5 Healing Sounds of QiGong (Technique)
The Five Healing Sounds of QiGong
By Tracy L. Hackett, AP, DAOM
QiGong is the core practice of TaiChi and other martial arts. It has been practiced since at least the Neolithic period in China, exemplified by illustrations carved into stone. Dao-Yin, the ancient word for QiGong is also characterized in the Mawangdui silk scrolls from 168 BCE. So what do these legendary practices have to offer to people living now?
A path toward inner peace and deeper awareness becomes more available to you with regular practice. There are many masters and teachers out there with books, DVDs, classes, and workshops. How do you know if it’s even for you? Trying a few simple exercises may give you a reasonable idea of what could be in store for you studying with a teacher who resonates with you.
Let’s start with a preliminary visualization and activity to build a foundation then add what is referred to as the Five Healing Sounds. The beginning of any practice of this nature must start with the cornerstone concept and experience of Qi. Think of Qi as both a particle and a wave. It is part of the substance of things but also that which gives form. There is no concept of ‘zero’ in Yin-Yang theory, no such thing as ‘nothing’ per say. You are a vital energetic being in a soup of energy that is constantly changing form and transitioning through states. All of this flux of matter, energy, and consciousness is of varying densities and vibrations of Qi. All organized aspects of Qi have a vibrational quality. Some of these vibrations are healing and harmonizing, some are not. The pivot is a neutral that rests within the quietest place in our minds and intentions (heart).
We can tap into those inner most intentions, in part, through a meditative practice called the Microcosmic Orbit. Sit in a comfortable position with your feet planted on the floor about hip distance apart. Rest your palms on your thighs with your arms comfortably extended toward your knees. Close your eyes and focus on the sensation of your breath and how its rhythm moves your body. Breathe deeply and slowly, then become aware of your spine and your head sitting atop of it. Place the tip of your tongue just behind your front teeth. Then visualize a pearl of bright, clear diamond-like light at the very base of your tailbone. As you breathe, visualize the pressure of your breath moving that pearl up your spine over the top of your head and down your midline back to the tailbone. Do this circuit three times watching the pearl become larger and brighter each cycle and at the end of the third cycle, visualize the pearl resting at an area about three finger widths below your navel and inside your abdomen between 1-3 inches (depending on your body weight) called the Lower Dan Tian. As you breathe visualize the light becoming brighter, then see it separate into two more pearls. Move one pearl up to your solar plexus (middle Dan Tian) and the third pearl up to the area between your eyebrows (upper Dan Tian). It may take some practice but you can hold the feeling of the three pearls with your breath and inner awareness or mind’s eye. A deep sense on calm typically sets in with this practice alone. Once you feel comfortable with this visualization and feeling the vibrational aspect of your being, you can add the sounds.
The Five Healing Sounds correlate with the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine, which in turn have several other sets of five aggregates (tastes, color, smell, etc.) that have relationships with specific organs and their energetic relationships with the mind-spirit.
|Five Correlates (Focused List)|
|Qi Movement||Assimilation||Circulation||Vital Energy||Spreading/ Dredging||Transforming|
|Aspect||Discernment||Corporeal Soul||The Will||Spirit||Coordination of organs|
So in practice, for example, say you worry too much, thinking through a problem to the point of fixation with multiple competing forecasted narratives of outcomes. This would be considered “Overthinking” and the organ’s energy most negatively affected by this ‘emotion’ is the ‘Spleen’. The organs in TCM theory are partially related to the actual physical organ in your body. The “Spleen” is an energetic pathway of function in your system related to your digestion or assimilation, the energetic aspect of your spirit that is connected to your intellect or “discernment”. The sound or vibration that helps balance the Qi flow in these energetic relationships is: “Hoo”.
It is a sound you make as the breath passes through your lips, different from a sharp, short spoken word, so that you can feel it resonate in your body. The same follows for the other organ relationships. Remember, there is no primacy to these relationships. Each aspect and quality in the system of relationships has its own weight and importance. Think of them sitting on interconnecting circles rather than a line of heirachy. The interconnecting circles concept is related to the meridians, energetic channels, that run along the body creating an integrated system of systems. It is a large concept to digest all at once. Start with the basic meditation and one emotion that you struggle with and let me know how you do.
Tracy L. Hackett, AP, DAOM is an Acupuncture Physician and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACTCM at CiiS, San Francisco, CA) practicing in Jupiter, Florida. She has found health through holistic medicine herself and brings the same to others since 2005. She specializes in the treatment of pain and GI issues. She has also developed nearly 30 new acupuncture points for the treatment of digestive issues, pain (post-concussion, jaw, neck, low back, pelvic), and neuropathy.