Sinking your chi is a very important skill to learn to keep your body healthy. As we move from Winter into the Spring sinking your chi helps you clear out old energies in your body. The simple fact is that during the Winter most people do not sink their chi. The chi in the body becomes stuck and does not easily move downward.
Chi becomes stagnant in the winter season because of the cold. Winter is the time when the kidneys are activated. This in general brings up the emotions of fear and a sense of loneliness. In the winter we have dark days without sunlight because of rain. Then there is the cold snow in some places.
All of these factors can get your Chi stuck. So, it’s very important that when you’re coming out of the winter to focus on having your chi drop or sink. Let’s explore two ways you can sink your chi…The basic idea is to get your chi to sink from the top of your head all the way down to your feet. There are in general two basic Taoist processes to sink chi. One is a simplified version of sinking chi and the other one is a Taoist method called outer dissolving. There are differences in how they are done and when you might choose one method over the other.
The first method of sinking your chi is to develop the ability of having your energy drop from higher places in your body to lower places in your body. You develop the sense of chi moving downward from your head to your lower tantien and then into your feet. You simply stand/sit and take your concentration from to top of your head downward going area by area. It is that simple.
Sinking your chi is incredibly useful in clearing out basic stagnant chi in the body. That’s what it does. It’s based on the principle that energy which the body cannot use goes downwards. When that energy reaches the feet the stagnant energy releases down into the earth.
To do this simplified method you can start by standing or sitting. Place your the attention at the top of your head. Then move your attention from the top of your head downward through your body all the way to your feet and into the earth. Rather than focus on individual spots in your body you are dropping your awareness and attention through your body as a whole. Relax any area that is tense and let your energy drop to the next lower area until you are at your feet. If you are sensitive you will feel the chi drop and if not just know that it is possible and this method works.
If you want to become very strong and healthy, then this method of sinking chi is particularly useful. That is why for example when practicing internal martial arts, the first focus is not on outer dissolving but is on sinking chi. What this does is condenses the chi of the body and makes it more heavy.
We generally think of someone weighing 300 pounds will be dramatically stronger and more powerful than somebody who weighs 100. The purpose of the first method sinking your chi is by internally opening your chi downward so that if you’re 100 pounds your strength can start equaling the strength of somebody who’s 150, 200, or 300 pounds normally, or even more.
I described this in my book, The Power of Internal Martial Arts and Chi. It is as though someone who has a normal body, let’s say is made of just tin, hits someone whose body energy is more like led. In this case the tin crumbles, regardless of whether it’s bigger than them or not.
This basic method of sinking of chi is a very important practice as we move into spring. You want to clear your body of old stagnant energy. You want to release that energy into the earth. You want to start the spring feeling fresh and invigorated.
Now this version of sinking chi, sets the stage for the next method of outer dissolving. It is important to say here that neither method is better or worse. They both are useful depending on the circumstances. You may find areas in your body are tight or may feel that your energy is blocked for some unknown reason. That is when you should use the next method of sinking chi, the Taoist method of outer dissolving.
The outer dissolving method of sinking chi is likened to the process of how ice dissolves to water and then water dissolves to gas. You start from the top of your head and go from point to point stopping at any blockages and dissolving that blockage internally from ice to water and then water to gas outward. It takes practice to learn this but once you have it in your system it is highly effective.
Outer dissolving is not necessarily for developing physical strength, where I would say basic sinking is more efficient. Rather it is goes beyond blockages that are just physical and works with your emotional and mental energy bodies.
Outer dissolving is more useful if you have a specific physical problem in an area of your body or if you have general disease. For example, if you have chronic fatigue syndrome or if you had liver problems, heart problems or any physiological problems then with Outer Dissolving you can target specific systems or areas.
If the energy of your internal organs is disturbed this often causes your emotions to be disturbed as well. When this happens your emotional stability and balance is almost always effected. In this case, dissolving is going to be more powerful because it will help you clear your emotional blockages as well as your physical blockages. However, if you don’t have health issues, as I mentioned then sinking can be more useful in terms of just developing physical strength and power.
This is a really important subject and this is just a brief overview of the topic. So I hope this was a helpful introduction to the two ways to sink your Chi. Please leave a comment below or ask any further questions…
For more info on sinking chi there is a chapter in my book Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Qigong for Lifelong Health that goes into more details.