Wing-benn Deng, BS, MATCM, PhD, Dipl Ac & CH (NCCAOM), LAc
There are five major components of
practicing Chinese Qi Gong. All five seek to regulate the 1. the
breathing, 2. the mind, 3. the body, 4. the Qi, and 5. the shen
(spirit). Proper breathing is one of the main keys to general Chinese Qi
Gong practice. It regulates and adjusts the body's Yin and Yang. Spirit
and breathing are mutually dependent, while spirit and Qi have to
mutually combine. After all, regulating the mind is the most important
component to control the entire practice.
Abdominal breathing and reverse breathing are two common breathing
exercises in Qi Gong practice. There are also other types of breathing
such as, "Shen" breathing, "Five Centers" breathing, and "Body"
breathing. Some advanced Qi Gong exercises may require a sequence
training of these breathing exercises in order to reach a certain level
Abdominal breathing is a breathing technique in which you inhale into
your lower abdomen or lower "Dan Tian," expanding your lower abdomen
until it feels like "a balloon filled up with air." When you exhale,
slowly and gently contract the lower abdomen. In this way, the abdomen
expands and contracts with inhaling and exhaling. As such, it is called
On the other hand, the reverse breathing technique is just the opposite.
When you inhale, you slowly and gently contract the lower abdomen, and
smoothly expand that area during the exhale.
Neither of these two breathing methods should exaggerate the normal
expansion or contraction of the lungs.
These two breathing exercises are common for general Qi Gong or Tai Chi
exercise and during the meditation practice. Your Qi Gong or Tai Chi
master will tell you which breathing technique to use and follow with
certain intention of the mind and positions, such as to curve up the tip
of the tongue to touch the palate of the mouth, to relax the shoulders,
to hold up the perineum and anus...etc.
One meditation, which combines both the Conception (Ren) and Governing
(Du) meridians, or the so-called microcosmic orbit (small circulation),
uses both abdominal and reverse breathing in a different time of the
practice to cultivate the Qi circulation in the body. You should contact
your Qi Gong master to instruct you in the details and to guide you
throughout the Qi cultivation and development.
Did you ever think that breathing could be this complicated??? But guess
what? It really does make a big difference, so keep up the good work.
Wing-Benn currently serves at Yo San
University in Los Angeles as the Herb
Lab Manager and he has his own private
practice at the Yo San Clinic. He also
teaches courses including Chinese Herbal
Pharmacopoeia, Chinese Nutrition,
Acupuncture, and a State Board Review
class. His private practice includes
pain management (sports injuries,
arthritis, joint and back pain,
migraines and chronic headaches),
allergies, high blood pressure, stress
management, male and female infertility,
Tuina (massage), nutritional counseling,
and treatment of senior citizen health
problems. Wing-Benn delivered a
well-received series of community
lectures for seniors as part of YSUís
Advancing Healthy Aging program.
info on Dr. Deng,