This exercise is designed to develop the therapeutic usage of qi by emitting qi from the lǎo gōng (PC-8) point in the center of the palms.
As stated above, it’s important to first learn and practicing the wú jí stance with dan t’ian breathing, since these exercises are done in that same stance with a simple variation of the hands and more of an engagement of intent/thought.
Here are some videos:
The wuji stance:
More on the wuji stance:
A checklist for the wuji stance:
After standing and breathing in wú jí, stay relaxed and keep the elbows down as you bring your forearms and hands out in front of the lower dan tian. Elbows and shoulders should remain relaxed and down and the fingers and thumbs stay relaxed while the palms are now facing each other, and the elbows are gently touching the ribcage.
This practice is broken down into a couple parts:
Part 1: Continue doing your dan t’ian breathing but now focus your intent on filling your hands with qi and see how thick and full of energy you can get them. Then move your intent from your hands to the mìng mén (Du-4) which is on the midline of the lower back, directly in line with the lower dan tian. Then, even if you don’t feel anything at first, go back to focusing on filling your hands and be sure to remain in a relaxed wú jí doing dan tian breathing.
Continue practicing Part 1 until you can fill your hands to where they feel super thick and filled with energy and you can feel them quickly cool as you move your intent to the mìng mén. When you reach this stage, it’s time to move to Part 2.
Part 2: Start by doing a few breaths in wú jí and following it up with a couple/few minutes practicing Part 1. After doing that, with the palms still facing each other, focus on filling one palm as full of energy as you can while keeping the other palm as empty as possible. When the palm you’re focusing on feels full stay relaxed, mentally push the energy from that palm to the other. Again, even if you don’t feel anything keep breathing, stay relaxed and do the exercise again. Then switch hands, filling the other one and pushing into the opposite palm. You will at some point or right up front, depending on your current qi control, begin to feel the qi in the palm you’re pushing toward.
You should be sure you’re feeling this strongly before you move on. When you think you’re ready, the traditional test from ancient teachings is to light a candle in a draft-free environment and place your hands on either side of it. It helps to get some sort of stand that puts the flame at the right height for you to be in wu ji, in the position that you did the exercises in Part 2.
Once you’re in place and feeling relaxed, repeat Part 2 and see if you bend the flame. It might sound outrageous, but I can assure you it is possible.
The traditional teaching, according to Dr Jerry Alan Johnson’s excellent work Chinese medical Qigong therapy: A comprehensive clinical guide (see below for the link), is that you should be able to bend the candle flame 90° with each hand before you are ready to effectively do qi emission therapeutically.
The original teachings also say that each part should be practiced for 6 months, twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time. It seems like a lot, but if you just start adding in a little here and there each day and go back to your routine, it will seem like no time at all before you’re doing this most amazing thing for your patients.
The terms PC-8 and Du-4 denote acupuncture points in the standard meridian terminology, where PC stands for Pericardium and Du is the Du meridian, down the center of the back.