The sixth nei gong component of 16 that comprises the science of qi energy development underlying all Tao meditation and energy arts in the Water method is applied to bend and stretch the body in specific ways: namely, bending and stretching the body from the inside out and the outside in along the direction of the yin and yang acupuncture meridians. This class of techniques provides the methodology for working with the body’s soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments. Loosening and releasing bound tension and restricted areas in the soft tissues though bend and stretch are absolute prerequisites for more advanced twisting, and eventually spiralling nei gong techniques, as well as introductory qi techniques.
How to Activate + Develop
Your Soft Tissues, Fluids + Qi Energy
Although internal energy arts practice and the process of embodying ever-deeper layers of nei gong is a lifetime pursuit for the most dedicated practitioners, at each increment of advancement, the associated health benefits increase significantly. Many students will sacrifice content for form, but it is the internals that supercharge qi gong, tai chi and bagua forms—that which makes all the power-generating and health benefits possible.
In my 2011 Five Element Qi Gong retreat in Crete, I discussed ways to restore balance in and revitalise the body. One method for fretting out imbalances and getting real about your practice is training with a partner, which accomplishes three important goals:
The question of how long to train Tao meditation and energy arts is one of the most frequestly asked questions.
I advise all students, but especially beginners to qi gong, tai chi, bagua or meditation, to mind their two-thirds of effort in mind-body-qi, and save 45-minute to hour-long practices for many months (or even years) down the line, once they have a solid foundation in nei gong. Otherwise, you may injure yourself or build up too much internal resistance and stop practising.
(Part 2 of 2, see Part 1)
Re-educating Your Body
The first step to living pain-free or improving your health is re-educating your body about how to move and perform even minor daily tasks, such as typing on a keyboard. In fact, most people have never received health or physical education that includes information about correct and sustainable body alignments and movements.