drifting.leaf

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Hello, I have a simple question - How can you deal with insect bites in a qigong way?

 

I read/heard that it's more favorable to practice qigong while surrounded by nature, therefore, I tried it out at my local park, however, I couldn't get in the zone because the mosquitoes kept harassing me.

 

Is there a qigong art which would help keep the biting or stinging bugs off. Iron Shirt, Golden Bell, what about the Guardian Qi I hear about, how do the advanced practitioners deal with this? If Iron Shirt can stop blades, it could stop insect bites too, right?

 

I could put some bug repellent, but... is there another nonviolent and self-sufficient way. It would be ideal if the method is tested and safe. Thanks for any leads.

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True story:

 

One evening in 2007 in Auckland, New Zealand I decided to just zhanzhuang till my alarm went off, mosquitoes be damned. I was living in a house on a damp, sunken plot of land, and as such the mosquitoes in the evening were many and they were ravenous. I was outside in the carport, and I just kept standing as the mozzies made a meal of my hands, neck, and face. A most unpleasant itching soon became my unignorable companion. I have no idea why, on that day, I was possessed of such determination, but I did not move. After some time I began to have a unique sensation: each mosquito bite seemed to go from having a typical "burning, itching" feeling to having a very sharp burning feeling, all pain and no itch. Have you ever shocked yourself with a piezoelectric cigarette lighter or camp stove lighter? Imagine that feeling, except sustained and present in each mosquito bite. It was quite painful, but I just kept standing. After no more than ten minutes the constellation of points of sharp, burning pain all over my body subsided. I used to often stand for about forty minutes back then. Not long after my alarm went off, I closed my practice, and I went inside. I was shocked to discover that I had no mosquito bites on my face and no sensation of itching, anywhere.

 

Prior to this event, I used to get bitten by mosquitoes regularly--pretty much any time I was outside in the evening or night time in the summer. Typically I would get raised, itchy, red bumps that would remain itchy for many days. I tended to scratch them enough to occasionally cause them to bleed, especially when I was a kid.

 

After this event (which never repeated), several things changed permanently. For one, I can be outside in the evening and night in areas full of mosquitoes and have very few land on me. In fact, even in damp environs swarming with the things I can often do zhanzhuang outdoors in the evenings without getting a single bite. Sometimes I will even close my practice and look down to see a small cloud of mosquitoes circling my pants legs, but none have flown up to the level of my arms and head (or, there may have been a few landing on my arms in the first minutes of practice, but after a few minutes of practice they all disappeared; in such instances more often than not the ones that landed on my arms did not bite).

 

Also, on the instances when I do get bitten, I often get no bump or itching. When I do, instead of itchiness I usually get ~15 minutes of pain, after which point everything disappears. This is convenient except for if I get bitten at night, because the pain wakes me. 

 

I have never heard of a similar story from anybody else. I have no idea what mechanisms allowed my body to make such a change in such a short period of time that I no longer react to mosquito bites as I did for the first decades of my life, and that mosquitoes obviously find my body far less appealing than they used to. Many unpredictable and marvelous things can happen during practice, that is for sure. I would love to hear if anybody has had a similar experience.

 

It's likely you won't be eager to try this and even if you do, who knows if your body will react as I have. I'll pass along a suggestion from an acupuncture teacher I respect which might help you. She suggests holding a burning moxibustion stick above a mosquito bite for a few minutes if the itching is bothering you. She says that this usually solves the problem in a few minutes. 

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After growing up in the woods of Minnesota and playing outside all summer long, I endured tens of thousands of bites.  At some point, there was a shift in my body it seems and I went from being bitten relentlessly to now being ignored utterly by most mosquitoes, or biting insects in general and when rarely bitten, there is no reaction.  No bump, no itching and no pain.   So, I suppose I may still be getting bitten, without awareness.  Seems the body adjusted at some point and reaction, dissipated.

 

This became unignorably apparent while camping at Gooseberry Falls with a buddy one summer.  Around the fire, he was covered in two long sleeve shirts, saturated in deet and eventually ended up retreating to hang out in the tent, unable to deal with the swarm that relentlessly sought his skin... while I, in swim trunks sat a few feet from him, utterly ignored.   He left two days early grumbling and shaking his head... kept saying he must be the 'luscious foreign food' as he packed up.

 

My wife is a magnet to mosquitoes with no adjustment for the 30 years I have known her.  She often sleeps, even in the heat of summer, in a full blanket pulled up to her nose and a pillow covering her head.  If mosquitoes are present, she wakes looking like a prize fighter with swollen eyes and cheeks, while I, lying next to her nude and uncovered am ignored.

 

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8 hours ago, Walker said:

I have no idea what mechanisms allowed my body to make such a change in such a short period of time that I no longer react to mosquito bites as I did for the first decades of my life, and that mosquitoes obviously find my body far less appealing than they used to. Many unpredictable and marvelous things can happen during practice, that is for sure. I would love to hear if anybody has had a similar experience.

 

 

I think for the first part -- why you felt pain but no itching -- a plausible explanation might be found somewhere in the realm of skin receptors being specialized.  We have different ones for tactile, thermal, pain, itching etc. perceptions, and flooding one kind of receptions with input may suppress the other kind.  (A school time example I recall regarding mutually canceling excessive impulses went as a rather cruel experiment where they dipped one hind leg of a frog in acid, the frog jerked its leg in avoidance -- then they pricked the other leg with a needle, the frog jerked that leg -- and then they simultaneously dipped one leg in the acid and pricked the other and the frog did nothing.)  Perhaps you flooded your itch receptors into nonresponsiveness, which may have simultaneously enhanced your pain receptors. 

 

For the second part -- the effects lasting -- I don't have an explanation except the one you offered, "unpredictable and marvelous things during practice." 

 

I once experimented with applying moxa over a slice of garlic on an acupoint on my arm, it was a long time ago and the procedure was from books, I never saw a demo, so I didn't quite know what I was doing and how much of the burn I was supposed to tolerate.  After a while I smelled roasted garlic and the pain became unpleasant enough for me to think of stopping, but just then I felt the flow of qi, very strong, pulsing through the meridian I was targeting (forget which), and so intense and interesting and marvelous -- while the pain disappeared completely.  So I let it go on for a very long time, enjoying it very much.  Then I smelled burning coals where garlic used to be and decided to stop.  Well, imagine my shock when I saw a huge blister, growing in front of my eyes, pretty much engulfing half my wrist.  No pain yet.  But after all was said and done, I just had this horrible burn that behaved like any other, i.e. when I failed to protect the blister from being damaged it did hurt, for quite a long time, and took a long time to heal.  Still, whatever I was trying to cure probably did get cured, since I don't even remember what it was. :D 

 

 

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22 hours ago, drifting.leaf said:

Hello, I have a simple question - How can you deal with insect bites in a qigong way?

 

I read/heard that it's more favorable to practice qigong while surrounded by nature, therefore, I tried it out at my local park, however, I couldn't get in the zone because the mosquitoes kept harassing me.

 

Is there a qigong art which would help keep the biting or stinging bugs off. Iron Shirt, Golden Bell, what about the Guardian Qi I hear about, how do the advanced practitioners deal with this? If Iron Shirt can stop blades, it could stop insect bites too, right?

 

I could put some bug repellent, but... is there another nonviolent and self-sufficient way. It would be ideal if the method is tested and safe. Thanks for any leads.

at the level 4 retreat in 2001 http://springforestqigong.com Chunyi Lin told the story how he was practicing outside with some students and he cleared the area of mosquitoes. I'm not sure when that happened - it was not at the same retreat but another one. Anyway another time he said he doesn't practice outside meditation due to all the mosquitoes. So it can be done but it takes too much energy and so gets in the way of meditation.

I have seen mosquito screens used for meditation tents. So the best way is to leave the ground open - so you get the yin qi from the earth but then have a standing mosquito net tent. this could be expensive. Maybe by purchasing "screen door" mesh - that might be a cheaper way to make a mosquito net tent.

 

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I trained for a month outside and got eaten all the time. The mosquitos had no chill, wouldn't let up.

 

My training partner suggested ointment. *shrugs*

 

I didn't bother with the ointment and was eventually stung by something nasty that swelled up horribly!

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Same here in the middle of germany but with those big flys that suck blood haha ,back then when i did my 4 hour zhang zhuang sessions barefoot in the forest.one time it was like i had like 10 at the same place and it was really bleading! I was crazy back then like i just trust in god continue and endure everything.i also noticed that bites became less and when i was swimming with friends at a small river they were bitten like ten times more then me. The funny thing is those flys inject a kind of antiseptic at the end of their meal , so if you kill them or just send them away before they are ready it will itch! Dont know about mosquitos...

 

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