Qi gong is an ancient Eastern healing approach that promotes physical, mental and spiritual well-being. You apply the therapy through the use of movements, postures and breathing exercises designed to manipulate energy fields within your body. Qi gong theory contends that each person has, within her, a flowing celestial force known as qi. This force runs lengthwise, along several pathways that each correspond to a certain bodily system. Your liver, linked to many ailments by traditional Chinese medicine, may be aided through the practice of qi gong exercises devised to facilitate health.
Liver Sound Exercise
The liver sound exercise releases qi in the liver, restoring wholeness and balance. Sit on the edge of a comfortable surface in an upright posture with your chin pulled toward your chest. Bend your legs to a 90-degree angle and place both feet flat on the floor. Allow your hands to rest, palms up, on your thighs. Raise your elbows out to the sides, maintaining a small distance between your arms and torso. Close your eyes. Slowly circle your hands up and outward to each side. Clasp them in the highest position and flip your palms up toward the ceiling. Open your eyes and look to the sky, while bending your body to the left. Simultaneously, breathe out, while pushing a "shhh" noise through your lips. Work your right side to feel a good stretch in the lower portion of your body. Imagine all tension and negativity being released from your liver as you exhale. After several moments, let go of the posture and breathe in naturally. Turn your hands back over and return them, slowly, to your lap. Again, rotate your palms upward and repeat the motion. Do this exercise six to eight times, twice a day.
This liver release exercise indirectly improves your blood pressure, minimizes pain in the uppermost part of your head and stills emotional unrest. Sit in an upright position. Expel as much air as you can from your lungs. Place your hands over the lower right side of your body, between your hip bone and ribcage. This is where your liver is located inside your body. Conceptualize all feelings of hostility leaving your liver as you tap on this area, once per second, while exhaling to a full count of five. Breathe in slowly, while imagining pure tranquility and wellness flowing in to your liver. Complete this inhale/exhale cycle five times. Lay both hands, one atop the other, across your abdomen, an inch or two beneath your navel. This area is known as the dan tien in traditional Chinese medicine and is considered the focal point of your qi. Visualize all the good energy you have just breathed in accumulating in this region.
The channels through which qi flows in your body are called meridians. The liver meridian runs from your big toe up through the upper and lower parts of your leg, ending just below your sternum. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart. Take a regular step forward with your left foot. Reach across and down with your right hand, touching your index finger to the inside of your left big toe. Trace this finger up the middle of your left foot, shin and thigh, applying gentle pressure as you go along. Raise your left arm out to the side and bend your right elbow, bringing your right hand up just beneath the left side of your breastbone. Pivot clockwise, on your right foot, so that your left leg is now planted behind you. Now, swing your left arm down and across and your right arm sideways from your body. Touch the inside of your right tow with your left index and repeat the “tracing” motion. Do this three or four times on both side. Shift your feet so that you face forward. Simultaneously, raise both arms up and out to the sides with your palms facing the front. Once your hands are over your head, bend forward from the waist. Touching the inside of each big toe with the same side hand, do a “double trace” up both legs at once. Keeping your hands flat, palms in, circle both about three inches in front of your lower abdomen about eight times. This accumulates positive energy in the dan tien.
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