(Dr. Yang’s Advice #3)
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, YMAA CA Retreat Center, March 23, 2020
Copyright © 03/23/2020 Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming. All rights reserved.

This article republished with permission.

Preface

This is the third installment of a recent article series that I have been writing regarding the coronavirus crisis today and our body’s immune system. I encourage you to first read the previous two articles: The Coronavirus Crisis – A Time For Us to Awaken and The Scientific Foundation of the Ancient Chinese Secret of Youth.

To accomplish a challenging task successfully, you must always ask three questions. What is the mission? Why do we need to pursue it? And finally, how do we achieve it? My first article focused on the what and the why. We must seriously address the coronavirus crisis today because of the existential threat that it, and other viruses, can one day pose to us as an entire race. The second article was a scientific analysis of how certain key practices and theories may help us find ways to reduce the impact of similar outbreaks in the future. In this article, I will explain in detail how to boost your immune system, both for the short term—to hopefully alleviate urgent situations like the one we have now—and the long-term.

Introduction

We cannot deny that the immune system is a crucial key to longevity. Before antibiotics were discovered, many people died young. Only those whose immune systems were strong enough had a better chance of surviving the pathological challenges of nature. In ancient times, Chinese Daoist Qìgōng practitioners worked on developing ways to boost and maintain the immune system from within the body. They were able to extend their lives two to three times longer than the average person. Today, we are able to analyze and explain their practice using modern science, untying and comprehending some of the mysteries behind how their methods worked and what made them effective. Of course, modern science also gave us vaccines and antibiotics, which have helped greatly to increase life expectancy. Our immune systems have now evolved together with the development of vaccines over hundreds of years. However, I believe that vaccines and antibiotics should only be used for the most extreme cases, such as for diseases that we cannot prevent or cure in time. If we rely on modern medicine for all diseases, including ones that our bodies should naturally have the capability to defend against, one day we will be completely defenseless when viruses once again adapt to become resistant to all of our current medicines.

I have summarized and compiled several of the ancient Daoist training techniques into this article for your reference. My hope is that it will offer you some insight into how you can build up your immune system, using just your own body. While we cannot confirm yet what specific benefits these techniques may have on the current coronavirus, I am confident regardless that this training will help to defend and fight against all diseases. My goal is to help you understand how to develop and maintain a stronger immune system to keep your body safer, healthier, and more protected—starting with now but also for the future.

Build a Firm Foundation (Zhújī, 築基)

To establish a solid foundation for successful practice, there are several techniques and concepts that you should become familiar with first, particularly in regard to your body’s energy (Qì) supply, physiology, physical structure, and energetic structure. The following guidelines are all steps to establishing the required background for gaining a full understanding of how to strengthen, recover, and maintain your immune system.

  1. Build and Store Qì to an Abundant Level – The most important requirement for good health and longevity is the quantity of your Qì (energy). If you are without Qì, it is similar to being without money. Qì is the required currency of your body that makes things happen. You can also think of your body as a machine and Qì as the electricity that powers it. Many of your body’s functions, including the immune system, heavily rely on the amount of Qì available in your body. Without an abundant supply, you will be unable to maintain or condition both your mental and physical bodies. To increase the quantity of Qì in your body, you must know how to conserve Qì, how to generate more of it, and how to use it efficiently.

    Keep your mind on the body’s central Qì system in order to conserve Qì. The central Qì system consists of two poles (i.e., the human Qì polarity): your limbic system and gut (i.e., physical center). They are connected by the spinal cord. When the mind is centered on this system, Qì won’t be led outward or astray, thus, allowing Qì to be consumed in a more focused and frugal manner.

    To generate additional Qì, you must know how to convert food essence (i.e., body fat) into Qì. The area 1–2 inches lower than your navel is where extra Qì can be produced and stored. It was named “elixir field” (Dāntián, 丹田) by Daoists, because they recognized that it could be used to generate Qì for achieving longevity. Dāntián is called “sea of Qì” (Qìhǎi, 氣海) in Chinese medicine, implying that Qì in this location is as plentiful as the waters of the sea. The fat stored in this area is more important than other places because it is situated on the Conception Vessel (Rèn Mài, 任脈), which allows the converted Qì to readily distribute to all parts of the body. Yet another name for this area is “elixir furnace” (Dān Lú, 丹爐), since it has also been compared to a furnace producing heat.

    Although this area can produce a lot of Qì, the generated Qì cannot be permanently stored there. Whenever Qì in this area builds up to a certain level, it enters the Small Circulation (Xiǎo Zhōu Tiān, 小周天) orbit around the centerline of the torso and is consumed. Consequently, this location is also called False Lower Dāntián (Jiǎ Dāntián, 假丹田). The Real Lower Dāntián (Zhēn Xià Dāntián, 真下丹田 ) is located at your physical center (i.e., your gut), just behind the False Lower Dāntián. Embryonic Breathing meditation was developed as a technique to conserve and store Qì in the Real Lower Dāntián—which is basically a human bio-battery.

    Physical abdominal exercises coordinated with deep breathing were used by Daoists to generate Qì in Dāntián—to convert fat into Qì. Abdominal breathing is also called Back to Childhood Breathing (Fǎntóng Hūxī, 返童呼吸). Children have a more natural habit of breathing with abdominal movements, as a fetus in the womb does to receive nutrients through the umbilical cord. As adults, our breathing motions can become shallower and too focused on the chest and lung area. Two types of abdominal breathing were emphasized by Daoist and Buddhist Qìgōng practitioners. One is called Normal Abdominal Breathing (Zhèngfù Hūxī, 正腹呼吸), which is also known as Buddhist Breathing because it was favored by Buddhist Qìgōng practitioners. The other is called Reverse Abdominal Breathing (Nìfù Hūxī, 逆腹呼吸), or Daoist Breathing, and it was more common in Daoist Qìgōng societies. Normal Abdominal Breathing is more relaxed and the conversion rate of fat into Qì is slower. Reverse Abdominal Breathing is more aggressive and produces Qì faster. The quicker turnaround can be beneficial for short-term training goals.

    In Normal Abdominal Breathing, when you inhale, your abdomen pushes out and Huìyīn (會陰)(a cavity located in the perineal/anal area) moves downward. When you exhale, your abdomen pulls in and Huìyīn moves upward.


    Inhalation of Normal Abdominal Breathing


    Exhalation of Normal Abdominal Breathing

    In Reverse Abdominal Breathing, the opposite happens. When you inhale, you withdraw your abdomen and Huìyīn moves upward. When you exhale, your abdomen pushes out and Huìyīn moves downward.


    Inhalation of Reverse Abdominal Breathing


    Exhalation of Reverse Abdominal Breathing

    After consistent practice, you will gain a better ability to control your abdominal muscles. At this stage, practice moving your abdomen in circles, instead of just in and out. There are three orientations to practice: vertical, sideways, and horizontal. Taking into account both directions for each circle, there are six in total. In my personal experience, practicing all six directions has made a significant difference in my body’s Qì production. To avoid cramping around the stomach area, begin with only ten repetitions for each direction and only increase the number after your muscles have become more conditioned.


    Circular Movements of the Abdomen

  2. Do Not Neglect Breathing – The intake and output of air through the lungs is a crucial key to life. Without fresh oxygen, your body’s metabolism will malfunction and eventually die. In addition, without the release of carbon dioxide, your body will accumulate waste, such as dead cells that have been replaced. Specialized breathing techniques have long been a fundamental and essential part of Qìgōng practice. Improving the efficiency of your lungs improves the energy and functions of your body. Chinese Qìgōng is sometimes referred to as “the practice of breathing,” which is theoretically correct because without oxygen, you cannot generate Qì. In Chinese, air is called Kōngqì (空氣), which means “the Qì of an empty space,” or the “energy” of a space. While breathing in air does not equate to breathing in energy, the air does ultimately contribute to the quantity and quality of Qì in your body.

    To increase the capacity of your breathing, practice relaxed breathing. Relax both your mind and physical body. When we are tense, our breathing often shortens and becomes shallow. Practice breathing in a gentle, soft, slender, and continuous manner. Breathe deeply and coordinate together with the movement of your abdomen. Your diaphragm will be more relaxed and subsequently allow more air to move into and out of the body.

  3. Understand the Function of the Eight Qì Vessels – The Eight Qì Vessels (Bāmài, 八脈) of the body are often referenced in Chinese medicine and Qìgōng. They are considered Qì reservoirs. Qì in your body interacts with these reservoirs through twelve primary Qì channels (i.e., meridians) (Jīng, 經), which can be thought of as rivers. Branching off from these meridians are countless secondary Qì channels (Luò, 絡), which act as streams and tributaries.

    The Thrusting Vessel (Chōngmài, 衝脈) (Yīn Vessel) and Girdle Vessel (Dàimài, 帶脈) (Yáng Vessel) work together. They provide the main energetic foundation to your body’s Qì, which in turn contributes to your physical structure, center, and balance. Among the Eight Vessels, the Thrusting Vessel and Girdle Vessel are the most relevant to building up your immune system. The Thrusting Vessel runs along the spinal cord and connects the two poles of the human Qì polarity. Recall that these two poles are your limbic system and gut, and they make up the central Qì line of the human body. The Girdle Vessel runs around the waist area and is the only horizontal vessel. It is responsible for your body’s balance and Guardian Qì (Wèiqì, 衛氣), which are largely dependent on how much the Girdle Vessel expands or shrinks.

    The Conception Vessel (Rènmài, 任脈) (Yīn Vessel) and Governing Vessel (Dūmài, 督脈) are another pair. They run along the back and front of the body, forming a vertical loop, and are responsible for the actual circulation of Qì in the twelve primary Qì channels. The Conception Vessel controls the Qì of the lungs, heart, pericardium, spleen, kidneys, and liver channels. The Governing Vessel controls the Qì of the large intestines, small intestines, triple burner, stomach, bladder, and gallbladder channels.

    Finally, in each leg are the Yīn/Yáng Heel Vessels and the Yīn/Yáng Linking Vessels. Each individual vessel takes into account both legs, so there are four vessels total each leg. The Yīn vessels connect to the Conception Vessel, and the Yáng vessels connect to the Governing Vessel. They serve largely to support the legs’ strength and your sexual energy. Exercising the legs is the primary method of maintaining them.


    Thrusting and Girdle Vessels

  4. Develop a Deep Feeling for the Body’s Two Poles – Feeling is the language between your brain and body. Through feeling, you are able to register, identify, and correspond with different parts of your body. The deeper the feeling is, the better the communication. In Qìgōng, other than feeling your Qì, you must also feel in your body where you want to lead or manipulate Qì. The most important places are the two poles of the human polarity: your limbic system and gut. This feeling is necessary to effectively firm, stabilize, and manage your central Qì system, your central Qì line. Without a deep feeling for your central Qì line, Qì will scatter and disperse easily. The limbic system is situated at the midpoint of the line between your ears—the center of your head. The lower pole (your gut) is your physical center of gravity (when standing in a neutral position), which is located at the midpoint of the top of the pelvic bone.

  5. Recognize Three Crucial Gates – There are three important gates (cavities) that control the entry and exit of Qì in the body. Yīnjiāo (陰交) and Mìngmén (命門) connect to Real Lower Dāntián, your bio-battery. The front one, Yīnjiāo, is translated as “Yīn junction,” which is in reference to the Conception Vessel and Thrusting Vessel. This gate is always open, allowing Qì to freely flow in and out. However, Mìngmén (translated as “life door”) is normally sealed, specifically when our body is upright, due to its location on the spine. Whenever you want to increase the quantity of Qì flow in your body, this cavity should be opened. Daoists discovered that this could be achieved by simply pushing your lower back (i.e., L2 and L3) out gently. The third cavity is Huìyīn (會陰) (i.e., the meeting place of Yīn). Here, two Yīn vessels, the Thrusting Vessel and Conception Vessel, meet with the Governing Vessel. Huìyīn is a pivotal pump for moving Qì in and out of Real Lower Dāntián. Whenever you push it out, Qì is released. If you instead hold it up, Qì will stay.


    Three Important Cavities: Yīnjiāo (陰交), Mìngmén (命門), and Huìyīn (會陰)

  6. Recognize Two Key Pumps for Circulating Cerebrospinal Fluid – Your heartbeat and deep abdominal breathing both contribute to the up-down movement of the limbic system (limbic system oscillations) and the spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid is pumped between the brain and the spinal cord in this process. In Chinese Qìgōng, the Huìyīn and Yīnjiāo cavities also help to move the limbic system and spinal cord up and down. They are considered two key pumps for promoting the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. This pumping is essential to maintaining the condition of your body’s central Qì system.

    Because Huìyīn is located in the perineal area, it can be controlled with the anal muscles. Yīnjiāo is controlled with the abdominal muscles. Whenever Yīnjiāo and Huìyīn are drawn inward, the spinal cord and limbic system are pushed upwards. When Yīnjiāo and Huìyīn move outward, the spinal cord and limbic system move downward. This repeated motion massages the pineal and pituitary glands, stimulating their function—hormone production. Hormones play a major role in the production of Qì in the body. Therefore, you should regularly exercise your abdomen and Huìyīn to help generate more Qì in your body.


    Two Important Pumps: Yīnjiāo (陰交) (Abdomen) and Huìyīn (會陰)

  7. Know the Three Keys to Manipulating Qì – There are three crucial keys to manipulating how your Qì expands or contracts.

    First, the ratio of time you take to inhale versus exhale affects the nature of your body’s overall Qì manifestation. For example, when you laugh, you exhale longer than you inhale, consequently leading Qì outwards. Your Guardian Qì expands and you feel warmer or hotter. Conversely, if you inhale longer than you exhale, such as when you are scared or sad, your Qì will be led inward and you will feel chilly.

    Second, sounds you emit when inhaling or exhaling can enhance Qì flow. When you exhale and make a Hā sound (i.e., laughing sound), your Guardian Qì will expand more strongly, and you will again, feel warmer or hotter. When you inhale and make a Hēng sound (i.e., crying or gasping sound), your Guardian Qì will shrink and you will again, feel chilly.

    Finally, the third key to manipulating your Qì is holding your breath. We naturally hold our breath whenever we apply our mind on a focused task. For example, when you push a heavy object, such as a car, you first take a deep breath, exhale, push, and then hold your breath for a few seconds as you continue pushing. This allows your Qì to continue expanding further than it would go with just a normal exhale. It is a way to charge your cells to their absolute maximum capacity. Your cells are like small batteries. Holding your breath also expands your Guardian Qì, which also then boosts your immune system. To shrink your Qì and calm down, simply reverse the process—inhale and then hold your breath for a few seconds. Shrinking your Qì is common in practices where you lead Qì to the bone marrow for nourishment. However, it also shrinks down your Guardian Qì.

  8. Understand the Role of the Bone Marrow in the Immune System – When we reach our 30s, our bone marrow begins to degenerate. This results in a lower production of white and red blood cells. White blood cells are the soldiers of our immune system, the protectors of our body. Red blood cells are the transporters that carry nutrients and other required materials for cell replacement. If our bone marrow cannot smoothly produce blood cells, our immune system weakens, and our body’s metabolism slows down. It is absolutely essential to maintain our bone marrow to avoid compromising our body’s defense systems.

    Cleaning and reactivating the bone marrow is emphasized in Qìgōng for health and longevity, namely bone marrow washing Qìgōng. However, you should understand that the bone marrow requires a large amount of Qì. The prerequisite of bone marrow washing is producing and storing a lot of Qì. It is important to remember that if you plan on leading a high quantity of your body’s Qì inwards for bone marrow washing training, you should only practice during the warmer seasons of the year, such as mid-spring to late summer. In warmer seasons, the Qì of the environment is naturally more Yáng and energizing. During this time, you do not need to use as much of your own Qì to maintain your immune system. As mentioned above, leading Qì to your bone marrow shrinks your Guardian Qì, which would leave you more vulnerable to sicknesses. When the climate is colder and nature provides you with less Qì, such as during mid-fall to late winter, you should spend your Qì on expanding Guardian Qì, to maintain the strength of your immune system.

How to Boost Your Immune System – Short Term (Zēngqiáng Miǎnyì Xìtǒng - Duǎnqī, 增強免疫系統 – 短期)

Rebuilding the foundation of your body’s Qì structure and conditioning your central Qì system takes time. To give your immune system a more immediate boost for the short term, you should concentrate primarily on conserving your Qì and using it efficiently. However, remember that long-term conditioning will always be more ideal, because it will have a more permanent and lasting effect. These short-term boosting methods are especially effective when sickness has just begun, or the condition is minor. Once the virus or bacteria has gone through the defense wall and entered your system, the effectiveness will be significantly reduced. Timing is very important.

  1. Build Up the Quantity of Qì (Martial Fire) – For short-term training goals, use Martial Fire (Wǔhuǒ, 武火) breathing to generate Qì. This method will build up a good amount of Qì in a short period of time. In this practice, intentionally move your abdomen and Huìyīn (會陰) in and out intensely and quickly. Naturally, your breathing will be faster, and you will have more tension and warmth around the abdominal area. The warmth is an indicator that Qì is present and circulating. Use Reverse Abdominal Breathing if you are able to, as it is more active and less passive than Normal Abdominal Breathing.

  2. Expand Guardian Qì through Girdle Vessel Breathing – Through Girdle Breathing (Dàimài Xí, 帶脈息), you can enlarge the Qì “shield” surrounding your body—that is, your Guardian Qì. Guardian Qì protects you from negative energy trying to invade your body.

    Again, use Reverse Abdominal Breathing if you can. First inhale quickly while withdrawing your abdomen and lifting up Huìyīn. Then gently push your lower back out to open the Mìngmén (命門) cavity (between L2 and L3). Exhale, push your abdomen and Huìyīn out, and make an extended Hā (哈) sound with a long exhale. After you finish exhaling, hold your breath for 5–10 seconds to continue expanding your Qì, as far as you can. Inhale again and repeat the same process until your body feels hot or you start to sweat. You can then adjust the length and intensity of your practice according to what you are comfortable with. This process will nourish the entire body’s cells.


    Expanding Guardian Qì through Girdle Vessel Breathing

    If you wish to expand your Guardian Qì and boost your immune system even faster, then exhale quickly while shouting a short but loud Hā sound. This will trigger a synchronized response in the limbic system, stimulating both your pineal and pituitary glands. It will help to raise your spirit.

  3. Use a Belt to Enhance Qì Expansion – To enhance the expansion of your Guardian Qì, create resistance around your waist area. Belts are commonly used in Chinese martial arts to increase spirit and power. When a belt creates physical resistance around the Girdle Vessel area, the Girdle Vessel will be compelled to expand with more force to counteract it. Girdle Breathing can naturally be trained with a belt on. Make sure the belt is not too loose, because the tension is what ultimately creates the resistance. You may also clench your fists tightly as you exhale to intensify your Qì manifestation. Together with the Hā sound, you will feel the energy of your body rise fast.


    Use of a Belt to Enhance Qì Expansion

  4. Conservation of Sexual Energy – If you are male, you should avoid any sexual activities during the training period. Sexual activities will reduce the quantity of Qì in your body and divert it away from your immune system. If your main goal is to fortify your body’s defenses, you should conserve as much Qì as possible, whenever possible.

How to Condition Your Immune System – Long Term (Tiáolǐ Miǎnyì Xìtǒng – Chángqī, 調理免疫系統 – 長期)

If you have at least 3–6 months of time, then you should adjust your training to focus on achieving long-term results. Training for the long-term will always be more complete. You will need to continuously practice deepening your feeling for the central Qì system and human polarity, and regularly condition your bone marrow. Building up your Qì and practicing Girdle Breathing are also still important, but the approach for each is slightly different than practicing for the short-term.

  1. Firm the Central Qì Line and Stimulate Hormone Production – It is extremely important to rebuild and condition your central Qì system. Without a strong system, there will never be enough Qì or the right supporting network to make your practice work. Remember, the two poles of this system—your limbic system and gut—synchronize with each other simultaneously; they exist as a single polarity. In order to firm this central Qì line, you must be able to easily locate, recognize, and feel these two poles at any time. Only then will you be able to keep Qì in your centerline.

    If you practice with Normal Abdominal Breathing, you inhale while moving your abdomen and Huìyīn out. While you are doing so, also use your mind to pull the limbic system and your gut (physical center) downward. When you exhale, simply relax and allow these two poles to return to their original positions. This will enhance the up-down movement of your central Qì polarity and improve the cerebrospinal fluid’s circulation. It is a gentle and easy way of conditioning the central Qì line.


    Firm the Central Qì Line – Normal Abdominal Breathing

    If you can practice with Reverse Abdominal Breathing, you should. Using this method, the up-down motions of your central Qì system will better stimulate the pineal and pituitary glands. Of particular importance is the stimulation of the pituitary gland, which will facilitate hormone production throughout the rest of the body. Remember that hormones are essential to building up a stronger foundation for an improved, more robust immune system. In Reverse Abdominal Breathing, when you inhale, you should use your mind to move the limbic system (upper pole) downward while withdrawing your abdomen and lifting up Huìyīn. This will actually move your physical center (lower pole) upward. You will feel the distance between these two poles become shorter, and the elliptical Qì field around you should become rounder. When you exhale, gently push your limbic system upward while pushing out your abdomen and Huìyīn.


    Firm the Central Qì Line – Reverse Abdominal Breathing

  2. Build up the Quantity of Qì (Scholar Fire) – The condition and strength of your immune system will always be directly related to the quantity of available Qì. In previous sections, I mentioned converting fat into Qì and using Martial Fire breathing to accomplish this task quickly. However, most of the Qì produced in Martial Fire cannot be stored for a long period of time. Qì must be stored in Real Lower Dāntián, but Martial Fire makes this impossible due to the tension of the physical body. Instead, you must use Scholar Fire (Wénhuǒ, 文火) breathing. In Scholar Fire, your physical body stays relaxed. Your breathing should be deep, slender, soft, and gentle. Though the production of Qì is slower, Qì can be led to the Real Lower Dāntián and stored there for a long time. This is one of the major differences between boosting your Qì for the short-term compared to conditioning for the long-term.

  3. Store Qì in Real Lower Dāntián – Once you have built up an abundance of Qì, you must know how to lead it into Real Lower Dāntián (i.e., your bio-battery) to store it. Otherwise, the Qì you build up will enter the Conception Vessel and be consumed immediately. You need to be able to feel your Real Lower Dāntián, the lower pole of your body’s Qì polarity. After building up a certain amount of Qì, you should inhale and focus on leading Qì there. Then hold your breath for 5–10 seconds to allow the Qì to be distributed and sorted. Relax and allow your breathing to return to normal. Repeat the same process to store more Qì.


    Store Qì in Real Lower Dāntián

  4. Maintain a Clean and Functional Bone Marrow – Qì circulation is necessary to maintain a healthy bone marrow. There are a couple of ways to circulate Qì there. Two simple ones you can easily do are physical. The first is simple: exercise. Exercise is one of the most natural and most common activities that humans have been doing for thousands of years. It promotes Qì flow throughout the entire body, including deep into the bone marrow. The second method is muscle stimulation. In particular, the pelvis, buttocks, hips, and sacrum are important because a lot of our blood cells are produced from the marrow around the waist. It is common for Chinese Qìgōng practitioners to use a bundle of thin bamboo or metal sticks to hit these areas for stimulation. Hitting allows the stimulation to penetrate all the way to the marrow. Through this type of massage, we can slow down our bone marrow’s degeneration.


    Bamboo/Metal Sticks for Massage

  5. Maintain with Girdle Vessel Breathing – After you build up a strong foundation for Qì in your body, you should then practice Girdle Vessel Breathing (Dàimài Xí, 帶脈息) consistently for 5–10 minutes a day to maintain your immune system’s defense level. Use Reverse Abdominal Breathing, but also pay attention to Mìngmén. Inhale deeply and then exhale while pushing your Mìngmén, abdomen, and Huìyīn outward. Your exhalation should be long, slender, soft, and gentle. You do not need to make a Hā sound. Although a Hā sound may make your Guardian Qì stronger, the Qì cannot extend very far using this breathing technique. The synchronization of your breathing with the limbic system’s oscillations will also raise your spirit to a higher level.


    Girdle Vessel Breathing

Conclusion

The practice methods and theory are actually quite simple and can be implemented easily. However, there is perhaps one problem remaining. Will you practice diligently? If you do not, you will not get the expected results. To become successful and not give up, you need confidence. I believe that in order to have confidence, you must comprehend the theory behind each exercise. That is partly my purpose for writing this article, to help you build your confidence by providing you with a map to successful practice. It is then up to you to take action.

I understand that Qìgōng and meditation are still very foreign to many people, but the theory can actually be incorporated into other activities of your choosing as well. The mind will be what ultimately makes the difference, specifically how well you are able to focus your breathing and direct your energy. We need to be more consciously aware and sensitive of our body’s condition and functions in order to know how to better improve, protect, and care for it. Although Qìgōng will likely not be able to prevent or remedy every single disease that we come across in our lifetimes, I believe it will significantly aid our ability to fight and resist them. We can do a better job in strengthening and healing ourselves without having to depend so much on external medicines.

Becoming self-reliant should be a priority. Otherwise, we will only further weaken ourselves as we create more and more dependencies. One group of people that are most vulnerable to the current coronavirus are the immunocompromised. I believe that we can effectively reduce the number of immunocompromised people in the world today through the application and practice of Qìgōng. This will undoubtedly give us a better fighting chance at survival and prolonged health. It is my sincere wish to see Qìgōng integrated into modern lifestyles and modern medicine in a more mainstream way.

*** If we wake up now, together, we can still make ourselves stronger and create a more sustainable future. ***

About the Author

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming immigrated to the USA in 1974 and has since authored more than 50 martial arts and Qìgōng books and DVDs. His publications are available from YMAA Publication Center (ymaa.com) and wherever books and videos are sold. He has also written a number of novels to share various thoughts, insights, and personal perspectives about life with readers.

If you are interested in knowing more about Qìgōng, you may refer to the following books/DVDs that Dr. Yang has authored:

  1. Understanding Qìgōng (6-DVD Set)
  2. The Root of Chinese Qìgōng (Book)
  3. Qìgōng – The Secret of Youth (Book)
  4. Qìgōng Meditation – Embryonic Breathing (Book)
  5. Simple Qìgōng Exercises for Health (Book)
  6. The Dào Dé Jīng – A Qìgōng Interpretation (Book)
  7. Five Animal Sports Qìgōng (DVD)

Article edited by: Nicholas C. Yang, David Silver, Colin Borsos, and Jamie Urquhart

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