Chi Kung is considered to have been practised in China for thousands of years. It's early history vaguely recorded. One event however is worthy of note. In the year 520AD  the Sage Boddhidharma, Tat Moh to the Chinese, settled at the Shaolin temple and later taught Chi Kung to the monks. Tat Moh was the 28th patriarch of Indian Buddhism and his teachings almost certainly drew on knowledge from India which most likely has evolved into modern Indian practices such as yoga. Shaolin Chi Kung might therefore be regarded as a fusion of Indian and Chinese wisdom.
 I originally came across  Chi Kung whilst seeking relief from Chinese medicine for an aging and injured back. Chi Kung has not only relieved the problem, but totaly changed my life. After exhausting an extensive library, and studying under several masters. Plus studying at the Nam Yang retreat in Thailand.  I am ready to share this accumulated knowledge. Tuition is available in group sessions or private personal tuition.
Steve Green, Certified instructor in Chinese Chi Kung
Tong Ling Chi Kung
Vein Tendon Chi Kung
Chi Kung
Is  not just a way of life, it is life.

Get in touch today!  Contact

Chi Kung - Qigong

There are clues in the Chinese character Chi or Qi, to it's meaning. As many Chinese characters emerged as drawings. Over time they became simplified but still retain the essence of what is being conveyed. The character for Chi is written in two parts. the upper part representing air or steam. The lower part is the character for rice (cooking) together they represent the simple equation; Food + Air = Energy.
The word "Kung" means work or to work with. Chi Kung can thus be translated as Working with Energy. The art of circulating Chi in the most appropriate way to the purpose for which it is practiced.
There are many different systems of Chi Kung, some practiced with the body still and some moving to various forms and movements. Various forms of traditional Chi Kung in China are related to health and the spiritual currents of China such as Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Chi Kung is a strong basis for many martial arts. Kung Fu is strongly based on Chi Kung and the cultivation of Chi. Chi Kung is practiced for therapeutic purposes is based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Spiritually Chi Kung is practiced to the principles of alchemy and varies depending on the current and the spiritual center of the proceeding.
The achievements and reactions aroused by the practice of Chi Kung vary remarkably. Several medical studies support the benefits attributed to the practice of Chi Kung related to an improvement in health, promoting physical exercise, relaxation, increased blood oxygen level and improve flexibility, as well as mobility and joint elasticity. The benefits of Chi Kung are numerable Physically it gives you a great feeling of health and well being, eliminating aches and pains. Emotionally it can calm and balance the body and mind. Mentally it gives you focus, clarity and greater insight.
The Kidneys and the Winter months
As we fall deeper into the winter months. It is time to pay attention to one of the most underated organs in western medicine. The kidneys, in traditional Chinese medicine the kidneys play a far bigger role, and in winter time they are at there most vunerable. Although all organs connect to the heart through the aorta. The Kineys and Heart have a very close relationship The kidneys and the aorta actually share the same space. The retroperitoneum whicn represents the meeting place of the shao yin channel.
Yes as western medicine diplicts, the kidneys regulate blood, the blood pH, blood pressure by secreting retin which with the help of the liver, lungs and arterial walls normalises blood pressure and contributes to the metabolism.

⦁    The Kidneys also store Jing (Zhi) which is related to willpower, the more jing you have, the stronger your willpower. Jing rules willpower and the suvival instinct.

⦁    Not only a source of hormones it is the controller of our liquid interior. The Kidneys filter water from the blood and are related to water in Chinese medicine. The Kidneys actually dominate water metabolism.

⦁    The Kidneys control bones, by having the final control of vcitamin D (calcitriol) the most important hormone for bone health.

⦁    Comunicates with the heart through at least 5 different  hormones. All hormones are intimately connected to our emotional and phychological health and well being.

⦁    Fills the peculiar marrow in the brain. Keeps the senses alert by filling the brain with jing.

⦁    The Kidneys energy controls reproduction and sexual drive.

The kidneys are far more than the filtration system decribed in western medicine. In fact the Kidneys do everything  ancient Chinese medicine has always said they do. The Kidney organs are seen as the seeds of life in Chinese medicine and infact do resemble to seeds or beans. The Kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body.

Just as the moon effects the movement of our oceans, our bodys are also affected by nature and it's seasons. The winter season, belongs to the kidney. Just as in nature plants and trees go to rest and energy goes to the roots. So does the energy in our bodies, The Kidneys are the roots  of our system. Take this time to for and strengthen the roots and the growth in Spring will be strong and fruitful.

Dark food, the kidneys (and bladder) like food that is dark and salty. This does not mean adding salt, but foods that are naturall salty. Black beans, black eyed beans, black soya and black sesame seeds are all good. walnuts are especially good and of course kidney beans.

Drink plenty of warm water. Note cold water or any cold drink is bad. Kidneys hate the cold, internally and external, this is also a good reason stay wrapped up warm in the Winter months. especially in the kidney area. Bare foot or without shoes on cold areas can weaken the Kidneys. The accupunture point K1 is on the sole of your foot and is directly connected to the Kidneys.

Chi kung, between the two kidneys is a point called the Ming meng this is the start of the belt channel which passes the kidneys to the quing meng and finnishes at the Tan tien just below the navel. Any exercise involving this channel is stimulating the Kidneys. The Kidneys are responsible for the emotions Negative - fear and Positive - gentleness. When practicing Chi Kung it is a good idea to smile down to your Kidneys, Be positive and bring your chi down to the Ming Meng.
The Ton Ling system is well suited to Kidney stimulation.

Steve Green.
Dragonfly Chi Kung.     

The importance of Stretching

For the majority of people, faith and value of stretching is very misplaced. People in general accociate stretching with pain. In a small degree this can be true, if you were to atempt something never tried before. For example, if you was to try to go all the way in the box split for the first time, even the thought is painfull. On a more sensible level a stretch like any other exercise should be started slow, gently and in moderation and always within your limits. Stretching is a natural action practised by the whole animal kingdom, only we humans neglect this. When I watch my dog Luna awake from rest, her first natural reaction is to stretch. In its most basic form, stretching is a natural and instinctive activity.

As we stretch we open the chanels and meridians alowing chi to flow more easily. The tendons and facia benifit greatly from stretching.  Achiveing greater flexibility and range of motion, elasticity and muscle tone. Flexibility through stretching is one of the basic tenets of physical fitness. Atheletes commonly stretch before and after exercise, reducing risk of injury. Cramp can also be alleviated through stretching.
Thinking of stretching as a form of maintenance, esencial maintenance.  Makes it a little more acceptable. Taken slowly setting goals to push a little more each day. Be carefull it can become adictive.
In the ancient Chinese art of Chi Kung there are many movements which include stretching and it is a integral part of any routine.

Some Soreness after exercise is normal, especialy if you have been inactive for some time. There are two reasons for this. First, you are exercising muscles and tendons which you have seldom exercised before. Start slowly within your limitations. Remember you are conditioning your physical body from weak to strong, this takes time. Second, after you exercise, the circulation of the Chi and blood will be enhanced. This will enliven your nervous system at the local area and make it more sensitive. When this happens, soreness may be experianced. Do not be discouraged by this, it will only happen the first few sessions. Treat it as a challenge. Always remember that, the more you move, the better your physical condition will become.
Stretching is especially benificial for older citizens. As we get older, our muscles become shorter, loseing their elasticity.  Causing us to slowdown and in some cases stop altogether. When the body doesn’t move, it only gets weaker.  Stretching is an important part of a senior’s flexibility helping offset the effects of normal decline in the flexibility of your joints, helping you to remain active and independent.  

Note: any stretch should, at least at first be done with qualified instruction. for this reason I have not included any pacific stretches, But I can't stress enough the importance of stretching.

What if

What if I told you there was 'something' you could do, that if learnt and practised properly, could improve your health, make you feel energised and help you deal with stress?
What if I went on to tell you that this same 'something' could improve your posture, give your body a greater range of motion, increase your flexibility, assist in the well being of your internal organs, help you meditate and improve bodily co-ordination.
What if I then went on to tell you that this 'something' can be learnt by people of any age or ability no matter what their current health or fitness level. Based on this, I am guessing that you might now think that this 'something' is at least worth finding out about?
The 'something' I am talking about is called: Chi Kung

~~ Master Iain Armstrong ~~

Sun Frost White Crane Chi Kung

General Quotations and Stories

"Man's body must have exercise, but it should never be done to the point of exhaustion.  By moving about briskly, digestion is improved, the blood vessels are opened, and illnesses are prevented.  It is like a used doorstep which never rots.  As far as Tao Yin (bending and stretching exercises) is  concerned, we have the bear's neck, the crane's twist, and swaying the waist and moving the joints to promote long life.  Now I have created the art called the Frolics of the Five Animals: the Tiger, the Deer, the Bear, the Monkey, and the Crane.   It eliminates sickness, benefits the legs, and is also a form of Tao Yin.  If you feel out of sorts, just practice one of my Frolics.  A gentle sweat will exude, the complexion will become rosy; the body will feel light and you will want to eat."
-   Hua To, History of the Later Han, Translated by Paul B. Gallagher,
    Drawing Silk: A Training Manual for T'ai Chi, 1988, p. 6.

"An ancient text, The Spring and Autumn Annals, states that in mythic times a great flood covered much of China.  Stagnant waters produced widespread disease. The legendary shaman-emperor Yu cleared the land and diverted the waters into rivers by dancing a bear dance and invoking the mystical power of the Big Dipper Constellation.  As the waters subsided, people reasoned that movement and exercise can similarly cause the internal rivers to flow more smoothly, clearing the meridians of obstructions to health.  Qigong-like exercises are found on ancient rock art panels throughout China.  Chinese shamans used these exercises and meditations to commune with nature and natural forces and to increase their powers of healing and divination.
-   Kenneth S. Cohen, What is Qigong

“Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
― Lao Tzu

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
― Lao Tzu

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
― Lao Tzu

Those who understand others are clever, those who understand themselves are wise.
Tao Te Ching chapter 33

The superior student listens to the Way and follows it closely. The average student listens to the Way and follows some and some not. The
lesser student listens to the Way and laughs out loud. If there were no laughter it would not be the Way.
Tao Te Ching chapter 41

How Fast Can I Learn?
A martial arts student went to a teacher and declared he wanted to learn the system, he was devoted and ready. How long would it take? The teacher replied: “Ten years.”
The student, a bit impatient and not satisfied with the answer went ahead and said: But I want to master it faster than that, I will work every hard, practice 10 or more hours a day if necessary. How long would it THEN take? The teacher replied: “Twenty years.”

I Left Her At The River
A senior and junior monk are walking down a path together and they come to a river with a strong current. As they prepare to cross they see a young, beautiful woman in need of help to brave the waters. She notices the monks and asks for help. The senior monk carries the woman on his shoulder and lets her gently down on the other bank. They part ways. The junior monk is upset.
Hours go by and the senior monk noticing the discomfort on the younger monk asks: Is something in your mind? The junior monk says: “As monks we are not permitted to touch a woman, how could you carry her across the river?” – The senior monk replies: “I left the woman hours ago at the bank, however, you seem to still be carrying her”.

There was once a meeting of teachers and students. The students were asked to come up with what they considered to be the most important aspect of zen. After a lengthy discussion, one student who was the spokesman for the group said, “We have decided that the most important aspect is awareness. After a long silence, the student repeated that they thought awareness was the most important aspect. Master Li replied, “What?”Master Li continued on about the most important aspect. “If you are on an important one hundred mile walk, what is the most important step? The first? The one that completed the halfway point, or the one that successfully completed the trek? Without the first, the journey would not ever start. Without the step halfway through, it would indicate you had given up or something had happened to you. Without the last step, you would not have had success in finally completing the journey after having come so far. So tell me, is one step more important than any other?”

Yuan Hsie lived in squalor in Lu, while Tse Kung amassed great wealth in Wei. Within a short time span, both killed themselves. A disciple asked his master, “Master, why did both these men choose to end their lives?” The master replied, “Poverty galled the one, and riches caused uneasiness in the other. So you see disciple Chan, poverty will not do nor wealth either.” Disciple Chan said, “But what then will do master?” “What will do is to enjoy life and take one’s ease, for those who know how to enjoy life are not poor, and he that lives at ease requires no riches” answered the master.

The disciple asked the master, “Are all people the same?” The master responded “That in which all beings differ is life, that in which they are all alike is death. During life there is the difference of intelligence and foolishness, honor and meanness, but in death there is the equality of rottenness and putrefaction. Neither can be prevented. Although intelligence and foolishness, honor and meanness exist, no human power can affect them, just as rottenness and putrefaction cannot be prevented. Human beings cannot make life and death, intelligence and stupidity, honorableness and meanness, what they are, for all beings live and die equally, are equally wise and stupid, honorable and mean. Some die at the age of ten, some at one hundred. The wise and benevolent die as the cruel and imbecile. In death, there are so many bones which cannot be distinguished. But if we hasten to enjoy our life, we have no time to trouble about what comes after death.”

On a summer afternoon, a Taoist teacher gave a talk to local townspeople. After the talk was over, he was gathering up his things when a man approached him. “That was a great talk, I really learned a great deal. You are an excellent teacher!” The teacher smiled and said softly “Perhaps”. The man walked away and the teacher continued packing his bag for he had another town to visit and speaking engagement to fulfill. Suddenly, another man came up to him. “That was a total waste of time. You obviously don‘t know what you‘re talking about!. You are a terrible teacher!” The teacher smiled and said softly “Perhaps”. Letting praise inflate us or letting criticism deflate us knocks us out of balance. The key to maintaining harmony with the universe is to keep one’s balance at all times. We can achieve this by not becoming attached to any emotions or concepts about others or ourselves.

Once a great drought struck a valley. People were desperate and suffering. Some of the people noticed that one farm seemingly was unaffected. Out of curiosity, a group of the farmers went over to ask the owner why his farm was not drought stricken. “I have a special well” he said pointing over to a simple looking well. “It is a well filled with the Tao. No matter how much I use, there is more and more.” He invited the other farmers to come closer to inspect the well. He then passed out cups so that they too could drink from this well. “How deep is this well” asked one. The farmer replied, “Too deep to measure!” One farmer who was skeptical picked up a large rock and threw it down the well. He then stood and waited to hear a splash, but it never came. The farmers who were thirsty drank and drank and drank until they were no longer thirsty. Within a short time, the drought was over. All the residents who had drank from the well of Tao were content and peaceful. The Tao is an endless well that never runs dry and never fails to quench the thirst of those who seek wisdom.

A Tao master and two of his young disciples were on a walk and came to a fast moving stream. “How shall we cross” asked the students. “When I was your age” said the master “I took a running start and jumped to the other side.” The students looked at each other perplexed but decided to try. The first boy ran as fast as he could and leaped but came up well short of the other side and fell into the cold water. The second boy also tried but he too could not reach the other side and fell into the water. After they got out of the water they said, “How is it master, that you could jump so far and get across?” The master replied “Yes, I could do it. Of course when I was your age, the stream was much narrower.” The master then proceeded to walk across some rocks in the stream to reach the other side. Things change, thus strategies must change. What worked yesterday may not be the right approach for today. The Tao flows one way and then another. Always be ready to adjust to the shifting tides.

The Woodcarver
Khing, the master carver, made a bell stand Of precious wood. When it was finished,All who saw it were astounded. They said it must be The work of spirits. The Prince of Lu said to the master carver:
"What is your secret?"
Khing replied: "I am only a workman: I have no secret. There is only this: When I began to think about the work you commanded I guarded my spirit, did not expend it
On trifles, that were not to the point. I fasted in order to set My heart at rest. After three days fasting,
I had forgotten gain and success. After five days I had forgotten praise or criticism. After seven days
I had forgotten my body With all its limbs. "By this time all thought of your Highness And of the court had faded away. All that might distract me from the work Had vanished. I was collected in the single thought Of the bell stand. "Then I went to the forest To see the trees in their own natural state. When the right tree appeared before my eyes, The bell stand also appeared in it, clearly, beyond doubt. All I had to do was to put forth my hand and begin.
"If I had not met this particular tree There would have been No bell stand at all. "What happened? My own collected thought Encountered the hidden potential in the wood; From this live encounter came the work Which you ascribe to the spirits."
~~The Way of Chuang Tzu~~

Embracing Tao, you become embraced. Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.
Clearing your vision, you become clear. Nurturing your beloved, you become impartial.
Opening your heart, you become accepted. Accepting the World, you embrace Tao.
Bearing and nurturing, Creating but not owning, Giving without demanding, Controlling without authority, This is love.”
― Lao Tzu, The Teachings of Lao-Tzu: The Tao-Te Ching

"Legend has it that when Bodhidharma arrived at Shaolin [circa 525 CE], the monks practicing there were frail and sickly and fell asleep when they tried to meditate.  He believed that strong bodies and good health would aid their spiritual practices and supposedly taught them three qigong exercises that are still practiced: The Muscle and Tendon Changing Classic (yi jin jing), Bone-Marrow Washing (xi sui jing), and the Eighteen Lohan Qigong (shi ba lo han gong).  There is some disagreement as to whether these exercise were from Indian yogic or Chinese qigong traditions and whether they originated in Bodhidharma's time or later. 
    The movements of the original Eighteen Lohan Qigong (a lohan, or arhat, is one who has reached the stage of nirvana) became the basis of martial training and in time developed into a more complex system of 72 movements.  By the time of the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), these has expanded to 170.  These movements were expressed in the Five Styles, which drew upon the fighting styles, characteristics, and spirits of different animals.  The dragon, tiger, leopard, snake and crane (or cock) styles represented the training of spirit, bones, strength, qi, and sinews respectively.  It was said that to truly master this "mimic boxing" (imitating various animals), the human ego had to be set aside, which is also one characterization of the goal of Chan Buddhism."
-  Andy James, The Spiritual Legacy of Shaolin Temple, p. 31

"In dwelling he has no shape, and in abiding he has no place. In movement he has no form, and in quiescence he has no body. He is there but looks as if he were gone, he is alive but looks as if he were dead. He comes in and out of the spaceless and has gods and demons at his orders; he sinks into the unfathomable and enters into the spaceless. He exchanges his form with what is different from him. End and beginning for him are like a ring, and nobody knows his patterns. This is how his essence and spirit can lead him to ascend to the Dao. This is where the True Man roams.
    As for inspiring and expiring while emitting the sounds chui and xu, exhaling the old and inhaling the new [breath], hanging like a bear and stretching like a bird, bathing like a duck and leaping like a gibbon, glaring like an owl and staring like a tiger--these are for the people who "nourish their form," and he does not confuse his mind with them.
-   Huainan zi, chapter 7. Translation published in Fabrizio Pregadio, "The Notion of 'Form' and the Ways of Liberation in Daoism," Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 14 (2004): 119-20.