Head to Toe Healing is one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-follow books for stimulating energy in the body for the purpose of self-healing and balanced health. It draws on techniques and practices used for hundreds and even thousands of years by Qigong practitioners and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) through stimulation of the body’s various acupressure points and meridian channels.
It is believed in TCM that everything in the universe is composed of Qi, including the human body, which is also governed by the governing energies of Yin and Yang. Within the body, Qi operates in accordance with its physiological characteristics including meridians and acupressure points, which when allowing Qi to flow smoothly lets the body’s Yin and Yang energies remain in balance, thus reducing and preventing illness. Contrarily, if a meridian channel becomes blocked, it can cause a disruption in the body’s energy flow much like how a clog in a drain can cause water flowage disruption. The meridians and acupressure points that coincide can be thought of as the governing energy channels of the body’s organs that if properly maintained, can lead to optimal health.
To maintain a healthy state, we therefore need to keep everything in balance. In addition to keeping balanced emotions, eating habits and exercise, there are supplementary techniques we can use to stimulate different parts of the body all the way from head to toe. Within the book, you learn over 60 different exercises focused on acupressure techniques, breathing and sounds for helping the body prevent or recover from various illnesses, such as headaches, back pain, digestion and congestion. From a Qigong perspective if there is a problem in the body, the body can cure it, and knowing what methods is the key.
For example, there are many energy points at the base of the back of the head that affect the body in various ways, including points that affect speech, eyes, sinuses, hearing and mouth. By cupping this area lightly, the body can alleviate stuffiness, headaches and ringing in ears in addition to open sinuses. From a TCM standpoint, this area affects these points of the body due to the meridian and acupressure relationship it has, and can therefore be stimulated by cupping.
Also featured in the book, which Spring Forest Qigong dubs “The Body’s Repair Manual,” are various exercises to protect the eyes. This is particularly useful given how many people need to stare at computers all day not only in terms of the radiation the eyes are experiencing, but also because of the overuse they are experiencing. SFQ proposes one exercise in particular that is simply rubbing your hands together until they are warm and placing them over your eyes. Doing this is the same principal as using a heating pad for the body. While we usually associate heat with curing other muscles in the body, it is very applicable for other organs such as the eyes. Placing warm hands over the eyes helps them relax and recover from overuse. Spring Forest Qigong also says this method helps open energy channels in the eyes, which can help toward preventing macular degeneration and glaucoma. The book adds you should also send the message “My vision is perfect” while placing your hands over your eyes in order to improve the exercise.
The importance of emotions is emphasized throughout the book for most exercises. The reason being is that our emotions and thoughts play a major role in the way we feel and even recover. It is quite often the case that when people are sick they feel better when they have their spirits lifted through things like laughter and conversations with people they like and love. This is because the mind is able to transform afflictions and focus on something more positive, an energy that is considered healing. Likewise, saying “I am fine, I am perfectly healed” also has the same effect.
Another important area featured in the book is the tailbone. Practitioners are encouraged to bend forward slightly and cup the tailbone lightly. This area connects to the brain and reproductive organs, and is a key warm-up and closing exercises in most Qigong schools for balancing one’s energy. Practitioners can also use this exercise to aid in memory problems, enlarged prostates, irregular menstruation, kidney stones, and improving sexual functioning problems, according to SFQ. Not only is this recommended for several times a day for 1-3 minutes at a time, it is also a key closing exercise in the SFQ Qigong program that is covered in the Level 1 Course book.
Activating energy through tapping and touching is based on the same theory that massage incorporates into practice, especially in the Chinese and Thai schools of training. Using Qigong to balance and help one’s energy is very beneficial, but tapping and cupping exercises are also great ways to enhance energy, especially when it is not convenient to perform Qigong. We highly recommend this book in addition to the Level 1 book to give you the most well-rounded approach to Qigong.