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Energy Martial Arts

Perfect Skin, Slow aging with Qi Gong

Defining the Skin

Skin covers the entire body. It represents the final frontier, the border between the physical body and the environment. It is what defines the inside and outside of the body. A protective layer defining the vital space and in the same time a link between the inner being and the rest of the world. The skin is a mirror showing how a person really is or how he/she feels. If a person is very sensitive, the skin will be sensitive too. If gentle, the skin will be gentle too. On the contrary, if a person is hard on him/her self or with the others, the skin will too become hard and thick. If the skin becomes irritated, there must be a reason behind it, either the person is irritated with self or others.

The Skin indicates the quality of the relationship with the outside world, either other people or simply the environment. The sense of “touch” is realized through the skin, an important role on how we perceive the world around us.

Skin and how is connected with other organs

I believe the skin is an organ by itself, very similar to the lungs, because we breath through the skin too. Same as the lungs, as per TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) it is represented by the element Metal. The metal holds water same as the skin holds the body which is made 80% of water.

The Game of Primordial Elements

Internally, the spleen sustain provides the nourishment support to the skin (Earth produce Metal). In the same time, the lung is responsible for disseminating the blood and qi energy to the skin.

Both the spleen and the lung ensure the skin is constantly nourished, but of course other organs also contribute to the smoothness of the process. Along with the aging process, we tend to accumulate toxins in the body which are eliminated through different ways (urine, feces mainly) but also through the skin. When the body is malnourished (chemically but also energetically) the skin will start showing wrinkles, dryness, unusual colors, age spots and others.

In other words, the skin depends on the respiratory system as well as on the digestive system.

Sweating and detoxing

When living a careless life style, not paying attention to the food and drinks composition, when breathing a polluted air, the body accumulates more and more toxins, which end up in different parts of the body, mainly in the liver. The blood is collecting the toxins from all over the body, being cleaned by the liver (which works as a filtration system together with the gallbladder).

Regular sweating becomes an important process of maintaining your skin clean and clear.

Sauna is one of the best ways to induce a heavy body sweating. As not everyone may have access to a sauna facility, exercising at a consistent pace may create sweating. Dress up a little more and sweat. It is a gift for your skin, as well for your overall wellbeing.

Accepting the solar energy

Every living being on Earth needs Sun energy to survive and evolve. Have you ever watched a cat sunbathing? The cats are programmed to absorb the light and heat, in the exact same way they are programmed to eat, or hunt or clean themselves. Have you ever moved the location of an indoor plant pot? Have you noticed how long it takes for the leaves to reorient themselves towards the window through which the sun light enters? The nature follows the Sun! And yet, we have been warned by many so-called specialists to avoid exposing our skin to direct Sun light. Everyone has the power of choice, of following one or another ideology.

I am happy to suggest everyone to observe Nature. Get inspired by nature! Nature is flawless.

Let your skin be touched by the Sun rays. The best time energy is at the sunrise, because this is when the light overcomes darkness, the Yang energy takes over from Yin energy.  Practice moderation, do not let your skin get over burnt.

I know that everyone thinks that wrinkles on the face areas are the most important, but in order to have a good skin on your face, you should work on the entire body skin coverage. The following paragraphs are about different remedies which may help improving and maintaining your general skin condition. However, in case of a skin disease, I recommend to look at it based on the specific shown symptoms, only then to make a wise decision about what remedies to search for.  

Foods for better skin

Food therapy provides additional natural elements to help the body to repair and regenerate itself; in other words, it supplies what our body needs as we age and thus assist the body to function as if we were younger. Common foods recorded in ancient books for “beauty”, “anti-aging” and “rejuvenation” purpose are sesame, honey, mushrooms, milk products, pumpkin seeds, lotus root, water melon, cherry, radish, cucumber, carrot, sea weeds.

Water/Tea Fasting

Fasting for one to three days is very beneficial if you want to observe your skin behavior and what you need to do further. When a water fasting is performed, the body starts consuming the stored foods in different parts of your body. The blood gets cleaned; the skin gets cleaned too. The fasting must be practiced without dehydration.

Detox your body

Part of the Ki Train method is the practicing regularly detox programs focused on different organ systems – especially liver and kidneys. During the detox programs it is visible how the toxins are leaving the body through different parts of the skin, being noticed through unusual smells.

External remedies against wrinkles

External remedies aim at promoting blood circulation and lubricating the local body regions. They can be in forms of creams, lotions, and masks as well as powder. There are many available at the specialty stores or pharmacies, but it is always preferable to find natural ingredients and prepare your own substances. Common ingredients may include for example: aloe, almond, ginseng, honey, and others. A very efficient mask may be prepared from dry almonds powder combined with honey, mixed together in a cream paste. Applied on the face till morning when you wash it with cold water. Wrinkles will be reduced, and if treatment will be repeated wrinkles will disappear.  

Massage

Massage is the best friend of the skin. Same as Tai Chi and Qigong are the best treatments for joints and muscles, massaging your skin will maintain it supple and elastic. Of course, not once, but as a regular practice, more often for better results. In particular for the face area – which is the main interest for whoever is interested in looking better, there are certain points that if being stimulated frequently enough, the skin elasticity will be maintained and wrinkles will stay away.

A map of facial strategic points to combat wrinkles

Each of the above points must be energized and massaged for at least 3 to 5 minutes. Each mentioned points will be explained during our course.

The massage must be gently performed using techniques that we are teaching during our courses. For more information about next course, please contact us here.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is a complex art of mastering the flow of energy and balancing out the Yin and Yang energies within the body. As mentioned earlier, Skin is a metal element together with the Lungs, and it is supported by the Spleen – Earth element. The Qi Gong routine chosen to improve the skin condition will the respiratory and digestive system flow of energy.

While this article is purely informational, I invite you to try one of the Qigong classes wither offline or soon available as a special online course.

The Qi Gong routine contains:

  1. A warm up routine
  2. Focused breathing / Qi Gong meditations practices
  3. A self-massage with focusing on unblocking meridians of: Gallbladder, Kidney, Liver, Stomach, Triple Burner, Large Intestine, Small Intestine
  4. Ending with Immortal breathing and standing posture

Qi Gong training deals with our thoughts. When practicing Qigong, the mind is very important. You should not be thinking of other things, but should concentrate on what you are doing. If you are working on healing your skin, pay attention to all sensations you have while you are training. Learn from your sensations and experiences. After all, you can learn almost any subject in life but applying it makes the biggest difference. Qi Gong works based on your feelings and intuition.

Human body energy system

When the human body has enough energy, the cells renew easily. There is growth, but no aging.

Aging happens when there is a deficiency of energy flow in the body. But let’s take a look briefly at the equation of energy, or how Traditional Chinese Medicine calls it: Qi. (or the Ki from Ki Train).

We take our energy from food, transforming it through digestion into the food energy. Because the food comes from Earth, we can call it Earth Qi. We also take the energy from the oxygen, through breathing, being transformed in the lungs into the so called: Air Qi. The binding agent between these two types of energies is called Jing, which is a special energy which we are blessed with since conception.

The immune system is sustained by the protective energy created with every breath we take. This energy is being used wherever needed, so if we want to stay healthy, we need to make sure we have plenty of it available – meaning a balanced wellbeing life style.

Aging vs Immortality

Aging is synonym with transformation. Living cells evolve, they regenerate and eventually they end up dying. Science found few exceptions of living organisms that are able to manage to endlessly regenerate to escape the final destination: death. So far, we are aware of a species of jellyfish called TurritopsisDohrniias well as another once called Hydra. Both of them have the special ability to renew their cells without having do die. Until science found these exceptions, there was no doubt that the concept of immortality cannot be real.

History recorded famous figures pursuing immortality, but none of them known to have succeeded. Gilgamesh (King of Uruk – 26 BC), Qin Shi Huang(the First Emperor of China who reigned during 259 BC–210 BC), Alexander the Great (333-327 BC) are recorded as famous people failing the quest of achieving to become immortals.

I would like to end this article with an introspective though:

“Maybe if we individually focus on health, wellbeing and a happy balanced life may have as a by product effect a prolonged longevity and why not, even immortality.”

Categories
Energy Martial Arts

Tai Chi Benefits. Myth or Reality?!

Whenever I speak about Tai Chi, the first reaction I get from people is: “This is for old and sick people”. It is true that the regular practitioners age in China is middle age and retired people, but the art itself doesn’t require a certain age limit. I have been a practitioner of Tai Chi since 2008 and been teaching it since 2016. This article is based on my knowledge and experience about Tai Chi.

Practicing Tai Chi is done mostly at very slow pace and it requires probably more patience than other sports or arts. However, Tai Chi is not only for old people.

If you want to understand and experience the concept “Softness overcomes Hardness”, Tai Chi is definitely for you. Perhaps we should first understand the meaning of Yin and Yang and where the world stands now. Everyone is focused on doing more, achieving more. The world is spinning at faster pace. Less and less people think about standing still and just being, slowing down to see where they are heading. The snow ball effect is so strong that people think arts such as Tai Chi are not matching their life style.

Many came to try my classes and they didn’t come back purely because it was too slow for them. For someone who doesn’t have the basic understanding of martial arts, Tai Chi might be perceived as a type of slow dance with no purpose. Tai Chi is not a dance, even though it looks like this from outside. Every move has meaning and purpose.

What are the benefits of Tai Chi?

  • LETTING GO

Relaxing and letting go in all ways – physically, emotionally, mentally – is the main focus of the Daoist practice and the core of Tai Chi. Becoming a Tai Chi master is available to anyone who wants to become the master of relaxation at the deepest level of his/her existence. From the stress perspective, Tai Chi works more on the nervous system rather than your muscles. Al our anxiety lies down in from the nervous system to the joints, muscles and deep tissues. This get engraved in our body makings us feel the anxiety even if, after a period of time, there is no cause for anxiety. Tai Chi helps the entire body at the deepest levels to relax, unwind and stretch in such a way that the anxiety is slowly replaced with inner peace.

  • FLEXIBILITY

Being flexible is a quality that may save your life in many situations. It is common knowledge today that every emotion has a direct impact on your body. Stress, anger, sadness, fears transform our body (at all levels: muscles, joints, internal organs, etc) from water to ice. From flexible to rigid. Ice breaks, but water yields. Practicing daily Tai Chi gives the physical body a break from stress, making it more flexible. We can’t stop emotions! We can only improve our reactions. Being flexible will improve our ability to react better.

  • FREE WILL

How are Free Will and Tai Chi related? When we live in a fast pace, we get into the automatic pilot habit. We wake up, have breakfast, work, come back home, sleep. And every day passes by, with all related thoughts and emotions associated. We live from one day to another without even questioning our habits. We are the slaves of our habits. Tai Chi has been for me best metaphor to question my life. While slowing down your body to almost non movement, you have the chance daily to question your actions, to plan better and to make decisions better. This is the main reason Tai Chi has been called by many practitioners: moving meditation.

  • CENTERING

Tai Chi practitioners master their center of gravity. It would not be possible to execute any move correctly without having a permanent control on the body center. How do we translate this into the day to day life? Our Ego is connected to attachments outside our being. We identify ourselves with jobs, money, titles and others. All these are outside of us. If we stay connected to our inner being at all times, we don’t talk or act from EGO attachments from outside. We stay humble in our approach.

  • REPROGRAM YOUR THOUGHTS

My first experience with Tai Chi was in 2008. After few months of practicing daily, I have noticed that within minutes after starting the training, I would completely let go of any persistent thoughts experienced throughout the day. I didn’t understand it but just enjoyed the benefits of it.

Simply put: Tai Chi practice requires an ambidexter approach. The perfect correlation between both sides of the body (left and right) at a very slow pace will simultaneously activate both sides of the brain. This process is scientifically explained by one of the newest scientifical researches called Neuroplasticity. When you have a certain thought, it is reflected by an electrical neuropathway in the brain. By activating the entire brain, the thought is getting cancelled.  Honestly, even if you can’t intellectually totally explain what just happened, I can assure you experiencing it will be enough.

  • BETTER HEALTH

I strongly believe that Tai Chi improves health on all levels, with direct impact on all areas of one’s life. Being a low-impact practice and no putting pressure on your heart, the correct and consistent practice of Tai Chi leads to life quality enhancements.

Physical healthEmotional healthMental health
No back painLess stressImproved intuition
Improved circulationAnger managementImproved concentration
Balanced blood pressureDeal better with unwanted emotionsBoost cognitive functions
Improved joints condition Reduced risk of depression
Fibromyalgia improvements Improved memory
Internal Organs flexibility  
Balanced weight  
Improved muscle strength  
Better sleep  
Reduced risk of falling  
Cardiovascular fitness  
No neck pain  
No knee pain  
Improved spine condition  

On the path of enlightenment

  • Master! What should I do different to become enlightened? asked the student with intense curiosity.
  • Chop wood, carry water, sweep the floor, clean the toilet. Said the master.

One of the most inspiring movie series I have watched is “Kung Fu” starring David Carradine – a deep philosophical approach to life and martial arts training. The movie depicts exactly the style of Tai Chi, a slow-moving action but with peaks of emotions and then letting go.

There are many paths to become enlightened and Tai chi is just another one of them. There are many masters on Earth on their own path. If you want to understand the dialogue above, study some masters lives and you will notice a similarity: they all chop wood, carry water, sweep the floor and clean the toilet.

Becoming a master in any field requires most of all patience and discipline. If you want to master your vital energy and health, practicing Tai Chi is definitely worth considering.

TAI CHI – THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE

The path of least resistance is an ancient Daoist concept. Some might consider it philosophical but I like to always keep it simple for everyone to understand. What is one thing that even an uneducated person can understand? Natural events. Science proven experiments. So, before we look at Tai Chi and its connection with the path of least resistance, lets first take 2 examples:

Water – rivers are choosing their course based on the same law. A river will never flow uphill or against an obstacle. It will naturally choose the path of least resistance.

Electricity – electrons will follow the path of least resistance.

In Tai Chi, the body relaxes at maximum to avoid any tension or stress.

SLOWING DOWN TIME

Have you watched the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler? Did you ever wish to have his magical remote controller to stop time? With Tai Chi you can actually slow down time and use this for detaching from your time line, meditate and come back whenever you want. The main benefit of this technique is to be able to understand the situations you are going through from an observer point of view.