The Four Seasons Medical Qigong


Introduction


The Four Seasons Medical Qigong set consists of four parts - the Spring, Summer and Fall, and Winter routines, and the year-round Triple Warmer routine. The Summer and Fall routine is combined because the yin organs for these seasons (heart for Summer and lungs for Fall) are located near to each other and can be stimulated by the same exercises.


Practice the Four Seasons Qigong daily. Do the routine for the current season and for the upcoming season. That is, in Spring you should do the Spring Routine and the Summer Routine. Perform the Triple Warmer routine all year long. It is excellent for promoting spinal health and is a key part of Dr. Yang Jwing Ming's qigong program for relieving back pain.


General Theory of the Four Seasons Qigong.


Changes in the seasons affect the Qi, the organs, the emotional mind, and the spirit in different Ways. The Four Seasons exerCises aredesigned to help adjust and balance the Qi to harmOnize
the body with the seasonal changes.


Spring: The body changes from extreme Yin to Yang. The Yin organ, the Liver, is in a Yin state and needs to change into Yang. The body's Guardian Qi, which surrounds the body and protects it from disease, starts to grow. The spirit is raised. Emotions start to rise. Use deep breathing to help maintain a peaceful mind. You can use Reverse Abdominal Breathing with exhalation longer than inhalation. Massage the Liver and the Liver channel.


Summer: The body changes from weak Yang to extreme Yang. The Heart is the Yin organ, but its Yin lessens during summer and emotional excitement grows. Excessive emotion can make the Heart too Yang. The body's Guardian Qi grows strong to release excess Qi from the internal organs. The main purpose of the summer exercises is to keep the Heart in the proper Yin state. You can use Normal Abdominal Breathing with inhalation longer than exhalation to maintain a peaceful mind and lead excess Qi away from the Heart into the Lungs. Massage the Heart from the center outward and the Heart and Pericardium channels. Keep the mind away from the Heart (Qi flows where the mind leads it).


Fall: The body changes from extreme Yang to Yin. The seasonal Yin organ, the Lungs, are the first organs to experience with autumnal changes, and their condition may already be aggravated by late summer pollen. This can change the Lungs from greater Yin to lesser Yin. To maintain the proper Yin state, drink more water. Use Reverse Abdominal Breathing to lead the Qi from the internal organs to the skin to strengthen Guardian Qi. Massage the chest from the center outward and massage the Lung channel.


Winter: The body changes from weak Yin to extreme Yin. Qi deficiency occurs in the Kidneys. Guardian Qi shrinks to the center of the body. The spirit sinks and depression increases. Use Reverse Abdominal Breathing with exhalation longer than inhalation to expand and strengthen guardian qi. Focus the mind on raising the spirit and being more physically active. Massage the ears, kidneys and the yongquan cavity (k-1 bubbling well).

Four Seasons Qigong-Winter


1. Two Hands Hold the Toes. (from the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong)
With feet shoulder width apart, bring your hands to waist level palms facing up. Raise the hands straight up and overhead, turning the palms to face upward. As you extend your arms over your head, feel as if you are pushing a weight, but do not tense your muscles or lock yourjoints. Hold this position for three seconds while you focus your mind on your Mingmen cavity. Keeping the arms extended, bend forward at the waist and grab your toes. Pull upward to put a gentle stress on your whole body. While holding your toes, focus your mind on the Bubbling Well cavities. Hold this position for three seconds. Do at least six repetitions.


2. Phoenix Spreads Its Wings
Bend forward from the waist. Grab your left knee with your right hand. Inhale. Then while exhaling, swing your left arm up with the palm facing to your right, and turn your head to look at the upraised arm. Pull gently with the right hand to accentuate the twisting of your waist and torso. While holding this position, perform one breath cycle. Then on the next inhalation, lower the arm and return to a centered position. During the next exhalation, perform the movements to the other side. Repeat at least three times to each side.


3. Turn the Head to See the Moon. (From the Taiji Coffing Set Qigong)
Part 1. While inhaling, turn both palms upward and raise them to chest level. Then while exhaling, move your right hand upward and your left hand downward. As your left hand descends, thread it behind your back and press the palm down. At the same time, push the right palm up, twist your torso to the left side, and turn your head to the left to look behind you The palms should feel like they are pressing against resistance, but do not tense your muscles. Hold this position for one breath cycle. On the next inhalation, return to the center position, crossing your arms in front of your chest. During the next exhalation, perform the movements to the opposite side. Do at least three repetitions to each side.


Part 2 Perform the same movements with a wider stance and with your torso leaning more to the sides Do at least three repetitions to each side
4 Large Bear Softens the Waist
Press your right kidney with the back of your left hand as you perform the Taiji Qigong spinal exercise Do at least twelve repetitions, then place your right hand on your left kidney and repeat the exercise Tap both kidneys with the backs of your hands Then tap the Mmgmen, sacrum, and buttocks.

Four Seasons Qigong-Spring


1. Left-Right Single Lifting of Hands. (From the Eight Pieces of Brocade)
With feet shoulder width apart, bring your hands in front of your chest, palms facing toward you. Inhale. Then while exhaling, extend one arm up and turn the palm toward the sky. At the same time, lower your other arm down and turn the palm toward the earth. Your palms should feel like they are pushing against resistance, but not so much that your muscles tense. While inhaling, return to the starting position with arms crossed in front of your chest and palms facing you. While exhaling, repeat the movements, now raising and lowering the opposite hands.


2. White Ape Plucks the Peach.
Maintain the same stance as in the first exercise. Hold your hands in front of your waist with your palms facing each other, right hand on top. While inhaling, turn your body to your left. While exhaling, circle your right arm up, over your head, and down to your right side at waist level with palm facing up. At the same time, turn your body to your right and move your left hand to your right side, keeping it at waist level but turning your palm to face upward during the movement. Now you should be standing with your torso turned to your right and your palms facing each other on your right side with your left hand on top. Inhale. Then while exhaling, repeat the exercise in the opposite direction with your left arm circling up, over the head, and down to your left side.


3. LoHanBows.
Stand with feet hip width apart. While exhaling, turn your right hand palm up and press your right forearm into your abdomen just below your rib cage. At the same time, raise your left hand over your head with the palm facing the sky. Bend to your right side while using your forearm to squeeze and massage the area of your liver and your left arm to accentuate the bend. While inhaling, return your body to the center position. Then while exhaling, repeat the exercise to the opposite side.


4. Zhong Wan Up and Down (or Yurn Yum)
(Two Parts) Part 1. Cup your hands one atop the other, palms facing up. Now massage your abdomen between your rib cage and your pelvic bone with your cupped hands pressing them in a scooping-like motion in, up, and out. Work them up your right side across you middle and down your left side (counterclockwise and m the direction your large mtestine flows) Part 2 Place one hand atop the other and massage your abdomen with the flat surface of your palm m the same direction as descnbed in part 1

Four Seasons Qigong-Summer and Fall


Place feet shoulder width apart except for number 7.
1. Swing Arms Forward and Backward. While doing normal abdominal breathing, swing both arms loosely to the front and then to the back making a large arc.


2. Windlass Turn (like rowing a boat). Form the fmgers and thumb of each hand into the shape of the letter C. Then move the arms and stretch the back in a circular motion like rowing a boat. Repeat the rowing motion in the opposite direction.


3. Feudal Lord Pulls the Bow. With hands in front of your face, forearms perpendicular to the ground, inhale while drawing the elbows to each side, stretching the chest and flexing the upper back and shoulder muscles and clenching the fists. While maintaining this extended position, do a full breath cycle (exhale and inhale). Then during exhalation, return to the starting position allowing the fingers to relax and straighten as you go. Feel the Qi flow into the hands and fingers as you unclench them.


4. Immortal Pushes the Stone Tablet. Begin with hands in front of the chest. During exhalation, push the left hand forward and sink the wrist as though striking with the edge of the hand. At the same time, move the right elbow backwards creating a strong stretch of the chest and shoulder muscles both forwards and backwards, and turn the head to look in the direction of the right elbow. Inhale while returning the hands to the starting position. Repeat to the opposite side.


5. Large Roc Arcs Its Wings. Start with arms hanging down at your sides. While mhalmg, raise the hands m front of the chest to shoulder level, turning palms up as you go Round out the upper back and shoulders, but do not raise the shoulders. While exhaling, arc the arms out to front, turning the palms outward. Inhale while drawing the hands back to the chest and exhale while lowering the arms to the starting position.


6. Large Roc Spreads Its Wings. Similar to number 5 but bend the waist and push the arms out at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Round the lower back. Keep the chin down and do not raise the shoulders.


7. Shake the Head and Sway the Tail. (From the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong Set). Take a wide horse stance. Place each hand above the knee with the thumb pointing outward. Round the back. During exhalation, stretch to the left, shifting 70 to 80 percent of your weight to the left leg, turning the head to look rearward, and pressing down firmly with the left hand on the left leg. While inhaling, return to the starting position. During the next exhalation, repeat the movements to the opposite side.