How can you feel Qi?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by 47MartialMan, May 7, 2015.

  1. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    I was talking to a cohort who is into holistic medicine, homeopathy, naturopathic, or alternative medicine.

    She insists that Qi can be felt and measured.

    Symptoms she claims:

    Numbness in numerous areas such as the fingers, hand, arm, neck, leg, for examples

    Also, producing a mild shock

    Now, I do not have total believe in Qi, although Lucas has a similar notion of it as "The Force", has one only to wonder.

    She is very open minded as she asked to give evidence on what she is feeling is not really Qi

    I guess we can approach her as what Qi is and what Qi is not

    Your Thoughts?
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

  3. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Sounds similar to another discussion here lately. And the conclusion (if you could call it that) was that the burden of proof lays with the claimant. In other words, most of us seem to hold that someone has to prove that qi does exist, not that qi doesn't exist.
  4. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    You can never prove something DOESN'T exist - just that the probablity of it existing is exceptionally small.

    If any given phenomena has a mundane explanation then occam gets to shave

    In this case I posted a video which describes pretty much identical physical manifestations with nothing but placebo/power of suggestion
  5. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    This is all I needed to know.
  6. thanson02

    thanson02 New Member

    I think it also depends on how you define Qi. If you see it a some mystical force, then it will be hard to pin down. If you see it as an expression of body chemistry, then it us really easy to pin down. All I know us that if you have felt it, then whether it exists or not is not a question.
  7. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Qi = air (it's one of the definitions of the character)
    Qigong = breath and body coordination

    The above + use as an explanation for biological phenomenon the Chinese didn't have the science to explain. Likely it has it's roots in the concept of prana from the Indian subcontinent.

    EDIT: the character is generally known to be a depiction of steam within a pot. The dantien is said to be the origin of chi in the body. Pressurization of this area through proper breathing techniques allows reinforcement of the waist for good structure and maximal power transmission. E.g. The resistance of the epiglottis creating abdominal pressure for movements like squats, dead lifts, or striking.
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  8. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    I've known a few people that were adamant that it was real - hell, I've even known one guy who got so freaked out by a demonstration that he nearly burst into tears.

    But I'm very much of the viewpoint that it does seem to be placebo effect through and through.

    The numbness sounds more like a state of mind than anything else. I used to get it when I used to meditate when I was younger (I don't have the patience for it any more).

    And I can't see why the shock couldn't be a static shock?

    I've also heard of it as a transition of heat/cold, a change in the perception of air pressure and even tingling sensations, but again, I can't see how any of those things couldn't be explained by a state of mind, expectation of an effect or by potential restriction of circulation of the blood (for example).
  9. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Hi Ap, can you link me to that?

    I did not desire this thread to go off on another "Qi Exists / Does Not Exist"

    Speaking with my cohort, her "mind was not cast"

    She simply wanted me to give explanations on what she "thought is Qi"

    By the same token, I wanted to give her explanations on what Qi is, or is not perceived to be

    Thanks Sifu Ben.

    I had a Chinese person tell me its relation to describing air/breathing. He said, the province he was raised simply referred to Qi = health. You had Good Qi/Health or Poor Qi/Health. It wasn't a Energy or Supernatural force

    One thing is certain, many masters in the past always seem to emphasize on breathing
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  10. bassai

    bassai onwards and upwards ! Moderator Supporter

    I still believe that Qi/ki was just how the affect of combining good body mechanics and correct breathing correctly was described by older civilisations , and at some point it was hijacked/over exaggerated to be some mystical force that could be projected and manipulated.
  11. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    also sounds like the state of some the "martial arts" industry.
  12. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Surely there's still room to question what, specifically, you felt. There are plenty of physical symptoms that wind up meaning any number of different things. Simply feeling something doesn't necessarily confirm or deny something like qi.
  13. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    It's good to be open minded - as long as your mind isn't so open that your critical brain falls out.

    I've posted my thoughts on this a few times, so I won't do it in-depth again - suffice to say that in my opinion/experience, there are several kinds of Qi/Chi, and they are an umbrella term for the energy we get from sleeping, eating, and living a healthy lifestyle.
  14. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Hi again pilgrim, let me just say that I am not a doctor, or expert on Chinese medical practice, but I do have some qi gong training as well as a good understanding of Chinese art and history. I think we've discussed this before but the "Qi" phenomenon starts in ancient osteographic lithography of jiaguwen (bone writing), where it didn't resemble the "steam within a pot" (yet), it literally only means "rising air" or "gas", to signify the concept of more or less, air or gas that is visible and rising (this is where the breath concepts originate, because you can sometimes see your own breath), and in the ancient writing styles this became synonymous with the concepts of energy, life, and so force, whatever the opposite of "dead" or "inactive" or "inert" might be. The "rice" and "pot" strokes were added later on largely because as the culture settled and became more agrarian, and began cultivating rice and cooking it as an "energy source", the three elements became forever entangled. You have the energy from cooked rice alongside the energy that visibly leaves your body, both are essentially steam power. Presumably then, the Chinese believed, the body must contain "reservoirs of qi" (the dantiens) and is an overall "Qi engine". Steam, energy, life, rice...see? :) It's a very simple logical chain connecting what we know today is the cycle of "maintaining life", so without food, air, and in the case of "qi gong", exercise to promote it, it stagnates and thus your health.

    Of course you can "feel" Qi, if you have a pulse (a "脈") and are breathing (呼吸) and alive, you have what the pre-BC Chinese and related cultures would have associated with Ren Qi (人气, or "body" qi). 氣 itself doesn't mean "breath" alone, it technically means the rising/visible gaseous portion of breath. The idea is in order for your "air" to actually be visible and "rise", it requires a life force or energetic element.

    Unfortunately this mundane and easy to understand phenomenon became a cluttered mess of alchemical concepts by the Confucian and Neo-Confucian eras. Combined with the ever complex systems and theories of Chinese medicine, and later as these concepts expanded across hemispheres, it became entangled with religion and New Age beliefs, which is what I believe led to its present day situation. I have a few folks I still engage with in the "Chinese martial artist" community and for the most part they do NOT subscribe to the "mystical energy" phenom, they all seem to appreciate that "real Qi" or "proving Qi" is a misnomer, because "Qi" is really a word describing a physical observation. Whatever you choose to call it, it has a name specifically because it is "observed". Therefore, wherever someone describes a "Qi-like" phenom and you can't actually observe it, it's most likely make believe. At the same time there are many, many anatomical processes that do in fact fit OK with the original, traditional definition.
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  15. haidarfarhan

    haidarfarhan Valued Member

    is this Qigong or not ?

    [ame=""]Chi Energy Amazing Footage - YouTube[/ame]
  16. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

  17. AndrewTheAndroid

    AndrewTheAndroid A hero for fun.

  18. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    No that is really nothing like the qi gong I learned in Hung gar. I'm always skeptical of these sorts of performances because quite frankly I believe any magician could easily reproduce the feat, and these are often done outside a controlled setting. It's not much different than the bending of spoons and so forth which is easily debunked in a controlled setting. John Chang appears to also only desire to perform in front of small groups and only once, and immediately retreats when he realizes the public is aware of his "skills", and I think that is another sign that it is an illusion of some sort, as it's easy to "program" small groups via suggestion and parlor tricks, which eases their minds into accepting later tricks (the power of suggestion gets easier over time as more suggestion is accepted). Every "trick" could be explained with technology. I also think that any of the martial artists I've trained with who train qi gong would think these are silly, and would have no problem "defending" themselves from John Chang. Finally, Qi illusions like pyrotechnics and electroshock are not seen in any sort of mainstream qi gong practices that I've ever seen...nothing like it in Taoist or Buddhist arts (the origin of qi gong itself). All those qi gong sets even the most advanced, have been public for a long, long time :)

    Here is for comparison the first seven qi gong exercises in Hung gar, notice it's nothing but a lot of push/pull tension, stretching of the arms and legs and back, breathing, and towards the end some body weight squats (the infamous Golden Tortoise exercises). It's very easy to prove these "work" because anybody who does them, even once, will notice a few things: mild increases in heart rate, a light sweat after a few minutes, and in the case of additional training time, muscle fatigue (especially in the last two). No parlor tricks, just basic exercise. The metabolic effect is pretty noticeable even for beginners (Who struggle to even complete the exercises at first, but with training can go longer and longer). AT first, these are a pre-warmup warmup, later on they become significant endurance training in the art. But no electricity or fire is ever produced (except internally, and figuratively )

    [ame=""]Qi Gong with Qaasim Munoz - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  19. haidarfarhan

    haidarfarhan Valued Member

    1. Whats is the definition of qigong in your hung gar ?
    2. Is to produce qigong just using movement technique only or using breathing technique, or both ?
    3. What can Qigong do, and how it works ?
  20. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Why should anyone have to prove anything? Why should the purpose of discussion be for or against? Why can't the purpose of a discussion be simply to stimulate thought In all those who take part in it?

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