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Basic Chi Control 
by Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D.


Within each of us is the transformative, life-giving power to heal, to invigorate and to bring exquisite pleasure. In the Universal Tao tradition, taught by Mantak Chia, each person can learn to feel their own vital energy, or chi, flowing through them and to direct that chi throughout the body to heal and bring pleasure.

Taoism is the foundation of Chinese philosophy and medicine. It is a comprehensive physical and spiritual system that helps individuals to reach their highest potentials. It is perhaps best known in this country as the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture, herbal therapy, nutrition, massage, the energetic meditation called Chi Kung (pronounced "chee kong"), and the martial art called Tai Chi Chuan ("tie chee chwan"). The Universal Tao system was developed by Mantak Chia to teach Taoist meditative and exercise techniques to balance the body and increase and refine one's vital energy, or chi ("chee").

"Chi," the Chinese word for life energy, is the force within our bodies and within the universe that engenders life. The word itself has many translations, such as energy, air, breath, wind, or vital essence. There are 49 cultures around the world that understand the concept of chi in one form or another; examples include Ki (Japanese), Prana (Sanskrit), Lung (Tibetan), Neyatoneyah (Lakota Sioux), Num (Kalahari Kung), and Ruach (Hebrew).

"Western culture" and allopathic medicine, often called Western or conventional medicine, is one of the few cultures that does not have a similar concept, although it recognizes the role of energy at the molecular level. Western medicine is extremely effective for treating acute disease and traumatic injuries. However, I believe that it is, in part, the absence of this concept of "life force" that limits its effectiveness in treating chronic illnesses. Western medicine is just beginning to recognize what the Taoists have known for more than 2,000 years, that directing the flow of our life force, our chi, can improve our health and vitality.

You can learn to use your concentration and your breath to activate and move your energy; this practice is called Chi Kung. It involves both concentration exercises and simple movements to facilitate the flow of chi. Used throughout China and now widely practiced in the United States, Chi Kung is an ancient and effective practice for many health issues, such as arthritis, anxiety and heart disease. I often refer to the Universal Tao sexual practices as "Chi Kung for the bedroom."

Once you become aware of your chi, you'll find that it's rather easy to notice and feel it. Try this simple exercise. Briskly rub your palms together until you produce heat. Now slowly separate your palms until they are about an inch apart. You should feel a "cushion" of air between them that may feel like pressure, heat, or tingling. This sensation is the chi passing between your hands.

In all traditions meditative practices calm and focus the mind. The Healing Tao meditative practices do this by focusing on the movement of chi. The basic practice is based on circulating chi through a body circuit called the Microcosmic Orbit, which is like an energy superhighway in the body. When you circulate your chi in the Microcosmic Orbit, you refine and distill it, creating a better quality of energy, or chi, for your body. The Taoists say "The mind moves and the chi follows." By directing your intention and concentration on your body, you can awaken and move your chi. Some people feel their chi, as warmth or tingling, while others simply visualize it moving as a glowing ball. Whether or not you actually sense your chi, your body will still benefit from the exercise, by becoming calm, focused and present.

The Microcosmic Orbit is a continuous energy path through the body which consists of a Back Channel and a Front Channel. The Back Channel begins at the perineum (located just in front of the anus) and runs from the tip of the tailbone, up along the spine to the crown of the head and then over the forehead, ending between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip where  here's an indentation. The Front Channel runs from the tip of your tongue to your throat and along the midline of your body down to your pubis and perineum. Touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth closes the Microcosmic Orbit. There is an indentation approximately a quarter-inch behind the teeth as the roof of the mouth curves upward, and it is through here that the energy descends most easily from your brain and moves through your tongue and down your throat and chest to your abdomen.

To feel your own chi circulating in the Microcosmic Orbit, sit at the edge of a chair with both feet on the floor, relax your shoulders, and let the crown of your head rise toward the ceiling, with you chin slightly tucked under. Clasp your hands comfortably in your lap with one palm over the other. Take 3 deep breaths into your belly, feeling it expand on the in-breath and relax on the out-breath.

Close your eyes and smile, gently, with your lips and eyes directing the most loving energy you can engender toward your navel, or abdominal center. In Taoism, the navel is considered the energetic center of the body. Imagine that the sun is shining down on your head and you are directing that warmth and energy toward your abdominal center with your eyes. Feel the chi awaken at your abdominal center or visualize a glowing "chi ball" just behind your navel.

With your concentration, move that chi from your navel down and through your sexual organs to the perineum. By squeezing your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle (often referred to as a Kegel exercise), you can move the chi from your perineum into your sacrum at the base of your spine. This muscle is the same muscle that stops your urine stream or squeezes your anus. As you squeeze your PC muscle, feel the chi being "pumped" from the perineum into the base of the spine.

Now feel the chi rise up the Back Channel along the spine from the sacrum all the way to the crown of the head. It sometimes helps to imagine that the energy rises up with your in-breath, as if you are sucking the energy up through the "straw" of your spine. Focus on the crown of your head and feel the energy gather there. Then let the energy fall down your forehead between and between your eyes. Touch your tongue to your palate to connect the Back and Front Channels and feel the chi flow from your tongue, down your throat, chest and abdomen to your navel center.

Smile down to your navel center as you did before and feel the chi return to the navel. It may help to imagine the energy flowing down the front of your body with your out-breath--as if the energy is falling down with gravity, while your chest relaxes and you exhale. Or imagine that the energy flows like a waterfall, or a gentle flow of honey, down the front of your body into the pool of energy at your navel. Placing your hands below your navel to "catch" the waterfall of energy can be helpful. Rub your palm on your belly, spiraling outward from your navel and then back inward again to help the chi absorb into your organs.

The Microcosmic Orbit is an essential practice of the Taoist tradition, and though it may seem complicated at first, I assure you that with a little practice you can feel the chi move through the entire orbit in a matter of seconds. In the Taoist sexual practice, you can learn how to circulate your sexual energy, or jing chi, through the same energy pathway in order to expand your pleasure and orgasmic ability. The ability to expand and move your sexual energy is what allows you to increase your pleasure and intensify your orgasms, no matter what your current level of sexual experience is. It also allows you to transform your sexual energy into chi, or life force, which will give you a great deal more energy out of the bedroom as you live your life in the world. And when your chi is strong and your intention is clear, your chi is transformed into spiritual energy, or shen.

The Universal Tao practices are rich and powerful enough to do for hours each day, but flexible enough to energize you or help relieve physical or emotional stress in minutes. The sexual practices initially take some time to understand and feel in your body, but they can then be seamlessly integrated into lovemaking with astounding results: more pleasure, intimacy, and vibrancy than you've ever experienced.

The Taoist practice offers a practical method to access and integrate the two most powerful healing forces in the world: real love and sexual energy. These practices can increase your pleasure and invigorate your body and soul.

Copyright Rachel Abrams 2005

For more information, visit www.multiorgasmicwoman.com

_______________

Rachel Carlton Abrams, M.D. is a family practice physician who specializes in complementary medicine as well as women's health and sexuality. The coauthor of The Multi-Orgasmic Couple, she lives in northern California with her husband and three children.

Master Mantak Chia is the world's best-known teacher of the Taoist arts, from Tai Chi to Taoist sexuality. He is the author of the best-sellers The Multi-Orgasmic Man and The Multi-Orgasmic Couple as well as the self-published classics Taoist Secrets of Love and Healing Love through the Tao. He lives in Thailand and teaches in the United States and around the world.

 

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