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Buqi - Chinese Energy Therapy to Restore Balance

by Monica Perdoni(more info)

listed in chi energy martial arts, originally published in issue 146 - April 2008

Buqi, pronounced ‘boo chi’, translates as Chinese healing with vital forces. Hailed as deeply transformative, this method of Chinese energy-work for healing and self-healing is inspiring practitioners worldwide.

Dr Shen
Dr Shen

Its founder, Dr Shen Hongxun, developed the system of Buqi from his training in both Chinese and Western medicine, drawing upon Bugi – an old form of Chinese medicine, Tai Chi, acupuncture, Buddhist thought, and vibrational therapy.

Having taught this unique energy therapy internationally for over 40 years, written a book on his work, and inspired a second generation of Buqi practitioners, he says: “I am convinced that Buqi, as a synthesis of tradition and science, will take its place amongst future medical systems.”

Essentially, Buqi is all about removing pathogenic factors known as binqi (the build-up of toxins, and emotional stress) and promoting the return of the body’s positive energy.

During a treatment the practitioner activates their own energy system, creates an energy field around the patient, and then directs binqi out of the patient’s body – without any form of touch.

“Increasingly, I realised that sending qi to the patient’s body did not give good results, but that removing ‘negativity’ did. I called this negativity binqi,” notes Dr Shen Hongxun. “In line with traditional Chinese medicine, I realised that the body could not only retain metabolic binqi, but also emotional binqi.”

Central to a Buqi treatment, is the healing force of the Dantian, an energy centre located in the lower abdomen. It is this centre a Buqi therapist learns to find, and develop through specific exercises, known as Taijiwuxigong, before being able to treat others. These empowering exercises are taught in classes run across the UK, as well as workshops run by Dr Shen Hongxun himself.


Poor Posture Source of Many Health Problems

“Buqi is effective in treating many diseases and physical symptoms,” says Brighton-based practitioner Hilary Thompson. “It works by treating the roots of disease, which are usually to be found in the combined effects of unhealthy factors (toxins) stored in the body, together with long-term poor body posture/misalignment of vertebrae.

“Many people who are tired or lack energy are in fact suffering from these combined problems. The toxins in the body can come from many sources – food, environment, our own emotions and negative thinking, the emotions of those around us (including in our past), worry, and stress. These are normal, and a healthy body can continually cleanse toxins for us, with no effort required on our part.

“However, when our habitual body posture – such as the way we sit at a computer or even the way we sleep in bed – causes misalignment of vertebrae or other joints, or tightness of muscles and ligaments, this creates blockages and so prevents our body from detoxing naturally. If certain areas of the body accumulate toxins over time, this will in turn cause more contraction and so worsen the posture.

“Hence the two factors interact – accumulation of toxins and long-term poor posture – and this is what Dr Shen has named the Double Vicious Circle of Disease, upon which Buqi theory is founded.”

Buqi Treatment

As the spinal column is the central highway of the nervous system, bad posture is, according to Dr Shen, accountable for 80% of illnesses. With negative emotional stress such as depression quite literally dragging the spine downwards, Buqi breaks the chain by stretching and elongating the spine and so healing the symptoms of disease.

Immediate physical reactions to a treatment can range from sweating, blotchiness, heightened sensations of heat and cold, with the one common experience being the sensation of moving energy.

“Buqi uses our own energetic system to draw in a positive strong life force and then send it to the patient in a very precise and subtle way. It’s a very intelligent and surprising system where we are plugging into a massive, energetic matrix of the entire Universe.” says fellow Brighton-based practitioner Trevor Scales.

“Many different types of energy force are used, including heaven force. However because Buqi comes from the tradition of the martial arts it also uses a quite physical ‘earth’ force,” explains Brighton Buqi Clinic practitioner, Ghislaine Picchio.

“These are combined with the mental force of the practitioner and the power from the activation of their Dantien, developed through long-term ongoing practice of Taijiwuxigong and Buqi exercises. This gives the Buqi forces their ‘dynorod’ type capacities to really clear stagnant energy from the body.”

As Buqi moves Binqi out, space is created for positive ideas, inspiration, spiritual and creative energy. So if you still haven’t made much progress on that Booker prize-winning novel, now you know why.

The system is particularly useful for helping complementary health practitioners and healers to restore energy and counteract the often draining effects of their work, As Trevor points out “Who heals the healers? Buqi has the specific advantage of not receiving negative energy and not to send it.”

Ghislaine adds: “Healers can unknowingly absorb Binqi from their patients, with excellent results for the patients! In Buqi this does not occur, since treatment techniques use a positive, dynamic approach that requires the practitioner’s energy to be strong and radiant, naturally pushing away negative factors.

“The entire treatment emphasizes sending Binqi out of and away from the patient, and techniques are used that protect the therapist throughout the treatment and afterwards.”

So what does wellbeing and balance really mean to this particular system of healing?

“Feeling well is a state of being achieved when our physical, emotional and mental bodies are working at their best or in ‘balance’. This state of balance changes constantly and it therefore needs to be redefined in every moment,” explains Ghisaline.

“To put it in Buqi terms – when our energy channels are open, Earth and Heaven forces can flow freely through our energy body activating the vibration of our cells, nurturing our system and removing the potential blockages.

“Our body and brain have been programmed to find the best possible balance at all times. When allowed to do so, unimpeded, the brain will send us messages i.e. a thought, or a hand touching the area of the body that is imbalanced or a pain, to let us know when something is ‘out of balance’, when it is not right, so we can do something about it. Our ability to feel, be aware of and interpret these signals and then respond to them makes the difference between returning to balance or getting more and more into dis-ease.

“The Buqi system helps us reconnect with our natural ability to pick up these signals of imbalance in our energy field or our bodies and find our way back to balance relatively quickly.

“What Buqi brings is the perspective of centuries of Chinese Medicine. The energetic causative factors of disease have been documented for years. Examples are physical causes such as heat, cold, and damp, and emotional causes such as fear, grief, anger etc. In the West we pay little attention to these factors although they are as important as ever. Using this information lets us understand where illness has come from, allowing for a more holistic approach in tackling it.

“As regards to the effect of Buqi on posture – there are many therapies which focus on posture. Buqi is useful in that it can locate exactly where in the body bad posture is leading to energy blockages, allowing that area to be focussed on. On the other hand, its ability to strengthen the ‘upright’ energy makes it easier for the patient to hold that good posture and therefore maintain their health.”

A Buqi Treatment

During a Buqi treatment the therapist creates and transmits different kinds of information to the energy field of the patient, e.g. warmth, movement of internal force, shifting of pain, the information to stretch the body, vibration information, spontaneous movement information, etc. The patient is fully clothed and may be sitting or lying  down.

As a result, the patient may then feel warmth or heat or may experience something moving into or out of the body, or pain shifting and leaving the body through the hands or feet, or have the sensation of the spinal column stretching more and more and the body becoming taller. Patients may also begin to vibrate or have spontaneous movements.

Case Study No 1

C. is a tall, robust man. He stands in a military manner with a rather stiff back. He is starting to have quite a belly and he leans back to compensate causing a curvature of his lower back. This in turn is affecting his neck.

He first started acupuncture to try and ease migraine attacks, which he had been suffering from for 6 years. The frequency of the attacks were on a 2-weekly cycle, but sometimes more often. The result of the attack left him under the weather for 2 - 5 days and had a great impact on his work and social activities.

C. says: “The acupuncture helped more or less immediately – the attacks were reduced, and I felt a great benefit from the treatment.

“Then I attended a Buqi seminar in Brighton last summer as a ‘patient’, and found that I responded to Buqi treatment very well indeed. The migraine attacks have reduced dramatically, and I now have Buqi treatment on a monthly program – I have only had a couple of migraines since last summer. The Buqi treatments that I have been having seem to have worked wonderfully.”

The treatment helped lengthen his lower back and open the inter-vertebral spaces to release the cold energy that was weakening his kidneys. Once the lower back was stronger, his spine could realign and free his neck. This allowed the pinching of the blood vessels and nerves by the cervical vertebrae to be reduced, therefore diminishing the migraine attacks.

Case Study No 2

N. Visual Artist, came to the Buqi clinic with digestive problems and a feeling of heaviness in her legs while walking. Having to work sitting down, her posture was bad – rounded shoulders and collapsed lower back. The Buqi treatment focussed on releasing binqi from her abdomen and opening her hip joints to allow the energy to flow down her legs.

“It was absolutely great! I can still feel the benefits form the treatment. It seemed as it had removed some blockage in my lower body and I feel more free and easy in my movements. Actually it felt like as I have lost weight; I feel slim and easy and not so bloated. Many thanks to the team!”

Further Information

The Brighton Buqi practitioners plan to lauch a monthly drop-in clinic in Brighton hoping to build stronger relationships with GP surgeries. See for more information or email


  1. Dr Susan Zimmer said..

    Are there any therapists or classes on buqi in USA?
    Thank you
    Dr Susan Zimmer

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About Monica Perdoni

Monica Perdoni NCTJ is a 29 year-old freelance journalist  living in Brighton, specializing in holistic health, and green issues. Three such Brighton-based practitioners are Hilary Thompson, Ghislaine Picchio, and Trevor Scales on their Brighton Buqi clinic. Monica may be contacted on Tel: 01273 605313;


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