Qi gong and the internal martial art of tai chi chuan are powerful tools for awakening your body on physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. As you practice these movements and begin to move your body in ways that might be different for you, energy and fluids in your body are stirred up and begin to move vigorously. At some point you may experience reactions, which may seem either positive or negative to you. These are called qi reactions: the body's response to effects of energy beginning to flow more freely through previously blocked places.
These reactions may show up immediately, hours , or even a day or two after practicing. Although many people will not begin to feel either negative or positive reactions without practicing a lot, others, particularly if they have done other forms of personal development work, many notice reactions almost immediately.
Positive Qi Reactions.
The positive reactions can range from less pain and more energy to being more centred, relaxed and comfortable in your body. Some people report that they sleep better; others report greater flexibility and balance. You may also notice that you are calmer and have fewer mood swings. You may experience an overall reduction in stress and tension.
A transformative effect, which most people consider positive, is an increase in and awareness of your sexual energy. This is entirely normal as it is the most fundamental energy in your body, and practicing qi gong or tai chi will increase it.
Finally, a transformative effect, which confuses many people, is what we call "Good pain". The movements will gradually work more and more deeply into your body, to release muscles and other tissues and joints that have been restricted and blocked. When an area of your body that has been frozen begins to open and realign, more energy moves through that area than you are use to. But if energy cannot flow freely or fully, you may experience temporary pain in that area. Sadly, this is when a small percentage of people give up learning or practicing because they feel it is a negative reaction, when in fact it is a positive reaction and is part of the healing process. This may continue to happen for some time before the pain completely disappears.
The Chinese medical theory of the body holds that pain in an area is a sign that the energy there is not flowing freely. You feel "bad" pain when an area is newly injured or hurt. In general, "good" pains tend to be temporary (lasting from a minute to at most a couple of days) and are usually dull, rather than sharp. As you practice you will learn to recognize such pains as signs of progress. Treat then with great care and keep within the 40 to 50 percent rule when you have pain, illness or injury.
Negative Qi Reactions.
As your body wakes up on various levels, it may do so the same way as when aroused from a deep slumber, cranky, sore and confused. You may experience some negative qi reactions. These can range from relatively mild but confusing aches, nausea, light-headedness, tingles, fatigue, unsteadiness, body temperature shifts or mood shifts to strong emotional releases and mood swings to unusual dreams or shifts in perception. You may also experience physical discharges, such as stronger body odours or more frequent bowel movements.
As block and stagnant energy moves or leaves the body, energetic memories, which are associated with the problem stored in either your energy channels or physical tissue can awaken and cause you to relive underlying and often represses causes of the problem, especially if you have had a sever condition.
You might experience what doctors refer to as a "healing crisis." The term refers to that time during healing when a patient's body temporarily feels worse before it feels better. For example, when the body burns out infections, the patient often has a high fever. When the fever breaks, the symptoms of the disease pass. The fever may cause the patient to feel terrible, until the stored toxins or blocked energy is released. Afterwards the individual feels better as the illness passes.
All these reactions are common to many natural forms of healing and are often a sign that your body is cleansing itself. Many people have healing crisis when they fast or switch to a cleansing or vegetarian diet. The practicing of qi gong and tai chi may often trigger such effects; they are fairly normal reactions. What is important to remember is that these reactions are temporary and usually pass when your body begins to rebalance itself.
If you begin to experience strong or uncomfortable sensations, immediately sit down, put your hands over your belly and gently breathe with your belly to ground and center yourself. Such sensations will usually pass within minutes. Then suspend or reduce your practice for a while. Start again by following a 20 percent or 40 percent rule and very gently explore your body`s reactions to these practices. Remember that you are not alone in such experiences; almost everyone that practices will see some of these reactions at some time.
If the sensations are intense, pull back your practice to 30 percent or 40 percent of what you normally consider your normal practice.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps accelerate the release of toxins. Taking some vitamin c also helps that process.
Be sure to consult your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms that might be a sign of a medical or psychological problem.
General sensations most commonly experienced when practicing Qi Gong:
Numbness: Hands, Feet, Head. One side of the body. Whole body. Tingling (Ants on body)
Aching: Shoulders. Neck. Knees. Legs. Hips and Ribs. Pain in old injuries. Increased pain in current ailments.
Warmth: Hiccups/ Burping. Flatulence. Rumbling stomach. Rising body heat. Sweating.
Shaking: Trembling. Strong shaking. Jumping
Asymmetry: One hand feels higher than the other. One leg feels longer than the other. One hand, leg, or side feels numb. One side of the body sweats. Blood circulation feels faster in one side of the body. Body temperature feels different on each side.
Comfort/ Relaxation: As you continue with your training, you will begin to feel stronger, more comfortable and more relaxed as you stand and move. This is the result of more vigorous blood circulation and the use of your resting muscles You are absorbing more oxygen, your mind and central nervous system are relaxed but alert, and your natural energy is flowing in an increasingly, unimpeded way through your system. The goal is to make this a daily experience.