While there are many approaches toward healing, YOU are always at the center of your own cultivation. Your intuition and attunement with your body, are the most powerful tools to heal yourself! There are, however, other strategies that can be beneficial if you learn how to use them or are aware of their presence. Breathing techniques used in Qigong, are one strategy that can easily be adapted to quicken your ability to heal now. By being conscious of these, you can enhance your relationships with life.
As the additional ways of healing all extend from you at the center, you will find the layers of relationships and environment. You can look to these areas to cultivate as they influence your health, albeit in lesser degrees. An even further layer of healing includes numerous 'healing methods'. This is where breathing techniques come in, along with a myriad of other strategies such as chanting, crystal therapy and aromatherapy. These healing methods vary from commonplace to esoteric, but all enhance qi cultivation. While we apply some of these healing approaches to our life, others are pushed to the wayside because we do not have the energy to contemplate their complexities. Within each tool, nonetheless, is a seed.
By simplifying the knowledge of a strategy to its seed, it can more easily be applied.
Research something if you want to know it.
Explain something if you want to understand it.
Simplify something if you want to use it.
If you use it, you will know and understand it.
Here are seeds of some breathing techniques,
used in Qigong practice and Taoist alchemy.
1. Make Circles of Breath around your Body in Different Directions:
* Guide your breath in your mind's eye as you actually breathe for the following.
Vertical Head and Torso Circle: Starting around the anus at the perineum, inhale as you move your breath up the back of your body along the spine and to the top of your head. Exhale as you move your breath over your head, down the front of your body past the navel to complete the circle. This circle includes just the trunk and head, not the legs or arms. OR, switch directions and first breathe up the front of your body starting around the perineum and then exhale as you breathe over your head and move down along the back of the spine.
Horizontal Waist Circle: Make clockwise or counter clockwise circles around your waist as you inhale and exhale.
Diagonal Circle: Work left to right (and then right to left) from the top of the body then across the midline and navel to the opposite lower quadrant of the body, as you breathe circularly. Makes an "x" like shape.
All of the circles above create an atom like configuration. Please monitor which directions feel needed and repeat. Eventually, you can safely consider the speed of breath and size of circle.
2. Make Sounds with your Breath as you Exhale:
Go through the vowel sounds and also through sounds that start with 'sh', 'ch', and 'he', to name a few. For example, exhale and say "hey" or "shu". Monitor feelings and experiment with sound.
3. Breathe from Different Areas of your Body:
Breathe from your third eye, heart, abdomen, soles, etc., so that you feel an expansion and contraction. This is especially effective if you want to focus on a problem area of your body. If you make notations on how these energies feel, you can add them to your tool box to use for when a situation arises. For example, if breathing from the soles of your feet makes you feel grounded, use this if you ever get anxiety.
The aforementioned are simple techniques, which do not explain why they work. You can experiment with them and find for yourself what resonates. The "why" is then simplified to what feels good and necessary in your body.
Please take these techniques seriously and slowly. If you feel any adverse reaction, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath or heart palpitations, please stop. Talk with a doctor before starting any new regime.