#8: Charging the Qi Ball
Recommended Repetitions: 12 to 24 or more
Movement: Hands at the level of the lower energy center, expand hands outward, then compress them back to the center.
Main Purpose: Builds healing energy in the hands and entire body.
Main Qigong Principle: Use the whole body to move the hands.
Description of the Physical Movements
Bring the palms to face each other at the same level on either side of the Dantian (left and right sides.) The palms are about 6 inches apart to start. Inhale with a pelvic tilt while expanding your arms wide to the sides. Exhale, drawing the hands back together while bring the pelvis to neutral. This is exactly the same pelvic motion as is done on exercises 6, 7, and 10. Remember to move slowly and use belly breathing. A rhythm of 3 seconds out and 3 seconds back is a good rate to reach for.
Keep your palms at the height of the Dantian for the entire exercise, being sure not to let them rise as you expand out.
Modifying the Exercise
I suggest a 3 second inhale, 3 second exhale rhythm for this exercise, but it could be 2/2. for shorter cycles of breath, don’t expand the hands out as far. For longer cycles, say 4 or 5 seconds out and the same back, you have several choices. You can either move more slowly, expand the hands wider, or do both.
Initially, pay attention to how your hands feel. As you get comfortable with the exercise widen your attention to include your arms. As you become skilled at Charging the Qi Ball, have a whole body awareness as you widen out, then come back inwardly.
Many people like to imagine a light, energetic connection between the palms. As you perform the repetitions you will actually feel a kind of a magnetic Qi taffy being stretch, compressed and blended between your hands. Eventually the whole body will feel like it is expanding out and sinking back
Discussion of Charging the Qi Ball
You don’t want to be blocky with this movement. Relax the arms as much as possible and get into a flowing, seaweed in the-waves-like motion. Allow the elbows and wrists to move in slow-motion flexing and extending—all the while keep the palms facing each other.
Scientific measures of people before and after practicing Qigong show that Qigong practicing both increases and balances the energies of the hands, left to right. In Charging the Qi ball you can use a direct method to elicit this principle. Moving the arms out and builds Qi in the palms—which you can feel as warmth and tingling and see as a red and white mottling. This simple movement also sends feedback up the sensory nerves of the arm and into the brain in such a way that the brain corrects imbalances.
Charging the hands this way is also a method of self-healing for the internal organs. As blood and qi flow increases, and the arm tissues and joints relax and open, Qi follows the meridians into the depth of the body to nourish and regulate the organs. You may begin feeling a whole-body, magnetic pulse.
Charging the Qi Ball is a strongly charging exercise that becomes a balancing flow—a perfect intersection to the next exercises in the set.