Recommended Posts

Hello fellow wayfairers,

I find myself with very low energy now and for the past, maybe, 6 months. Before that time and especially a few years back I was typically a high energy person and fairly well centered/grounded.

 

I think Qigong/neigong is the way to fix that for me. I have 2 books which came highly recommended, The Way of Energy by Master Lam Kam Chuen and Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by Bruce Frantzis. Ive begun practicing Zhang Zhuang along with some of the internal techniques and body alignments Frantzis talks about and I have felt a increasingly strong chi sensation as I practice as if I'm improving and tapping into my chi. I also feel more energetic after a practice session. The closest things to chi instruction I have near me is a shoddy Aikido dojo and a young american Tai Chi Chuan instructor that claims to have spent time studying it in China.

 

Now my question is, is it possible to learn Qigong exclusively from books, videos, and mindful practice? Anyone here have success with self/book taught Qigong for healing themselves? Should I try out the Tai Chi guy?

 

I appreciate your help friends :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're on the right path for fixing yourself with the Way of Energy practice. As for where to go from there, I won't say any more because that's all up to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you're on the right path for fixing yourself with the Way of Energy practice. As for where to go from there, I won't say any more because that's all up to you.

Have you practiced it, is it the reaaaaal deaaaal?!?! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The energy gates book is very good. Posture has a large part to play, and opening the gates helps achieve that good posture. For example if you sit at a computer for a long time you want to have an upright spine for a number of reasons (compressed organs partially shut down and make you sleepy. energy flow is restricted). If you work on a computer at work you can try just sitting tall all day. The difference for me was quite dramatic, however you have to have the structure to support it otherwise your muscles will fatigue. This is where the energy work comes in. You learn how to create a proper relaxed structure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you practiced it, is it the reaaaaal deaaaal?!?! lol

 

I have...it's a solid practice that will help you with low energy and being ungrounded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are sincere and take it easy then you'll do fine. It's no different than weight training. Don't get under 600lbs on a squat rack and expect to rep to out. Slow and easy. The Healing Promise of Qi is the best book I've come across, second to the Gospel :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are sincere and take it easy then you'll do fine. It's no different than weight training. Don't get under 600lbs on a squat rack and expect to rep to out. Slow and easy. The Healing Promise of Qi is the best book I've come across, second to the Gospel :)

Concurred. The Healing Promise of Qi is an exceptional book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello fellow wayfairers,

I find myself with very low energy now and for the past, maybe, 6 months. Before that time and especially a few years back I was typically a high energy person and fairly well centered/grounded.

 

I think Qigong/neigong is the way to fix that for me. I have 2 books which came highly recommended, The Way of Energy by Master Lam Kam Chuen and Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by Bruce Frantzis. Ive begun practicing Zhang Zhuang along with some of the internal techniques and body alignments Frantzis talks about and I have felt a increasingly strong chi sensation as I practice as if I'm improving and tapping into my chi. I also feel more energetic after a practice session. The closest things to chi instruction I have near me is a shoddy Aikido dojo and a young american Tai Chi Chuan instructor that claims to have spent time studying it in China.

 

Now my question is, is it possible to learn Qigong exclusively from books, videos, and mindful practice? Anyone here have success with self/book taught Qigong for healing themselves? Should I try out the Tai Chi guy?

 

I appreciate your help friends :)

 

The books are well regarded and the advice so far is good: don't overdo things and you should be OK. At some point correction from an actual teacher would be very useful. Everyone benefits from the little pointers and corrections a real teacher can offer.

 

If the Tai Chi guy allows you to observe a class and maybe try one for free then why not? See if it feels right for you. How well you connect with the teacher is as important as what is being taught.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely go with an in person teacher over a book. So much more can be passed along. Books aren't very good at giving feedback either. Also the Chinese keep meticulous records, you can check the local teacher's lineage to see if it is just wushu, or goes deeper.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now my question is, is it possible to learn Qigong exclusively from books, videos, and mindful practice? Anyone here have success with self/book taught Qigong for healing themselves? Should I try out the Tai Chi guy?

 

I appreciate your help friends :)

 

Everyone learns differently. It is not that you cannot learn from a book, however you might want to bear two things in mind;

  1. as has been mentioned already, a book offers you no guidance or feedback
  2. your current understanding and experience of the subject will filter what you see and read and get from a book

Now if you have teacher, the resources can support that study. Unless the teachings and the book are from different parts of the spectrum, in which case you may become confused.

 

I agree that the two books mentioned in the OP are good books. However having met a number of people who turned up to trainings with Bruce having only ever studied from his book, I can honestly say they never really understood the material.

 

Does that mean you cannot get anything valuable from it at all? No, but it usually is far from the mark. One of the main issues I know some of Bruce's students to have with his books is that they imply you can learn far more from them than you actually can. With Energy-Gates neigong I recommend looking at the standing, breathing, and internal form aspects, ie the Daoist neigong (outer dissolving). The moving aspects you truly cannot get from this book alone IMHO. The swings in particular are very hard to do correctly. Yes I know many do them anyway, but what they are doing is kinda pointless or certainly a far cry from what Bruce is pointing to and why those exercises are in this set.

 

If you want to give them a go however, apart from watching people perform the set on youtube, Dan Kleinman has been putting up a lot of helpful resources related to Bruce's teachings. He also has advice regarding getting the most from the Energy-gates book. http://dankleiman.com/videos/

 

I also agree on the process laid out by Dr Jahnke in 'Healing promise of qi'. Even if you do not follow the exercises he gives, for someone with no teacher what he lays out removes a lot of mystery.

 

Hope this helps,

Edited by snowmonki
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose one can learn from books or videos, but I suppose you won't get maximum mileage.

 

Just got the Energy Gates book. Dan Kleiman says, only do

 

1. Sinking Chi

 

2. Cloud Hands

 

3. Taoist Spine Stretch

 

Ignore dissolving, the swings, the energy gates since in his opinion these are best learned with a teacher's guidance

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

these are best learned with a teacher's guidance.

 

So is Bruce's version of cloud hands :D It's seriously complex :blink:

 

[please note, I said BRUCE'S version. Many teach cloud hands in a much more simple manner]

Edited by snowmonki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose one can learn from books or videos, but I suppose you won't get maximum mileage.

 

Just got the Energy Gates book. Dan Kleiman says, only do

 

1. Sinking Chi

 

2. Cloud Hands

 

3. Taoist Spine Stretch

 

Ignore dissolving, the swings, the energy gates since in his opinion these are best learned with a teacher's guidance

What I hear from Frantzis's top instructors, it could take many months if not years to get reasonable sense of sinking chi so that one can move on to dissolving. Working with the energy gates is practice that require even more precision ti be meaningful.

Why Cloud Hands are better than Three Swings for the beginners? IMO, it's much easier and faster to screw up one's knees and/or spine doing the Swings incorrectly than doing Cloud Hands incorrectly. That doesn't mean that Swings are more or less difficult to comprehend, it just means that one has less chances to screw up the body with Cloud Hands.

 

I must say that when I bought the Energy Gates and read it the first time about 5 years ago, I was disappointed with its seeming simplicity and put it aside for awhile. Now, several years later, after I might have understood some portion of what Bruce writes about, I still consider myself somewhat in the middle of this book curriculum.

 

Dan Kleiman's blog and his advice have been of a huge help for me, BTW.

Edited by idquest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I hear from Frantzis's top instructors, it could take many months if not years to get reasonable sense of sinking chi so that one can move on to dissolving. Working with the energy gates is practice that require even more precision ti be meaningful.

Why Cloud Hands are better than Three Swings for the beginners? IMO, it's much easier and faster to screw up one's knees and/or spine doing the Swings than Cloud Hands. That doesn't mean that Swings are more or less difficult to comprehend, it just means that one has less chances to screw up the body with Cloud Hands.

 

I must say that when I bought the Energy Gates and read it the first time about 5 years ago, I was disappointed with its seeming simplicity and put it aside for awhile. Now, several years later, after I might have understood some portion of what Bruce writes about, I still consider myself somewhat in the middle of this book curriculum.

 

Dan Kleiman's blog and his advice have been of a huge help for me, BTW.

If you screwed up your knees with three swings, you're doing it wrong. I've been doing it for months and never had a problem with it. You have to have right structure for it and learn to bend the hip joint and knee and turn solely from the waist. I was working on this today with my taiji instructor.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you screwed up your knees with three swings, you're doing it wrong. I've been doing it for months and never had a problem with it. You have to have right structure for it and learn to bend the hip joint and knee and turn solely from the waist. I was working on this today with my taiji instructor.

Yeah, I edited my post for more clarity. I actually damaged my knee doing taiji incorrectly; and I fixed the knee after that with the help of the three swings.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you really *get* the alignment instructions in BKF's three swings, you will know how to protect your knees, not just in tai chi, but in every other activity.

But if you just look at the exercises and start doing them (incorrectly), your knees will probably take a hit.

 

It's really important to master the first swing before you move on. In the first swing, the leg with the opening kwa is not weighted when you turn, therefore less stress on the knee while the kwa muscles are learning to lengthen. In the second and third swings, the opening kwa leg is weighted, and if the kwa hasn't learned to open yet, the knee will twist instead. Not good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is good to find someone, or even better, more than one someone who can see/feel what you are doing and get you to experience the differences made by small corrections. Easier said than done. I have been getting help this way recently and I really appreciate it. It didn't happen because of a set of choices I made. Or maybe it did but it is not like the kind of choice that charts a course or bakes a potato.

So in the endless debate about how much you can learn on your own, I fully support both sides.

All that we learn is on our own. We live and die with what we choose to do all the time. No teacher is going to change that order of existence.

But teachers can help us make those changes for ourselves.

So, to answer the question of your post, Yes and No.

You are screwed if other people don't help you

And Yes, it is self taught.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites