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Chi Kung and New Meridian Energies Synergy

by Catherine Dixon(more info)

listed in chi energy martial arts, originally published in issue 127 - September 2006

Chi Kung's profound heritage and wisdom provides the New Meridian Energy Techniques with gravitas, and a working model of energy that has not been surpassed for thousands of years. Meridian Energy Therapies provide Chi Kung with a new context and practical relevance. This is a powerful alliance with much potential.

The new breed of energy techniques known collectively as Meridian Energy Therapies (EFT, TFT, TAT Emotrance et al), attract as much controversy as they do plaudits. There are evangelical claims for instant cures from deep-seated issues that have eluded other therapies, and that these will work when nothing else will. In addition, a successful treatment does not rely on prior knowledge of subtle energy maps, such as chakras, or meridian channels, for successful outcomes. Understandably, some have viewed them with deep suspicion as either quackery, nonsense or dangerous.

Yet there is an imperative for therapists to remain open and creative to what can really deliver the goods. If Meridian Energy Therapies (METs) are re-examined in the light of what they really are – a development of deeply respected energy practices that encompass the universal laws of energy flow – many could benefit from integrating these extraordinary power-tools into their core practice. These next generation energy techniques focus on alleviating the negative feelings and emotions that drain the body's stress-coping mechanisms, namely the central nervous and immune systems.

METs owe a great deal to the ancient practice of Chi Kung (Qigong). Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and its many variants rely essentially on the tapping of major entry and exit points on the meridian energy system, whilst simultaneously verbally acknowledging the source of pain. Tapping points on the meridian system features in Dao-in, Nei-Dan and Iron Shirt Chi Kung practices. Silvia Hartmann's Emotrance™ is based on the premise that stress is caused by the way that energy is handled in our energy system rather than the negative feelings themselves. The release is achieved through identifying the energetic blocks at a somatic level and softening them through intention. Such practices have been part of the Chi Kung internal alchemy for many thousands of years, which has always emphasized the mind-body connection through soft intention, presence and balanced awareness.

METs, as Chi Kung, adhere to the principle that energy is designed to flow through our energy system and that stagnant energy eventually turns into disease patterns. METs would benefit from including some Chi Kung practices to enrich the treatment and provide the client with a means of developing their own energy. Using METs exclusively can be draining for the recipient. The shifts in cognition and stuck emotions from long-standing issues happen very rapidly, and this can leave clients feeling disoriented and de-stabilized. Introducing specific Chi Kung forms can counter-balance this effect and bring the whole energy system back into a balanced state.

Chi Kung's fundamental objective is to develop our life-force energy or 'chi' by working with the body's own innate wisdom through breath-work, intention, special forms and static postures. Chi Kung's Taoist, Confucius and Buddhist roots have developed thousands of forms over the centuries, influencing both martial arts and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

All Chi Kung forms, regardless of lineage, share a common set of guiding principles and the anatomy and physiology of the meridian energy system as their foundation. This system informs Chi Kung and acupuncture, and therefore, by default also METs. It provides an outstanding framework of reference for understanding how emotions impact physical health. Within this system are the 12 organ meridians, the extraordinary channels and special power centres or dan-tiens that house the energy of our ancestors (jing), life-force, (chi) and spirit (shen). In addition, there are energetic circuit breakers that distribute our power internally (the micro-cosmic orbit) and externally (the macro-cosmic orbit).

The five elemental energies of water, wood, earth, metal and fire are mapped out onto the 12 meridian channels. Each meridian represents a visceral organ with a distinct emotional profile. Forms of Chi Kung directly influence the state of energy in each of these channels. Softening and strengthening the wood energy of the liver and gall bladder meridians diffuses anger and frustration and transforms those energies into decision-making, optimism and pro-activity. Harnessing the fire energy of the heart and small intestine liberates expression, joy and creativity. Regulating the metal energy of the lung and large intestine enables us to communicate clearly and let go of grief, as well as the past. Calming or stimulating the earth energy of the spleen and stomach releases worry and obsessive thoughts. Developing the water energy of the kidney and bladder channels releases deeply-held fears, and promotes gentleness and self-acceptance.

The extraordinary channels contain our energetic reservoirs. Connection to the extraordinary vessels informs us where we need to focus our work, and whether we need to stimulate or sedate our energy levels to bring the system back into balance. The central, or 'extraordinary channels', run vertically through the very centre of our being and are anchored by the belt channel. An exercise such as 'Parting the Clouds' is an excellent way of starting and concluding an energetic treatment. In this exercise, the client connects with the energy of the earth while taking an in breath and slowly raises the hands through the centre of the body to above the head, then parts them and brings them down to waist level whilst breathing out. This exercise stimulates energy in the Dong Mai channel which in turn releases energy into the whole system. A MET treatment can conclude with this exercise in reverse to calm down the central nervous system, which is especially necessary after a lot of emotional release.

The following examples illustrate how the synergy of METs and Chi Kung lend themselves to clinical practice.

Using METs and Chi Kung forms to Re-establish Trust and Intimacy

Martha felt out of touch with her emotions. A romantic involvement left her with the legacy of being unable to trust others, or connect fully in a relationship. She realized that this inability to connect would sabotage her chances of creating a fulfilling and intimate bond. During treatment, rounds of EFT released layers of emotional stagnancy connected to her fear of intimacy, enabling her to work at a deeper level. Despite this release, she still felt a barrier between herself and allowing intimacy into her life. She illustrated this by placing one palm in front of her left lung and one palm over her heart.

Two sets of Chi Kung forms were introduced, one to open the heart and the other to cleanse and release the grief attached to the lungs. The treatment concluded with a Chi Kung heart visualization, where she stood in a posture with palms cupped around the heart, allowing the energy of the heart to flow into all the cells of her body. These forms were recommended post-treatment, to develop a strong connection to the heart and to expand her communicative boundaries.

METs and Chi Kung and Addictions

Chi Kung and METs work well with addictions and eating disorders as they are skills which can be transferred to the client. Many who suffer from these follow familiar patterns characterized by low self-worth and a lack of personal power and entitlement. The feeling of 'not enough-ness' fuels a voracious need to consume, to fill this emotional void, and anaesthetize the anxiety caused by fear, anger worry or powerlessness. EFT can be used directly on the cravings, and also to address the covenant of negative core beliefs at the root of the addiction. Simple EFT protocols can also be taught so that the client can manage the cravings and anxiety as they occur. Forms of Chi Kung like the one described below enables the client to get a sense of their own energy field, and to also develop sensitivity and awareness.

This exercise can be done sitting, lying or standing. Focus is placed on the lower dan-tien, a spot about six cm below the naval. This point happens to correspond to the centre of gravity of the human body, as developing a strong power centre is an important theme in the practice of Chi Kung. Clients place their right palm on their lower abdomen so that the centre of the palm (Lao gong point) is exactly over the dan-tien. They then place their left hand on top so that the lao gong points are on top of one another. Women place the right hand on the abdomen because the polarity is different. With the in breath, energy is drawn into the palms whilst expanding the lower abdomen, and with the out breath, the abdomen is contracted. This exercise can be varied into a standing meditation, such as 'Standing Like A Tree', or into a gentle form. Concentrating energy into the dan-tien, makes us more stable, balanced and clear.


Dr Yang Jwing-Ming. The Roots of Chinese QiGong. YMMA Publication Centre. ISBN 1-886969 -50-7. 1997.
James MacRitchie. The Chi Kung Way. Thorsons. ISBN 0-7225-3025-0. 1997.
Fienstein Eden Craig. The Promise of Energy Psychology. Penguin. ISBN 1-58542-442-0.
Kenneth S Cohen. The Way of Qigong. ISBN 0-345-42109-4. Warner Books. 1995.
Slivia Hartmann. The Advanced Patterns of EFT. Dragon Rising. ISBN 1873 483 686 2003.


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About Catherine Dixon

Catherine Dixon BA(Hons) RSA Dip HPD NLPPrac MNCH  is Coach, Trainer, Workshop Leader, Writer and Presenter with over 25 years experience in the field of personal development. She is known for encouraging clients to establish an inspiring, authentic life vision that incorporates a sustainable work-life balance. Her work is based on her knowledge and experience of business, sales and marketing, training, learning systems, personal development strategies, psychology, health practices, hypnotherapy, NLP, psychotherapeutic interventions and meditation. She may be contacted via Tel: 0208 748 2426;


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