What is Buqi?
Buqi is a complete system of healing and self healing. Based on detailed knowledge of what happens naturally in the body, Buqi techniques are non invasive, highly effective, and give the patient the opportunity to play an active part in their own recovery and maintenance of health. Avoiding the unpleasant side effects of many chemical/medical treatments, Buqi can heal not only the physical manifestations of an illness, but also help the mind and the emotions.
Whilst its roots as a Chinese energy healing system go back over a thousand years, Buqi, as it is today, combines knowledge from both East and West. The founder of the present day Buqi system, Dr Shen Hongxun, has, through his life and work, been afforded some unique opportunities to explore human health.
Buqi can effect lasting change and is, I believe, right at the forefront of a new stage in medical evolution.
The Buqi view of health
The key principle of Buqi is that long lasting poor body posture and mental and emotional stress, combine to produce a double vicious circle.
In 1992 a global meeting was held to discuss the link between the spinal column and disease. Reports showed conclusively, that more than forty diseases and their symptoms are directly linked to dysfunction in the spinal column. This fact shows a clear connection between body posture and disease. The double vicious circle theory goes a step further showing that long lasting poor body posture and mental and emotional stress, are interrelated. Each forms its own vicious circle and any one aspect of each, will increase the negative cycle of both. Breaking this double vicious circle is the primary aim of Buqi.
Buqi aims to treat the root causes of disease and thereby release negative patterns, bringing the person back into balance and enabling health to be restored naturally. Buqi, is precise, subtle and yet powerful and can both clear and activate the body’s own natural regulatory functions.
The Double Vicious Circle
The theory of the double vicious circle is central to Buqi. Bad postural habits can start very early in life. For example when a child is very young, the head is heavy and a child often develops a way of using their body to compensate. Many habits formed through a person’s life can lead to distortion of the spinal column, results of which become pathogenic. Once a bad habit and poor body mechanics are developed, it can be difficult to change. In addition, there is a strong relationship between emotions and body posture. For example, sadness will create the tendency to hunch the shoulders, sink the chest, and round the upper back, leading to respiratory problems, binqi in the chest and consequently the aggravation of emotional problems. A person’s way of thinking and general approach to life is often the root to repetition of these negative patterns. All these aspects are interlinked and along with other possible influencing factors such as poor nutrition, weather and environment, form the roots of disease.
The spinal column is carrying our body weight and if we maintain good posture and use alternate parts of the spine to carry the body weight, the vertebrae and muscles will not feel tired. Many factors can influence contraction of the spine, including position of body at work (i.e. sitting for long periods in poor posture), excess weight and poor sleeping position. If through bad body mechanics and poor posture, the distance between two vertebral bodies becomes too narrow, and this goes on for a long time, it produces several side effects in the body.
First the supply of water to the intevertebral disc will diminish and reduce its spring. The function of the disc is to absorb the vibration from movement. After the late teens or so, the blood supply to the discs diminishes and the only way oxygen and nutrition can be maintained, is by the pumping action of walking. Once this area loses its elasticity and starts to collapse, the space between the vertebrae is narrowed and the vertebral body pushes on the intevertebral nerves and the nerve roots in that area creating irritation of the sympathetic nervous system. In addition there is compression on the blood vessel, folding or squeezing them and disturbing blood supply to the brain. This influences the functioning of the central nervous system and indirectly, the functioning of the organs.
If the irritation of intevertebral nerve and nerve roots goes on for a long period, it influences sensory nerves, resulting in swelling, infection of the nerve root and pain. This in turn disturbs transmission of information to the organ with which the nerve is connected and causes malfunction of that organ. Often in order to release these symptoms, a person will put themselves in a bad position, thus aggravating things all the more and what can start off as a minor problem can develop into something more serious.
As the joints and vertebrae become constricted blockages occur, causing accumulation of negative factors such as chemical residue building up in the joints and metabolic waste build up. Known as Binqi, these negative factors further reduce the body’s capacity to self regulate and disease is the result.
Linked to this vicious circle of body posture is the vicious circle of mental and emotional stress. Negative emotions can cause body posture to deteriorate and vice versa. Anger for example can cause a person to hold the chest high, the body appears bigger and a certain gas accumulates in the diaphragm. This position leads to a contraction in certain parts of the spine which then, through the accumulation of binqi, can influence organs such as the stomach, liver and gallbladder. Our emotions can be linked to both the way we think and our personal philosophies, as well as to our relationships with others and our environment and work life. Once emotional stress is present, it can influence the nervous system as well as posture. It is known that emotions influence the central nervous system and therefore indirectly the whole nervous system. Mental stress can affect the neurotransmitters and once there is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, this will affect the organs in the body. The hormonal system can also be influenced. Knowing you are sick may cause more emotional stress, influencing the posture and causing further disturbance of the neurotransmitters and so a vicious circle is the result. Central to the two vicious circles is the accumulation of Binqi.
As with all phenomena there is a negative and positive aspect. Binqi can be seen as the negative aspect of Qi. Qi is often translated as vital energy. Binqi (or Xieqi) however relates to negative factors accumulating in the body.
Binqi is naturally produced continuously and the word describes all kinds of bodily waste products including chemical and metabolic waste. When a person is healthy, binqi is eliminated adequately. However sometimes binqi becomes stuck in some part of the body, accumulating through blockage. Poor posture causes various areas to become constricted, particularly the joints and between the vertebrae and binqi can not be expelled adequately by the circulating blood and body fluids. The resulting factors combine to produce disease. Binqi can be produced both by poor body posture as well as negative emotions and excessive thinking and can have many different qualities and produce different sensations.
The different energy forces developed by a Buqi therapist, have their foundation in the practice of Taijiquan (Taiji 37). Originally, in ancient China, these forces were developed for fighting. As the need for hand to hand combat became less, so this special knowledge was developed further for self healing and healing others. The practitioner must develop mind, body and breathing techniques to a high level before being able to use these forces effectively for healing.
During a Buqi treatment a patient may be asked to sit, stand or lie down. After taking details of the patient’s health concerns and medical history, the practitioner will diagnose and then begin to treat. All the techniques are designed to both heal the patient and protect the practitioner from absorbing the patient’s Binqi. Most techniques are therefore hands off and directing Binqi away from both patient and therapist.Different hand techniques are used to either clear, or activate the system. A patient may experience a variety of physical and emotional sensations such as the spinal column lengthening, heat, itching, cold, the sensation of pain moving and clearing, crying, laughing and often, afterwards, a sensation of deep peace and relaxation
Diet, weather and environment can be factors influencing a person’s health and some advice may be given in these areas to assist healing and aid prevention. A patient may in addition to treatment be given specific exercises, empowering them to continue to improve and maintain their own health.
Buqi treatments with me, are available in Bristol, Bath and Weston. Please contact me for details.
Information field and information transmission
The human body is a highly developed organism that is far more than the sum of its parts. It is possible, through very specific mind, body and breathing exercises, to fine tune certain capacities of our system and activate, utilise and develop particular forces, both internal and external, that can strongly influence another person. All humans have this capacity, but most never learn to utilise it or realise its potential. In order to understand this idea we need to not just read about it. Some things can not be truly understood through the written word, they need to be experienced.
Our minds and bodies are constantly transmitting and receiving information. Most of this information occurs within our own body, activating the energy system and keeping the body in a constant state of flux, internally and externally. Information can also, however, be transmitted outside the body, even into another person. We have all been with someone who is very unhappy and felt a sense of heaviness in the chest. Similarly, if we are with someone who is happy and laughing this can be transmitted to us lifting our mood. This shows us how much we influence each other.
A Buqi therapist learns first, through the practice of Taijiwuxigong, to become more sensitive to their own physical, mental and emotional state. Through repetition of exercises to clear Binqi and open the channels and energetic pathways, the body becomes healthier and the mind becomes quieter as internal noise diminishes. Eventually a profound state of quiet and a feeling of expansion and emptiness can be reached. At this stage the practitioner naturally becomes far more sensitive both to themselves and others, as well as receiving different kinds of information not normally perceived. Through Taijiwuxigong and meditation practice, a Buqi practitioner can improve the clarity of this information. By studying Buqi therapy the Buqi practitioner will start to learn how to deliberately transmit information to others for health and happiness. Healthy bodies send out healthy information and therefore it is important that the practitioner continues to exercise and develop. A practitioner will eventually learn how to create an ‘information field’ and transmit various different types of health information to a patient.
Information is generated via different states of mind and body. A practitioner learns first to influence their own energy system activating, organs, nerves, endocrine glands, meridians and muscles. Then by simulating the expelling of Binqi from their own system, this information will transmit to the body of the patient creating the same effect.
Mental force leads the process of health information transmission and central to its development is learning to control the direction or alignment of the cellular motive force. All cells in our body are vibrating but the multi directional nature of different cells vibration counteracts their force. Developing the ability to give clear direction to the force of this vibration in a given part of the body enables the practitioner to use vibration force to enervate or stimulate for healing. Optimizing the vibration force of cells is key to improving their metabolism. Warmth information can also be transmitted via warm hands and dantian force, enabling chemical changes to take place, encouraging blood circulation, expelling Binqi and improving the function of the metabolism.
Also key to being able to clear and activate the system via health information transmission is the development of dantian force and the utilization of earth force. Buqi information transmission relies on dantian force in order for that information to be sent to the patient’s body. The dantian is located halfway between the naval and pubic bone between the straight abdominal muscles. This is a very active physiological centre and the ancient Chinese belief is that the dantain is the centre of Yanqi (often translated as energy). The dantain is connected to the adrenal glands through a nerve branch, and influences the entire energy system. It is also linked to the lymphatic system and therefore to the production of immunity substances. When the dantian is active it releases stored energy and strengthens internal force. Dantian movement force plays a key role in emission and leading of Binqi out of the physical body.
Dantian force is one of the basic forces of Spontaneous movement and an experienced therapist can transmit mental information to induce spontaneous movement in a patient. This can regulate balance of body and mind, clearing binqi and creating energy circulations.
The therapist must also learn how to bring earth force into the body. This helps stretch the spinal column, enlarge the intevertebral spaces and through particular body posture can help influence the natural frequency of the straight abdominal muscles, increasing the vibration in that area and thus activating the dantian. Once all forces are combined in the body (muscle movement, peristalsis, sound and breathing) they can then be transmitted via the palms and fingertips to another person.
It is always important for a Buqi therapist to keep in good health, physically, mentally, and emotionally. In order to effectively transmit information the central channel must be open. Emotional information is a very important part of health information transmission and by creating positive emotional information and continuing to practice we can encourage the opening of the central channel in others and happiness will be the result.
A contemporary health system
As we embark on the Twenty First Century, people are living longer and wish to maintain well-being and mobility. Work often places great demands upon physical and emotional health, and diseases are constantly evolving. Howeve, healthcare is also evolving. These days it is not uncommon to find complimentary practitioners working alongside conventional doctors. Many people wish to have choices in terms of their healthcare and also would like to have more control over their own well-being. The Buqi system is a powerful force in this arena, taking us from the microscopic and chemical medical approach into the era of ‘postural medicine.’
Tuina, Chinese massage, was developed more than 4,700 years ago.’Tui‘ means to push and ‘Na‘ to pull. Tuina comprises of about ten systems. The most important ones are:
- Bafa tuina: eight hand techniques
- Xiaour tuina: special techniques for babies
- DianXiu tuina or YI Zhi Zhan tuina: treating specific points on the body. (The Japanese adopted this system and called it shiatsu)
- Zheng Guo tuina or Song Ke tuina: setting of bones
- Yunqi tuina: massaging specific points at certain times on certain days
- Zhu tuina: foot massage
- Zhe Wuo anmo: self massage
Buqi Tuina is a new system based on the principles of Buqi healing. In Buqi Tuina we mainly use eight techniques plus vibration force and finger vibration therapy. Look out for more information soon.
Dr. Shen Hongxun
Dr Shen Hongxun is the founder of the Buqi Institute, Belgium.
Dr Shen studied with Shen BoaTai (his grandfather), Professor Yao Huan Zhi (famous for his ’empty force’), Master Xia ZhiXin (the only pure Nanpai Taijiquan master Dr Shen has found), He Jingqing and Lama FaHai (an enlightened Tibetan master).Dr Shen was introduced to Taoist meditation, Taijiquan and Buddhist practices from a very young age and these studies formed the basis for his later work with Buqi.
As an adult, Dr Shen spent over two decades working in China in the area of medicine. He held many eminent positions, including, Hospital Director in a hospital in Xingjian, technical director of a pharmaceutical factory (where he led research into Chinese herbs) and chief Qigong physician in Huangpu Hospital, Shanghai. Dr Shen also opened a Taijiquan school and taught Taijiquan and Taijiwuxigong. As a result of Mao Tse Tung’s exhortation to ‘combine Eastern and Western medicine’ Dr Shen was able to explore the possibilities of Buqi treatment, using the’special forces’ he had developed through years of practice, to heal his patients.He also taught acupuncture and specialised in teaching the tranmission of Qi through the needles.
In 1983 he was asked by China’s Central Health Ministry, to head a research project into Qigong as a treatment for short sightedness. His findings and subsequent research, have led to the development of a whole new approach to preventing and treating the root causes of disease.
In 1987 Dr Shen was invited to teach by the University of Gent, Belgium, and the university of Venice, Italy, where he was supervisor for the Ph.D. students. Since then he has been teaching Buqi, Taijiwuxigong, Wuxi meditation and Taiji 37 (the Southern faction of Taijiquan) in Europe, the USA and Japan.
Dr Shen’s ability to transmit knowledge and to help students understand that knowledge, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, is consummate and ultimately, liberating.
Master Shen Jin
Master Shen Jin is director and principal teacher of the Buqi Institute. She holds a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine and began studying Taijiquan and Qigong with her father at the age of nine. At twenty one she began to teach and became the youngest female master in the history of Qigong. She has been teaching Taijiwuxigong, Taijiquan and E-mei internationally for over twenty five years and has developed the same ’empty force’ for which her father is world famous.
Shen Jin is an exemplary female master with great compassion,and as such, is a great inspiration.