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Final log of my 30 Day Spontaneous Qigong trial. And some reflections: Can you direct where the spontaneous qi activates in your own body as well as in someone else for a greater healing effect?

This is a continuation of my 30 day spontaneous qigong Trial. For a primer of what this trial is all about, click here.


You… Qigong?

When I told my wife I was writing about qigong practice, she laughed at me. She said to me ‘how can you write about qigong if you don’t even practice?’

She is right. As I mentioned in my first few posts on this experiment, I have not done much exercises in the last 6 months and have only practiced qigong sporadically in the last 10 years.

My personal tendency is to get very excited and motivated to practice or do something, whether it is an idea, an exercise programme or a new type of activity. And then I will throw myself into it 100%.

However, after the initial excitement is over, I allow external pressures or simple laziness to slow me down till I stop practicing.

It is a habit I have repeated many times in my life.

A trial to work on habit building

So this 30 trial was just as much a test of my ability to maintain consistent practice and consistent levels of motivation as it was to do spontaneous qigong. As well as to not give up doing something I have started.

Slow and steady

I think one of the reasons I completed this trial was that I tempered my desire to throw myself 100% into it.

By keeping to only 10 minutes a day, I was able to maintain a steady and regular practice. In the early days, it would have been easy to have done 30 to 45 minutes in a practice session. However, I resisted this tendency.

And so by the middle of the trial – between day 10 to 15, there was still a way to go to get to day 30. This was the hardest point. However, because my practice was only 10 minutes long, I was able to maintain it every day.

I think this strategy could be an effective way for other people to maintain a new habit For example – doing just 10 minutes of daily stretching or doing just 20 press-ups daily as your baseline mimimum, will then make it easier to turn the trial into a longer-term habit.

Meditation

My wife has also been maintaining a regular meditation practice, but unlike me she has been doing it every day for the last 6 months. She wanted to me to write the following advice:

“When you do some kind of practice – whether it is meditation, yoga or qigong – make sure you do at least at least one minute a day. That is all you have to do – one minute. But it has to be everyday.

Even if you do just one minute, changes will come. This way you will keep the habit. Otherwise, you may stop and give up.

Because unless you keep on doing it, even just one minute, you won’t realise anything.”

I thought this was good advice and reflected my writing above.

A struggle with habitual practice

And it is this maintaining of a regular practice that is the biggest challenge for me. For example, I have failed to to make Aikido a part of my life. I found a great teacher on two occasions. Both were keen to have me attend their classes. One of the teachers in Japan even drove me to a local Aikido supply shop so I could buy a Gi, as up to then I was attending and wearing a tracksuit. That was great kindness on his part and I am sorry I didn’t live up to his expectations.

On both occasions, I eventually stopped practicing after an initial strong motivation in the beginning. On one occasion, it was the distance I needed to travel and tiredness from my work that I used as an excuse. On another occasion, it was simply money that stopped me.

Perhaps on reflection, my motivation to do aikido wasn’t strong enough in the first place, because if it was something I really wanted, I wouldn’t let these factors stop me. And if I am honest with myself, I would say that I found Aikido quite frustrating to learn and I didn’t really ‘get it’.

But still, this does reveal something about my tendency, to start something with enthusiasm, but then to give up.

So in a way, this trial is a way of making me learn to stick to what I start.

Little by little

Of course, 10 minutes of spontaneous qigong is not a particularly deep practice. But it is far better to do 10 minutes every day than to do one hour for one day and then you stop, which was my previous habit.

And even with 10 minutes, I have noticed benefits to my body, health and mind. and because it is a short practice, I am able to fit it in every day. which means I am motivated to consider my health more.

So I would recommend even a short practice of anything every day – qigong, yoga, Pilates, meditation, breathing exercises, swimming, housework, anything. Even for just one minute.

Will I continue spontaneous qigong practice?

I considered that it may be a good idea to increase the length of a session to 20-30 minutes and then do it maybe three times a week. This will enable me to see how deep this kind of qigong can take me. On the other hand, maintaining 10 minutes a day as a baseline is a great way of keeping spontaneous qigong as a part of my daily life.

I also think it would be worth experimenting with the Whirling Dervish movement to see just what this kind of movement leads to.

I have discussed some curious things in these qigong posts – things like supernatural abilities and healing. Definitely any of these abilities would be useful for an acupuncturist or healer to carry out their work. But of course chasing abilities is counter-intuitive and can lead to deviations. So I should probably let that go.

Still doing it

Just to add, I completed my trial a few days ago, yet I am still fitting in my 10 minutes a day. And in fact, I enjoy doing this little session as it helps me mentally. So, I’ll see how long I continue it for.

Overall

I am glad I did this trial. I think it gave me something different to focus on in life. I hope that my writing on this topic can be of use to other people in the future. Whilst I did not go too deeply in my practice sessions, I do hope that my trial will be useful to people who are just starting out and experimenting with spontaneous qigong. I have also provided quotes and links to authors and books that may prove useful.

Disclaimer

I welcome any comments or emails over this subject. I reserve the right to edit or remove any critical or offensive remarks.

Just to reiterate – I am not an expert in Qigong, nor am I not a teacher. I have practiced myself and researched a bit. That is all.

If you ever experience any concerning or uncomfortable effects from practicing qigong, then I suggest you halt your practice. It is better to train under a properly qualified qigong instructor.

Regular qigong as well as spontaneous qigong does carry some risks. The author of this site accepts no responsiblity for any issues arising out of the content on this site.


Day 30 log

So no, I didn’t achieve enlightenment. But I did do a longer practice then normal as a kind of celebration – about 25 minutes.

My first ten minutes were as usual with spinal twists, shaking on the spot and some circular arm movements.

Then I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to see if I could focus the spontaneous qi movements and activate it in specific parts of my body. I figured that if you want to try to heal a specific part of the body, then it may be useful if you could guide the qi to those diseased areas.

Directing spontaneous qi?

This does obviously go against the point of spontaneous qi, as by controlling it, it is less spontaneous. But anyway, I chose to focus on my chest area.

I have somewhat rounded shoulders, poor posture and tight pectoral muscles. I would say this fixed posture has evolved into a fixed habit from my childhood experiences.

Opening up my chest

I can improve my posture if I carry out specific physical exercises on a regular basis. For example, by doing the yoga bridge or pull-ups with a pull up bar.

All these exercises strengthen the upper shoulders and back and stretch out my pectoral muscles. However, once I stop these exercises, my posture usually reverts back to this ‘inward’ direction.

So I brought my mind to the chest area and waited to see if the qi would follow.

Indeed it did; I got some movements in my chest and shoulders. My arms wanted to push backwards and at one point I got this strong stretching movement, where it felt like someone was pulling both my arms backwards and stretching them so much that I had to gasp a little bit. I repeated this a few times.

The only thing was that I had to keep focusing on my chest area. If I didn’t keep my focus there, the movements would move to other parts of my body again.

Overall, I thought this was interesting – that I can direct the qi into specific areas of my own body.

It did also make me wonder – if I could do the same thing with someone else’s body? For example, when I needle a point – what if I use my mind to try and draw the energy (or my intention) to a specific area?

Would that create a stronger effect with acupuncture? Is it even possible? I think I will experiment on myself for a while to see how it goes.

Next steps, next trial

Should I continue to practice spontaneous qigong. Or try a completely different trial? I have had some benefits from this 30 day qigong trial. Mentally I am calmer and perhaps more opened up both mentally and physically.

From a motivational point of view, it feels great, like I have exercised my will power and completed something I have set out to do.

I could of course, do a completely different trial. However, I do anticipate that the next few weeks and months, will be really busy and I will struggle to keep on top of a trial let alone write about it. So if I do a trial, it will have to be a fairly passive one.

Thanks for reading

Whatever I decide, I hope that you have enjoyed this 30 day series. There is still more to come. Next I plan to complete a larger article on the topic of spontaneous qigong. At some point, I hope to write up my notes from an interview with my Kiko teacher.

Also, I have just had an article submission accepted by ‘Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness’ (Qi-Journal) in the USA. So I am looking to seeing that in print. There are also one or two drafts of qigong related articles to complete before I move on to something else.

So stay reading.

Picture Accreditation

Japanese restaurant store front. Silvia Lüthi.  akupunkturplus.ch