The Seven Principles of Taiji Daoyin
These seven principles should be followed in Taiji Daoyin practice
Abdominal breathing during action
Stretching in spiral or circular orbit in most actions
The body fully relaxed before stretching
Close and open chest in turn to match the relaxing and stretching in action
Exhalation while stretching and inhalation before stretching
Leading the actions of arms and legs with shoulders and hips connecting with rotations of the spine
Relaxing the mind and focusing on the “body flow” in the actions
“Dao” means leading or guiding. Our mind and body help to guide our Qi
“Yin” means following
In this class we will discuss the mind-body connection and how it affects our general health. In China, there are many case reports on how nutrition and alternative therapies can aid in cancer treatment. I will present many of these to you over the next few weeks.
Topic 1: Breathing Techniques
As you sit here during the talk, I notice that you are not breathing correctly. We still use shallow chest breathing rather than deep abdominal breathing.
A first response to a cancer diagnosis is often fear and stress, which is a natural response due to evolution. In this course we will learn how to rebalance our nervous system by enhancing the parasympathetic nerve and diminishing the sympathetic nerve.
We have 2 nervous systems, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, also called the vagus nerve. When the body is under physical or emotional stress, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, which can lead to higher irritability, long term stress, poor immune function, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.
On the other side, the vagus nerve (parasympathetic nervous system) leads to calmness, immune enhancement and balance, better bowel movement and digestive function, etc. Many modern health problems may be related to sympathetic nervous system dominance. One of the most efficient ways to correct the situation by yourself is to use abdominal breathing instead of chest breathing.
Recent studies from within the conventional medical research field reveal how important the parasympathetic nervous system is for a strong immune system and fighting cancer. One of the most effective ways to enhance the vagus nerve/parasympathetic nerve is through deep abdominal breathing.
A deep abdominal breath stretches the diaphragm, which contains the largest vagus nerve fibers, and activates the nerve. We have many people who come into the clinic with high blood pressure, and with brief instructions on deep abdominal breathing, their blood pressure drops within minutes, without any medication. If we repeatedly train ourselves to breathe properly, it will become a natural response to stress.
3 concerns to consider as you work to attain good health:
Are you experiencing:
A healthy appetite? (No significant weight loss)
Good elimination? (regular bowel movement)
If you do not have good bowel function, it is likely that you don't breathe well and are also not sleeping well. One approach to good sleep is to treat the gut first and improve your style of breathing. A highly activated sympathetic nerve inhibits normal bowel movement and can be the cause of constipation and high blood pressure. A relaxed parasympathetic nervous system promotes healthy bowel movement. One way to improve bowel tone without taking any drugs or supplements is to learn how to breath properly. This is the foundation of everything we will teach in future sessions.
Breathe in and the diaphragm goes down, breathe out and it rises up and relaxes naturally. The diaphragm is like a balloon: breath in and balloon goes down. Just imagine it, as it drops behind your belly button. “Dan Tian” is the energy generator below your belly button. Of course, the diaphragm can't drop that low, but just thinking about it can expand the muscles and it will go down further than expected. Use your mind to visualize it. Put your intention towards making it go further and it will expand lower. Not only will it enhance parasympathetic nerve tone and calm you while strengthening your immune system, but another benefit is that, theoretically, diaphragm breathing can increase oxygen capacity by 40 percent. Ribs protect the lungs but also limit our oxygen intake. People breathe like a horse if they run without training as they can't get enough oxygen. But there is a lot of space to expand the diaphragm as there are no ribs below to restrict the breath.
There are many theories as to the origins of cancer, and Chinese medicine has a unique viewpoint. Most cancer starts later in life, usually from age 40 or older. Kids do get leukemia, but we believe this is due to toxins. If you don't get sufficient oxygen, it is possible that cancer is more likely to occur.
From the viewpoint of Chinese medicine, a blockage stops energy from entering tissues, allowing the cancer gene to mutate. Many people carry cancer genes but may not get cancer The best way to stop cancer or recurrence is to bring more fresh air/oxygen into the body. This way your energy is used in the most efficient manner. How much aerobic exercise can you do if you are not in good physical health? Everyone can sit still and do deep breathing no matter how weak. Even doing this will increase vagal tone and oxygen intake. Soon people experience a clearer mind and increased energy. The vagus nerve helps people calm down and metabolism slow down. Nutrition can be depleted when the body’s metabolism is too fast. If we burn energy too fast, cancer cells will win.
If we learn to breathe deeply and use the diaphragm, we can enhance immune function and increase oxygen intake, reducing stress and connecting the mind and body.
Demonstration by Hannah of the Daoyin stance and “Holding the Ball” exercise.
Focus your mind on the diaphragm as your spine stretches and your chest opens out as you spread your arms.
The location of points on the spine corresponds with specific illnesses. Tightness on and around the spine can have a specific effect on organs. Therefore, we place great significance on stretching and relaxing the spine.
When we can concentrate on the diaphragm and focus our breath we will greatly improve our health. We can not easily be like the Buddha on the mountaintop who meditates silently with ease. It’s not easy to sit quietly and empty our mind. But if we get our mind to observe and our body to perform specific motions, as in a moving meditation, we can more easily and effectively enhance our breathing.
Let air into lower abdomen first as we stretch. As we relax, the tailbone will curl a little bit, like the shape of a shrimp. In ancient yoga theory, and in Qi gong, there is an energy generator of yang energy in our back at the bottom of the spine. If this area is too closed, no energy can flow. Nerves goes into the pelvic and reproductive organs and help ease lower back pain. We need to make room in that part of the spine so energy can enter and flow.
Once you are used to the Daoyin stance, or “shrimp” position, we will add in the pelvic tilt. Lead with the breath, not the arms! This is crucial. This movement is not exercise, this is qi (energy) practice. Use the chest to open arms. Not the other way around. The body sinks in like a shrimp. Air goes into abdomen first before we begin any movement.
Watch your breath as you visualize your diaphragm dropping. Listen to your breath as well. Extending the exhale longer is better. At the same time, use your voice. Any vowel sound is.low frequency and this is the sound we encourage you to make as you exhale. All cells and tissues have a different frequency and vibration.
Disease causes the vibration frequency to change. Use a low frequency sound to correct that.
For example, atrial fibrillation uses high volts to shock the heart so it will return to a normal rhythm. We utilize a similar principle, but in an opposite way, using low vibration to change our body’s abnormal rhythm.
Stand up and put one hand low on the Dantian/abdomen and one high on chest.
Breathe in and blow out. Breathe out and create a low frequency sound, feeling the vibration in your chest. Everyone’s sound should be different. Find the best sound for you that produces the greatest vibration. Try to lower the sound. Relax your shoulders so they lower down. Go slowly; slower is better. Breath deeper and deeper and extend your outbreath. Try this 10 times. When you go home, see if you can find a balloon and try to see how big you can blow it up. At the end of the course if you can blow it up 40% more, this will mean you increased your lung capacity by 40%.
This exercise is a Lymph system flush. You massage the organs as you breathe in and out.
Start by practicing the arm swing on one side, like shoveling snow.
The key to, and the purpose of, percussion exercises is to twist the spine and activate energy inside the spine. One of the differences between Daoyin and yoga is that yoga stretches the muscles and tendons but doesn't move the energy so it flows to the muscles. Daoyin squeezes the fluid and flushes the area of chemicals which can cause inflammation and weaken immune function.
In traditional Chinese medicine, toxins in the gut need to be flushed out through this “detox gate.” A high density of lymph system exists in this area. By stretching and hitting the groin area, the lymph system can be flushed better.
Note: if you have knee problems, keep your legs straight and bend your knees just a tiny bit. We are also stretching the psoas muscle, which will aid in healthy bowel movement.
If a painful or tender spot is found by pressing on the right side of the spine, on the level of T4 to T7, it may suggest the possible dysfunction or illness in the liver and/or gall bladder. If the spot is on the left, the stomach and/or pancreas may in involved. As you release the tension on the spot, you will also reduce pain or improve the function of the organs. Our daoyin motion, acupressure and percussion may help you to release the congested ”Qi” on the spots.
From the point of view of meridian theory, the spine has 3 main reflex points. As you open these 3 points, or gates, your energy flow will also open up. They are located at L5, T7 and C7.
It is okay to start with just one side. A lot of people with pneumonia have phlegm in their lungs and this patting/hitting of percussion exercises helps. Patients with lung cancer often hold phlegm in their lungs.
Many studies support the concept that gut health plays an important role in the overall state of our health, including the body’s ability to resist cancer. In traditional Chinese medicine, digestive function and gut health are often a first consideration for fighting cancer. In upcoming classes we will discuss more about gut health.
In this class, we are going to learn to put four methods together to reinforce the Qi Gong practice:
Low frequency sound
Acupressure demonstration with Hannah
Place your hand horizontally below one knee, so all 4 fingers line up under the knee. Just under the pinky, on the outer side of the femur, is the acupressure point. Use your fingers or heel of the opposite foot to press and massage this point.
For sleep issues, right before bed hold feet up about 6” to 1 foot or 30 degrees above the floor. Point and flex, alternating feet, as long as you can, as you breathe deeply. Or you can just keep your legs up and hold them in this position. Thermal graphic studies show that this will bring blood flow down to your pelvic area and improve sleep quality.
Topic 2 - The Role of the Spinal Cord in Health
The purpose of Daoyin is to activate energy flow in the spine in order to promote healing. Each vertebra along the spinal cord links to the autonomic nervous system. Any problems with organs corresponds to each point along the spine. The autonomic nervous system is like a cable that connects to the organs.
For people who have severe pain, especially in the organs, gallbladder and pancreas, often morphine is not enough to take away all their pain. But acupuncture is qute effective in this case and can relieve pain and distension.
You can use a small 4lb soft wrist weight (such as Weider wrist weights, which we have found to be the most comfortable) to help alleviate spinal pain. Put the opening in the center of the spine, so you are not putting pressure directly on the spine. Wriggle back and forth, left and right, to massage the spot. Just a few minutes a day can help with pain management.
Question - Is it okay to twist the spine if you have osteoporosis?
Answer - The key is HOW you twist. Use the hip to twist. The upper body should twist with the hips so you are using muscles and warming up your muscles and your spine simultaneously. If your hips are not moving, then you will rotate just the spine and are more likely to get injured.
Spinal Nerve Distribution
C1 - C7 head, facial, mind-body connection, emotional stress
T1 - T4 Heart, lungs
T5 - T7 Liver, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, breasts
T9 - T12 Small intestines (constipation, celiac, lower backache)
T12 - L3 Large intestines
T12 - S5 Kidney, prostate, bladder, ovaries
C7 - Bottom/base of neck (very important point)
T7 - Upper mid-back
L2 - Lower back behind belly button
Topic 3 - Prebiotics
Dr. Liu has been following the topic of gut ecology (microbiome), including prebiotics, since 2004. Almost 400 people have had microbiome stool analysis through his office*. He has noticed that almost everyone with cancer has certain gut issues. Dr. Liu attended three international symposiums on the gut microbiome held by Harvard in the past few years. More and more evidence has shown that gut health relates to many disorders including autonomic and cardiovascular problems, cancer and numerous other health issues.
*(note: the test is$ 133.00 through a diagnostic lab, Dr. Liu does not receive payment, the test cost is lab costs)
People often spend a significant amount of money on supplements, yet their stool tests show no positive change. Why is this?
The environment in the gut does not allow good bacteria to survive. For example, there are infections including yeast and candida that prevent good bacteria from growing.
Prebiotics are large molecules of fiber that feed only the good bacteria and not the bad. This type of fiber will not cause your blood sugar to rise. We strongly suggest you eat these foods daily to encourage growth of good bacteria in the gut. There is on average 5 to 6 lbs of good bacteria in the gut of an adult. Some medications, such as steroids, birth control and antibiotics, can wipe out the good bacteria over time.
The first line of defense of the immune system is a strong and healthy gut. When immune system function collapses, cancer can happen. Nutrition and a healthy diet are so important for the immune system to work.
Chart of Prebiotics - introduction
Fresh is always preferred over dried, but dried was used to ensure accurate measurement. Two vegetables that we highly recommend are raw dandelions and burdock.
Dandelion greens are wonderful for many reasons. Scientific studies have shown the anti-cancer properties of dandelions. We suggest 30 - 60g per day(2 to 3 times a week) of fresh dandelion greens. We suggest you try cooking them with burdock root. Chop and cook (no need to peel if fresh).
Q regarding pesticides in these foods
A Dandelion doesn’t usually require pesticides to grow. In China, there is a saying that, “bitter is better.” Coptis and goldenseal have the most potent antifungal and antibacterial qualities. Bugs stay away from them so pesticides are not necessary.
If you are still concerned about pesticides in these or other green leafy vegetables, soak them in in water with a couple of spoonfuls of vinegar for 30 minutes to remove more chemicals.
In Chinese medicine, root vegetables are considered a good food for fighting cancer. While green leafy vegetables will quickly rot if left out or placed under ground, root vegetables will last a long time.
Foods containing Prebiotics
Gum arabic 85%*
Raw dry chicory root 65%
Raw dry artichoke 32%
Raw dry dandelion 25%
Raw dry garlic 18%
Raw dry leek 12%
Raw dry onion 9%
Raw dry asparagus 5%
Wheat bran 5%
*percent of prebiotic in vegetable
Red seaweed (rhodophyta, Chondrus crispus)
North Atlantic seaweed is made up of 50-65% polysaccharides. The highest quality seaweed comes from Maine and Canada, perhaps because there is limited pollution in these areas. In China, seaweed is used for healing breast issues, including calcifications.
Dr Liu suggests Nature’s Way kelp which has 600 - 800 mg iodine and is also good for functional hypothyroidism.
Gut issues may be rooted in fungal, bacterial or viral issues. Sugar feeds bad bacteria. Fungus are a very dangerous trigger of cancer.
Soaking seaweed a few hours and simmering with salmon creates a delicious and healthy soup. (Be aware that this can have a powerful laxative effect!). Seaweed is also considered a powerful anti inflammatory and is comprised of 50% polysaccharides. Kelp assists thyroid hormone receptor function. Often a doctor will check hormone levels, which will appear normal, yet the patient is still experiencing symptoms of hypothyroid function.. We consider this “functional hypothyroidism,” when the thyroid gland doesn't respond to hormones. This is a perfect scenario for kelp use - hormones will respond better when kelp is taken.
Salmon Soup w Kelp
1 to 2 lbs fresh organic salmon
Soak dried Kelp overnight . Cut into strips and add to soup. Add scallion, garlic and ginger in the soup. Simmer until salmon is cooked.
(Demonstration of Percussion, By Jing Jing Liu)
Remember the Chinese drum - your momentum is coming from your spine and hip movement, not your arm muscles. Use your spine to stretch up and then relax. Bend your knees and swing your arms. Start with a small movement. Use your mind to let your energy go up your spine. Relax like a shrimp and then straighten as you rotate your hips a little bit.
C7 hit - put 1 foot in front with feet parallel. To warm up and get used to the movement, try the back and forth motion of the snow shovel. Then, once you get it, add the arms, flinging them to hit the C7 point at the back/base of the neck. Right hand goes over right shoulder, so you can reach the C7 spot more easily.
Different spots have a different purpose. When hitting the liver and kidney points, front and back of the body, let your arms wrap around yourself loosely.
In the early 1970’s, a Japanese scientist claimed that the most efficient way to enhance energy is through stretching. What type of stretching is best? The best stretching will flush the lymph system so energy can flow and toxins can be released. Static practice, as in yoga, is a very good stretching exercise, but not enough for flushing the system. Daoyin is a dynamic stretch - stretching combined with motion. Daoyin stretching and motion focuses on the spine because it connects all of the inner organs with the autonomic nerve system.
Breathing review - Ball Hold
Breathe in from the abdomen and breathe out and make the vibrating sound. The sound should be almost shaking your whole body, at the very least your torso.
Once you can do the deep breath and sound, you can add in the pelvic tilt. The key is to open your chest and your spine. When you expand your chest you activate the greatest nerve distribution of vagus nerve endings. You are working against the spontaneous action of your mind, so you need to concentrate and practice. Our mind forces air to go down to the Dantian. Think of the diaphragm as a balloon and think of the balloon expanding as low as the navel.
Cancer is related to low oxygen intake..Abdominal breathing by expanding the diaphragm down can increase oxygen intake significantly. Even if you can't do aerobic exercise, you can do this breathing exercise. You can even do this while sitting.
Dr. Liu recommends practicing the Qi and percussion exercises for 20 minutes per day or 10 minutes 2x per day, preferably in the morning before breakfast, to stimulate circulation and energy flow.(If it is easier, then try to practice for 10 minutes 2x per day. ) Your hormone levels will rise in the morning so you can be active during the day. These exercises will help the levels rise in an even more effective way.
You may also exercise later, but it is best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating and take the time to warm up more slowly, as your digestive system requires energy to digest your meal. If you exercise too vigorously after eating, your energy will have to compete with digestive function.
Another good time to exercise is about 5pm to 6pm, before your evening meal. When you are tired from your day, the exercises will act to pick you up and raise your energy. Exercising in the early evening has the added benefit of improving your quality of sleep. Stick with gentle exercise, at least 2 hours before bedtime, at this time of the day. Even slow walking is beneficial.
A good night’s sleep is especially important for seniors, who often have difficulty with sleep or middle-of-the-night waking. This type of sleep disturbance may be the result of a lack of oxygen and not enough blood flow to the brain, similar to the results of sleep apnea. Be sure to start the Qi practice, such as ball holding to warm up, and then do the percussion exercises. The purpose of the Qi exercises is to learn to focus on your body and increase mindfulness.
Begin with Qi practice, such as ball holding, to warm up, and then do the percussion exercises. Be sure to start the Qi practice in the Daoyin stance. The purpose of the Qi exercises is to focus on your body and increase mindfulness.
As you practice abdominal breathing, focus internally and observe your diaphragm moving. Listen to your breathe as a means to focus your your mind and create a sense of calm. Making the low vibrating sound or listening as if you are making one, will also help your mind to focus.
Qi practice 3 - Spinal Wave
Stand in Daoyin stance. Begin by
Chin circles - begin doing chin circles slowly and get bigger and bigger opening and closing your chin. Finally, work towards a big movement, using your whole body and spine, as if you are drunk. Shrink and straighten. Tuck your chin, move your chin up, then out, then down and up again. Take a deep breathe and as you go up, feeling a stretch in your spine.
Breathing - Breathe OUT as your chin tucks in and your head goes up. Breathe IN at the top just as your chin goes up and out. Breathe in at your natural position, filling up the chest.
As you breathe out, air goes up your spine.
Inhale as you relax spine and body. Exhale as you stretching up spine and tuck chin. . Relax your shoulders down. Don’t hunch or lift shoulders!
The breathing is opposite from what we usually do in our Qi exercises such as Holding the Ball, but it is similar to the Rooster. If you struggle with coordinating breathing to movement, try the Rooster first.
It is very important that you are doing abdominal breathing, not chest breathing, with this exercise, and that the air goes all the way down, into your abdomen.
Don’t lift your chin up or your head will go back and restrict the energy in the back of your neck. Keep your chin LEVEL and parallel to the floor. (Taoists believe that the back of the neck is the most difficult space for energy flow. Teenagers and the elderly jut out their chins, which is not good for the back of the neck.)
The movement is very simple, yet it can take months to learn. Please don’t get discouraged!
(Note: If you get dizzy while doing this exercise, it is an indication that you are not breathing correctly. Also, make sure you are using your spine to push your head up, don't just use your head and neck! Remember the wave motion.)
Daoyin is a combination of Chi gong, meditation and Tai chi, with the addition of spiral movement. Our nerves control our muscles when we encounter a stressful situation. We can use our mind and frontal cortex to override our spontaneous response to stress and avoid excessive muscle tension through Daoyin self training.
Qi Exercise #7 - Shaking the Ball (Energy Wake-up Call)
Roll the ball with your hands and move your hips, alternating sides as you face forward. Then exhale and shake your torso side to side quickly, exhaling for as long as possible. Keep your mind on your Dan tian. Your Dan tian is like a hinge on the door and does not move.
Variation 1 - Roll the ball side to side on the diagonal, turning to the side with hips and knees bent
Variation 2 - Is the same as variation 1 but with a long stretch on the diagonal. Emphasize the stretching motion. Make the ball smaller, relax and shake.
Topic 4 - Probiotics
There is no doubt that probiotics play a role in the prevention of cancer. If you look at your tongue, you can get a sense of what is happening in your gut. If your tongue is overly coated or has a bad odor then you could have an overgrowth of bad bacteria or fungus in your gut. Another test is to spit into a glass of water first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up. Try to get saliva as well as some phlegm when you spit. If you have a healthy gut, your phlegm will be diluted and disappear when you shake the glass. If your phlegm is too thick to dissolve, then you likely have a gut issue. If it is yellow or grayish then it could be a bacterial infection.
There are so many types of bacteria that scientists have not identified all of them.
Recent studies of pregnant women show that there is a connection between women with certain types of bacteria in their gut and children with Autism. The children are known to have brain lesions.
Dr. Liu believes that there is a connection between cancer, autoimmunity and the gut. He always checks the gut health condition of people with cancer. Recently, two of his patients with pancreatic cancer undergoing chemotherapy had such good results that their doctor at MGH commented that they are the only two to have such positive results in two years. Chemotherapy has adverse reactions on the gut; a truly traumatic reaction that significantly destroys gut health.
How to choose your probiotic:
1.Check that it is gastric acid resistant (so it won’t dissolve in your stomach.).
Humans have more than 70 varieties of Acidophilus lactobacillus in their gut. The common commercial ones contain 13. A good brand should have at least 4 species of acidophilus. It is suggested that you should look for a brand with different acidophilus every half year if you can not achieve the expected results, because everyone may carry different colonies. One company that Dr. Liu recommends is Nature’s Way. The brand Raw has more than 30 different types of probiotics and is recommended for those with significant gut issues.
Studies suggest that you should take a probiotic for at least two months in order to improve gut health. If you have had cancer or if you have candida or a fungus, etc., then it is not as easy to restore the gut and can take 4 to 6 months. Take a probiotic under doctor’s orders every 6 months If your symptoms are not resolved then try a new one that has a different variety than the previous brand.
One way that you can check your probiotic at home is to put it in milk, check it in 24 hours and see if it has fermented. . Ideally, this should may work even with pasteurized milk. It won’t taste like yogurt but it should be fermented. Dr. Liu has cultured bacteria and observed it under a microscope to see if it is still alive, in order to check the efficacy of probiotics.
Dr. Liu recommends kefir, which is an ancient type of yogurt. Kefir can be made from almond milk or coconut milk. Kefir can be purchased in the supermarket. Look for one that is hypoallergenic. Some people may be able to digest Kefir even they are lactose intolerant and cannot breakdown the lactose in milk products. Try to eat 1 cup per day of good quality yogurt. Never buy one with sugar!
The optimal way to purchase yogurt is in a clay pot, not a plastic container, but this is not available in the US. People who live in areas with the longest life expectancies in the world commonly are those who make their own yogurt. It tastes like Beijing yogurt. Tibetan yogurt is also excellent and has a unique taste. Sophia’s yogurt is Watertown is good quality. (Sophia’s Greek pantry, 265 Belmont Street, Belmont MA 02478).
Kimchi, miso soup and probiotic cheese are all good. Keep in mind that some homemade kimchi may include yeast, so if you get bloated after eating it, you are sensitive to yeast and should not eat it. If you ever have red rash or itchiness after eating any of these then you likely have an allergy. Dairy can be tricky for many people. Old cheese, like blue cheese, is not good. It may be made in a high moisture basement and can easily become contaminated.
Kombucha started in the 1960s in China. You can purchase the culture and make it yourself. Traditionally it was passed from home to home. Dr. Liu recommends the Whole Food brand kombucha drink . Costco also sells the same brand (GT’s organic and raw Kombucha). A good probiotic culture should break down the sugar. Kombucha is easily contaminated as yeast is everywhere in the environment. It requires a sterile environment and disposable tools to make it.
Eat your food as soon as possible and try to avoid eating food that has been sitting in the refrigerator. You can cook food again to kill bacteria, but it is not safe as it will not kill the toxins released by the bacteria, which remain in the food. Also, some fungus is cold resistant.
Roots are safer than leaves. Leafy greens may produce toxins overnight. 4 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature at which refrigerators are set, is not safe, as fungus grows at that temperature. So be sure to clean your refrigerator often and cook and eat your food right away. Be extra cautious when your immune system is compromised.
Are there heavy metals in seaweed?
Seafood has 13x more heavy metals than fish, etc. But they also have properties that extract heavy metals from the body. Seaweed from Japan used to be the best until the Fukushima accident. Red seaweed is from the deep water and is the food that salmon eat and from which they get their pinkish hue. The salmon get their omega 3 from the seaweed and would have no omega 3 without it. Studies have shown that within 2 generations salmon loses Omega 3 without the seaweed. Seaweed from Northern Maine and Canada is safest as it is far away from industry and less likely to be contaminated. ( Mary suggests buying seaweed directly from https://theseaweedman.com/ You can read about them here: http://articles.latimes.com/1992-04-30/food/fo-1662_1_sea-vegetables)
The best solution is to take seaweed in capsule form, such as those from Nature’s Way. The company has to check for heavy metal content so you know it is safe. Otherwise, try to find seaweed that has been tested for heavy metal content. A small amount of heavy metals can be chelated by the seaweed naturally. Seaweed in kelp is one of the best prebiotics, with 50% polysaccharides.
Studies have shown that 70% of American women lack iodine due to poor diet. Japanese women traditionally eat up to 12 mg of iodine per day through fish and seaweed intake. Dr. Liu recommends his patients take kelp in doses of 400 mcg/day, which is still relatively low and a safe dosage. Medical studies have used the breast cancer model on animals, adding iodine. The group given iodine showed significant growth inhibition of cancerous tumors. In China, the first medicine for any cyst or nodule is a combination of kelp and other seaweed.
In regards to the thyroid, iodine function affects T4 to T3 transfer. Most thyroid function is from T3, not T4. T4 needs to be converted into T3 in the liver. Therefore, T3 and T4 and TSH should be tested together.
Basic Daoyin posture - Keep your feet flat on the floor. Use your legs muscle to stand tall. (Please sit if you feel dizzy or cannot do this exercise standing up!) This basic Daoyin position is very important. When you bend your knees, push your pelvis in a little. Use your muscles and open your toes, pressing down into the floor. Stand strong. Dr. Liu demonstrated for us how you can’t be pushed over if you stand like this. Stand as if a string is pulling you up from the top of your head.
Qi practice - Video of Holding the Ball and Rooster is online at:
HOLDING THE BALL
This exercise is at https://www.daoyinhealth.org/medical-daoyin-qigong
Open chest with hands out, Feet shoulder width and parallel.
Bend knees, palms facing and breathe in. Breathe out bend knees and lower.
Keep your shoulders back and down - this is not an arm exercise.
Shoulders expand with the movement
Benefit of training the chest to open and close is to let more oxygen in. Use abdominal breathing.
This exercise is at 3:00 of Daoyin-Qigong-Video online
Feet shoulder width apart. Palms face down - push down and back using wrists, keeping palms at waist level. Arms go back; push neck and stretch up. Feel the stretch/tension in shoulder blades. Stretch and breathe in, bend and relax. Relax chin and keep head level. Do not lift up your chin! Shoulders are down and relaxed.
Squeeze your shoulder blades. Focus on your spine as you breathe out. All the fluid goes up the spine. Stretch the spine up as if you are growing taller. Think of your spine as a fountain.
Breathe OUT as you stretch up but don't stick your neck out. Stretch your body and neck UP.
Rooster is designed for neck problems. Feel the stretch of the muscles at the back of the neck and middle of the back as you open your chest. Relax like a shrimp and then stand and stretch as your chest opens and closes.
Relax your diaphragm and let it push up naturally. The pelvic tilt lets the diaphragm expand downwards and massages the inner organs. Keep your spine straight. Only arms push back.
2nd principle of Daoyin - use the mind to start. Chin is lowered and tucked and leg muscles are strong and tight. Older people’s necks get shorter and shorter. Daoyin is designed against incorrect movement and postures of everyday life. Pushing down as spine goes up is an opposite action. As of there's a hole in the top of your head. Let you Qi go up your spine and squeeze out the top of your brain like a fountain. Simple action, complex mechanism - basic principles of Daoyin
Dr. Liu demonstrates this online at:
1.GROIN Keep feet shoulder width apart and knees pointing forward. Pelvis is tilted slightly. When you punch, you are bringing your energy down.
2.BELOW NAVEL The navel is the body's gate. Alternate hands. As you stand tall, bring your energy up and inhale and hold your Qi. Practice bending and standing a few times before punching.
Don't lean forward as you punch. You should feel straighter and taller. As in Tai Chi, relax left and go powerfully to the right.
3.MIDBACK Use the back of your hand to hit. Alternate hands right and left as you twist. Spiral up, relax and punch.
Do all 4 Percussion exercises in a row, 2 reps each 8x
Repeat basic Qi Practice of holding a ball.
After class, you should feel as if you massaged every muscle. The following day you should feel relaxed without pain or soreness. If you feel pain, do the exercises with smaller, gentler movements. You should feel energized after practicing, which is why in China they do Tai Chi in the morning in the park.