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by David Murphy, N.D., Ph.D. and Rosario Murphy, Ph.D., CHT
The human body is sustained by life force energy. This energy appears to
travel through Meridian pathways inside the physical body and feed all the
main organs, glands and ultimately every muscle, nerve, tissue and cell.
We are all about energy. Energy goes by many different names but it
remains the universal life-force sea in which we exist and of which we are
a part. In Japan it is called Ki, in India the life-force energy is called
prana. It’s Qi (Chi) in China.
As most Reiki practitioners have discovered, constant practice,
meditation, prayer and spiritual oneness through living the Reiki
Principles help keep our energy channels open and reduce our internal
resistance to the flow of Ki. We have discovered, through our
practice of Qi Gong and yoga, that consistent practice of Eastern energy
work further reduces resistance to the flow of Ki. This article explores
the use of Qi Gong (Chi Gong) as a compliment to Reiki.
Einstein’s special theory of relativity demonstrated that E = MC2 or
that energy is equal to mass times the speed of light squared. This theory
explains that mass (matter) and energy are but different manifestations of
the same thing. Speed matter up to the point where it looses its mass and
it becomes pure energy. Slow energy down to the point where it coalesces
and it becomes matter. We think of ourselves as physical beings that have
occasional energetic experiences. However, by changing our point of
reference, we can also view ourselves as energy fields that have currently
been made physically manifest.
When electrical energy flows through a wire it meets with some resistance.
No conductor is capable of transmitting all of the electrical energy with
out loss. The energy that is lost due to resistance is wasted energy,
energy that is converted into heat. For example, an antenna feed line is
used to connect a radio transmitter to an antenna. The feed line and the
antenna itself must be matched to the radio so that, in essence, they all
vibrate at the same rate. When there is a mismatch most of the energy
coming out of the transmitter is converted into heat in the feed line and
very little energy is radiated by the antenna. We, in the same way, are
more effective Reiki transmitters when we are in tune.
Everyone, before receiving a Reiki attunement, was capable of receiving
and transmitting energy or Ki. However, for most of us there was a great
deal of internal resistance to the flow of energy and the Ki was lost or
converted into internal heat. The Reiki attunement tuned the energy
channels in our bodies so that our levels of internal resistance to the
flow of Ki were reduced thus making us more effective and efficient
conductors. Experience has shown us that the practice of yoga and Qi Gong
helps keep our Ki flowing smoothly.
Remember the saying, “Great balls of fire!”? You have probably felt
the flow of Ki through your hands while giving a Reiki treatment. Some
practitioners feel it as a tingling sensation in the palm of their hands,
others feel a temperature shift, and still others have described it as a
feeling of pressure or physical resistance to movement. One way to
experience the feeling of Ki (Qi, Prana) is by building a Qi ball.
Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and meditate to center your
sprit and focus your mind. Bring your hands in front of your body, palms
facing and then slowly separate your palms so they are between eighteen
and twenty-four inches apart. Move your hands back and forth so that they
come together and almost touch and then separate again to a comfortable
distance (eighteen to twenty-four inches). Energy flow follows attention
so as you continue to separate and almost join your hands in a constant,
smooth and slow repetitive movement send energy out the palms of your
As you do this you will begin to sense a point of resistance where it
becomes noticeably harder to bring your hands together. Continue to
separate your hands and then bring them together stopping at the point of
resistance. You have built a Qi ball and are holding a ball of energy
between your hands. Qi should never be wasted so when you have finished
with the exercise bring the Qi ball down to your Lower Dan Tien(1), the
primary energy storage vessel in your body that is located about two
inches below your navel and about two inches deep.
Don’t worry if you don’t build a Qi ball on the first attempt. We
started our energy work years before becoming Reiki Masters. At the time,
before Reiki, it took David about two weeks of consistent practice to feel
his first Qi ball.
Once you are able to consistently build a Qi ball it’s time to
experience the effect of Reiki on the exercise. Begin the Qi ball exercise
as you would when preparing to give a Reiki treatment. Draw the CKR symbol
on the palms of your hands and begin to build a Qi ball by sending Reiki.
Most participants in our Power Reiki(TM) classes notice that their Qi
balls form faster and harder when they form Reiki Qi balls. Building a Qi
ball is a simple and very basic Qi Gong exercise.
Many Eastern martial arts and healing practices make use of Qi, the energy
or natural force that fills the universe. The Book of Changes (Yi Jing,
1122 B. C.) is probably the first Chinese book about Qi. Qi Gong practice
is believed to have extended into the Han dynasty (206 B.C.) The Han
dynasty was marked by the flow of Buddhism from India into China and
resulted in the religious phase of Qi Gong. This period ended with the
Liang dynasty in 557 A.D. The use of Qi in martial arts was discovered and
Qi Gong entered its martial arts phase, which lasted from the end of the
Liang dynasty through the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911. This
started the modern age of Qi Gong practice. Since 1911 Qi Gong practice
has become more eclectic and has been mixed with practices from Japan and
India. The primary use of Qi Gong in the modern era has been as a healing
practice. The Huaxia Zhineng Qigong Center, located in Qinhuangdao, five
hours by train East of Beijing in China makes extensive and exclusive use
of Qi Gong as a its healing modality.
The Yi Jing discusses Tian Qi, Di Qi and Ren Qi. Tian Qi, or
Heavenly Qi, is made up of the energy that heavenly bodies exert on the
earth. Di Qi, or Earth Qi, consists of all of the energy patterns
and lines on the earth, including the earth’s magnetic and heat fields.
Every living organism on earth has its own Qi field. Human Qi or Ren Qi is
the body’s energy field. This field always seeks to be balanced.
Gong, from Gongfu, is used to refer to any practice that requires time and
effort to master. Thus Qi Gong is the study and practice of Qi that
requires time and effort. To simplify, Qi Gong is energy practice. The
effective practice of Qi Gong involves the use of the San Bao, the Three
Treasures: Jing, Qi and Shen. Through the practice of Qi Gong an
individuals learns to first firm Jing or essence and then to refine Jing
and convert it into Qi (internal energy) and finally to lead Qi to the
head to convert it into Shen the spirit which is directed by your mind.
Buddhists and Daoists believe that the conversion of Jing to Qi which is
then used to nourish Shen will make the Ling strong. Ling is the
supernatural Jing that does not die when the body dies. It is the
Jing that holds our energy together when we transition.
This process of energy conversion of Jing to Qi to nourish Shen and
strengthen the Ling enhances a person’s health and longevity and also
leads one to spiritual enlightenment. For a discussion of Reiki and the
process of enlightenment see Walter Lübeck’s excellent article “Reiki
and Enlightenment” in the Spring 2006 issue of REIKI NEWS MAGAZINE.
As with all Chinese martial arts there are many forms of Qi Gong. One very
effective and easy to learn Qi Gong routine is the Golden Eight Exercises
(GEE). The GEE target specific groups of organs, balance yin and yang, and
unblock the twelve energy meridians in the body. We have found that Reiki
flows with much less resistance when the meridians are open. For us, that
is a good enough reason to practice Qi Gong daily and teach our students
to do the same.
Each of the exercises in GEE should be performed at least three times, one
to two times per day. Do not perform GEE just before retiring to your bed
for the night. Even experienced Reiki Masters may experience an increased
energy flow that makes sleep almost impossible. Once you become
accustomed to the increased energy flow GEE can be performed at any time.
The eight exercises in GEE are:
1. Reaching the clouds
2. The archer
3. Balancing between heaven and earth
4. Look back and release
5. Twist down and release
6. Bend like a willow
7. Focusing energy
8. Energy stomp
Many of these exercise form parts of other more complex Qi Gong routines.
Simple instructions for each exercise are given below.
Golden Eight Exercises
Reaching the Clouds - Stand with your feet about shoulder-width
apart as if suspended by a string attached to the top of your head. Touch
your tongue to the roof of your mouth and slightly tuck your chin in(2).
This is the starting position. This position will be used in many of the
As you inhale bring your hands in front of your lower Dan Tien with your
palms facing up. Slowly pull Qi up by raising your palms to chest level.
Interlace your fingers when your hands reach chest level and then while
continuing to slowly raise your hands rotate them forwards and then
upwards. You should end with your arms up stretched, fingers interlaced
and palms reaching upwards towards the clouds. Look upwards at your hands
and stand on your toes. Now slowly release your hands bringing them,
palms facing downwards, to shoulder height, your body and arms forming a
cross. At the same time return your feet to the floor. Absorb Qi from the
earth, rotate palms upwards to absorb Qi from the clouds, rotate palms
downwards and slowly return to the starting position. This exercise
strengthens the lungs and releases blockages from the meridians in the
The Archer – Assume the starting position, bend your knees
slightly and raise your arms, palms facing inwards so that your wrists are
crossed in front of your throat chakra. Look to the left while extending
your left arm with the palm erect. Pull your right arm back as if pulling
the string on a bow. Do not twist your chest. Return to the
crossed palms position and repeat on the other side of your body. Then
return to starting position. This exercise expands the chest and increases
the flexibility of the neck, improving circulation of both blood and Qi.
Balancing Between Heaven and Earth – In this exercise you will
stretch the organs in the abdomen, strengthening them and stimulating
peristalsis in the digestive system. This exercise increases the flow of
Qi in the abdomen and around the lower Dan Tien.
Begin in starting position and as you inhale bring your hands in front of
your lower Dan Tien with your palms facing up. Turn your left palm so that
it faces downwards. Begin to press the left palm down towards the earth
and lift the right palm upwards towards the sky. You should end with your
left arm fully extended downwards, palm facing the earth, and your right
arm fully extended upwards, palm facing the heavens. Bring your hands back
in front of your lower Dan Tien by slowly lowering your right arm and
rotating your hand and bringing the left palm up. Repeat while pressing
down with the right hand and lifting the left hand to the heavens. To
conclude bring your hands together over your Dan Tien, male left hand
first, female right hand, first to balance yin and yang and to deliver Qi
into your lower Dan Tien.
Look Back and Release – Begin in the starting position, exhale
and move your left foot to the side so that your feet are father than a
shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. This position is
referred to as the horse stance. Place your hands on your hips, palms
facing down, fingers to the front and thumbs towards the back. Inhale and
twist as far as you can to the left, looking over your left shoulder.
Exhale and return to horse stance. Repeat the movement turning to the
right. This exercise twists the entire spinal column, increasing
flexibility and the flow of Qi in the central meridians.
Twist Down and Release – Assume the horse stance as above and
then place your palms on your thighs with your thumbs pointing towards the
back, fingers towards the inside of your legs. As you inhale twist your
torso to the left and look down you’re your right shoulder, towards the
floor. Exhale and return to horse stance. Repeat the exercise on the other
side. This exercise is used to balance yin and yang (3), release emotional
energy, calm the heart and improve circulation of both blood and Qi.
Bend Like a Willow – This exercise gives a gentle massage to the
organs in the lower abdomen, especially the kidneys. As you bend back you
pull Qi up from the earth and to the top of your head. As you bend forward
you increase the blood flow to the brain. The combined movement
strengthens the nervous systems and the twelve meridians.
Begin in starting position. As you inhale bring your palms up so that they
are on top of your Lower Dan Tien (male left hand first, female right hand
first). Exhale. Inhale and move your hands around your body at the waist
and place your palms, fingers pointing down, over your kidneys.
Exhale. Inhale and bend backwards as far as is comfortable. Exhale. Inhale
and bend forwards again as far as is comfortable. Exhale. Inhale and bend
backwards again. Exhale. Inhale and come to an upright position with your
arms fully extended above your head. Exhale. Inhale and bend forwards,
placing your hands on top of your feet. Draw Qi from the earth, through
your feet and then come to an up right position dragging your hands over
the front of your legs delivering Qi into your legs. End in starting
Focusing Energy – This exercise has obvious martial arts roots.
Begin in horse stance. Bend your arms so that your elbows are next to your
waist, forearms parallel to the floor and palms upwards in loosely
clenched fists. This is the trigger position. Inhale while you throw a
forward punch with your right hand rotating your fist so that you end with
your palm downwards. Retract your right hand back to the trigger position
while you exhale. Repeat the movement with the left fist. As you
throw the punch visualize energy shooting out of your fist. As you retract
your fist to the trigger position visualize that you are pulling energy
into your body through your lightly clenched fist. End in horse stance and
then move back into starting position. This exercise stimulates the
nervous and circulatory systems. It also promotes blood and Qi
Energy Stomp – This exercise is a very common conclusion in may
Qi Gong forms. The vibrations in your body caused by the stomp rises
through the spine and open the meridians. As you do this simple exercise
try to envision that you are a human-sized tuning fork and that your body
is vibrating in tune with the giant Qi field in which we all exist.
Stand in starting position, while you inhale slowly lift your body so that
you are standing of the balls of your feet. Exhale rapidly and let your
body stomp down on to your heels. Stand still and enjoy the vibrations.
After your Reiki attunement you became a more effective Ki channel capable
of effectively receiving and transmitting Ki in Reiki treatments.
Stress, life-style choices, aging and many other factors can influence the
flow of Ki through our bodies. The practice of Qi Gong is not a
replacement or substitute for Reiki or the attunements but can be
effectively used to increase the power of Reiki treatments by keeping our
meridians open and active.
1 Traditional Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong society identify three Dan
Tiens or elixir fields where Qi is stored. Original Qi that was
converted from original essence (Yuan Jing) is stored in the Lower Dan
2 Touching the roof of your mouth with your tongue closes the fire path of
Qi circulation. Qi flows down the front of your body in the Yin
Conception Vessel and rises along your spine in the Yang Governing Vessel.
Your arms should be at your sides. The Governing Vessel terminates
in the roof of the mouth. The Conception Vessel starts on the
tongue. When the tongue is in contact with the roof of the mouth Qi
is able to flow from the Governing Vessel to the Conception Vessel.
3 Qi can be either Yin or Yang. This does not mean that there are two
kinds of Qi, like positive and negative magnetic fields, but rather that
Qi is too strong (Yang) or weak (Yin) at the moment or for a particular
use. The Qi level in Yin organs (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen and
pericardium) should be lower than the Qi level in the Yang organs (large
intestine, small intestine, stomach, gall bladder, urinary bladder and
David Murphy, N.D., Ph.D., M.H. is a
Reiki Master and graduated from the Trinity College of Natural Health as a
Naturopathic Doctor and Master Herbalist. He is a black belt in
Tushkahoma, the Native American martial art based on Kenpo and has been
practicing yoga and Qi Gong for over twenty years.
Rosario Murphy, Ph.D., CHT is also a Reiki Master. Rosario
was trained as a psychologist and earned a Ph.D. in Hypnotherapy from
Omega University. She is a certified yoga instructor and the founder
of Transpersonal Yoga Therapy(TM).
Together they teach Power Reiki(TM), chakra balancing and clearing, and
other holisitic services. Visit their web site at www.SerenityWaves.org