Chi & the breath

Knowledge and awareness of chi energy has been expanding in the last years. Chi masters talk about an energy point a few centimeters under the navel, where our attention must rest. Through this point we are apparently connected with the energy of the universe. When we are in a relaxed and stress free mode, our body is in its natural posture. Energy is allowed to flow through the body and exit via our hands, feet and head. In various training sessions the power of this energy is demonstrated, for example when a chi master hits effortlessly through a  piece of wood with his hand, whereas others are unable to perform the same result. Another example is when a woman can’t be lifted from the ground by multiple men, because she has grounded her focus and allows energy to flow freely.

In a stressful society where we use force instead of power, to alter circumstances to our will because we can’t accept reality, our breathing becomes shallow. The chest moves while people breathe whereas according to yogi’s the best breath is when the chest doesn’t move, only the belly expands. Yogi’s say that a superficial breath will lead to us losing our magnetic attraction, something that little children still have. Unlike children we have become serious and goal orientated. We don’t move flexibly anymore and our energy seems limited compared to our childhood.

As we grow up, our attention has slowly moved from the body to the head. Many people feel like they are walking minds, like the rest of the body only serves the mind. We identify ourselves with thoughts and self-concepts. The energy levels slowly decrease until we develop disease. For me it was a surprise when I hit rock bottom, although there were many warning signs in the years before. I chose not to listen to them with ME/CFS as a result. Stress made my breath anxiously, causing the digestion system to be neglected and as a result my immune system weakened. This became a negative spiral.

When the Chi energy can’t flow freely anymore, an illness can be expected in one of the body’s weaker spots. Some people develop skin issues like eczema or psoriasis, others develop cancer or other autoimmune diseases.  You probably developed chronic fatigue as an allergy towards elevated stress levels and their hormones. Stress can be caused by chronically keeping up with society and the mind or by emotional difficult conflicts when we don’t have the tools to deal with them.

To simply stop doing the symptoms and suppress the causes of the illness, like they teach you in so many neuroplasticity techniques, is a misunderstanding in my view. That doesn’t mean it is the best option to completely let yourself go by focusing on the symptoms. Focusing on my fatigue, made me even more exhausted. Using neuroplasticity is a useful technique in some ways. Suppressing and denial however are never a good solution.

Luckily, life isn’t the bitch we sometimes want to believe it is. I realized it wants me to heal. Many unaddressed issues were always ignored by me. Maybe the symptoms are there to make us listen for the once. But listening is difficult, when the whole body has been ignored for years. This is where breathing can help us. Breathing to the Chi point can reveal us where the energy blockades are. While focusing on allowing chi energy to flow, we have to stop our cramped condition. Accumulated stress has to be released. If we feel the breath flowing to the lower chakras, it might become obvious where the pain bodies are located. A pain-body is a suppressed emotion by our conscious mind that still lives in the body and wants to be released (8th module). By suppressing and escaping into thoughts we can forget these sometimes called entities. As energy has to flow freely, these pain-bodies will eventually cause problems. By becoming aware of the body, its sensations and feelings via breathing, you might become aware of them. Allow these spots or energies to be, and give it your unconditional love and attention.

By breathing consciously for a longer period, the Chi slowly stirs them up. Accompanied with thoughts and emotions, there is suddenly a story being told and experienced. This must be a very familiar story as we consciously put in a lot of effort to suppress it. First the universe screams for your attention with the symptoms, but the story underneath, the pain, is a whisper. Are you brave enough to listen? Whenever you experience a trigger and feel the urge of escaping with the mind, by e.g. blaming or playing a victim, keep in mind that you will feel so relieved after you manage to release these energies. (The 8th module is about emotional healing)

For many of us, breathing deeply is hard, we might even hold our breath in a conversation or only have a shallow breath. Breathing properly requires focus in the beginning but will also regenerate our body cells. The question to turn this around is, how can I feel the primal trust that I need to fully relax my body? I think the answer lies in feeling. Feeling the old fears most of all. When you connect with your body, you become more and more aware of your breath. How does it feel? Is there a flow? How does it move through you? Is there a point in your body that feels more dense? Focus on this process that always takes place in the present moment. Do you control it or are you being breathed? How long can you focus on your breath?

After a while  you will start to feel calmer and you might be able to breathe in deeply during social events. Doesn’t it feel really satisfying? Focusing on these satisfying feelings makes you enter different levels of consciousness. These feelings are accompanied by free flowing chi energy, a critical step in your healing journey.

Can you work on your natural breathing pattern? For most of us it is around 3 seconds in and 5 seconds out. Deep breaths to the lower body while breathing out a bit slower will calm your nervous system down. Does it bring you more in connection with your body and the present moment? Can you focus on your breathing pattern more often? How often do you breathe superficially? What is happening in these moments?

If you doubt the existence of chi, look up some chi energy demonstrations on YouTube and make up your own mind. Chi is also often translated to qi or ki.