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What Food Is Good or Bad for Your Qi?

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Published in Awareness Magazine, May-June 2003

What Food Is Good or Bad for Your Qi?

by Qigong Master Qinyin

Qigong lotusFew people would disagree with the importance of diet for health. Western dietary and nutritional studies abound. Coming from a Qigong background, I'd like to emphasize properties of food from the perspective of Qigong and Qi (vital energy), which have largely been neglected in the West so far. Since I came to America about five years ago, I have had many chances to observe American diets from friends and even more from my Qigong students.

Salad is good
The element in American diet that I admire the most is salad. Compared with the usual method of excessive Chinese stir-fry in preparing vegetable, salad provides a healthier yet still palatable alternative. However, salad is not good for people with "cold stomach".

Fast food has no aura
But I've also seen the wide spread of fast food in America. Is fast food necessarily junk food? Some people argue that refrigeration for a long time still keeps bacteria in food under control; hence it is a feasible and harmless way of mass producing food. However, I once had a chance to walk into the storage of a famous fast food chain store; the meat patties there had no aura at all, meaning that they contain very little clean vital energy. Of course, if you only eat these kinds of food once in a while, it doesn't matter much. But if you often take in these no-aura foods (to make it even worse, some food has brown or dark aura), toxins will gradually build up in your body and diseases set in.

Too much chicken signals
Some Americans eat just too much chicken. Since my third eye is open, sometimes when I walked in the street and was in a special state, I saw some people with chicken feathers attached to them. They just carry too much chicken signals. Scientific studies have shown that when animals are killed before reaching their due longevity, they will release toxins in their bodies instantaneously when they are dying. When I was teaching Qigong at Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, CA, two students came to me for personal consultation. I was shocked when they told me they had been following an all-meat Atkin diet in order to lose weight. They lost 10 pounds or so (meat contains lots of acid, and acid tends to reduce fat), but I saw many blockages in their bodies and they did not have much energy. Losing weight in this manner doesn't entail an improved health.

Iced drink accumulates damp Qi
A bad habit is to drink iced tea, iced water, iced coke etc regularly. These ices tend to exhaust stomach energy, and may cause cold Qi or damp Qi stuck in the body (a cause of obesity). I have seen many cases of this problem among my American Qigong students.

Too much cheese and desert make Qi sticky
Another well-known weakness of American diet is the excessive use of cheese and dessert, which tend to make the Qi in the body sticky and unclear, and slow in circulation. By the way, smoking makes one's Qi dirty. Fortunately smoking is banned in public places in America. As the Taoist classics Tao Te Ching cautions, "Five colors make your eyes blind, five sounds make your deaf, five tastes make your tongue dumb" (here "five" only means "too many" and hence "imbalanced"). It is healthy to eat light food instead of heavy and excessively tasty food.

BBQ and toasted food cause too much fire
Some Americans like to eat BBQ, toasted and oven-treated food. Unfortunately, these foods have too much Yang or "fire" (in the sense of Traditional Chinese Medicine). Most of my American Qigong students have too much fire (hence Yin-Yang imbalance), and I think their diet is a major cause.

Yin-Yang vs. acid-alkaline
Western dietitians all know acid and alkaline properties of food, but not many are aware of the Yin-Yang properties and their importance. Most people have various degrees of Yin-Yang imbalance, a major cause of many diseases. For example, some people get hot easily while other people may get cold easily. And the food they take can either exacerbate this problem or alleviate it (the idea of food as a healing tool). For example, ginseng is widely believed as a nutritional supplement in China. But certain types of ginseng are Yin (depending on where they grow), while other types of ginseng are Yang. You really need to know your Yin-Yang situation and choose carefully. A more complicated case is that some people may have too much Yin and too much Yang at the same time, which is usually due to blockages that isolate Yin and Yang in the body. In summary, a good diet has to be designed individually according to his or her Yin and Yang.

Spiritual practitioners should eat clean food
The diet requirements are different for an ordinary person and a spiritual practitioner. Any spiritual practice, be it Qigong, Taiji, Yoga, etc, connects the practitioner with some spiritual energy. A common characteristic of all spiritual energies is that they all prefer clean and vegetarian food. If you practice Qigong one hour every day, then a meat-rich diet is far from consistent with your Qigong practice. It will diminish the power of your practice in the least, and may lead to serious problems. Another case worth mentioning is onion. For a regular person, onion may be good for its proven effect of killing germs. But for a Qigong practitioner, onion is too stimulating for hi or her Qi, and may disturb the harmony and smoothness of the Qi.

Bigu: the Taoist "no food" wisdom
Traditionally, after a Qigong practitioner practices for many years and accumulates enough energy, he or she may achieve the state of being "too Qi-filled to eat", i.e. Bigu. Literally, "Bigu" means "avoid grains". Hence it doesn't necessarily mean "no food" (full bigu may mean using only water, while half bigu usually allows fruits and vegetables). This is an advanced Taoist Qigong technique for fundamental cleansing. Based on the precondition of abundant universal energy, Bigu (energized fasting) is very different from outright "food-forbidden treatment". Practitioners doing Bigu will not feel hunger or only minimal psychological hunger. Detoxification effects of Bigu are astounding, and often lead to rejuvenation. However, to achieve the state of Bigu by yourself would take many years in traditional Qigong. My personal researches in Qigong and Bigu in the past two decades have led to the new Qinway Qigong system that greatly accelerates this process. Now I offer Qigong retreats regularly in the San Diego area, where all Qigong students, including those with serious diseases like cancer, can achieve Bigu almost immediately.

Cleansing through Qigong is a good way to improve taste
Many people know that certain food is bad for their health, but they just lack the will power to control their craving. On the other hand, some people pay excessive attention to what they eat to the point of pathological obsession. The good news is that after students do Qigong bigu, their bodies become cleaner and their taste would naturally change as well. Their bodies would generally prefer clean and vegetarian foods. Hence, cleansing is also an effective way of acquiring a good taste.

Last updated 08/19/07.

 


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