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Written by Jampa Mackenzie Stewart, M.S.O.M., L.AC.

The term Qigong Deviations refers to the adverse reactions that may occur in the course of Qigong training. These reactions can be physical, energetic, and/or mental.

Qigong is like medicine. It can be tremendously healing if prescribed correctly and used according to directions, but if you are careless in how you practice and do not treat it with respect, you can incur negative side effects.

Common causes of Qigong deviations are:

1. Exercising or practicing under the guidance of an inexperienced teacher or a teacher who is ignorant of Qigong theory, or imitating a Qigong exercise without understanding Qigong principles or without instruction (imitating Qigong seen in a movie, magazine, book or video).
2. Attempting to guide Qi internally without adequate fitness or preparation. This can occur due to a weak constitution, faulty posture or due to trying to forcefully circulate Qi when one has weak or blocked energy channels.
3. Failing to respond to the flow of Qi or Qi sensations correctly or overreaction due to fear, ignorance, being overly anxious for results, or due to psycho-emotional imbalances.
4. Failing to master and apply the “three regulations”, failing to follow the teacher’s directions or to practice according to the given guidance, or following one’s inclinations to “improvise” on Qigong exercises prematurely without sufficient mastery and understanding of the principles and safeguards.
5. Being frightened, startled (such as telephone suddenly ringing, abrupt loud noise, etc.) or suddenly irritated or vexed during Qigong practice.
6. Practicing Qigong in a toxic environment or during extremes of weather, such as wind, cold, heat, dryness, thunderstorms, right after an earthquake, etc.
7. Excessively practicing Qigong (too long, too much force, too much tension, over- concentration) out of fanaticism, or impatience for quick and dramatic results; overdosing on Qigong.

The following are the major differentiations of Qigong deviations:

1. Deranged Qi Flow
2. Qi and/or Blood Stagnation
3. Leaking of True Qi
4. Mental Derangement
5. Unchecked Flow of Pathogenic Qi

1. Deranged Qi Flow

Symptoms

Qi may become deranged, pathological, or out of control either during or after Qigong practice. Deranged Qi flow may give rise to symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, panic, respiratory distress, palpitations, shortness of breath, uncontrolled movements of the extremities, tremors of the whole body, suddenly feeling faint. It may also cause intense, uncomfortable, uncontrollable and unstoppable sensations of Qi flow along a certain channel or channels, or these sensations may be confined to a specific location. In most cases, the person will be able to tell the location and direction of the pathological Qi flow.

Self-Treatment

a) Stop the Qigong exercises which have caused the symptoms.
b) Stop any panic, calm down, and shift your focus of attention to conscious movements.

c) For dizziness or vertigo, press and rub Baihui (Du-20), Hanyan (GB-4), Shuaigu (GB-8), and Xuanlu (GB-5), followed by kneading Taiyang, digging and pressing Fengchi (GB-20), and pressing Mingmen (Du-4).
d) For respiratory distress, palpitations and shortness of breath, finger-knead Shanzhong(Ren-17), Rugen (ST-18), Yunmen (LU-4), Zhongfu (LU-1), and Neiguan (PC-6).
e) For sudden faintness, press Yintang (Extra) with your fingertip, then press Renzhong

(Du-26) with your fingernail, dig-grasp Hegu (LI-4) with your thumb, and Zusanli (ST-36) with your middle fingertip. Follow this treatment with a cup of warm tea, and guide the Qi back to the Dantian. Place your two palms over the Dantian as you guide the Qi there.

f) For excess Qi flow or intense Qi sensation, first pat the locations where the Qi is flowing or gathering to excess. Then pat the face, scalp, neck, chest, and back.

Next, extend your right arm in front of you, palm up, and massage the Three Yin Channels of the arm by lightly brushing with your left palm and fingers down the inside of your right arm from your shoulder to your fingertips. Then turn your right hand palm down, and massage the Three Yang Channels of the arms by using your left hand to brush up your right arm from fingertips to shoulder over the back of your hand and up the back of your arm.

Repeat 9 times altogether. Then do the same procedure on the opposite side.

Next, massage down the Three Yang Channels of the legs by using both palms to lightly brush down the outside and back of the buttocks, flanks and legs to the toes. Then massage up the Three Yin Channels of the legs by brushing from the big toes up the inside of the foot, ankle, calf, knee, thigh and groin. Repeat 9 times altogether.

g) If none of the above self-treatments work, one should immediately seek out a reputable Qigong doctor or practitioner of Oriental medicine for treatment.

Outgoing Qi Therapy

  1. a)  Open the confluent points of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels in accordance with the Eight Methods of the Sacred Tortoise (Ling Gui Ba Fa) and its rules for point selection according to the hour of treatment and the stem and branch of the day of treatment.
  2. b)  Select relevant points along the affected channels. Use flat palm or sword hand gestures and apply pushing, pulling, and quivering manipulations to activate and normalize the Qi flow along the disordered and related channels.
  3. c)  After that, apply pushing and leading manipulations to guide the Qi along the related channel or to the related organ, or back to the Dantian.
  4. d)  Regulate the activities

Herbal Treatment

The following herbal formula may be prescribed with appropriate modifications, and decocted in water for oral administration (dose per day):

Dang Gui (Radix Angelica Sinensis) 12g Ci Shi (Magnetitum) 30g Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthes Bidentatae) 18g Shan Yu Rou (Frutus Corni) 15g Sheng Long Gu (Os Draconis) 30g Sheng Mu Li (Concha Ostreae) 30g

2. Qi and/or Blood Stagnation

Symptoms

Qi and/or Blood Stagnation may occur either during or after Qigong practice. Qi and/or Blood Stagnation may give rise to symptoms of pain, heaviness, sore and distending sensations and sensations of compression, which may not disappear automatically, and may become worse if not treated.

Outgoing Qi Therapy

1. a) Select appropriate local acupoints at and around the affected location of the problem. Tap and knead the points digitally, and push and stroke along the channel along the natural direction of the affected channel’s flow.

  1. b)  Use flat palm hand gesture along with pushing, pulling, leading and quivering manipulations to dredge the channels and to guide and normalize the functional flow of Qi in the channel along the natural direction of the affected channel’s flow.
  2. c)  Refer to Qigong Empowerment, pp. 311-316 for additional treatments for problems at specific locations.

Self-Treatment

  1. a)  Stop the Qigong exercises which have caused the symptoms.
  2. b)  If you feel a compressing sensation on the head along with severe headache, massageGV-20 (Bai Hui), GB-20 (Fengchi), Tianmen (Extra), Kangong, and Taiyang (Extra). Then pat and massage along the natural direction of the Governing and Conception Vessels. Then concentrate the mind on KD-1 (Yongquan) and LV-1 (Dadun) and continue with the face and head massages above.
  3. c)  If you feel a tight and compressed sensation at the forehead, first massage Tianmen (Extra), Kangong, and Taiyang (Extra), and then pat from GV-20 (Bai Hui) down to CV-6 (Qihai, Dantian) along the Conception Vessel several times until you feel the energy descend and the pain reduced. Then apply pushing massage from GV-20 (Bai Hui) down to CV-6 (Qihai, Dantian) several times.
  4. d)  For distending pain around GV-14 (Dazhui), press-knead GV-14 (Dazhui), GV-16 (Fengfu), GB-20 (Fengchi), and GV-6 (Jizhong), and pat downwards along the Governing Vessel and Bladder Channels several times.
  5. e)  Continue to push, rub, knead and pat the painful and uncomfortable areas.

Herbal Treatment

The following herbal formula may be prescribed with appropriate modifications:

  • Dang Gui (Radix Angelica Sinensis) 12g
  • Tao Ren (Semen Persica) 9g
  • Hong Hua (Flos Carthamus) 9g
  • Yan Hu Suo (Rhizoma Corydalis) 12g
  • Lu Lu Tong (Fructus Liquidambaris) 30g
  • Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthes) 18g
  • Si Gua Luo (Retinervus Luffae Fructus) 9g

3. Leaking of True Qi

Symptoms

During or after Qigong practice, one may feel Qi leaking out of their external genitalia, anus, or urethral orifice, and other points. Leaking of True Qi may lead to wasting, weakness of the extremities, pale grayish and dark complexion, vexation, lack of concentration, impaired memory, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, pathological seminal emission, insomnia, and reluctance to speak or move.
Outgoing Qi Therapy

  1. a)  Emit Qi with flat palm gesture and pushing, pulling and quivering manipulations towards CV-6 (Qihai; Dantian) and GV-4 (Mingmen).
  2. b)  Again emit Qi to CV-6 (Qihai; Dantian) with flat palm gesture and vibrating and quivering manipulations for 9 or 18 breath cycles.

Self-Treatment

a) Knead Zhongwan (Ren 12), Qi Hai (Ren 6), and Guan Yuan (Ren 4); push and rub the abdomen; knead Shen Shu (BL 23).

b) Concentrate your mind on your Dan Tian for 5-10 minutes.

c) Inhale quickly through your nose and simultaneously contract your anus and PC (pubococcygeal) muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, then exhale and relax those muscles. Repeat 9 times.

d) Knock your teeth together 36 times.

e) Roll your tongue around in your mouth 18 times to generate saliva. Accumulate the saliva, and then swallow forcefully in three gulps. Rest.

f) Massage your Ming Men 49 times. Then pat your torso and limbs.

Herbal Treatment

The following herbal formula may be prescribed with modifications: Shu Di Huang (Prepared Rehmanniae) 30g
Ren Shen (Radix Ginseng) 9g
Shan Yu Rou (Cornus Fruit) 30g

Ci Shi (Magnetitum) 30g Rou Gui (Cinnamon Bark) 6g Niu Xi (Radix Achyranthes) 18g Shen Long Gu (Os Draconis) 30g Mu Li (Oyster Shell) 30g

4. Mental Derangement (Qigong Psychosis)

Symptoms

Most participants report profound health and wellbeing benefits from qigong practices; many achieve significant relief from longstanding physical or psychiatric ailments.

Some, however, may develop a syndrome known as qigong psychotic reaction, described by DSM-IV as “an acute, time-limited episode characterized by dissociative, paranoid, or other psychotic or non-psychotic symptoms”, and that “especially vulnerable are individuals who become overly involved” in qigong.

During Qigong practice, mental derangement (also called Ru Mo, “being infatuated” or “Zou Hou Ru Mo”, “fire [qi] wild, devils enter”), or simply “Shen disturbance” may appear.

Mental derangement of this type is usually the result of overzealous and excessive practice, or in practicing to a fanatical degree. It also occurs in practitioners who regard the extraordinary sensory or mental perceptions experienced during Qigong as real. It may manifest in either a Yin or Yang form.

In Yin Qigong Psychosis, the patient’s Qi will be compressed; the patient may become withdrawn, depressed, introverted and uncommunicative, exhibiting an eccentric disposition, a withered and dull expression and appearance, idle movement, apathy, and trance. The patient’s eyes may appear clouded, may avoid direct eye contact, or the eyes may waver from side to side.

In Yang Qigong Psychosis, the patient’s Qi may become stuck in the head or heart, the patient may exhibit manic, overly expressive, impulsive or volatile behavior, over-talkativeness, incomprehensible or inappropriate speech or laughter, inappropriate expression of feelings, insomnia. The patient’s eyes may become burning, piercing and fiery.

With both types of qigong psychosis, some practitioners may lose self-confidence to the extreme of becoming suicidal; others may experience disorientation, and continuous auditory and visual hallucinations similar to those experienced in schizophrenia and other forms of acute psychosis.

Generally speaking, most of these disorders are related to a pathological accumulation of Qi in the head or heart. Both the brain and the heart are related to Shen and consciousness, and are Yang in nature. The over-accumulation of Qi in these centers may either over-activate (Yang) or cloud (Yin) the mind. In either case, the basic treatment principle is to ground the patient, to guide the Qi down to the Lower Dantian, and to regulate the Qi.

Outgoing Qi Therapy

  1. a)  Open the confluent points of the Eight Extraordinary Vessels in accordance with the Eight Methods of the Sacred Tortoise (Ling Gui Ba Fa) and its rules for point selection according to the hour of treatment and the stem and branch of the day of treatment.
  2. b)  Press and knead GV-20 (Baihui), GV-14 (Dazhui), GV-10 (Lingtai), and BL-13 (Feishu). Then use either flat palm or sword finger gestures and pushing, pulling, and quivering manipulations to emit Qi and guide Qi to flow down the Governing Vessel.
  3. c)  Pinch GV-20 (Baihui), Yintang, GV-26 (Renzhong), SI-19 (Tinggong), ST-6 (Jiache), LI-11 (Quchi), LI-4 (Hegu), BL-40 (Weizhong), and BL-57 (Chengshan).

     4. d) Use middle finger propping gesture and vibrating manipulation to emit Qi toward CV-15 (Jiawei) and CV-12 (Zhongwan) for a period of 18 normal respirations. Then guide the Qi downwards along the Conception Vessel back to the Lower Dantian.

Self-Treatment

a) Stop the Qigong exercises which have caused the symptoms.

b) Apply Qigong massage according to the symptoms: knead Taiyang (Extra) and Bai Hui (Du 20), pat along the spinal column and Bladder Channel from upper to lower, and pat the back and extremities.

c) Guide the Qi from the head down the Conception Vessel to the navel. Collect the Qi at the navel by spiraling outwardly 36 times (clockwise for males, counter-clockwise for females) and inwardly 24 times (counter-clockwise for males, counter-clockwise for females).

Herbal Treatment

The following herbal formula may be prescribed with appropriate modifications:

  • Sheng Di Huang (Fresh Rehmannia) 30g
  • Bai He (Lily Bulb) 30g
  • Sheng Long Gu (Dragon Bone) 30g
  • Sheng Mu Li (Oyster Shell) 30g
  • Niu Xi (Achyranthes Root) 15g
  • Yuan Zhi (Polygala Root) 12g
  • Suan Zao Ren (Zizyphus Seed) 12g
  • Ci Shi (Magnetite) 30g
  • Shan Yu Rou (Cornus Fruit) 30g
  • Zhu Sha (Cinnabar) 1g (taken following it’s infusion)

5. Unchecked Flow of Pathogenic Qi

In healthy practitioners, there may be a struggle between the righteous healthy Qi and pathogenic Qi during exercise. Because the righteous Qi is reinforced due to Qigong practice, the pathogenic Qi may flow unchecked to certain locations and cause pain, soreness, distention, heaviness, coldness and heat.

Outgoing Qi Therapy

  1. a)  Press-knead the Jing-well points of the affected channel with your fingernails to open the channels and allow the pathogenic Qi to leave, guiding it out with your mental intent.
  2. b)  Use flat palm gesture and pulling and leading manipulations to guide the pathogenic Qi out. Alternatively, you may open the affected point to dispel the pathogenic Qi.

Self-Treatment

a) Massage the affected areas with digital pressure to relax it fully

b) Inhale naturally. As you exhale, use your will to lead the Qi to the affected location, and imagine the pathogenic Qi is being expelled. Repeat for 49 respiratory cycles.

c) Practice the Hua Shan Qigong exercise, “Expelling Toxins” 9 to 49 times.

 

jampa

https://healingtaoinstitute.com/about.html

by Jampa Mackenzie Stewart, M.S.O.M., L.AC.

Jampa@HealingTaoInstitute.com

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