Chen Qi (Stretching Qi) is a very powerful QiGong exercise for strengthening the Heart, Lungs, and Immune System. At the Hua Xia Centre, many people resolved difficult and chronic health problems associated with these important organs by practicing Chen Qi regularly and diligently.
The space between the scapulas (shoulder blades) generally is a place that is blocked and weak, and is an area of poor blood circulation. When circulation is especially bad, some people feel very cold and tend to shiver in this part of the body.
The nerve roots in the upper back from C7 to T7 connect with the heart, lungs, and thymus gland. Practicing Chen Qi stimulates the nerve roots at these vertebrae, and improves their function by improving circulation to these vital organs.
Much is known about the importance of a healthy heart and lungs, but many people are not familiar with the Thymus gland, a crucial component of the immune system. It plays an extremely important role in the training and development of white blood cells, in particular T – lymphocytes or T cells. The thymus gland shrinks and turns into fat as we age, diminishing in function, where it is nearly nonexistent in most people over 75. Chen Qi can stimulate this important gland and prolong its lifespan.
In addition to the important nerve roots there are some important acupoints associated with this area. In particular Da Zhui, Shen Zhu, and Gao Huang Shu.
Da Zhui and Shen Zhu are located on the spine and have a direct relationship with their associated nerve roots. Da Zhui is located in the space below C7 and benefits the immune system. It is also a major intersection that connects with all of the Yang channels of the body, therefore improving circulation of Qi and Blood everywhere.
Shen Zhu, lies in the space below T3. The nerve roots here, connect directly with the heart, lungs, and thymus gland. It is also a gate to the middle dan tian. Stimulating this area improves their function, and can result in improved vigor, vitality and a strong voice. It is also why this exercise is particularly good for longevity.
Gao Huang Shu, refers to two acupoints that lay at the medial edges of each shoulder blade, and are level with the space below the 4th thoracic vertebra. Gao Huang Shu translates to the Vital Organ region in English. It is said, that if illness is in the Gao Huang Shu, it is very deep and serious; the immune system has nearly collapsed. Since, Chen Qi stimulates this region, it has the ability to reverse deep, stubborn, and difficult conditions.
Since many people also have blockages in the spine and muscle tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders, Chen Qi also can nourish one’s brain and sensory organs by relaxing the tension, and improving blood flow.
Chen Qi is especially good for headaches, sore trapezius muscles, and compacted shoulder joints. It lengthens, and strengthens all of the tendons and ligaments from the neck down to the fingers. It can quickly mobilize internal Qi, and one can soon feel Qi travel down to the finger tips, making them tingle, and feel distended.
Keep your hands level with your waist. It is important that this exercise be initiated from the area between the scapulas. You need to squeeze them together as if you were holding a sheet of paper between your shoulder blades, then quickly pop them and your shoulder joints outward and downward. The elbows need to remain locked, the wrists raised, and fingers straight and backwards. When you push out, also push from the base of your fingers, while stretching the center of your palms. You can do this exercise standing or seated in a chair or bed. If you sit to practice, the lower back should be forward. While Chen Qi is technically very simple, you will notice after doing it for a while the arm and neck muscles and tendons will become sore. When this happens, keep your mind stable, and persevere! You can slow the exercise down, but don’t stop; otherwise you won’t get the same benefits. Once you do it for at least 5 minutes, it will feel easier.
Ideally, build up to doing this exercise without stopping for a minimum of 14 minutes each time.
Your consciousness should be focused inwards, observing the subtle changes and mobilization of Qi at the shoulder blades, and through out the arms and fingers. With practice, you will be able to observe Qi movement through out the body.
To download a guided audio healing of this practice, Click here.
Chen Qi is challenging, but the benefits are profound, stick with it!
Hun Yuan Ling Tong!
RJ Singer is a registered Acupuncturist, and Chinese Medicine Doctor with AHPRA and AACMA. His also a highly regarded QiGong Healer and Teacher, and Feng Shui Consultant at Alchemy Wellness Centre in Nashua, NSW near the village of Bangalow in the Byron Bay Hinterland.
RJ’s area of special skill is in the successful treatment of stubborn and difficult chronic disease, and all types of painful conditions.