Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body explains the practice of chi gung (qigong), the 3000-year-old self-healing exercise system from China. Originally published in 1993, this book has become a classic that has inspired tens of thousands of Westerners to learn to activate their chi—life-force energy—to improve their health, reduce stress and reverse the effects of aging. This fully revised edition has more than 100 pages of new material, including Longevity Breathing methods; how cross-training in chi gung can enhance other exercises such as yoga, golf and weight training; and nei gung techniques for advanced practitioners. Chi gung exercises utilize a system of energy channels in the body that are similar to an electrical circuit. Frantzis’ thorough knowledge of energy arts and the Chinese language allow him to peel away the secrecy and metaphors. He presents this 300-page edition in easy to understand terms to suit beginners, with enough meaty detail and depth for the advanced martial artist, healer or meditator. Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body includes a comprehensive guide to chi gung theory and a systematic lesson plan with more than 100 illustrations. These low-impact exercises are suitable for almost any age or fitness level. They provide the foundation for learning any other chi practice, such as tai chi, martial arts, meditation or TAO Yoga. Frantzis explains not only how these inner aerobics are done, but why. Going beyond mere body movement, he teaches from the inside out, linking the biomechanics and anatomy of the physical body with the subtleties of chi. This book provides practical methods to help people become balanced, relaxed and joyful. Frantzis trained for more than a decade in China, became a Taoist Lineage Master—quite a rare occurrence—and came back to the West to teach. “My hope is that chi gung and tai chi can become mainstream exercises in the West,” says Frantzis. “We have a major health crisis looming; practicing chi gung or tai chi is one of the most effective ways people can reclaim control of their health and well-being.”
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Bruce Frantzis is reputed to be the first Westerner to hold authentic lineages in Taoist energy arts. He studied healing, martial arts and meditation with renowned teachers in Asia for 16 years—including training in China for more than a decade. Since 1987, Frantzis has taught chi gung, martial arts, TAO yoga, TAO meditation, and energetic-healing therapies to over 15,000 students in the United States and Europe. His teaching methods are spread by a growing number of certified instructors that he has trained in the United States and Europe.Frantzis is the author of several widely praised books about the power of chi including: Tai Chi: Health for Life; the chi gung books, Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body and the Dragon and Tiger Medical Chi Gung Instruction Manual; and two volumes on the water method of TAO meditation , Relaxing Into Your Being and The Great Stillness. Two CDs, The Tao of Letting Go and Ancient Songs of the Tao, shed valuable insights into the power of TAO Meditation in helping people let go of their deepest emotional blockages and move closer to becoming truly alive, balanced and joyful.When Frantzis moved to China to follow the Taoist path of warrior/healer/priest, he was extensively trained in the chi principles and practices that are the basis of Chinese medicine. From 1974 to 1979, he trained with high-level chi gung tui na (therapeutic energy work) doctors and apprenticed under their tutelage in Chinese medical clinics. He learned to use chi to help heal a wide range of conditions including broken bones, nerve and organ damage, and cancer. He also gained an advanced acupuncture degree. Frantzis used these chi principles and practices to dramatically heal himself: first from a life-threatening form of hepatitis in India and more dramatically from massive spine injuries that he received in a car accident in 1981.Frantzis’ experiences have made him a teacher with a mission: teaching people how the ancient and proven self-healing chi practices can help them achieve health, relaxation, inner peace and longevity. He aims to help avert a major health crisis that threatens to engulf the Western world.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Attaining Your True NatureTaoists cherish practices that raise the human being from the "Inferior Man" to the "Superior Man" of the I Ching…To do so, the energy of one's body and emotions needs to be strong and balanced. If you are ill, chi gung will provide you with a means to become healthy; if your mind is disordered, chi gung can give you a way to attain balanced discipline and perseverance. If you are healthy, chi gung can raise your energy level, release suppressed talents, and prepare the body/mind/spirit to succeed in Taoist meditation. All people are born "inferior"—it is only through great effort and genuine humility that a person transcends. All sane people wish to be healthy and strong; all those interested in spirituality wish to attain their true nature. In Taoism, chi gung is the first basic method for achieving these very human goals. (Note to the Reader of the New Edition) Chi Gung Works with the Fluids of the BodyIn chi gung, blood is circulated without stress on the heart. Unlike aerobics, chi gung does not dramatically increase the heart rate during exercise. The object of chi gung is not to make the heart pump more strongly, but to increase the elasticity of the vascular system. As the vessels expand and contract with more vigor, the heart does not need to pump as strongly, thereby providing it with more rest. The lymph fluids are moved primarily by tiny muscular expansions and contractions. The chi gung techniques taught here employ some of their strongest motions where the largest lymph nodes are located; that is, the armpits, the backs of the knees, and the inguinal region. Chi gung’s relatively fine muscular expansions and contractions move lymph efficiently through the entire system. These actions, as well as the overall increase in chi that chi gung brings, strengthen the body's immune response.Synovial fluid is found in joints. Chi gung lubricates them, allows joint flexibility, and when functioning normally helps prevent arthritis and rheumatism. From the point of view of Chinese medicine, when “wind/damp” or physical obstructions (coagulated blood, calcium deposits, and so on) get struck in the joints, the results are not only specific joint problems but a decrease in the flow of chi through the entire body as well. Chi gung works with the synovial fluid by compressing and expanding it, preventing and reversing all sorts of joint problems. (Chapter 2: How Chi Gung Works)
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