A couple years ago, I purchased a Teding Diancibo Pu (TDP) Lamp for personal use. I was intrigued by it when an acupuncturist I visited used one to heat up my lower abdomen and the needles in my dantian area. He said it would help “increase chi”. Acupuncturists have been using various forms of heat for thousands of years to make the therapy more effective. These new heat lamps (purportedly invented in the 80s) are yet another way to introduce focused heat into the body. The literature on the net indicates that this heat lamp using a special ceramic plate that has minerals on it. It looks like this:
I currently am using it to help heal a sacro-iliac injury. 20 minutes into the heating session, it feels pretty good. I’m doubling up with a chinese patent medicine called “Touku Wan” which has a plethora of herbs for pain and healing. A quick scan shows such notables as Frankincense and Myrrh, Cinnamon, Licorice and Notopterigyii Root. The formula, however, is different than what I’m used to in the past. I’m not sure why the ingredients change so much.
I also purchased some fresh notoginseng root. I’ll write more about notoginseng in the future. Many people have never heard of this fantastic healing herb.
David Seidler, the man who wrote the screenplay for ‘The King’s Speech’, healed his bladder cancer in two weeks using the power of his mind. He visualized a healthy bladder for hours a day. Two weeks later—no trace of cancer. Read the amazing story right here!
You read it on Tonicquest!!
The greatest tonic is already inside us. Our bodies can produce a healing tonic of hormones, chemicals and other substances when we are happy and at peace. We can produce this state by relaxing. Most people don’t know how to relax or that there is even a technique to it. The best we can do is take a walk, listen to music or do some mindless activity and think we’re relaxed. However, there actually is a technique to relaxing. Although this may seem like an oxymoron, it takes practice to relax. Relaxation is a big part of chinese martial art training. It’s called ‘Sung’ in chinese. If you were to study a chinese internal martial art and certain other disciplines, you would most likely learn techniques to produce relaxation and exercises to test and develop this relaxation. One really good system that is accessible to westerners has been popularized by Koichi Tohei, who is a master of the Japanese martial art of Aikido. In this system, Tohei developed exercises that test the extent of relaxation in your body. He even developed a system to work at perfecting the level of relaxation. One of my favorite books ever is Tohei’s Book of Ki available in my amazon store. He teaches breathing techniques and other exercises called Ki Tests.
Here’s a simple way to relaxation. If you’d like more detailed instruction, please indicate so!
Find a posture that is easy to maintain and allows for the lowest part of your abdomen to freely expand and contract with your breath (don’t worry if you can’t feel that yet). Allow your body to settle and notice your inhale and exhale. Find what part of your abdomen or torso expands with your inhale and exhale without forcing anything. Just observe and make no judgements. Release any holding in your body starting from the top of your head down to your feet every time you exhale. Your elbows will feel like they are lengthening, your chest will release and top of your head will soar upwards. As your elbows lengthen, the top of your shoulders (where an important acupuncture point is and where many people feel sore upon touch) will release. (Some martial artists say ‘drop elbow, release/sink shoulder’.)The more you release, the lower in your torso you will feel your breath on inhale. It takes time and practice. You might fall asleep. Just keep at it and your body will produce the best tonic.
In traditional chinese medicine, you want to feel a warm abdomen and a cool head. When the feeling of heat rises to the head, it’s considered a bad thing. The aim of many chinese health systems is to reverse the heat to move downwards. It’s not uncommon to hear of analogies of a pot boiling in the lower abdomen. Like this:
This is something you can’t eat, but have to do. The Eight Pieces of Brocade exercise has a long history and there are many many versions and interpretations of this exercise. I, of course, will give you the right one. All kidding aside, I did get some insight into the proper intent and result for each exercise. Over the years, I have also honed my own understanding and developed theories of my own regarding why this particular set of exercises are deemed effective and have managed to survive for hundreds of years.
One legend states that a wandering monk invented these exercises after witnessing the poor condition of fellow monks who spent their days sitting in meditation and not exercising. This set of exercises was meant to keep the physical body in good condition.
There isn’t alot recorded about these exercises. I was told there were some cave or tablet drawings with basic instructions or ‘songs’. These songs were devices to remember the main points. They are largely unhelpful if you haven’t been taught the exercises. Therein lies the problem with a lot of traditions, arts or practices that have been revived from ‘old manuscripts’. One simply can not learn effectively from old manuscripts.
These exercises are very old and steeped in traditional chinese medical theory. That means that each exercise focuses on the body from the traditional chinese medical view of the body. An exercise will focus on a meridian (energy channel) or organ or both. In chinese medicine organs are more than just body parts like we tend to understand from a Western viewpoint. In Chinese Medicine, organs are connected to each other ‘energetically’ and control other parts of the body and emotions. Some organs don’t really exist physically, like the Triple Burner. The triple burner is an organ that is the focus of the first exercise, Holding up the sky to regulate the triple burner.
Stand with feet together or no more than shoulder width apart, arms at sides. While you start to inhale, synchronize your breath and the raising of your arms until they reach above your head, palms facing the sky. Again, from their position at the sides of your body, bring them together in front of you, turn them palm up and raise them up the front of your body. As you pass your chin, start to rotate them over so they face away from you. At the end you should be looking up and stretching your hands above you as if you were trying to push up or “hold up” the sky. Keep pushing and stretching and inhaling for a few moments and then exhale, bringing your arms back to their starting position. Relax.
Keep Inhaling to create pressure in your lower abdomen. Don’t hold the breath at the end, but keep inhaling
make sure the sides of your torso feel a stretch. Look on an acupuncture map for the triple burner meridian and make sure you feel it stretch.
Anything else is purely academic. These exercises were meant to be SIMPLE!! Don’t fall for complications or other “secrets”. These are not rocket science.
These were meant to be basic training exercises. I know a lot of people want to complicate these exercises with a lot of additional theories and points. Some of these additional points are very good, don’t get me wrong. However, they are probably additional points added from understanding and practices of deeper, more sophisticated internal arts or practices.
Keep this one simple. Remember the main points and that’s it.
I was thinking the other day about how much real information is really available in printed form and on the net. I was involved for many years in studying martial arts, especially the mysterious internal martial arts mainly from China — Tai Chi Chuan, Xing Yi, Bagua etc. What I like about these arts is that they tend to have associated health preserving practices often loosely labeled ‘Qigong/ChiGong/ChiKung‘ or ‘Nei Gung’. These exercises are loosely translated as ‘breathing exercises’ or ‘Inner Work’. There are some purists who will argue every statement made concerning these arts and practices. I always found them fascinating, especially the idea of a practice that could guarantee youth and vitality well into advanced age. One can find alot of books on these arts and introductory classes.
Unfortunately, the secret ingredient to make them work is not found in any of these books or on the net. If you want to learn from books and from introductory classes, you will not learn the true practice. I spent many many years and have yet to find the real secret. I’ve had a lot of secret stuff revealed to me, but it’s never the full story. I have had enough secret information revealed to me to know every book and video out there is pretty much useless. You will get hints from your teacher, but the only way is to stumble upon yourself. And that’s why we practice and practice.
But I will give you one secret a Chinese Herbalist revealed to me one day that I haven’t seen anywhere. For the tonic herbs, mix a little red wine in the resulting tea to magnify the effects. I thought this was a cool revelation, although minor, of the oral tradition only insiders get to witness. I humbly pass it on to you.
Notice the swirl? That’s a hint for another secret…..