood flows through our veins, our energy flows through our meridians.
 
Couple of issues now here 1) our meridians get stuck & often over time don’t allow the easy passage of energy to important parts of our body (not so dissimilar to how we know arteries get blocked), and 2) there are two MAIN meridians (won’t confuse anyone w the Chinese names). The first main one goes from just above our chin, down the front center of our bodies & into the groin area – a place we in the West call our perineum. Then, there is a second main meridian that starts just at the back of the tailbone, goes (also center) up & around our backs, over our heads & to the front of our face.
 
These two main meridians were connected when we were being carried by our moms, but they separate at birth. If we can “break through” & have “success” doing so, our Qi flows more freely throughout our whole body to better regulate everything – & yes even sending rich blood flow to our brains for optimizing Mental Health!!
 
So, this meditation is not a “mindfulness practices alone” like many meditations we know. It’s literally a meditation to 1) open up the meridians, & 2) connect the two main ones together. If we can do this – we can begin to live better/happier/healthier lives from the food & oxygen we take in & make into Qi!
 
Day one was to meditate to move Qi in our bodies to an areas just above or stomachs (so that we begin to process our food better & MAKE MORE Qi from the more efficient breakdown of what we eat/drink). 5 meditation sessions of about 20 min each so far. More to come as I open more meridian points, make more Qi & try to connect the two main meridian super highways! Hope this is helpful…I believe it will be a game changer & love that it’s rooted in science!!!

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