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Qigong
Inner-Nourishing Qigong Exercise is one kind of the static Qigong. It has now been promulgated throughout China for its marked curative effects in treating chronic diseases.The Postures
There are four postures adopted for Inner-Nourishing Qigong Exercise, namely, the latericumbent lying posture, the supine lying posture, the sitting posture and the cushioned lying posture. Generally, the lying postures are first selected at the very beginning though people with relatively good constitution may start with sitting posture. The cushioned lying posture is suitable for those with poorer health.
A. The Latericumbent Lying Posture
Lie on bed on either side of the body, keeping away from dazzling light with the head properly cushioned by a pillow to a bit higher position and slightly flexed. Relax the waist, straighten the underneath leg in a comfortable position with the other leg bent in a angle of 120 degrees resting on the former. Stretch and relax the fingers of the underneath hand which is placed on the pillow in front of the head with the palm facing upward; and put the upper hand on the ipsilateral hip. Narrow the eyes to allow a little light to penetrate; or completely close the eyes when one has become so skillful that he can easily get into the tranquil state (see Fig. 2-1).

images/stories/qigong-neiyanggong-2-1.PNG

B. The Supine Lying Posture
Lie supine on bed, keeping the neck in a neutral position with the head cushioned by a pillow to a suitable height. Relax the whole body, put the arms naturally on either side, with the heels of feet kept close together and the tiptoes slightly parted. Narrow or completely close the eyes as described above in A (see Fig. 2-2).
There are four postures adopted for Inner-Nourishing Qigong Exercise, namely, the latericumbent lying posture, the supine lying posture, the sitting posture and the cushioned lying posture. Generally, the lying postures are first selected at the very beginning though people with relatively good constitution may start with sitting posture. The cushioned lying posture is suitable for those with poorer health.
A. The Latericumbent Lying Posture
Lie on bed on either side of the body, keeping away from dazzling light with the head properly cushioned by a pillow to a bit higher position and slightly flexed. Relax the waist, straighten the underneath leg in a comfortable position with the other leg bent in a angle of 120 degrees resting on the former. Stretch and relax the fingers of the underneath hand which is placed on the pillow in front of the head with the palm facing upward; and put the upper hand on the ipsilateral hip. Narrow the eyes to allow a little light to penetrate; or completely close the eyes when one has become so skillful that he can easily get into the tranquil state (see Fig. 2-1).

images/stories/qigong-neiyanggong-2-2.PNG

C. The Sitting Posture
Sit upright on a chair, with one's back not leaning against anything, the neck a bit flexed, the knee joints bent in a right angle, the feet placed on the ground rather than hanging, the arms drooping naturally, the hands put on the ipsilateral thighs and the palms facing downward. Narrow or completely close the eyes as described above in A (see Fig. 2-3).

images/stories/qigong-neiyanggong-2-3.PNG

D. The Cushioned Lying Posture
This posture is similar to the supine lying posture, but the head and shoulders should be solidly cushioned to as high as 25 cm without leaving any space. The feet are placed close together and the hands put on the lateral sides of the thighs (see Fig. 2-4).

images/stories/qigong-neiyanggong-2-4.PNG

The Breathing Methods
Three basic breathing methods for Inner-Nourishing Qigong Exercise are described in the following.
A. Method One
Close the mouth to breathe through the nose. First inhale to conduct qi downward to the lower abdomen; and then hold up the breath for a moment before exhaling slowly. The sequence for this breathing method is: Inhaling → holding-up → exhaling; and it is accompanied by silent-murmuring a short phrase or sentence in which the number of the Chinese characters can be gradually increased from 3 to 9, with the words expressing the meanings of tranquility, relaxation, beauty and decency, such as ‘zi ji jing (Quiet down myself)’ ‘nei zang dong da nao jing (the viscera moves with the brain in a tranquil state) ’‘dan bo ning jing shen ti hao (Tranquility and freedom from ambition bring about good health) ’, etc.
The silent-murmuring should be well coordinated with breathing and tongue-moving. Take the phrase with three characters ‘zi ji jing (Quiet down myself)’ for example: murmur the first character zi when inhaling, the second character ji when holding up the breath and the last character jing when exhaling. Tongue-moving refers to the up-and-down movement of the tongue that coordinates with breathing: raise the tongue-tip against the hard palate when inhaling; keep the tongue static when holding up the breath; and lower the tongue-tip when exhaling.
B. Method Two
Breathe through the nose or through both the mouth and nose. Inhale first and then exhale slowly, followed by holding up the breath for a moment. The sequence for this breathing method is: Inhaling → exhaling → holding-up. The words used for silent-murmuring are the same as described in Method One. Raise the tongue-tip against the hard palate when inhaling; lower the tongue-tip when exhaling; and keep the tongue static when holding up the breath.
C. Method Three
Breathe only through the nose. First inhale a small amount of air, and at the same time raise the tongue-tip against the hard palate while murmuring the first character; then hold up the breath for a moment when silently murmuring the second character; after that, inhale once again by breathing in a large amount of air that is conducted to the lower abdomen while murmuring the third character, which is followed immediately by a long exhalation. The sequence for this breathing method is: Inhaling → holding-up → inhaling once again → exhaling.
Silent-murmuring of words is an important coordinating part in the above breathing methods. The length of time and the number of words murmured should not be fixed, which can be varied and adjusted to induce a comfortable sensation. The second breathing method is easier to learn. Therefore, it is usually adopted as the first step for the beginners.
The Mind-Concentrating Methods
The mind-concentrating methods commonly used for Inner-Nourishing Qigong Exercise are: Concentrating the mind on Dantian, concentrating the mind on Shanzhong (RN 17), and concentrating the mind on the big toes.
A. Concentrating the Mind on Dantian
Concentrate the mind quietly on Dantian does not mean that the mind should be focused only on the single point; in fact, it should be concentrated on the whole lower abdomen with Qihai (CV6) (RN 6) as the centre.
B. Concentrating the Mind on Shanzhong (RN 17)
Concentrate the mind quietly on Shanzhong (RN 17) located between the breasts. Preferably, the mind should be concentrated on the whole precordial area with Shanzhong as the centre rather than on a single point.
C. Concentrating the Mind on the Big Toes
Concentrate the mind on the big toes of both feet with the eyes closed. Or narrow the eyes to look at the big toes where the mind is concentrated.
Mind-concentration on Dantian is usually adopted for the beginners. However, women with menostaxis or hypermenorrhea should choose Shanzhong (RN 17) instead.

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