I am running into some serious problems in my QiGung practice, as new as it is.
BK Frantzis says that the main focus of QiGung is in strengthening the nerves so that chi flows more easily along them and modulates biological processes more completely and easily. To this end, various “postures” are assumed by the practitioner, and the effects build with consistency of practice.
Students are warned not to try to do too much and to back off if they experience adverse effects from too much energetic input into nerves unprepared for this; the symptoms are physical exhaustion and nervous exhaustion at the same time, a very unpleasant experience.
I first reached this point my increasing my standing time too rapidly, then later by trying to “breathe” into my lower Tantien during a standing session. It took several days to recover. I also became seriously depressed, complete with suicidal thoughts. (I hasten to add that I have had lifelong depression and suicidal ideation since early childhood, so this is not the red flag it would be in somebody who did not have this history.)
Earlier this week I took a short hour-long introductory class to help me get “up to speed” in joining an ongoing 9-class cycle exploring the Dragon and Tiger medical QiGung. Since I get almost no exercise outside of my standing practice, I found it somewhat taxing. But I was dismayed to find out that just this amount of practice produced the overwhelm symptoms described above. That was Wednesday, and I am still feeling the symptoms slightly as of Friday night. This is not good, as Dragon and Tiger is a basic set of healing postures described as mild and suitable for “almost anybody”. But perhaps, sadly, not for me at this time.
This nerve problem is another in a long list of symptoms and abnormalities that I have had lifelong, and which I labored to understand for decades. I believe I have figured out the basic problem, but I have no direct medical data to back this up, only the results of various tests that together paint a picture.
Here are some of the more obvious nerve abnormalities:
- I was tested after an auto accident and found to have an “abnormal EEG due to photic flicker following and bilateral slowing”. In other words, my brain waves try to synchronize with stimuli in my environment, in this case, flashing lights. This is a common epilepsy trigger. In fact, just north of King City, on highway 101, there is a stretch of several miles of old growth gum trees spaced evenly directly next to the road. When driving north at certain times of the afternoon, the spacing of the trees causes the sunlight to be interrupted in a regular pattern, producing a flickering pattern that caused unexplained crashes there for years before authorities figured out what was going on. In my case, I synchronize to music even more strongly. This is an extremely pleasurable feeling and quenches interferential consciousness in favor of unified awareness.
- I can seize when sufficiently strong emotional experiences occur to me, such as listening to sublime music. They are as described above, a dropping-out of reflective consciousness in favor of wholistic unified experience. I experience these episodes as the mercy of God and do not lose my memory of them, unlike the usual absence seizure experiencer.
- I regularly have three to a dozen petit-mal type seizures following a sexual orgasm. This has lessened as I have aged. I have had women jump out of bed screaming because of this. This has put, shall we say, a crimp in my sexual expression. The subjective experience is similar to the above, but also can include other sorts of experience, such as entering different phases of reality, states of being, and so forth. I have had such experiences since I was a baby, as far back as I can remember.
- I have a low pain threshold and I can pass out from the pain of common dental procedures, such as the roof-of-the-mouth injection.
- I have had lifelong depression. I have now learned how to treat it with a raw foods mixture that eliminates the problem as long as I drink it every day. This leads me to believe that there is a fundamental biological basis for the depression as well as – perhaps – psychological reasons. It is certainly more than the glib “depression is rage turned inward” explanation. Attempts to use Zoloft to treat the depression were less than useful. My doctor prescribed a very low dose to start off with, but that turned out to be 4x the right amount. I took half his dosage every other day, and while it had some useful effects, it also made me a vegetable.
A pattern emerges, that of nerves too sensitive to stimuli and easily overwhelmed. That also seems to be the case with QiGung. I plan to test this theory this weekend with another practice Dragon and Tiger set to see if I react poorly to it too.
Now, I have a known defect in my cholesterol metabolism. I don’t produce a lot of endogenous cholesterol, so I don’t have a problem with lipid deposition in my arteries. But it also results in low production of endogenous steroids, which are made from cholesterol.
And 27% of myelin, the protective lipid-protein coating that covers nerve cells, is composed of cholesterol. Less cholesterol equals thinner membranes, with different sodium/potassium threshold electrochemistry, particularly upsetting the sodium ion level ratio between the main part of the myelin sheath and the thinner exposed Ranvier node junctions, which serve to keep charge separation high.
Presumably this results in faster serotonin uptake, which results in a permanent skew in the direction of misery instead of happiness. In this case SSRI drugs like Zoloft would have a greater effect than on a person without this neurological bias, which explains why I react in such an extreme way to Zoloft. And dentists who look at me fight to stay in the chair while in agony, losing control of my bladder, say, “it doesn’t hurt THAT much,” can’t understand that it DOES hurt me that much, it just doesn’t hurt THEM or most of their patients that much. I’ve passed the gom jabbar test; have you?
That means I don’t produce a lot of steroidal hormones, which are made from cholesterol. Lack of testosterone in men is characterized by depression.
In a study, researchers found that “Previous studies suggested that low total cholesterol was associated with external mortality, including deaths from suicide, homicide, and accidents. However, this reported association was potentially confounded, since cholesterol was also reported to be associated with alcohol abuse, anti-social personality disorder, and other risk factors for external mortality.”
So now we come to QiGung. From the way I reacted to my first attempt at learning the Dragon and Tiger medical postures, I suspect that my sensitivity threshold is so low that even doing a normal session of D&T results in too much stimulation, causing the unpleasant combination of physical tiredness and nervous exhaustion that excessive nerve stimulation of this kind brings.
I will do another test session tomorrow and see if I react badly. If so , I may not be able to do it at all until I build up my nerves with standing postures, which do not seem to be as tough on me. But it may take months to build up enough stamina.