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The Bodywork Perspective – Chi Imbalance page 9

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bodywork cd-r

Chi (energy)—balanced and imbalanced

chi energyThe power of touch

So far, we've looked at the zones of the body, and breathing.

The Breathwork, if you tried it, is meant to get the chi flowing, from head to foot, in waves of intense feeling. You have found a source for energy that you can draw upon at all times, through breath and focus. With practice, much energy is available to you, all day long, and this will feel, initially, a bit odd (sort of like walking around vibrating.)

Most people experience waves of pleasure only through sexual activity.

We simply note that sexual energy is one flavour of energy, like vanilla is one flavour of ice cream. We're expanding your energy experience to "chocolate and strawberry," so to speak.

The Beginning of Bodywork

We will shift to how to work on the body. We'll begin with chi imbalance. (See information, here.) We've talked about yin / yang flavours of chi.

Here is a list of parallels.

Yin Yang
Female Male
Bottom Top
Front Back
Inside Outside
Left Right
Cold Hot
Dark Light
Down Up
Intuitive Logical
Feeling Thinking
Yielding Penetrating

We've also talked about "body-markers" for chi imbalance.

If you draw a dividing line down the centre of the body, the left side is yin and right side is yang, and if you draw a line at the waist, the top half is yang and bottom half is yin. The front of the body is yin, the back of the body, yang.

As you look at yourself in a mirror, or someone else from "straight on" look for differences, side to side. Is one shoulder higher than the other? One hip bone? One corner of the mouth? Is one eye larger than the other? Is one side more "forward" at the shoulder, than the other?

The high or forward side is the emphasized side. So, in either men or women, if the right shoulder and right hip are higher, we see this as an excessive yang. In other words, the person is approaching life through an over-use of yang energy.

yin yang weave

Chi seeks balance. When we were born, chi was balanced. The first project of life, though, is called the ego project. This involves teaching our infants that they are distinct beings. They become selves – objects with names and characteristics. We encourage our children to adopt the traits appropriate to their sex. Thus, the ego project for the average male child is to learn to emphasize yang characteristics – initially. And for girl children, too emphasize yin characteristics – initially.

We say initially because this is not fixed in stone.

on the fence

By the time the child is three or so, they've ego identified sufficiently to know who they are as distinct beings. I've always thought that age three or four a good time to introduce kids to the martial arts, as this is the correct time to begin to help each sex to find and draw upon the opposite chi energy.

Another approach is to help children find their balance by having them "mentored." To do so, daughters would learn from strong (yang-balanced) women to access their female yang energy, in balance with their natural yin, and sons would learn from intuitive (yin-balanced) men to harness their masculine yin, to balance their natural yang.

What typically happens is that, by the time the child becomes an adult, they are out of balance, sometimes seriously, one way or the other.

By the time most people come for therapy, most have imbalanced yin / yang. A good martial arts or tai chi instructor can help with this, as can Bodywork, as can therapy.

As an experiment, work with a partner. Note! This exercise is demonstrated on the CD-R we have available. See above.

Let's say you are strong (up) in yin (meaning that your left shoulder is high). Lie down, face down. Have your partner breathe a bit, then visualize chi flowing into their hands. Have your partner place both hands on the LOW side, in this case, the right, yang side. If the shoulder is low, place the hands on the shoulder blade. If the hip is low, on the hip. Have your partner rotate their hands in a clockwise direction, with firm pressure down, while breathing and sending chi to their hands. Both of you imagine that chi is flowing into the area of your body. You should imagine that the chi flowing to your shoulder is coming from YOU, from your lower belly, MEETING the chi of your partner at the point where their hands are.

Do this until you feel "done." You'll know. Then, your partner moves their hands to the high, yin side. Rotate the hands counter-clockwise, and both of you imagine the chi flowing away from the area. You picture drawing your chi away from the area, down to your lower belly.

Finally, your partner places one hand on each point, again pushing down with even, firm pressure. You visualize the chi rising evenly from your lower belly, to both points.

Have your partner remove their hands and look at you from above. The chi may be even, but are the shoulders level? If they are, you're done. If the one is still high, that's from the tightness of the muscles. 

"Flavours"  of Chi

Excessive chi – seen in explosive tightening, raising, hyper movement

Balanced chi – calm yet powerful even flow of chi

Depleted chi – seen in rigidity, lack of movement, lowering, hypo movement

  Excessive yang Balanced yang Depleted yang
Excessive yin + yin / + yang + yin / 0 yang + yin / - yang
Balanced yin 0 yin / + yang 0 yin / 0 yang 0 yin / - yang
Depleted yin - yin / + yang - yin / 0 yang - yin / - yang

Now that you've read this far, go on to the next section, and experiment with reading to body structure of a volunteer!

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