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Starting fires, lighting fluorescent tubes and breaking steel bars have all been attributed to qi gong masters using their internal energy. A more modern view might be of activating and directing your bioelectrical field. Qi gong dates to ancient China, but is still used today for healing, health, focusing the mind and increasing longevity. If you're a beginner, it's said that you'll probably feel the chi -- qi, or energy -- in your hands first, then your forearms, forehead, face and neck. While advanced practitioners may work with increasingly complicated forms, beginners can practice projecting qi with the basic Lifting the Sky.
Cultivate your qi. Focus on breathing slowly in and out. Face your palms toward each other with a few inches in between. Notice the energy flowing between the hands. If you can't feel the qi, rub your hands together, then slowly move them apart.
Relax your arms by your sides, keeping the feel of the energy in your hands. Relax your shoulders while keeping your spine straight and your mouth slightly open.
Flex your hands so your fingers are together, palms facing down. Keep your arms straight as you look down at the backs of your hands. Feel the energy radiating from your palms.
Glide your arms overhead so that your palms face up, fingers pointing in. Look up, letting your head tilt back. Stretch from your heels up to your palms, inhaling through your nose.
Drop your arms smoothly back to the starting position, keeping your wrists straight. Exhale through your mouth as your arms come down.
Repeat this movement a few times.
- Keep focusing on the energy in your hands, as this is what sets qi gong movements apart from gentle stretches.
- If possible, work with a teacher for best results.