• The Acupuncture Clinic of Tom Ingegno L.Ac 907 Lakewood Ave Baltimore, MD 21224
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    • 18 JUL 13
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    How to recognize Qi

    image courtesy of Geierunited
    If you are a beginner to Qigong or are new to the concept of a life force energy, Qi – then you may be wondering how you can recognize it. To discover Qi requires a different kind of awareness. It’s a little like finding the right frequency on a radio, or fine tuning a car engine. Attention is shifted from seeing outside yourself, to what is happening inside yourself. Begin to notice how you feel. Are you tired, in pain, or always worried? Are you feeling scared, restless, hot and cold, bloated, quick tempered? These are all signs of imbalanced Qi. Are you overweight, or too thin, are you obsessive in your behavior? All of these qualities are expressions of spleen Qi. Are you restless at night, or laugh for no reason? These expressions reflect heart Qi. Do you wear sunglasses on cloudy or rainy days? Are you depressed? Then your liver Qi is said to be out of balance. Coffee, sugar and other addictions, twitches, whistling or humming the same tune over and over, nail biting, shouting, talking very softly – all are different expressions of Qi. Not only can we see qualities of Qi in ourselves, we can also observe them in nature. What makes the leaves rustle in an invisible wind, how do tiny plants push upwards through the soil? What is the energy behind a thunderstorm? All of these are functions of Qi in nature.

    Now you have changed your perception of yourself and your environment, learn to feel Qi in your body. Be aware of all your sensations during your qigong, tai chi or yoga practice, or even during your acupuncture treatments. Each of us feels Qi differently, there is no right or wrong sensation.  Typical sensations include:

    • tingling in hands, feet, arms, legs
    • feeling light or heavy in parts of the body
    • a sense of something flowing
    • a feeling like ants crawling just below the skin’s surface
    • an overall warmth, or coolness
    • a magnetic field between the hands
    • energy moving in your belly
    • a lifting up or pulling down, like a puppet on a string
    • an urge to cry, or a decrease in pain
    • a warmth in your hands as they pass over your face or body
    • a sensation of peace

    Everyone has their own unique feeling that they will identify with Qi. You may not even be able to define this special sensation that is beginning to repeat itself, in you, in others, in nature. It just is what it is. Qi. 

    Here is an exercise to test your awareness of Qi: Stand in a relaxed position, knees unlocked, feet hip width apart. Begin by rubbing your hands together until they are warm. Now imagine you are holding a tennis ball between your hands, palms facing each other and fingers relaxed. Gently push your hands in and out, as if squeezing the ball. Each time make the ball slightly bigger until it is the size of a basketball or a balloon. Keep the hands soft and relaxed as if you are trying not to burst or drop the balloon. Focus on the sensation you are feeling between your hands. This is your Qi. Play with your imaginary ball or balloon. Turn it around, upside down, make it bigger or smaller. Can you still feel your Qi? Does it become stronger or weaker as you move your hands? How big can you make the ball? Be careful, don’t drop it!! Can’t feel anything at all?  Don’t worry, sometimes it takes a while.  The more relaxed you become, the easier it will be to sense Qi.

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