The Garden of Hesperides

Journey to Heaven
A Ch'i Kung Exercise for General Health


Movements only

Please note:
* This ch'i kung (ch'i gung, ch'i gong) exercise can be done sitting or standing.
* Each move is separated by the resting position – palms pressed together at heart height.
* You can switch the order and number of repetitions without a problem – just do enough repetitions to have an effect.

The PreparationZan Zhuang
Stand with hands at sides, knees unlocked, tailbone dropped, breathing diaphragmatically, eyes closed, watching the ch'i fill the entire body, intending that stress and negative things drop away and move out of our bodies. We can spend as much time as we wish in this preparation for the journey.

Listening to the Heavenly Drums
Tapping lightly on the Jade Drum (also called Jade Pillow) with our fingertips, while using the heels of the palms to firmly cover the ears; nine times flutter and rest, flutter and rest, etc. The Jade Drum is the back of the head where the neck meets the skull. (good for relieving tension headaches)

Climbing the Long Ladder
With opposite hand and foot, reach up as if climbing a ladder, then pull down; 9 times each side.

Crossing the Narrow Bridge
With palms together at waist height, thumbs up, turn waist to one side and lift heel on same side; head turns to opposite side. 9 times each side.

Groping for the Hidden Gate
Feet shoulder width, hands as if pressing against a flat surface in front of the body; 9 circles left, 9 circles right.

Breathing in the Fragrance of Heaven
Smiling inwardly, as if smelling the most wonderful fragrance in the world, using second joint of index fingers, rub acupuncture points on sides and under nostrils, then, breathing in through nose deeply, filling lungs, letting hands expand away from body at nose height on in breath, slowly return together in front of nose on out breath; 9 repetitions. (good for colds, asthma, allergies)

Bathe in Heavenly Ch'i, Rinse off Old Ch'i
Reach high and pull fresh ch'i down over the body in all directions, feeling the stale ch'i wash off like dust off a traveler; repeat until you feel you've accomplished a complete rinsing.

Smooth and Scrub the Heavenly Ch'i into the Body
Rub palms together between knees. When hands are hot, begin at top of head smoothing fresh ch'i over entire body from top to bottom, rubbing hands together to heat them as needed. Then, beginning again at the top, use fingertips to massage entire body, taking time and care to hit every inch of skin. Put special attention on ears, palms, soles of feet, kidneys (the gates of life) and any injured spot you may have. Make sure you massage all the hollows and all the projections, all the edges and all the in-betweens. Take your time and enjoy it. This stimulates all acupuncture points on the surface of the body.

Expand and Contract the Ch'i
Just like breathing in the fragrances of heaven, but this time hold the hands at heart height. (increases lung capacity)

Eating the Heavenly Ch'i
Gently!! tap the teeth together 36 times in front, 36 times in back. Then, gently!! rotate the tongue around the outside of the teeth, running over the gum-line and inside of lips, 9 times in one direction, 9 times the other; then run the tongue over the gum-line behind the teeth, 9 times in one direction, 9 times in the other. As saliva builds up throughout this exercise, swallow and with your mind's eye watch the saliva flow to the tant'ien (belly); this saliva is infused with ch'i and has special qualities for health and well-being. (improves digestion; the gentle teeth-tapping can be increased to 48 times, several times a day to treat teeth-grinding or jaw-clenching; the tongue rotations can be beneficial for relieving a sore throat)

Replenish Ch'i in the Tan T'ien Circle
Lock thumbs together, right palm over left, and circle the tant'ien (belly), 9 times in one direction, 9 times the other, watching the tant'ien fill with fresh heavenly ch'i. (improves digestion and elimination)

Zhan Zhuang. Like preparation, stand or sit for as long as is comfortable.

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