Relax Into Spring

Spring is the busiest time of year, and often the most frustrating. There is so much we want to do, especially outdoors, and yet the tumultuous weather often interferes with our desires. Expectations for a gentle unfolding of winter’s prolonged icy grip are frequently crushed with yet another blast of cold air. So we get tense, irritable and downright cantankerous. Call it “spring fever”. The remedy is to relax. Of course, you know that. We hear it all the time, “just relax”.

And yet it often seems nearly impossible. Like we actually don’t know how to relax the body and turn off the chatter of the mind. Getting the body and mind into a state of true quietness seems beyond our understanding and ability. So I want to share a simple and very effective technique from Daoist Qigong to help you enter a state of deep quiet. Why is this important?

The Qi can only circulate with maximum benefit when the organs, the surrounding muscles, the web of connective tissue, and the intrinsic vessels and nerves are calmly relaxed. This state of physiological quietness is unique to Qigong. It is a kind of alert peacefulness that melds the body and mind together into a complete whole.


Dr. Jiao Guorui, a well respected contemporary Qigong practictioner in China, calls this state entering quiescence. He describes it in his book Qigong Essentials for Health Promotion:

"Entering quiescence is a major requirement of qigong exercise. But how to achieve this is a common problem for beginners. First of all we must understand the quiescent state correctly. This state exists relatively as compared to the dynamic state. Life is movement and the quiescent state is actually stillness in movement. It is not motionless. Therefore, qigong exercise is essentially quiescent motions. When we enter the quiescent state we are entering a special state of movement within the body.
What then is quiescence? It is a special state of inward quietude. In this state the brain eliminates interferences from both inside and outside the body, providing favorable conditions for the central nervous system to carry out the active, natural regulation of body functions and mental abilities.
Some people, after entering quiescence during qigong, feel like a frozen river that is melting during the springtime...their whole body is completely relaxed and comfortable."

The state of being “completely relaxed” is especially important for the liver. This amazing visceral structure has more functions that any other single organ. During the process of filtering and detoxifying the blood, producing hundreds of enzymes and hormones, and regulating the volume of circulating blood, the liver tends to become congested. For it to work properly it must be decongested and supple. The Chinese say that a healthy liver is like “a free and easy wanderer,” responsible for the smooth and harmonious flow of blood and Qi throughout the body and mind.

Spring is the time of year when the concentration of Qi is rising up from the kidney area and into the middle chest. This rising Qi often becomes obstructed by a stagnant liver that is clogged with the debris of its functions. Qigong for Spring helps the liver to become free and easy by the use of special qigong exercises, herbs and foods. A special exercise to enable you to enter quiescence and benefit the liver is Inner Nourishing.


Inner Nourishing
This exercise may be done sitting or lying down. Rest and be comfortable but alert.
Start to inhale and think of bringing the qi up the back, over the head and to the mouth. While inhaling gently place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and silently say, “I am calm.”
Then start to exhale and bring the qi down the front of your body to the lower dan tian. While exhaling let the tongue rest gently on the floor of your mouth and silently say, “and relaxed.”
Do this for a few minutes.


Inner Nourishing, "Nei Yang Gong", was a secret Daoist healing method developed during 
the Ming dynasty that was transmitted by qigong masters to only one select student. It enhances the Qi circulation through the two major meridians: Governing Vessel from tailbone up to the mouth and Conception Vessel from mouth to perineum. In 1947 Dr. Liu Guizhen began to teach this powerful qigong exercise to the public for the greater good of society. He knew that one of the greatest benefits of Qigong is the internal relaxation of the body.

 

Written by : Ron Davis