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Joined: Sep 2009
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Peggy J Offline OP
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Hi
I'm not sure where to look for this; there are so many pages and typing in the themes in the esarch box came back with no luck. I hope you can help.

I've been on and off a spiritual path for many years, worked as a healer before becoming a psychotherapist, have had acupuncture, and in the last year have been trying to reconnect with my deepest self again through meditation. So I am familiar with an eastern approach as well as trying to take responsibility for my health.
After two car accidents since 1996 and again in 2006(both due to the other driver)I have had chronic pain in the damaged tissue areas in my back and neck. This has since developed into fibromyalgia. I also have developed arthritis in a knee, in my lower back and neck(with spurs), and in my hands, especially in my thumbs. I have been doing alot of soul work on letting go my attachments to being ill as well as trying to see what my body is telling me. However I do 2 hours of stretches(as part of pain management program I learned as inpatient in hospital, in order to keep my scar tissue as flexible and stretched as possible. I have to pay close attention to my posture and not overdoing repetitive movements or placing my body in positions it has trouble sustaining. If I don't, my pain levels worsen. So I try to stay within my own borderlines which can change hourly/daily.
This raise a few questions:
1)I can't do all of the 8 active exercises for more than a minute or two; nor could I just do 1-2 of them for more than a very few minutes due to the constant repetition. Even the little I am doing them is resulting in a little discomfort, but I think that it's important to stay with it(adjusting to new movements as well as probably opening blockages)and hope that in time I will feel less discomfort and/or be able to slowly increase the time. Will this make them not as effective if I cannot do one of them for more than a minute or two? I especially find the ones with my arms up(forming, moving, joining of yin and yang and even breathing of the universe)tiring with increased discomfort.
2)Harmony of the universe and harvesting chi are the 2 most difficult and physically challenging for me to do.The former because of arms up AND bending to the side in my back and especially in my neck. The Harvesting chi hurts my thumbs doing the ear massage, and my back doing the kidney massage(as well as my hands), and my neck with the head circles from side to side and dolphin necking. The full dolphin using back and knee bend is also difficult.
The one that feels best for my body is Seven steps of life.
If I just did this one would it still help all my channels? Or if I did this one a bit longer and did all but Harmony of the universe and Harvesting chi( which I'd cut out)for the 1-2 minutes I can currently manage would that be better for me in terms of opening channels, clearing blockages and healing?
3)If I cut out the Harvesting chi ex, and I only did the ending that is in the sitting small universe meditation, would that still be effective?
4)If I first do active ex's and then meditation hours later, do I need to do an ending ex for each one or is it ok to just do one after the meditation?
5) I know you're not supposed to use the toilet for 30 minutes after doing either active ex or meditation, but I've found each time I've done either, I need to use the toilet 10-15 minutes after! despite going just before. I don't go that often, but clearly the SPF Qigong is releasing something. I know that loses chi, but when you gotta go....I'm hoping that in time I will be able to wait for 30 minutes. But will I be losing too much chi until then?
I'm so sorry for the length of this, but I don't know where else to ask these questions. Sorry to trouble you.
Regards

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Hi Peggy,

I applaud you're searching and trying to stick with SFQ to help your healing process on every level. If you continue to stick with it, in whatever way you can, you will make progress over time and it will help.
Don't give up!

When it comes to the search function here, it can be challenging. Many of us have had problems with it. You have to enter in the smaller number in the "older than" and the larger number in the "newer than". So for example, if I am looking for posts on "arthritis", I need to choose SPring FOrest Qigong for the forum, and then enter in, say, 1 year in "older than" and 3 years (or 2 or 4 or whatever) in "newer than". Then I get a page of results, one of which is, for example, this thread here.

 Originally Posted By: Peggy J

This raise a few questions:
1)I can't do all of the 8 active exercises for more than a minute or two; nor could I just do 1-2 of them for more than a very few minutes due to the constant repetition. Even the little I am doing them is resulting in a little discomfort, but I think that it's important to stay with it(adjusting to new movements as well as probably opening blockages)and hope that in time I will feel less discomfort and/or be able to slowly increase the time. Will this make them not as effective if I cannot do one of them for more than a minute or two? I especially find the ones with my arms up(forming, moving, joining of yin and yang and even breathing of the universe)tiring with increased discomfort.


Well, the first general rule of SFQ is there is no "bad", only "good, better, best". So, anything is good.

Another general rule is more is better, however, as in all general rules, there are many exceptions. Each person and each situation is individual and unique. It is a bit like the I Ching and it applications.

So, I think the short answer for you is, "no, it will not make it less effective for you to do whatever you can with a strong healing message".

Also, one can always just do the motions in one's mind. In other words, imagine or visualize the movements and feelings. You can try a mixture of doing a minute or two with actual movements and then a few more minutes up to however many you can do, of visualizing the motions.

 Originally Posted By: Peggy J
2)The one that feels best for my body is Seven steps of life.
If I just did this one would it still help all my channels? Or if I did this one a bit longer and did all but Harmony of the universe and Harvesting chi( which I'd cut out)for the 1-2 minutes I can currently manage would that be better for me in terms of opening channels, clearing blockages and healing?


Yes, to either and/or both. Sometimes it is better to JUST do one exercise and get deeper into the meditative aspects of that particular movement or posture.

 Originally Posted By: Peggy J
3)If I cut out the Harvesting chi ex, and I only did the ending that is in the sitting small universe meditation, would that still be effective?


Yes.

 Originally Posted By: Peggy J
4)If I first do active ex's and then meditation hours later, do I need to do an ending ex for each one or is it ok to just do one after the meditation?



No.
It is better to do a separate one for each in that case, but see my answer to question 3 above: i.e. you can just do a short Harvesting or ending exercise in both cases. Just rubbing the palms together and rubbing the face is better than nothing. Any of the other harvesting movements can be added as both time and energy allows.

Of course, this, as in all of your questions, needs to have a balancing between the need to avoid pain and the need for healing. So, sometimes, it might be better to deal with a bit more pain to get more healing. If you can massage the ears once in awhile, it can be very powerful, because the ears are a "acupuncture point" map of the entire body.

Nevertheless, the most important things are the healing messages you give yourself, focus and consistency. It also all depends on what you are doing or needing to do in between the two sessions. Part of the function of the harvesting is to "wake up" a bit, since both active exercise and Small Universe are meditations and it pays to get back into the "waking world" before doing certain activities (such as driving for example). If all you are doing is resting, or some other non-intensive activity, you could certainly just do one at the end of the second activity and skip and ending or harvesting after the first session.


 Originally Posted By: Peggy J
5) I know you're not supposed to use the toilet for 30 minutes after doing either active ex or meditation, but I've found each time I've done either, I need to use the toilet 10-15 minutes after! despite going just before. I don't go that often, but clearly the SPF Qigong is releasing something. I know that loses chi, but when you gotta go....I'm hoping that in time I will be able to wait for 30 minutes. But will I be losing too much chi until then?


No. Again, these are general rules, mostly made for situations where "all things being equal". In your case, all things are NOT "being equal". So, you have to weight benefits against debits in all cases. And when you gotta go, you gotta go! SOmetimes, that is better because you are releasing toxins that need to be released. This general rule mostly applies when it is not a problem. Since it is for you, do the best you can. I had a previous qigong teacher, that said even 5 minutes is okay, just not seconds after. So do the best you can and it will be good enough.

You can also have the intention to raise the qi energy pill from you lower tantien up to the heart while going to the bathroom and then bringing it back down again afterwards. Someone suggested that technique to me either here or through phone coaching.

 Originally Posted By: Peggy J
Sorry to trouble you.


No trouble at all. Glad to help. Hope it does.

Much success!


blessings,

Steve
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Peggy J Offline OP
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Hi Steve
Sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks so much for your response. I've been sticking at it, slowly building up, trying different times of day, visualising physically doing what I find painful to do, really opening to the universal energy, saying "yes" to the healing, and listening to "Faith and Confidence" each night before I go to sleep(which has been really amazing). I've had all kinds of reactions (tingling, nervous tics, pains in my feet, kidneys, lung areas, drooling whily meditating, heat, etc. I know it's just "stuff" clearing, and I.m happy for the blockages to open and go. I don't fight it.

So I've gone from only doing 10 mininutes of Active Ex followed much later by 10 min of Small universe to this morning doing 25 minutes of Active ex followed immeditately by about 27 minutes of Small universe. I definitely find it more powerful to do Active and the Small universe straight after. I was doing a total of 30 minutes of both combined, so I feel quite pleased to slowly up it to about 50 minutes. I've also tried doing both 5-7 in the evening which gave me a real boost. This morning I did them at 6:15 AM!!! and that felt good, though my balance wasn't as good in 7 Steps; I was definitely more wobbly.

But if I could get my practice up to 30 min Active ex followed immediately by Small universe for 15 minutes at either 5-7 AM or PM, would that be equivalent to 1 hour's practice. ANd in the manual, when Chunyi Lin says 1 hour, does he mean for Active ex's alone or for the combined practice of both Active ex and meditation?

I also do 1 hour 45min -2 hours of stretches( I was taught in hospital) every morning for my pain levels and to keep my scar tissue flexible and muscles/joints mobile, so I am trying to make SPF Qigong fit easily into my life. I am hoping that after a time of doing qigong that I may not need to do so many morning hospital-learned stretches, and that I will know when that it is and which ones to let go of.

Peggy

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Hi Peggy,

I too apologize for taking so long to respond.

Good on you for increasing your practice and keeping it going! And with goals of doing more.

Certainly doing the slightly longer practice during the "peak hours" would give somewhat better results. What those would be and to how much they would "be equivalent" varies with individuals. Every situation is unique.

And I think when Master Lin talks about one hour, he is referring to the active exercise alone. However, he also says that Small Universe is very powerful and if someone only had time to do one, he would choose Small Universe. Everything in life is balance.

In general, Active Exercise helps more at early stages with physical blockages and challenges. So the general rule is 2:1, i.e. 2x active exercise to 1 x Small Universe for focusing on physical issues. I think a 30 minutes active exercise and 15 minute Small Universe during the 5-7AM hours would be an outstanding and powerful practice. I would do as a 100 day program, taking a break on day 50 and day 100. This will change you in profound ways and make it yours forever.

Hope that helps.


blessings,

Steve
Joined: Sep 2009
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Peggy J Offline OP
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Hi Steve

I find it amazing how much benefit I am already having after just over 40 days of regular practice. I have been slowly building up, so I now do 1 hour of Active ex at 6 AM ( about 30-35 minutes of that time I am doing the movements, though not sustained; I do a little as I visualise and try to stay focussed and open to the universal energy, and then just continue visualising the particular ex,like, say, joining of ying and yang, while I stand in the beginning of the universe position. Then I resume doing the movements. I try to do this all in flow. Some movements are easier than others, but none can I sustain for long.
But I have found that just by doing this, I am so much more flexible in my lower spine as well as having much more energy and feeling far more positive overall. All kinds of blockages are shifting. My upper spine is where most of my pain is, so I try to focus on all channels opening, especially heart, liver, lung and kidney. I do the Small universe meditation later in the day between 5-7 when I can or anytime I can fit it in, for 30-40 minutes. This is my baseline for my practice now. In time I hope to be able to physically sustain the Active ex for the full hour. Sometimes I give myself sword finger healing. I stopped bursitis pain in my thigh, stopped acute pain in my arthritic thumb joint when I accidentally pulled it, and stopped pain in my fingertip when I burned it. All 3 instances were almost immediate. It is really powerful.
I am so glad to be doing this.
Peggy

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Dear Peggy
You're doing wonderfully well.What a great story.

The other thing that I'm pretty sure that Master Lin has said (although I can't find the reference just now) is if you need to use the toilet before the 30 minutes is up - raise the heels of your feet from the ground. I believe that this might have to do with the fact that either the ending or starting point of all of the meridians is in the toes.


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