Practitioners' News

Qi Gong for the Yin Brain – A Self-Help Technique

by John Stan | Jan 05, 2016

Last month, I wrote an article called the Dual Screen Experience – The Benefits of a Healthy Perspective. If you didn't have a chance to read it, you can find the article here.

The article explored the latest trend in technology that encourages TV viewers to log into the TV station’s website with a laptop or other portable device to view additional information on the program that is being aired. In essence, the viewer could watch a drama with two levels of information being presented at the same time. The viewer then was able to focus on the main drama or check the second screen to view in-depth details about the current scene or show.

While on the surface this might not be too appealing, the article explored how our brain - with its left and right hemispheres - are like two screens, presenting different types of data. As we know, the nature of each hemisphere has significant differences. From a TCM perspective, we can label the left hemisphere as more Yang in nature as its processes were more geared to survival. The right hemisphere we could label as more Yin in its qualities, as it provides us with higher levels of experience that nurtures and expands our being.

The problems I see in my clinic (and I have confirmed with this with many colleagues) is that most patients presenting are suffering with health problems generated from lifestyle issues and/or excess (or poorly navigated) stress. 

In this article, I will share with you a technique that I have taught many patients over the years. This technique helps to strengthen the right brain and helps the patient to develop the skill of stopping for a moment and reframing their current experience. This reframing exercise is easily done, and requires no special equipment or environment. It engages the patient in a process of momentarily tuning out of the immediate experience, changing perspectives and referencing images that affirm inherent strengths. In other words, move out of the left brain’s fight-flight adventure and into the right brain’s larger open-ended empowering and modulating perspective. Like watching the two screens, one is the main drama; the second provides perspective on the main drama. Switching back and forth between both screens provides the viewer with new points of view and understanding. Like yin and yang exchanging regularly, a balanced, engaged perspective is realized. Having multiple frames of reference creates healthy stress responses. The moment we get stuck in one perspective is the moment energy starts to stagnate and options seem limited.

The words Qi Gong translate as “Energy Cultivation exercises”. This branch of Chinese health philosophy teaches us that Qi, or life force, can be enhanced and promoted by conscious effort.

Qi Gong practices are rooted in the utilization of two methods to engaging Qi or vitality. The first being breath, and the second being thought. The adage “Where our thoughts go, that is where the Qi goes” and “Lungs command the Qi” are the foundational principles that all forms of Qi Gong evolve from. Breathing and thinking! What could be simpler?

In this technique we will use breath and thoughts to specifically activate and nurture aspects of the right/Yin brain so that in time, it will be empowered to provide a mitigating and balancing effect on our daily stressors. By training our patients to do likewise, we help break the chronic, degenerative trend of having their nervous system being stuck in sympathetic mode.  

As healthcare practitioners, we have many physical techniques to offer immediate relief to our patients - but actually taking the time during a treatment to teach them a skill that is theirs for life is very fulfilling. I would suggest, as you read this article, to try each step out yourself. Then, once you have tried and understand the process, practice it for a few weeks to see what it is like in real time.

Once you have integrated the technique into a regular practice throughout the day, share it with your patients. We have included at the end of this article a “Patient Article” called “The Benefits of Healthy Perspective”. This article provides an overview for your patients on the left and right hemispheres of the brain, the current phenomena of Left Brain, fight-flight dominance and the benefits of being able to develop the skill of re-framing, using the right brain and how doing so will reduce stress. The article also encourages the reader to talk to you about learning such techniques for long-lasting benefits. When you are ready, make the article available to your patients in the waiting room, and enjoy the process of teaching the technique to your patients.

If you have any questions or feedback feel free to contact me. I hope you enjoy practicing and teaching this very special technique!

Yours in Health,
John Stan, DrTCM

Teach your patients Second Screen, Right Brain Exercise /
Qi Gong for the Yin Brain


Patients Handout - The Benefits of a Healthy Perspective


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