Archive for Qigong as Medicine

Qigong and Coronavirus Part 1

Now is the time to increase your Qigong practice.

If you don’t have a Qigong practice yet, I recommend starting with Super Gentle Qigong.

You will grow your sense of moving and filling Qi with slow, rhythmic movements. Do it often, throughout the day, even if it is just one move out of the eight.

The number of repetitions is not as important as getting a physiological shift of some sort. Do an exercise until you feel some kind of relaxation in your body or mind or breathing; or some sense of easier internal movement. If you aren’t sure about these sensations, 20 to 24 reps is a goodly amount for most people. You will be coming back for more, later.

Super Gentle Qigong can be done if you are starting to get punky feeling, sickish, fatigued. It can be done in a chair; or even lying down. It can also be done if you are in recovery from illness.

If you aren’t feeling quite right, start some gentle Qigong right away. Try to get 10 to 15 minutes practice in every hour-and-a-half to two hours.



Note: The first video teaches the moves and the first part of the follow-along section.


Be well,

Robert Bates

Robert Bates is a Chiropractor, Craniosacral Therapist, Lymph Drainage Therapist and Qigong teacher. He teaches Self Healing Qigong, Medical Qigong (for healing others); and Lymph Drainage Therapy and Fluid Articular Release for the Chikly Health Institute.


Qigong and Eyesight

Qigong and Seeing

Until a few years ago I always had superb eyesight. The notion of wearing corrective glasses was something I never thought of—it was something other people needed to do, but not me. I knew that my eyesight would someday diminish, but that was in a vague and distant future. About three years ago I gave in to my increasing difficulty with reading clearly. I bought a few pairs of cheap reading glasses. Reading, to me, is almost as important as eating. In fact it is my necessary nourishment, the food for my mind, memory, intellect, understanding, entertainment, and encouragement. It is my main path to learning and self-education. In that way, the use of reading glasses has sustained me for the last 3 years.

Glasses in Middle Age

Glasses are nothing unusual for someone of my age, now fully into middle age. However there is another side to this story. For many years I collected and read books and notes about methods for strengthening one’s eyesight. The eyes, like most any other part of one’s body, can be exercised, educated, improved, or maintained in health. There are many sets of exercises developed by different cultures, different physicians, different teachers. There are many examples of people who did improve their eyesight—often dramatically—with such exercises. I know people who formerly wore glasses who do not anymore. One of them wore them from boyhood on. Now about sixty years of age, he was in his thirties when someone lent him a vinyl record album of eye exercise. He listened to the album; did the exercises; and put down his glasses for good.

I’ve known about these exercises, but haven’t much applied myself with them. I rarely practiced them. There were always other priorities in my Qigong practices. Finally I have decided to bring eyesight work up a few notches. For the rest of the year (at least) I will be leading people in Eye Qigong as a part my Simple Taiji classes.


Brightening Your Eyesight

The following Qigong exercise can improve your vision and aid in healing any eye condition you may have. By energetically and consciously connecting to your organs of sight; by creating more Qi circulation; and by enlivening the nerves, you can speed up the healing process of your eyesight.

I first gleaned this excellent exercise from an article on Lotus Qigong by Dianna Sun and Bingkun Hu from the June/July, 1996, issue of Kung Fu magazine. I have updated and enhanced the exercise to express my own understanding of Qi and self-healing. Several people I have taught this to have had noticeable improvements in some serious eye conditions.

1. Charge Palms and Connect to the Light

Rub your palms together until they are warm and energized. Place these Qi-charged palms together in a prayer position directly above your head, with your fingers pointing up. Imagine you are connecting to heavenly light or starlight—the light of seeing. Now draw your hands down to the front of your upper face, staying connected to the light of the stars. Separate the hands and place them two or three inches in front of the eyes. Feel the center of each palm radiating Qi and Light to its respective eye (right palm to right eye, left to left).

2. Palms in Clockwise Circles

Move your palms in small clockwise circles in front of the eyes, nine times. Both palms move in the same direction at the same time; they are in synchrony. Clockwise is down to the left. The palms circle in about 6 inches of circumference.

The eyes are open and relaxed. Do not follow the palms with the eyes, rather receive the circling energies of the hands. As you circle, feel the Qi and healing warmth of the hands penetrate the eyes, eye muscles, eye fluids, ocular nerves, even to the back of your brain (occipital lobe.) These circling motions will get stagnant energy in your eyes recirculating and refreshing. Stagnation leads to disease; motion leads to healing.

 3. Palms in Counterclockwise Circles

Move your palms in nine small counterclockwise circles in front of the eyes. As you hold your hands in front of your eyes, be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows heavy—basic practices of good Qigong. Also, keep breathing with ease into your lower belly. Belly breathing helps keep the eyes, neck, head and everything relaxed and flowing.

4. Palms Forward and Back

Move your palms forward and back in front of the eyes, going out 10 to 12 inches and then back to the starting spot of a couple of inches from the eyes. Feel like you are stretching Qi from your eyes, then pressing it back in. The energy connection between your palms and your eyes continues throughout the movements. This refines and builds the Qi by a wave-like kneading of the Qi. Do this nine times also.

5. Rest and Re-center

Lower your hands to your Lower Dantian (lower abdomen) and rest for a breath or two there. Forget your eyes and feel your Lower Dantian.


Repeat the entire sequence two more times.

Frequency of Practice

For vision health maintenance, practice this simple set once a day.

For helping with active vision problems, practice it several times a day. The biggest key is to feel the sense of movement in the eyes from the hand motions. If you feel it, you are getting benefits from it. What you feel you can heal. Your eyes will begin to self-heal because you are changing stuckness into dynamic motion.

Make a Study of It

There are many more exercises and principles for good and longstanding eyesight in Qigong and in many other bodies of knowledge. The above set is a beneficial one, but only one of many. If improving your eyesight naturally intrigues you, there are many resources available in print and on the web to learn more.



Qigong is Sustainable Self-Healing

This Saturday, June 30, I will be presenting a talk and leading some exercises in Qigong at a workshop on sustainable living.

Qigong, I have long thought, is one of the most sustainable practices there is. It is an inexpensive method of self-healing that can save a bundle on medical bills. Modern medicine has devolved into an ever-more expensive commodity, a growing Juggernaut that seems to gain more mass and unstoppable power to sap and suck the money from society and individuals. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the USA is unpayable medical bills. These bills are unpayable for so many millions because of the gigantic amounts that are owed. The system as it is out of control.

This may not effect you directly, but it does effect you. Even if you have insurance that pays most of your bills, that money must come from somewhere, from the greater common fund. The Western World will soon reach a tipping point of unsustainability with these massive costs, these thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars that are charged to millions of patients pulled into and stuck in the gargantuan system.

Much of allopathic medicine is to be admired and be grateful for. Much is not. Sure, surgerical techiniques, a short, few medicines, and the sciences of anatomy, physiology, and sanitation have been of tremendous value. The modern magic of mainstream medicine–with it’s many life-saving and life-prolonging methods–is not all joy and fun. Unnecessary surgeries, botched procedures, expensive tests, drugs rife with side-effects, very short doctor visits, and a great lack of the personal, human touch are rampant. Medical facilities that promote money-making and closed- heart, harried, over-worked practitioners have become the norm.

People are looking for something more, something real and humane and heart-stirring. So many of us are recognizing that how our society is operating with disease and health is not working. A change will be arising soon.

Qigong practice is sustainable healing. When I say sustainable, I mean it is cheap, renewable, takes few resources, and offers more resources than it takes (you get more energy than you spend). Qigong teaches you how to be more aware of your body and mind. It offers many exercises that help the systems of your body function more powerfully to bring you the robust vitality you desire. It teaches you how to breathe right for goodness sake, a crucial and mostly-ignored aspect of healing. Qigong is fun, gentle, and easy to begin. Almost anyone gets benefits from the earliest foray.

For most people, a regular practice of Qigong inceases the health of their bodies, minds and spirits. It decreases illnesses, increases vitality, expands perspective, engenders inspiration, and saves money. Fewer doctor’s visits, fewer invasive procedures, fewer side-effects to deal with. The future of health is in such practices as these. The current economico-medical model is about to topple, unsustainable under its own unwieldy weight and excess. We will need simple home and community practices like Qigong to help maintain our health and wellness.

Sustainable Living Workshop

I know all of the principals of this workshop and reccomend their concepts and work. If you are seeking to bring more grounded truth to your life, and more sustainability to your days, come to the workshop.

Mind, Body, Spirit, and Earth: Techniques for Thriving in a Complicated World

Matheson Farms Sustainable Living Education Center presents its inaugural workshop:

June 30, 2012

Laurel Grange Hall

6172 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA

9:00 AM-2:30 PM (Check-in begins at 8:30 AM)

The Workshop Includes

Dr. Robert Bates – Fun with Qigong (release stress and foster health through movement)

Dudley and Dean Evenson, MS – Music, Healing, and Meditation

Serene Stevenson, M Ed – Us for Precedent (empowerment and implementing creative change)

Dr. Sandra Matheson – Respecting the Earth in Your Everyday Living, Building Sustainable Relationships


Lunch will be available from the Community Food Co-op if registered and pre-ordered by June 26—or bring your own sack lunch if you choose.

Everyone 13 years of age and older is welcome. We provide a safe, fun, and sup-portive environment! Come learn and practice some amazing techniques from lead-ers in their respective fields. Wear comfortable clothing/shoes.


Enrollment is limited so register today!

Your Investment:

Adults $59 with lunch included/$49 without lunch

Youth ages 13-17 $39 with lunch included/$29 without lunch

Registrations at the door: Add $10 to the applicable fee

To register online:

Or email:










Master List of Articles

Here is a List of the Principle Articles and Videos on this Qigong Website

Note: These listed articles come from the Blog section of this website. There is also a section of Pages, which contains much information as well. The links to the Pages can be found to the right on any page.

Fun with Qigong Homepage

How to use this site.

Welcome to Fun with Qigong

My first post.

Introduction to Qigong

A video explaining the basics of Qigong.

A Simple Explanation of Qigong

What exactly is Qigong?

Audio Interview

A 55 minute overview of Qigong, along with a sample of the Six Healing Sounds.

The First Principle of Qigong

Practice. Preferably daily.

My First DVD: Fun with Qigong

A video guide to learning the gentle, powerful, principle-based Qigong set called The Five Flows.

Moderation and Fasting

All endeavors seeking health should not be excessive. Excess kills. Moderation heals.

Healing the Heart

Simple approaches to heart health.

Reducing High Blood Pressure

Video detailing some Qigong ideas for lowering pressure.

Breast Health

Exercises and resources from a non-invasive, vitalistic, self-empowering approach. Every woman should learn about these methods.

Inexpensive Acupuncture

Social justice through heartful needles.

Sudden Inhalation Syndrome

Shock breathing is normal but not natural. Learn how to breathe with ease.

Qigong and Fibromyalgia

Decrease pain with Qigong.

Simple Taiji Video

An introductory form to practice the principles and basic movements of Taiji (Tai chi).


Insomnia Article

Thoughts and exercises for working on that night-stealer insomnia.

Insomnia Video 1

Overview of Qigong exercises for overcoming insomnia.

Insomnia Video 2

Charge the Kidneys and connect the Kidneys to the Lower Dantian.

Insomnia Video 3

Warm the feet.

Insomnia Video 4

Draw Qi from the Lower Dantian to the feet. 

Front-loading Qigong

Practice extra amounts of Qigong before travel, expected stressful events, or busy times to come.

Hot Hands of Qi

Qigong will warm and balance your hands.

Qigong and Warm Hands: Part 1

A second class with the heat camera shows some fascinating photos.

Relax Your Shoulders, Descend Your Qi

Sink your Qi to relax your being.

Qigong and the Upside Down Snowman

Get out of your head and center in the lower abdomen. Health and joy await you. Let go of tension and sink your Qi to feel much, much better. [with a video]

You Can Cure Hot Flashes

Make hot flashes a thing of the past with this simple, powerful technique. [with a video]

Qigong, Vitality and “Limitations”

Work within your limits, but don’t let them define you.

Four-Part Protection Process

A Meditation and Medical Qigong Method for staying sane and clear in an insane world.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 1

The overview video of the “Old Man…” exercise.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 2

The second video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Lungs and sadness.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 3

The third video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Open the heart and release armoring.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 4

The fourth video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Clear worry, excess emotions, and anger from the middle burner.

Alleviating Depression and Other Traumatic Emotions 5

The fifth video of the “Old Man…” exercise. Putting it all together.

Three Types of Qigong Practice: Singles, Sets, and Sequences

Three ways you might practice: Focused, expanded, or sophisticated ways.

Qigong Sets

Understanding what Qigong sets are and how to utilize them.

Qigong Sequences

Understanding what Qigong forms are and how to utilize them.

Five Flows in a Single Exercise

One exercise can take you through all of the flows, if  you stick with it.

Preventing Colds and Flu with Qigong

These gentle, immunity-enhancing exercises truly work.

More on Preventing Colds and Flu with Qigong

Use healing sounds and slow, gentle, movements.

Qigong Strategies for Illness

How, when, and when not to do Qigong when illness is in the picture.

Qigong Workshops

A baker’s dozen of Qigong workshops your group may want to host.

The World-Famous First 64 Form

From Wild Goose Qigong, there is much healing in the intracies of these fun movements.

Reduce Stress with the Super Powerful Method of Belly Breathing

So much of a person’s stress arises from the backward, upside down, unnatural, but entirely common practice of chest breathing.

Pay Attention to Your Feet

With so much heady focus in our world, we lose connection to the whole of our bodies and the sustenance of the earth. Become more whole and balanced by paying attention to your feet as much as to your brain.

Save Yourself from a Lightning Strike

Crouch and survive.

Simplified Exercise Set

Sometimes an entire set is too much.

Open and Move from the Gate of Life

The Gate of Life is so important and so practical and so unknown.

Can Qigong Save America (and the World?)

We desperately need inexpensive, effective healthcare. Qigong is one of the answers to this urgent need.

Slap Yourself Healthy

Gentle tapping methods for wellness.

The Three Intentional Corrections

How to reframe and refocus your experience in the moment with Qigong.

Healing Knee Pain 1

Using the wall sitting exercise.

Healing Knee Pain 2

Success with the wall sitting exercise.

Change Your Life in Two Minutes a Day

Getting a daily Qigong practice started can reward you with big health dividends later on.

Bend Your Knees for Health’s Sake

Bending your knees helps alleviate many chronic pain symptoms.

When in Doubt, Shake

Use the Shaking the Body exercise to release fear, uncertainty, and tension.

Exercise with Ease

Be gentle and moderate with your Qigong to get the most out of it.

Qigong Will Soon Be a Common Sight

“People just have to get used to it.”

Spend a Billion Dollars to Save a Trillion

Qigong could save huge amounts of money, nationally.

Qigong is a Medical Bargain

It is downright cheap. It is gold that takes put pennies on the dollar.

Three Little Words Can Change your Life

The first three principles of Qigong: Practice, Modify, and Refine.

I Healed My Smashed Toe with Qigong

Using the gentleness and gentility of Qigong for giant gains.

Stay Centered or Suffer the Consequences

Multi-tasking leads to injury.

Breathe When You Type

Qigong is cheap medicine, easily accessible.

Train Your Qigong in Calmness

Qigong practice cautions.

The Secret Practice of True Wealth

Invest in Qigong and reap the lifelong rewards.

The Half-Half Rule

At least do some Qigong. You will be happy you did.

The Baby Bowl

Healing babies instead of watching the Superbowl.

Comments (1)

A Very Simple Exercise to Heal the Heart

In a short video that I have included below is a simple Qigong-like exercise to help a heart with any excess condition. Excess conditions are those of too much Yang in the heart, (or too little Yin elsewhere). High blood pressure, angina, tachycardia, and other physical heart issues can be the result. This exercise can also be helpful for such issues as anxiety, insomnia, over-excitement, night sweats, mental and emotional problems and dizziness.

In a two minute video clip, Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist, talks about how the arms are extensions of the heart. Early in embryogenesis the arms came from the heart area.


“If you want to work with someone’s heart, work with the energy of the arms.”

He makes the point that conductors, who are raising their arms in motion, live healthily into their 90’s.

The key to the video is the little exercise Stephen Sinatra shows. He recommends swinging your arms back and forth a couple hundred times a day to keep the thoracic duct open.

The thoracic duct is the major pathway in the center of the chest where lymph flows from the abdomen and legs back to the heart

The video style is intense (itself a stress on the heart), but short.

The Heart/Arm Connection

I’ve often noticed this heart and arm connection with my healing clients and Qigong students. Symptoms in the chest can often be relieved by opening the shoulders and guiding attention, sensation and Qi down the arms, and off the fingers. In Medical Qigong training we are taught to take a patient’s excess heart Qi out of the heart, down three of the meridians of the arm (Small Intestine, Pericardium and Heart). Dredging down the entire arm, not just the meridians, works quite well also.

The arms and hands can be thought of the external manifestations of the heart. It is with the arms that we create, or hug ,or hold tight, or push away, or fight for our space. A post and video I made for lowering high blood pressure prominently uses the arms to release heart tension.

I almost included arm swinging in my Five Flows Qigong Set, and even made a preliminary video of it. (I put it into Five Flows Qigong Set 2). Here it is:

YouTube Preview Image

The swinging exercise has other benefits to the heart. It opens the thoracic outlet, relaxes the shoulders, sends blood to to the hands to relieve excess, and improves lymph flow from the arms via the axillary nodes and clavicular pathways.

This exercise—like just about everything else in life—works even better with lower abdominal breathing.

Note: Just about any Kidney strengthening exercises can help with excess heart issues. The fiery heart needs to be supported, nourished and controlled some by the water energy of the Kidneys. This is according to the useful (and quite functional) pattern of the Five Elemental Energies.

Comments (2)

Breast Health Month (and Lifetime)

Natural, Empowering Health Options

Here’s a positive and proactive way to look at breast health. There are so many healthful, non-traumatic ways to work with breast health. Below are exercises, videos, a book, some links and some simple philosophy. The first information I share is from the Qigong tradition.  

One of the main points is to keep the tissues, fluids, and energies flowing. Stagnation is the breeding ground of disease. Movement is the keeper of health and progenitor of healing.

Keep in Mind and Practice

  • Keep the Qi moving.
  • Keep the blood flowing.
  • Keep the lymph flowing.

Here are three Qigong exercises that help with breast health.

Note: The Five Flows DVD includes Exercises # 1 and # 2 listed below as well as additional immune-boosting, easy-to-learn, Qigong exercises.

Exercise #1. Shaking the Body

Shaking the Body is basically just gently shaking up and own. Shaking will stimulate circulation, increase lymph flow, and release stagnation at the cellular and tissue levels. Shaking with intent offers many benefits. One of them can be to release a stuck, stagnant or hot Liver. In Chinese Medicine thought, such Liver conditions are usually a part of the toxic stagnancies like cancers.

Exercise #2: Streaming the Fountains

One of the great benefit of Streaming the Fountains is that the arms are repetitively, rhythmically, slowly raised above the head and then lowered. Raising the arms in this way opens the lymphatic pathways through the armpit. The greatest part of breast lymph is drained through the lymph nodes in the armpit (the axillary nodes.) By slowly and smoothly practicing Streaming the Fountains, the axillary lymph nodes are gently stretched and opened; then lightly compressed. A lymph pulsation then ensues, releasing tenderness, decreasing tension, and increasing flow through your breasts.

Axillary Lymph Nodes

Axillary Lymph Nodes

Exercise #3: Press Heaven and Earth

Press Heaven and Earth is a similar exercise to Streaming the Fountains in that you are raising the arms and drawing energy up and down the body vertically. It comes from the ancient 8 Silken Brocades Set. Once learned well, it is even more effective in moving stuck Qi in the chest and opening the armpit nodes than Streaming the Fountains.

Press Heaven and Earth Instructions

Slowly, over 3 to 5 seconds, press and stretch one hand high and one low. The high hand is over the head and the lower hand at the outer thigh. The upper palm is bent on the stretches, with fingers facing inward. The lower palm stretches down at the side of the thigh. Exhale as hands go away from each other. Inhale as they come toward each other, crossing at the chest. This also is done slowly over 3 to 5 seconds. The slowness allows a smoothness of movement and empowered lymph flow to take place. The hands also twist as they rise or sink, especially the rising hand.

Raise and Lower Simultaneously

Open the lymph nodes

Open the Armpit/Push Down

Relax Arms Down and Up

Twist the Palm as it Rises

Now the Opposite Armpits are Open or Closed

Medical Qigong for Breast Health

The International Institute of Medical Qigong has a DVD on using Qigong exercises for breast health and breast cancer prescriptions. These exercises use circular movements of the hands to increase breast Qi flow and special healing sounds. The teacher on the video is Jerry Alan Johnson, my own Medical Qigong instructor.

Lymphatic Self-Massage

Here is a short video of a lymphatic pumping breast massage, basic but powerful and important. Some 70 percent of the lymph of the breasts flows to and through the axillary nodes. It is very, very important to keep these pathways open and always flowing. Flowing lymph clears stagnations that might otherwise lead to disease.

Dressed to Kill

The book Dressed to Kill makes the argument that tight bras lead to an increase in breast cancer. Some authorities pooh pah this assertion. It makes clear sense to me, however. A tight bra will compress the skin and lymph flow of the breast, especially in the most important channel along the upper, outside ribs toward the armpit. Many women, after learning about this, rethink their bra choices and bra-wearing patterns. Basically, wearing bras less often; wearing bras more loosely; and keeping the flows a going. 

Dressed to Kill with Cancer


Those that might dismiss this book as pseudoscience are missing the point: That marketing undergarments is a science, one based on profit, not truth. And from my extensive studies in Qigong, Lymph Drainage Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, and Cranio-Sacral Therapy—I think the authors of the book have a strong message that needs to be listened to and explored further. 

Chinese Medicine for Breast Health

Here is a site devoted to the natural, Chinese Medicine thinking about breast health and approaching breast cancer through Qigong, acupressure and other proven natural methods.

Lymph Drainage Therapy

The superb system of Lymph Drainage Therapy has even more sophisticated approaches to working on the breasts. Anyone who has taken the second course in LDT from the Chikly Health Institute (formerly with the Upledger Institute) has learned the Breast Drainage approach. You might want to find a qualified therapist to help with this. Note: Different states, regions or countries have different laws for which licensed therapists can work on breasts.

Daily Breast Massage

Here is a video that is more of a teaser; it doesn’t show the breast massage techniques, just some women talking about the process. The video looks like it might be worth exploring, worth getting the DVD if it speaks to you.


Tai Chi (aka Qigong) Decreases Pain

In August of 2010 an article was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine citing a study of Tai Chi for the painful, baffling syndrome of Fibromyalgia. It turns out that there were significant mental and physical improvements for the Tai Chi group after only 12 weeks of supervised practice. The practices were one hour long, two times a week. Even more telling, the improvements remained 6 months later.

Science Continues to Support Qigong

Many scientific studies have been done to investigate the healing benefits of practicing Qigong and Tai Chi. “Tai Chi,” in most of these studies, is essentially another type of Qigong: A short movement form done slowly with attention to posture, movement, the body, mind, and breath. Though these short forms are taught to people unfamiliar with Qigong or Tai Chi, they still have quick, predictable, good results.

The Science of Centuries

Qigong, in all of it’s facets has been used as a health practice for thousands of years, undergoing advancement and refinement through all of those centuries. It has been proven over and over again to be a super source of health. Modern scientific studies are coming to the same conclusion.

Low-Priced Health Treasure for the Taking

Qigong and Tai Chi are not just relatively inexpensive way’s to feeling better, they are natural ways to healing that are super-duper cheap compared to modern medicine.

Qigong Methods for Fibromyalgia

Just about any slow moving, body-focused, energy-feeling type of Qigong would help ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These self-healing exercises can be the basis for creating a healing lifestyle.

Doing the Five Flows set twice a day would make someone feel better and begin a river of healing. The Five Flows is an introductory set of special movements, similar to a basic Tai chi form. There a several primary healing mechanisms in the set. Shaking and tapping release physical stagnations. Breathing practices revitalize the blood and relax the nervous system. Qi charging exercises build up the internal organ strength and lymph flow. My thesis is that such results–even at the introductory level–will help the healing process for fibromyalgia and a host of other syndromes.

Medical Qigong Prescriptions

Medical Qigong is the subset of Qigong where very specific movements, meditations, sounds and breath-practices are given for medical conditions. Medical Qigong has prescription exercises that can help with fibromyalgia. My Medical Qigong teacher recommends purging blocked energy from the Liver; and charging the Kidneys and Spleen. Please note the terms “Liver,” “Spleen,” and Kidneys” have different meanings than the strictly anatomical and physiological meanings used in Western medicine. They have a more functional, systems-approach according to the tenets of Chinese Medicine. And Medical Qigong.

Liver, Kidneys, and Spleen

The Liver blockage impairs Qi flow throughout the body and creates too much toxic heat.

The low Kidney energy means fatigue, poor memory, and an inability to control a too-hot Liver.

The low Spleen energy (meaning the digestion is sluggish) also is overwhelmed by the Liver excess. Doing specific exercises daily is what it takes.

Some tutoring might be necessary. Doing these kinds of processes is much like tuning an instrument. The closer you get it to just right, the better it works.

Clear Liver Stagnation

For Liver stagnation, the “guo” sound is a good Qigong prescription. This is a deep, droning, “Gwwwoooo.” Guo is pronounced like cartoon character Elmer Fudd would saw “grow.” Healing Sound Qigong is used to put focus and vibration into target organs, thus leading to the release of stagnation. Always feel healing sounds vibrate in the target organ or area.

Charge the Kidneys

For the Kidneys, the Charging the Kidneys exercise from the Five Flows set is a good choice. You can do it while imagining blue energy filling the Kidneys, like warm ocean water.

Charge the Spleen

For the Spleen, put both hands on the Spleen and stomach area (on the left side of the upper belly ) and breathe yellow into it. Feel it fill up, warm up, and get cozy and happy.

Each of these exercises would need many repetitions, 50 to 100 or so.

Of course, this is just a beginning idea. Everyone has different needs. Fibromyalgia is a kind of a messy attic space diagnoses, and it is not just one thing.

Qigong Can and Will and Does Help

Whatever is going on with someone with fibromyalgia—depression, uncertainty in life, internal Qi stagnation, too much head-thinking, too many years of push, push, push, or whatever—Qigong can help move the Qi along and out and bring back natural, fresh internal flows.

Comments (2)

Qigong for Insomnia

Medical Qigong offers many simple prescriptions for health conditions. These are gentle, specific, yet sophisticated exercises that involve movement, breathing, and meditation. While not the only important medicine needed for many conditions or situations, these Medical Qigong prescriptions do have some great plusses over using pharmaceuticals, or even natural health concoctions. 

Qigong Prescriptions

  • Give you more self-control over your own health.
  • Don’t have the kind of intense side-effects many medications do.
  • Can’t be used up. The bottle doesn’t get emptied.
  • Can be practiced in addition to other methods you may be using for your healthcare.

You Must Do Them to Receive the Benefits

Qigong Prescriptions do take practice, time, and commitment. The basic Insomnia Prescription–which I detail below–is an effective self-healing method for sleep difficulties. Most people who practice it begin to go to sleep easier, and sleep more deeply and sleep longer. They wake up more refreshed with a sense of energetic regeneration.

Two Main Mechanisms of the Insomnia Prescription

This short series of gentle exercises works through two energetic mechanisms:

  1. The redirection of your Qi.
  2. Charging your Kidneys.

Redirect Your Qi

The Qi is redirected in a series of steps:

  1. From your head to your Kidneys
  2. From Kidneys to your lower abdominal center (Dantian)
  3. And finally, to the bottom of your feet

Awake Versus Sleep

When you are awake, the majority of your body’s consciousness and energy tends to be focused outside of yourself, in the front part of you, and up in the head or heart. When your energy and consciousness is thus directed, sleep is difficult. The Insomnia Prescription reverses that high, forward energy. It will bring your energy inward, backward, and down.

Charge and Fill Your Kidneys

The Kidneys–which also include your adrenal glands (one of these small glands lies on top of each Kidney)–are crucial in Chinese Medicine approaches. To put it simply, the Kidneys can be thought of as fuel reserves; as gas tanks. Your tanks get emptied by forcing and using willpower to get things done. Or by doing too much. You run out of energy and are essentially running on fumes. If you have ever felt, “too tired to fall asleep,” then you know what I mean.

Insomnia Prescription

The instructions for how many reps to practice: The more persistent and bad the insomnia, the more repetitions it will take.

Steps one, two, and three can be done standing or seated.

Insomnia Prescription: Step One

Use your hands to rapidly massage the Kidneys until warm. You can massage up and own, back and forth, or around in circles, both directions. You can use the palms or, if you can’t reach easily, the backs of the hands. Warming the Kidneys will increase the blood flow to them, relieve tensions around them, and generally turn them on. You want your Kidneys “on” so your thinking brain can turn “off” for several hours.

Reps: 20 to 50.

Insomnia Prescription: Step Two

Place the palms on your back, over your Kidneys. Inhale to your Kidneys. As you inhale, round your lower back a bit to help expand the tissues around those fist-sized structures. With the inhale, imagine you are drawing energy that is extra and unneeded from your upper body (especially your brain) to your Kidneys. Exhale into your Kidneys to store that extra energy.

Location Note: The Kidneys are usually found in front of the thick muscles on both sides of spine, about halfway under the lower ribs; and about halfway below the ribs. They are nearly fist-sized. Because of the big Liver above it, the right Kidney tends to be lower than the left Kidney.

Modifying Note: If shoulder flexibility problems or an elbow or wrist issue make it difficult to put your full palms on your back, you can place the back of the hands on the Kidneys. If this is still too difficult to do with no strain, you can place one palm or back of the hand on one side and turn slightly. If this is still too difficult, connect to your Kidneys by placing your hands over the front of your upper abdomen.

Reps: 20 to 50.

Charge the Kidneys for Insomnia

Breathe into the Kidneys



Optional Reps: If the Kidneys need a lot of attention: Repeat steps one and two, twice more.

Insomnia Prescription: Step Three

Left Kidney: Place the right hand on your lower abdomen (Dantian), below the belly button and the left hand over the left Kidney. On the inhale, connect to the left Kidney. Don’t breathe to it, as you did in Step Two, just be there, at the Kidney. On the exhale, use your breath and intention to guide Qi from your Kidney to your lower abdomen. It is as if there is a little highway of flowing energy from the Kidney to the lower abdomen, a one-way flow. You can also push a little with the left hand to the Dantian on each exhale.

Right Kidney: Now place your right hand on the right Kidney and left hand on the lower abdomen. On the inhale, connect to the right Kidney. On the exhale, use your breath and intention to guide Qi from your Kidney to your lower abdomen.

Insomnia Qigong

Kidney to Dantian

Reps: 20 or more, each side

Steps four and five, below are done seated–either on the floor or on a chair.

Insomnia Prescription: Step Four

Left Foot: Warm up the left sole of your foot by rubbing it with your right palm. In Acupuncture and Qigong theory, the center of the palm is a fire point, connected to the heart. The point being rubbed on the foot is called Kidney 1 (KD-1) or Bubbling Spring. It can be found in the space created by the two balls of the foot. By rubbing this water point of the Kidneys with a fire point  you enliven your Kidneys, leading to stronger, more healthful states of energy in your internal organs. You are also bringing more attention to the lowest part of your body.

Right Foot: Repeat on the other leg, warming up the right sole with the left palm.

Reps: 20 to 50 per side, or more.

Insomnia Qigong

Brush the Bottom of the feet

Insomnia Prescription: Step Five

Left Foot: Place the left hand on your lower abdomen (over the Dantian) and the right hand on the sole of the left foot. Feel the Dantian on the inhale. On the exhale, gently encourage energy to travel down the leg to the bottom of the right foot. This gentle focus of one-way Qi flow will help root your energy down your body. You may have to cross the lower left leg over the right leg to reach the sole easily.

Reps: 20 to 100 per side.

Right Foot : Repeat on the other side, right hand on Dantian, left hand on right sole.

Qigong Insomnia Breathing

Breathe from Lower Belly to Foot

Practice Makes Sleepy

It might take a few sessions of practice for chronic insomnia to begin to lessen it’s cruel hold on your sleep: It takes time for the water to make progress on filling the well.

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Breathing Workshop

Awaken the Breath

When:         Saturday, June 5, 2010

Time:         10:00 to 2:00

Cost:          Only $40

Location:    Robert’s beautiful healing studio at

                  1095 East Axton Road, North of Bellingham.

Sign Up:     (360) 398-7466, or


Breathe Bigger, Better and Easier

Breath Practices are some of the most powerful healing exercises you can do. You can insert conscious breathing into just about any part of your day and be better off for it. You can benefit from conscious breathing practices virtually your entire life. Any amount of good breathing you do adds to your health.

With These Breathing Practices You Will

  •  Massage the internal organs for greater all around health
  •  Keep the head clear and promote mental clarity
  •  Help move the lymph throughout the body, increasing immunity function
  •  Increase your energy
  •  Calm your emotions
  •  Increase your lifespan
  •  Decrease tension
  •  Sleep deeper
  •  And much, much more

 What We Will Cover in This Workshop

  • Qigong breathing practices, each with different health goals
  • Simple tests to assess how well you are breathing
  • Easy ways to integrate vastly more quality breathing into your   everyday life
  • The Framingham Study: How your breath capacity can accurately predict your lifespan; and how to definitely increase your lifespan with breathing practices

 Breathing Exercises We Will Practice

Follow the Breath. Just watch. Notice how you are actually breathing. You can learn a lot about yourself this way.

Graduated Quiet Breathing Meditation. Build awareness and sink into a relaxed, healing mode of being as you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, coordinate your consciousness and balance your brain

Abdominal Breathing. The foundation of proper breathing. Breathe into and out of your abdomen, letting it expand with the inhale and flatten with exhaling.

Belly Book Breathing. Re-teach yourself how to use your diaphragm to pull air into your body by expanding your abdomen, instead of lifting your shoulders to bring air in.

Pelvic Breathing. Sometimes breathe low into your pelvis to build power and prevent many problems.

Low Back and Kidney Breathing. Drawing the air into the lower back to expand that area and fill the Kidney’s with Qi.

Filling the Vase. Fill your torso with breath like pouring water into a vase; the water fills up the lower parts first before working up. Empty your breath in reverse.

Gentle Breath Holding. Holding the breath for a short time—repeatedly—to help relax tensions in the breathing apparatus.


The Remembering Breath. Put up green dot stickers. Every time you see the dot, take a deep breath. This will give you many deep breaths each day.

10 Percent More. Add just a little to the size or seconds of each breath.

Breathing Awareness Set (to take home.) Begin to take more control of your daily breathing habits.


You Can Can Cure Hot Flashes

Hot flashes can sometimes be eliminated in a moment by the use of a simple healing sound from the Chinese Art of Qigong.  I have seen these amazing shifts happen on several occasions with different people.

A hot flash means you have too much heat being produced in the body. Usually the extra heat rises into the head, making you uncomfortable. It could arise for a number of reasons: sudden hormonal shifts, too much sunshine, a liver working too hard, or being drained of vitality so that your body has trouble keeping you cool.

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Healing Sounds to Clear Your Body

Part of the expansive collection of Qigong exercises is the art of healing sounds. Over many hundreds of years, Chinese Qigong practitioners discovered and refined particular sounds. The basic use of healing sounds in this discipline is for cleansing the body, mind, and emotions of stuck, stagnant or excessive energy. Sounds vibrate the tissues, releasing contracting-tension and shaking loose what is stuck.

“Sheeeee” Helps Hot Flashes

Here is the sound for excess, high heat in the body: “Sheeeeee.” It is pronounced and performed in a special way. You will simultaneously do these three actions:

  • Draw your hands from the top of your head down through your legs and into the earth. The eyes and head follow the hands down.
  • Imagine and visualize and sense that you are clearing your body of extra heat from head to feet. It is like your cells are being showered with cooling water, or the inner windows are being squeegeed clean.
  • It is a descending tone “Sheeeee.” This dropping sound starts in the high range and descends very low, like going from soprano to basso. The farther down your body you go with your hands and consciousness, the deeper becomes the sound.

Note: Do not bend over as you get closer to the ground. If you bend too much you will, via gravity, put energy in the head. With this exercise you want to get energy out of the head, not put more in.


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