Chi Energy, Evinced in Side Effects
How you develop and channel the chi energy can result in the following side effects in tai chi qigong:
If you have trouble balancing on one leg, or your stance is unstable or shaky, it is because you have not rooted your chi. Always use your yi consciousness to channel the lifeforce down through your Bubbling Spring points to root at least three feet into the ground to stabilize your stance.
Before attempting a one-legged stance or to transition into a new stance, use your yinian to root into the stance.
Beginners and intermediates who have not mastered their rooting tend to uproot first just before they position themselves into a new stance. Uprooting is not the problem, but be sure to use your yi consciousness to root again into the new stance before making the full transition.
- Spiraling, Cold, Tingling, Heat, Vibrating, Electrical SensationsThe first signs of waidan chi or external energy is a tingling or numbing sensation in the fingers. This is superficial energy that is common to most beginners even in the first lesson.With more practice, the tingling can change to electrical sensations, warmth or cold waves of energy flowing down the limbs. The palms and soles of your feet can turn red and with further intensive practice, the sensations will increase to spiraling waves or strong vibrations.Most of these sensations are not painful and are good indications of your progress.
Occasionally, the sensations can become painful when the life force becomes too powerful and the yi is not sufficiently developed to manage the potency of the chi. If this occurs, reduce the intensity by calming the chi energy down with a qigong exercise called Chi Calming Exercise as a conclusion to your qigong practice.
If you do not know the Chi Calming Exercise, another alternative is to back off on the intensity of your qigong exercise and practice developing the yi until you can reduce the intensity of the life force circulation with your yi.
- Trembling of Hands/FingersHands and fingers can tremble when the chi energy emitted through them is very strong. This can happen at any stage of progression. There are no adverse side effects with this symptom.
- Swaying of Trunk, Rotation of Relaxed LimbsFor some people their trunks may actually sway in response to the circulation of chi energy, as do the rotation of hands and limbs. This usually happens when they are relaxed and the life force is allowed to move through the body without any inhibition.Again, the Chi Calming Exercise can be used to calm the energy; otherwise, just backing off on the intensity of the qigong practice. Bringing yourself out of a deep meditative state may also help.
- Rooting: Inability to Uproot,
Move One’s Feet or Alter One’s StanceRooting practice should always be accompanied by practice and proportionate development of the yinian to prevent such problems as these.If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to bring your feet up after a rooting practice session, do NOT attempt to uproot your feet forcibly! You can do serious injury physically to yourself as well as to the rooting chi this way.Instead, take a few minutes to use your yi to channel the rooting energy up from the Bubbling Spring points. When you feel the chi energy traveling up the legs, you can then attempt moving your feet, without any adverse effects.
- HeatInitially, in the early stages of training, the undeveloped chi energy is still very young and immature. As it begins to develop, your dantian will become hotter until the heat becomes very intense, though it should not be painful. For this reason, we often call the dantian the Cauldron or Furnace from which the chi is smelted and refined into the essence called “jing”. This heat should be viewed as a good sign of progress.
- Movement, Activity, SoundsIn the next level of development, the chi energy will often manifest itself through movement and sound. Some practitioners describe the activity of the life force as bouncing around in their dantian, and others as surging waves that feel like they are overflowing from their dantian.Others also describe the energy as making a lot of noise, some like digestive sounds, others like hunger pangs or even flatulence, but without the physical discomforts that normally accompany hunger and the release of gas.It is important at this stage not to attempt to intervene with your yi. Since the chi energy is still developing, it should be given free reign to move and circulate at will. Nor should any attempt be made to guide or channel it with your yi as the life force is still too immature and you could risk injuring it at this stage.