It all stems from two very important things- the quality and the quantity of the WATER that you drink.
In the ancient texts, the Masters talk about developing and being aware of one’s essence. It is the balance between mind, body and spirit. From a spiritual sense, it is a practice of awareness and control. It has a lot to do with the depth to which the mind and senses are integrated with body movements. This three-way connection is extremely important to one’s sense of completeness. Properly practiced qigong seamlessly integrates body, heart, and mind into a single unit enabling one to live a balanced and joyful life.
The root of the tree is Hydration.
In order to maintain that innate balance that the body knows as health, vitality, strength and endurance, the body must be slightly alkaline and hydrated. Our cells should be 85% water, our muscles 76%, our brain 75%, our body fat 10%, our skin 72%, our heart 79%, and our lungs 79%. Over 70 plus percent of your body should be made up of water. By the time people reach the age of 70 their body water percentage could be around 50%. This provides a ripe environment for all kinds of deteriorating health conditions. In addition, the seventeen different areas of the brain that control movement is another very good reason to get and keep the brain hydrated. With our lifestyles and activity levels, most of that water inside us is acidic because most of the water and fluids we consume is also acidic, as is our food intake. In order to bring our resting pH levels of 6.9 for our muscles and 7.4 for our arterial blood flow, we would be wise to eat more alkaline foods in addition to drinking alkaline, ionized water.
Unfortunately, the last thing most people think about is drinking water. We seem to prefer to drink liquids with flavors or not to drink at all. Scientific research is showing that at least 85% of the population is dehydrated and they don’t even know it. Their thirst mechanism has been turned off because of their acid body condition. If you take the 7 day alkaline water challenge, you will find your thirst mechanism turns back on and your body demands alkaline, ionized water and it doesn’t like anything else. You may even lose your taste for coffee.
The first branch of the tree is Qi.
Recent scientific studies by sports nutritional researchers shows that muscles are designed to work well only in a narrow range of almost zero acidity. When you breathe and move into and through a qi gong movement, the working muscle uses up its glycogen stores producing lactic acid, pyruvic acid and ammonia. This drive the muscle pH down into the acid zone and the ability to hold the power of the moving qi becomes increasingly more difficult. The body may begin to vibrate or bounce. It also takes a toll on your future health, particularly when the body is acidic, it begins to pull minerals from everywhere in your body. If the water you are drinking is acidic (most tap water and bottled water), or if you drink coffee, tea or flavored beverages, as soon as you take a sip, the minerals are being immediately leached out of your mouth, throat, bones, tissues and organs to satisfy the extreme hunger of the water or liquid. This lowers your immune system as it uses your body’s reserves of trace minerals. It also puts you at risk for osteoporosis. To be effective, any mineral replacement that you take must be ionic to be absorbed and utilized properly. Scientific research shows that any supplemental minerals that you take will not totally make up for the damage caused.
When you drink alkaline, ionized water as a way of life, the body can better hold its alkalinity during times when the body is active. The muscle remains closer to its neutral pH and the increased power of the movement becomes apparent. There is more solidity and stillness in that power. Your qi gong moves to a whole new level. You can then be more in the stillness and the emptiness…more towards your essence.
The second branch of the tree is Power.
In qi gong, stamina and power are summoned in part by the breath when the body is in a particular position. The subtleties of breath, balance and movement ride on the wave of pain that slams the body when the acid builds up in the tissues. Then there is no more subtlety. It is now a battle of wills between the mind that wants to be still and the body that is screaming.
By creating and maintaining an alkaline state and hydrating with alkaline, ionized water between exercises, the body is provided a continuous “excuse” to remain alkaline and the battle becomes more subtle. The mind says, “I have never felt this exercise this way before, is there any end to this flow?” And, the body continues to be ever stronger for longer and longer. As the body breathes and oxygenates the muscles and joints, the acidic by-products are washed into the kidneys to be evacuated and the power, stamina and efficiency continues.
The third branch of the tree is the Breath.
Ah, how many times we forget to breathe and we are not even aware of it! Part of the qi gong practice is awareness of your breath. Good thing. When oxygen levels increase, red blood cells become energized. Waste gases and toxins are removed efficiently and the body’s chemical reactions are fired up. We feel better, have increased energy, think more clearly and function at peak performance. After a qi gong session, we should feel fabulous and alive. Revitalized! Imagine feeling like that all the time.
Stress robs the body of huge amounts of oxygen. Stress also causes improper breathing and leads to lower productivity; practicing deep breathing, even when you are not doing qi gong will increase energy and endurance levels and keep you on top of the world.
One way to increase oxygen in the body is to eat fewer acid-forming foods such as processed grains and breads, meat, junk and convenience foods. Many people get tired after eating junk food because the body uses more of its oxygen reserves working to oxidize the preservative and metabolize what little nutrient is available. Don’t waste your precious breath making your body deal with these oxygen-robbing foods: caffeine, processed sugar, white flour and alcohol. The best way to get a good long-term supply of oxygen to the brain is to eat a diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. That way, when you breathe, your breath is not taken and used to try to clean up the mess you have just eaten.
Alkaline, ionized water also has extra oxygen that can boost performance and prevent lactic acid buildup. The water is clustered in a hexagon shape with extra electrons attached which is the perfect shape for the body to absorb enthusiastically. So when body movement causes an expenditure of oxygen, there is enough to feed the muscles and eliminate oxygen deprived waste products, just like an antioxidant would. You could take beta carotene, Vitamin A, C, E, all the B vitamins along with selenium and zinc or you could just eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink your alkaline, ionized water.
The fourth branch of the tree is the Movement.
There are 15 different types of collagen in the body. Collagen is the stuff that allows flexible movement when it is hydrated properly. This is kind of gross, but if you look at a chicken leg with the thigh attached, or a chicken breast, you will see some which gristly stuff between the leg and the thigh or along the breast bone. That is called cartilage and it contains one type of collagen the body. Collagen along with elastin gives you that wonderful looking skin. Collagen and elastin require tremendous amounts of water to maintain themselves to healthy levels. When they are not fully hydrated with good quality water, injury and deterioration can result.
In order to be able to move through a qi gong position fully takes a lot of practice and a lot of water. Otherwise, the body does more work than it has to. Sometimes an injury occurs because the body does not have enough water to lubricate the movement required. Stretching allows the slipperiness of the collagen and elastin fibers in the muscles to move and slide over one another, allowing them to elongate or contract. When these fibers are dehydrated, they can tear or contract causing stiffness and injury.
The fifth branch of the tree is Dispersion.
The American College of Sports Medicine has done a comprehensive review and interpretation of scientific literature concerning the influence of fluid replacement on exercise performance and the risks of physical and thermal injuries and post-exercise recovery in relation to dehydration and hyperthermia. The College finds that adequate fluid replacement with appropriate high quality water helps maintain hydration and as a result, promotes the health, safety, optimal physical performance and faster recovery of individuals participating in regular physical activity. When your qi is “running” during your qi gong practice, you may actually get quite warm. You will need to properly hydrate yourself with alkaline, ionized water to prevent thermal injury and to allow the qi to flow rather than bump through your body. The bumping is caused by the pairing of toxic sediment with karmic sediment in your energy field. By hydrating and alkalizing your body and your mind, the karmic sediment within your spirit dissolves and disperses from your fields, taking away the bumpy ride.
During exercise, people should drink alkaline, ionized water early and at regular intervals to promote top performance, less fatigue and a smoother, less painful recovery. Enough water needs to be consumed to replace all the water lost to sweating and breathing or to a maximum of 1.5 liters of alkaline, ionized water. If you drink cool water, it helps prevent overheating and the resulting heat exhaustion. The mineralization of alkaline, ionized water assists in buffering the muscular acidic build-up, making recovery shorter and easier. Because alkaline ionized water is six times more hydrating than other types of water, it is more instantly absorbed, reducing damage and the resulting repair time to recovery. Alkaline, ionized water is indeed the most important “food”! Don’t wait until you are older and symptomatic to find out.
This sixth and final branch of the tree is Awareness.
When your body is hydrated and alkaline, it is like a huge fog lifts from your being and you become more and more aware. Toxic sediment plugs up your body, mind and spirit so that even your awareness that it is happening dims. Your qi bumps and bangs against this sediment attempting to clear your energy channels. Hydrating and alkalizing your body dissolves the toxic sediment and excretes it so the fog lifts and the awareness becomes strong and powerful, just like your qi. Then everything flows, including your life. So, don’t chase your qi, let it flow by supporting these six principles.
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