Direct + Indirect Qi Flow:
Is One More Powerful?

Moving Qi in the Body and Dragon & Tiger Medical Qi Gong

There are two methods of moving qi energy in the body: direct and indirect. Indirect movement of qi is what occurs in practice of Dragon and Tiger Qi Gong when the hand makes contact with the etheric field, which causes an energetic jump in the wei qi (found just under the skin).

In this video, I explain the distance at which you want to move your hands in relation to your body–not only in Dragon and Tiger, but any qi gong set you practice–to stimulate indirect qi flow. I also discuss the three factors that influence whether direct or indirect qi flow will be more powerful and beneficial for you.

I teach Dragon and Tiger Qi Gong as one of only two Level 3 instructors in Europe as certified by my teacher, Taoist Master Bruce Franztis, who brought Dragon and Tiger to the West. Learn more about Dragon and Tiger Qi Gong…

I’d be interested to get your feedback on how practising Dragon and Tiger (or any Five Element Qi Gong set) has helped you cultivate qi. And, if I can clear up any questions you might have about how to develop qi, simply post them below.

Or, check out my post on the three keys to qi energy training + get a free audio download…


8 thoughts on “Direct + Indirect Qi Flow:
Is One More Powerful?

  1. In The Frantzis system Dragon and Tiger Qigong always seems to be referred to in isolation compared with the other Qigong Sets Frantzis teaches, which are collectively referred to as making up the Five Elements.
    Where does Dragon and Tiger Qigong fit within the system?

    • Dragon and Tiger is a medical qi gong system, and distinctly not Elemental. It’s a mini system unto itself. That said the qi technology within Dragon and Tiger is also developed as part of the Marriage of Heaven and Earth Qi Gong. So from this perspective, Dragon and Tiger could be thought of as part of the Wood Element, but definitely not enough to define it as such. I wrote in-depth about Dragon and Tiger and the Five Element Qi Gongs, including how they operate, including why medical qi gong works differently, and how to contact their specific energetics and nei gong weaves in the May 2013 issue of my Inner Quest journal. You can read an except and download it at

  2. Thanks Paul. I tried keeping my hands a bit closer and did notice a difference when I moved a hand along a meridian line. Wondering two things: approximate distance
    hands should be to be on , “edge of etheric field”. Second, when doing standing
    meditation, I was taught with the hands farther away from body, is this correct?

    • As for how far the hands should be from the body, the answer is individual, that is the point at which you feel the strongest connection to your etheric field.

      As for your second question regarding placement of the hands in standing, it depends on the posture and/or emphasis of your practice. If you’re working on physical mechanics, i.e. alignments and basic sinking qi, then the hands rest against the sides of the thighs. If you’re working on clearing or developing the etheric field, then the hands want to be one fist-width away from the sides to help activate the etheric field. If you’re doing any of the other 200+ postures for standing meditation, then the hands want to be at the specific distance for the posture you’re practising.

      The best advice I can offer you or anyone who is unsure about alignments of any kind is to see a well-trained, experienced teacher who can offer direct feedback since alignments are critically important to all aspects of qi energy development.

  3. hello Paul

    D§T has helped me feel my etheric field and in some movements I can feel I stay connected to it , especially those around the dai mai…
    The other day when practising a hug a tree posture I was able to feel the potential ability to keep the posture while letting completely go of the arms , as if they could rest on a thick energy. At least that gives me a direction. Is that Peng Jing? does that develop with a lot of sinking and rooting so that the energy naturally bounces up? thanks for precious help

    • It is possible that what you’re experiencing is the peng jing of the legs supporting the arms, which does indeed rely on the root. The stronger the root, the stronger the potential of peng jing. However, it could also be that the weight of the arms being released to gravity is stretching all the soft tissues to the spine because this would also give a sense of the arms being “lifted”. This happens because, when all the tissues are stretched out, qi flow in the arms becomes stronger and the arms become very amorphous.

  4. Hi Paul. It is really useful to me knowing what you’ve said on this video. I am just begining to learn Dragon and Tiger Qi Qong, from Master Bruce’s DVD. However, since I live in Brazil, it will be very difficult to me to improve this practice, because I dont know any teacher of such an art in my country. My best wishes

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