While studying in Beijing in the midd 90’s I got invited to attend a seminar by Professor Dr. Zhu Zongxiang who introduced us to a simple but very effective qigong exercise to improve your health. He named it the 3 – 1 – 2 method, referring to
- 3 as the acupuncture points stimulated
- 1 abdominal breathing exercise
- 2 leg squatting exercise
3 Acupuncture points stimulation
The main idea of stimulating these points are to regulate the Qi (life force) in the whole body for good health and well being.
- Hegu (Li4) helps to clear the head and neck and helps the Qi to flow freely in the upper body.
- Neiguan Pc6 helps to calm the heart an let the Qi flow harmonically in the trunk.
- Zusanli St36, strengthens the qi, increases your vitality and moves qi freely in the lower extremities.
This points of course have a variety of other indications. Below you will find a list with the most important indications for each point.
Hegu Li4 (合谷穴)
Between the first and second metacarpal bones of the thumb and index finger.
One of the most important points for treating
- Neck pain
- Tooth ache
- Pain in the upper extremities
- cold, cough, sinusitis, fever
On the plantar side of the forearm, 2 fun proximal to the wrist crease (2 Cun are the distance between the tip of your index finger and the second interphalangeal joint).
Between the tendons of palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis.
- Heart pain, palpitation, stuffiness of the heart
- stomach pain, uppset stomach
- pain of elbow and upper arm
Below the knee, 3 cun (four finger wide) inferior to the knee cap (patella), one finger breadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia.
- epigastric pain, nausea vomiting
- insufficiency of qi (life force)
- Painful throat
- emotional disturbance
1 Abdominal Breathing
The abdominal breathing helps to massage and harmonise the internal organs. Through the deep inhaling and exhaling your diaphragm moves up and down. By this movement all the organs get slightly compressed and released like a massage.
The breathing exercise is best done in a lying position (sitting and standing is also possible).
- Inhale through your nose, mouth keeps closed and the tip of your tongue touches lightly the upper gum.
- Inhale deeply into your abdomen so the abdomen expands and gets bigger.
- Keep the breath for about 4 – 5 seconds before exhaling. Don’t use force, the abdomen expands naturally while you inhale.
- While exhaling the abdomen flattens again.
- Your mind is focused at Dantian (丹田), an area slightly below the navel on the middling between the navel and in the depression below the spinous process of the second lumbar vertebrae.
By squating we mainly stretch and stimulate the bladder meridian, which runs along the spine, over the buttock, through the hamstrings, calfs to the outside of the small toe. The bladder has a relation with the kidney, which stores the essence, nourishes the bones and strengthens the back. So by squating wie strengthen our back and bones.
The squat is done the same way as a gym squat. Starting position:
- Shoulder wide stance
- tighten your gluten (squeeze the buttocks)
- tighten your abs (bring the belly button towards your spine)
- keep your shoulders upright
- keep your head straight
- Squatting starts from the hip, relax the hip and sink down like you want to sit on a chair without loosing the tension in your gluten.
- Your knees shouldn’t move forward, try to keep the lower leg in the same position if possible.
- While sinking, bring up your arms in front of your body till shoulder hight.
- While standing up sink the arms and straighten the legs – keep your back stable and straight the whole time.