Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Centering and Rooting

Centering and rooting are two key elements in practicing Tai Chi and Push Hands. Even if you practice Tai Chi only for improving health, and do not have intention to get into combating, it is essential to understand the importance of centering and rooting. They are the basic elements to insure proper Qi flow.

Tai Chi is a set of movements based on marshal arts. It is designed to give people templates or drills for applications. It trains the body to follow certain routine movements to deal with certain situation. The essence of Tai Chi vs. other type of hard marshal arts is that it suggests people not to attack first. But once defending action is taken, act fast and smart by using internal power (Qi). Centering and rooting are the two things we practice to accumulate the Qi.

Once the Qi is accumulated, it can be used to strengthen ourselves, to improve energy level, and to release pain. It is a natural and effective way of healing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heng and Ha

Heng(哼)and Ha(哈)are the two sounds when practicing pre-birth Qi(先天气)which is a higher level of Tai Chi QiGong. When one established routine practice of basic Tai Chi QiGong, it might be time to make one step forward. Pre-birth QiGong will lead you to a whole new level.

Heng-and-Ha practice was kept as a secret in Chen’s family. They did this practice in the middle of the night when they believed it was the best time to boost up the Qi. Those of you who had experience of Heng-and-Ha with me in Tai Chi class may recall the strong feeling after a short practice.

Heng-and-Ha is a key step in practicing pre-birth Qi(先天气)which is also known as Dan-Tian-Qi(丹田气), Nei-Qi(内气), or Zhen-Qi(真气). When say Heng, we inhale while the lower abdomen going inward. When say Ha, we exhale while the lower abdomen going outward. It is helpful to practice with movements. One should be relaxed and follow the body's natural way of breathing when first start practicing this type of QiGong. It takes time to train the body, and one should not rush.

This practice is not for beginners, and it is not for those who have pre-conditions of health concerns.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Honey is well known for its many health benefit properties. A hot honey drink mixed with lemon juice is so soothing and refreshing. It is a good home remedy for the flu season.

Honey is also good for skin when used externally. It helps the wound to heal, and it prevents the sun and wind damage from out door activities. It is especially good for dry skin. Here is a facial recipe that I have put together for myself. I would like to share it with you.

½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon BarlyLife®
1 teaspoon milk
Mix well and apply to clean face, let it stay for 1 hour
Use wet fingers to massage in circular motion
Wash off and apply lotion

If you have some house chores to do, put on this facial, turn on your favorite music; while the house chores are done, your facial is done. It doesn't cost a dime and it’s all natural!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Natural Cleansing

Our body has natural ability to clean itself internally to get rid of the old and absorb the new. Periodically, we experience flue-like or allergy-like symptoms, which could be part of our body's cleansing process. This process removes the toxins within our body that could be generated as a result of metabolism.

If we observe closely, we might notice that virus infection usually has fever, while cleansing process doesn't. If you started a program to improve your health, very likely you might experience some sort of cleansing process. The symptoms usually start from your weak link of the body.

It is important to manage the cleansing process with plenty of rest, light food, alkaline water, hot bath and moderate outdoor exercise.

Feel free to call Nan for a free health consultation.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prevent Cancer

We all have cancer cells in our body. When our inner environment is healthy, cancer cells cannot develop. However, if our inner environment is not healthy, the cancer cells may grow wild. Out of many right things we should do, we need to remember two key words: alkaline and oxygen. In today’s blog, we talk about oxygen.

Dr. Otto Warburg won Nobel Prize in 1931 for proving cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen respiration in cells. He said “the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery, we know it occurs whenever any cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements”.

While low level of oxygen in cells may be caused by different reasons, we can always find a simple solution to address them all—Tai Chi and QiGong.

It is my personal experience in practicing Tai Chi and QiGong that the level of energy and health improvement is beyond anything else I did. Because this practice can effectively provide cells with basic needs—oxygen.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Push Hands

Push Hands in Chinese is 推手(tui shou). It is an important practice in learning Tai Chi. Some call it the gateway to understand the martial aspects of Tai Chi, or the application of Tai Chi.

Like the movements of Tai Chi Chuan, Push Hands is also a kind of template or drills to facilitate the practitioners in daily exercise. Over the years, people summarized different kinds of techniques into a set of routine drills. Each drill can be used individually for two people to practice together.

During push hands practice, two people keep their hands touched and feel about each other's power and intention; and use different techniques to neutralize the opposite power. It looks like combating in a peaceful way.

Nan will soon start teaching push hands at Langley Park Community Center. Please contact the Center directly for class details.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tai Chi QiGong

Qi in Chinese is 气 (chi). The basic meaning of Qi is air. The extended meaning of Qi in practicing QiGong (breathing exercise) is energy or life force.

The ancient people believed that we all have original Qi stored at DanTian area (lower abdomen) at birth. When we grow up to 25 or so, the natural Qi comes to it’s peak and starts to decline. By practicing QiGong we are able to halt or slowdown this aging process.

There are thousands of QiGong styles in China. Not all are safe to practice. Most need close guidance when practicing. Tai Chi QiGong is one of the few styles that are safe to practice following the basic instructions.

QiGong practice is an important part of all my Tai Chi classes. Or we can say, without QiGong, Tai Chi is not really Tai Chi. QiGong is the core of this internal exercise.

I suggest practicing QiGong 3 times a day—in the morning, in the evening, and during the day, 20 minutes each time. It’s not a day’s work. It takes years of practice to regain this life energy.

Come to Nan’s classes for personal instructions.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Breathe Deep

Most of us breathe without much awareness. In other words, we are passively breathing whatever way the body is doing. Most of the time, shallow breathing.

Through practicing QiGong (breathing exercise), we can make the breathing slower and deeper. As a result, we will be able to bring much more oxygen into our blood stream, down to each cell.

When first start practicing, follow your body’s natural capacity, or natural breathing. Then focus on DanTian (lower abdomen) breathing. Three times a day, 5-20 minutes each time. This is to get your body prepared for the next step.

Then you may start to practice holding the breath. Inhale–hold–exhale. Hold for 2-4 seconds. It has to be gentle. Don’t force it.

Before you practicing, I suggest you measure the number of breath per minute (count inhale and exhale as one). Most people count 6–8 per minute. Measure again after 6 months of practice. You may be surprised how much you can improve after practicing QiGong.

For personal instructions, come to Nan’s Tai Chi classes at Long Branch Community Center (Thursday evenings) and Langley Park Community Center (Saturday mornings).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Keep Body Environment Alkaline

Human body has a narrow range pH level of 7.35-7.45 which is slightly alkaline.

pH (potential of Hydrogen) has a measurement scale of 0-14. Above 7.0 is alkaline and below 7.0 is acidic. Most fruit and vegetables are alkaline and meats are acidic. Stress and sadness acidify the body. When the body environment becomes acidic, we get sick.

How to keep our body environment alkaline? Here are a few steps to follow:

1. Be happy (Sad tears are toxic)
2. Eat alkaline food as much as possible
3. Drink alkaline juice: BarleyLife® and LeafGreens®
4. Drink alkaline water: ABOVA® ORP Water
5. Do Tai Chi and QiGong every day

Ask Nan for a free health consultation.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chew Your Food

“Chew your food.” Mom always said. Chewing is the foundation of a good health. It is not just breaking the food, it combines food with enzymes released in saliva and it activates the enzymes in the fruit and vegetables we eat.

Hospital pureed food looks so nice, and it is easy to take. However, the patients are not fully assimilating the nutrients because chewing is missing. The enzymes in the saliva are not well mixed with the food. Some data says, we produce a liter or more of saliva every day. We need to bring out it’s full benefit to our digestion system.

We spend a lot of money buying food, and spend a lot of time cooking. But we often forget to spend time chewing the food. Chewing is where good health begins.

Ask Nan about PrepZymes® if you have digestive concerns.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Help Our Body to Fight

Do you know we have many fighters in our body. They are called phagocytes. They eat foreign things, such as bacteria, virus, or dead cells. When they are active, our body is clean, we feel clear-minded and energetic. When they are not active, we feel drowsy, cloudy-headed, and tired.

How do we keep the phagocytes active? Phagocytes are like little babies. When they are not hungry, they don’t like to eat. Some Chinese cancer researchers made experiments and found out, when we feel hungry, that’s the time when the phagocytes are active.

Now we understand why the old saying goes like, do not eat too full, eat 70-80% is good for our health. Let’s give it a try and help our body to fight effectively.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sleep Early

Sleep early is easy to say, but very difficult to do. We have thousands of reasons to stay up late. And they all sound justifiable. In today's busy world, sleeping early is simply not possible.

In Chinese medicine, a day is divided into 12 time units. During each time unit a specific organ comes to its peak function. Around midnight is the time that liver comes to its peak function. What does liver do? It is the manufacturer of blood.

The Chinese medicine believes that if a person's total blood level is low, the person is in poor health. Unfortunately, there is no modern equipment that can measure the total quantity of our blood level. We can check the color of lip and finger nails as indicators. If the color is pail, it means the blood level is not good. When the blood level is low, you will feel tired, have no energy doing things, and you are vulnerable to many chronic ailments.

Best time to sleep is not later then 10:00-11:00 pm. Do the following before you go to bed.

5 minutes patting along arms, neck, shoulders, and legs
1 minute dry wash face
1 minute comb hair with fingers
10 minutes QiGong in bed

Give it a try and let me know if you start to feel better.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Energy Overdrawn and Stress

I never felt tired when I was 18. I always thought energy could never be used up. Not any more. As we march towards middle age and more mature ages, a balance of energy level becomes the most important issue for a quality life. Not money, not house, not a good job, but energy level of our health.

A large number of the general public are living a busy life style. From school kids to retirees, from executives to full time moms. Busy schedules are made even during weekends and vacation time. If we can deposit our energy to a bank, many of us might get warnings for insufficient energy in our account. We are facing a serious problem of energy overdrawn.

A typical symptom of energy overdrawn is over-stress. Many common illness are related to stress. Allergy, cold, aches and pains, back problems, sleeping problems, you name it. It can lead to degenerative illness or more serious life threatening problems. But don't get scared. There is hope.

Tai Chi is a powerful solution to regain energy. It reduces the stress and strengthens the body at the same time. Combine Tai Chi with QiGong and practice on a daily basis. Start your practice today.

Engergy and Immune System

When the energy is low at cellular level, we are vulnerable to all kinds of ailments. Cold, allergy, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleeping problems, cancer, to name just a few. All these health problems are related to impaired immune system. Tai Chi is to regain energy level and vitality through internal practice, hence boost up the immune system. Immune system is the defence of our health. We could have done something in our lifestyle that would hurt our immune system. It is never too late to understand our body and start to take care of it. Try the following package. You will start to feel better in a couple of weeks.

- Tai Chi every day
- QiGong 3 times a day
- BarleyLife® 1 or 2 times a day
- HerbleFiberblend® 1 time a day
- Sleep not later then 11:00 pm

Call Nan for a free consultation: (301)947-4090

Friday, August 22, 2008

Soup for Dinner

Eating a big dinner and sleeping undigested can be a main source of building up toxins which lead to chronic illness. A simple solution is to manage what you eat in the evenings. Eat things easy to digest, best before 6:00-7:00 pm. Dr. Liu of Ming Dynasty (emperor's doctor) left a soup recipe which was a result of over 60 years of research study.

1 medium live carp (or other fresh water fish)
1/2 pound of lean beef (tendon is good)
1 pig foot (or pig ear)
50 grams of hawthorn fruit
10 Chinese red dates

Combine above in a deep pot, add water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 6 hours. Season lightly to taste. Add lemon, vinegar, or vegitable of your choice. Serve soup for dinner. Not to each the solid meat. It's nutritious, and it doesn't build up toxins in the digestive system. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.

Start Your Day with Tai Chi and QiGong

A short form of Tai Chi is a great way to start your day. It doesn't have to be a complete form. Pick up a few movements you like and repeat them for 3-5 minutes. Make sure you breath through each movement you do. Combining QiGong with Tai Chi movements is essential to bring oxygen to all the cells of your body.

Have a good day!