Energetic Problems and Therapies:



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Introduction
Problems with Energetic/Oriental Medicine and Multi-System Illnesses
Energetic Therapies and Religion
Quantum Touch
Bio-Energy Healing
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
     Acupuncture
     Chinese Herbal Medicine
     Acupressure Massage
     Medical Qi Gong
     Afternote
Shiatsu
Reflexology
Reiki
Applied Kinesiological / Muscle Testing
     Overview
     Benefits of Applied Kinesiology/Muscle Testing
     Potential Problems and Pitfalls of Applied Kinesiology/Muscle Testing
     Supplements and Applied Kinesiology
     Bio-Resonance Testing
     Bio-Feedback (BEST/EDS/EAV) & Electronic Devices
     Other Alternative Treatments related to Bio-Feedback (BEST/EDS/EAV)
     Bio-Feedback (BEST/EDS/EAV) & Electronic Device Articles
Kinesiology-based allergy treatments: NAET & ECR
Craniosacral Therapy
Homeopathy
Qi, Jing and Sex
Additional Exercises You Can Perform at Home
     Meditation and Breathing Exercises
     T'ai Chi Chu'an, Qi Gong and Yoga
     Quantum Touch
     T'ai Chi Tapping Exercise
     Cheung Meridian Therapy
     Gentle Cardiovascular Exercise
     Hydrotherapy - Hot and Cold Treatments




Introduction:

This section is dedicated to energetic therapies. When we talk about 'energy', we do not mean mitochondrial function and heat production. We are talking about oriental medicine's concepts of internal energy. The body is comprised of a number of different meridians, each corresponding to a real or imagined organ, for example, the heart, spleen, lungs or triple burner. In addition, the function of the meridian does not necessarily correspond to the function of the organ, for example, the pancreas determines the quality of digestion but it is the spleen meridian that determines this also. The body and life itself is in a sense driven and led by the body's qi or life force, which helps to draw blood around the body. Now of course blood is pumped around the body by the heart, but the functioning of the heart is controlled by the brain (hypothalamus) and the body's endocrine (hormonal system). This endocrine system is heavily influenced and controlled by the body's internal energetic health and balance.

Oriental medicine and various energetic therapies view a CFS sufferer's main problem as that of energetic imbalance, of energetic blockages in the body's various meridians and of low qi levels and often a weak spleen. Whilst some people may view this as an additional root problem, it is a different way of describing the main categories of problems described on this web site. For example, low spleen meridian energy is another way of describing a poorly functioning digestive system, in particular the pancreas. Another example is qi stagnation and qi deficiency often resulting in a drop in blood pressure. Energetic problems have a corresponding biochemical and physiological impact on the body and may render the body sensitive to certain types of infection or toxic build up. Indeed, one or more of the above core problems will have a corresponding energetic impact on the body. An acupuncturist or shiatsu practitioner is able to get a picture of the body's energetic problems by looking at the patient's tongue and feeling the patient's pulse in each hand and listening to symptoms, and perhaps feeling the muscles and their tone through acupressure. Not all energetic therapies use the oriental medicine's concepts (Acupuncture, Shiatsu etc.) of energy precisely, for example Quantum Touch and Bio-Energy Healing. These may not view or perceive the meridians per se, but focus more on energetic blockages in different parts of the body where they are perceived and are worked on through the hands.

In specific cases, energetic therapies will not be enough to cure a person, and require physically resolving certain specific underlying conditions (for example, toxicity, nutritional element deficiencies, harmful organism overgrowth, skeletal problems, extreme stress levels, etc.) or altering a very poor diet before they can work effectively. In many cases, skeletal/muscular/tendon/ligament problems will have a corresponding impact on the body's energetic system, and may slow or prevent recovery of a CFS patient. Some energetic therapies include a physical component or directly affect the muscles and skeleton. Other energetic therapies work solely with energy but have a profound effect on the physical body, muscles and skeleton. Such therapies are discussed on the Skeletal page, but are repeated (word for word) below for clarity and convenience.

There are clearly a large number of energetic treatments, and these cannot all be examined on this page. I am only discussing those therapies which I have direct experience of and can personally recommend. This section will expand over time when myself and my friend Aaron have tried further types of treatment. However, I suggest that the individual tries a few different therapies over time and figures out which therapy or combination of therapies works best for him or her. Clearly the success or effectiveness of any energetic therapy is reliant on the skill and attentiveness of the practitioner as well as the willingness of the patient to follow any recommendations made. As a general rule, it is wise to avoid alcohol, sexual activity (solo or otherwise!), stress, dehydration or heavy exercise after a session. So it is wise to take things easy after a session and to drink plenty of water, and not stay up too late. Consuming alcohol (or taking other drugs) and sexual activity (mainly applied to men) drain one's qi and are best avoided or kept to a minimum whilst recovering from long term illness like CFS.

It has been determined experimentally that physical contact in the right context, for example, touch, hugging, holding hands or massaging helps to reduce stress levels, reduce perceived sense of threat, and to increase relaxation and well being; it can also increase circulation levels, both blood and lymph, both locally and systematically. Conversely, unwelcome physical contact can be stressful for many people. It may well be that any physical therapy that involves massaging or close physical contact may be beneficial for relaxation and wellbeing. How much is the placebo effect, the effect of physical contact, the environment treatments are held in (smells, atmosphere, reassuring technical wallcharts etc.), the personal interaction with the person giving the treatment, and how much is the effect of the actual technique is of course a matter of debate and will vary from treatment to treatment. Of course one does not necessarily need to pay for treatments to get the benefits of touch contact, as one can share pats on the back, hand shaking, hand holding, hugs and other personal physical contact with friends, family and loved ones for free.

There is some overlap between energetic therapies and electromagnetic therapies, and in many cases, an individual may benefit much more from an electromagnetic therapy. Please see the Electromagnetic Deficiencies and Therapies page for more information.

As discussed on this page and elsewhere, energetic therapies and disciplines often use different terminology to describe high level biochemical and electromagnetic cellular problems, translating general biochemical, cellular or organ-related issues into their own language. On example of this could relate to the sensations one experiences after an energetic therapy session. If one feels 'tingly', warm and relaxed, a sensation of 'energy' or 'qi' flowing around the body, this may equate to the release of additional (deficient) neurotransmitters such as GABA and/or Serotonin, which produce a similar if not identical type effect. One could notice this for example, but taking a GABA supplement or an L-Theanine supplement, but the effect would be relatively short lived compared with an energetic therapy session, which may well be stimulating the release of these neurotransmitters for many days afterwards, as well as having a series of other beneficial biochemical effects that would require a wide series of tests to identify. This would make an interesting biochemistry project for an interested party. If we are in fact talking about the same thing or slightly different but interrelated concepts, then clearly we want to address the problems eithe or both discipline identifies if it means improving our overall level of health, but using a more holistic and synergistic approach.

Some view the free and proper flow of blood and lymph to a particular organ or part of the body as being the same as it's level of qi; and that by stimulating the blood and lymph flow, one will 'remove a qi blockage' and 'increase the qi level of that organ'. Whilst this may be partially true, it would perhaps be a gross oversimplification to hold this as the entirety of Chinese medicine theory. It does not take into account the quality of energy, hot and cold etc.

In some respects I do not believe that energetic therapies such as Quantum Touch, Bio-Energy Healing and Reiki actually are 'moving energy around' at all, but it merely a way of interacting and communicating with the patient's nervous system to promote more ideal nervous system and hormonal states for healing and biochemical balance - by touch or otherwise. In a somewhat different way to Applied Kinesiological Testing (a.k.a. muscle testing) which is allegedly a way of communicating with the brainstem to 'ask questions' regarding supplements and treatment etc. Many AK sessions end with the person's body feeling more energetically or neurologically organised and in accordance, and energised, much like after an energetic therapy described on this page.

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Problems with Energetic/Oriental Medicine and Multi-System Illnesses:

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and other energetic therapies are often tried by sufferers of CFS or related conditions. Their level of success varies dramatically from person to person, ranging from near cure to no effect whatsoever. This web site strongly recommends energetic therapies as a treatment for sufferers of CFS or related conditions, in conjunction with an overall programme for identifying and addressing all the health issues the person has. For example, TCM in general looks at the energetic state of the body, the meridians and organ energy levels. It seeks to remove any energetic blockages to rebalance Qi or to encourage Qi movement and strengthing of Qi. I recommend consultantion with a skilled practitioner of TCM, including acupuncture, herbal medicine and acupressure, to tailor a programme to your body's needs, rather than just purchasing off-the-shelf chinese medicine products yourself in response to your symptoms. In TCM theory, Qi leads the blood circulation.

The trouble with TCM, and energetic therapies in general, is that practitioners are not often aware of the underlying biochemical issues that are causing the problem. The energetic practitioner seeks to treat the energetic effects of the problems (e.g. bad micro-organism overgrowth and digestive disorders, heavy metal toxicity, neurotoxic membrane syndrome, vitamin and mineral deficiency) rather than actually tackle the problems themselves. Although TCM may for example boost the immune system slightly, it may not counterbalance the continuous negative impact on the immune system that candida or parasitic overgrowth can have. And if the body does not have the mineral resources to enable the immune system and hormonal (endocrine) system to function properly, then it is unlikely to achieve a high degree of success if used as the sole source of treatment. Heavy metal toxicity and excessive glutathione conjugates on the intra-cellular membranes may in addition will have a negative impact on the metabolic (mitochondrial) function, hormonal (endocrine) function and immune function, and unless these conditions are treated first e.g. toxins are physically removed from the body (if present), these systems are unlikely to be coaxed into full working order by energetic therapies alone. One has to remove the active cause of the energetic problem before you can really achieve success in tackling the energetic effects the problem has had on the body.

I have also noticed that those who are unable to relax, and who are suffering from adrenal burnout and too high adrenaline levels, may not gain as much benefit from energetic therapies as they might otherwise do, until they address the root cause of what is driving the high adrenaline levels. This is often an over excited amagdala region of the brain, which is used to interpret information, i.e. inability to detach oneself from the consequences of stress and indeed the stress itself. Stress about stress and anxiety about becoming anxious can ensue. To break the vicious cycle, it may be necessary to break these neuro associations using NLP, visualisation, meditation and other tools. Unless one breaks the pattern of addictive focus and association, one may not benefit so greatly from energetic therapies.

In addition, a low electromagnetic field in the body or an EM imbalance may result in an insufficient EM field for an energetic therapy to actually work with and influence. This is another reason why in some severe CFS cases, acupuncture or other energetic therapies only have limited success. By stimulating the body's EM field to a sufficient level, an energetic therapy can then be employed later and with considerable success (if required). Please see the electromagnetic page for more information. I have noticed that conditions such as stomach upsets (depleted stomach/'spleen' energy/qi) or crashes due to mitochondrial depletion can occur (simultaneously) even when the level of EM stimulation of the body is high, and when the body's EM field has been greatly increased. When trying to increase qi flow using energetic therapies, it is likely that one needs to attend to background factors before it can be truly effective (i.e. nutritional, toxicity and cell membrane health, and electromagnetic factors.)

CFS patients and sufferers of related conditions often confuse energetic practitioners, as they cannot understand what is going on. Practitioners of energetic therapies often tend to be very insular in their thinking, and may have very little knowledge of biochemistry, and believe, with good intentions, that their treatment is can cure everyone of virtually any condition. As this is what they do all day. And more often than not, it will help a little at least. Of course, heavy metal toxicity, amalgam fillings, mercury containing vaccinations, industrialisation and pollution, synthesised chemical products in toiletries, kitchen and bathroom products, cosmetics and as food additives, use of pharmaceutical drugs and medicines, over consumption of sugar and wheat, heavy reliance on processed foods and junk foods, heavy usage of electrical and electronic devices and electromagnetic smog, low nutritional value of crops on account of poor soil quality, and over use of fertilisers, were probably not an issue in ancient China in 3000 B.C. When these medical systems were devised. However, times have changed. A number of more modern types of energetic therapy have sprung up over the last 20 years or so. One would think that these would incorporate more cutting edge and modern holistic medical knowledge. However, this often does not appear to be the case. The practitioners are usually not medically trained and undergo rather short training periods, and so may not know any more about the types of issues discused on this web site than their patients. An article by Jake Paul Fratkin, a TCM practitioner, regarding LGS and TCM can be found at the link below. Please note that I do not endorse the use of Nystatin, Nizoral, Diflucan or Sporex, nor is he too keen on some of the tests proposed in this article.

http://www.ei-resource.org/articles/lgs-art01.asp

A wholistic approach is clearly adopted by a (probably small) number of practitioners of oriental medicine. A Chinese herbal-based treatment for bad bacteria (specifically Lyme Disease) and Babesiosis (a Protozoan parasite infection) by Dr Qingcai Zhang's traditional chinese medicine clinic in the USA, from a 2005 essay 'Treating Lyme Disease with Modern Chinese Medicine', is described as utilising the following Chinese formulas: Allicin (Garlic essence), HH (Houttuyniae Herba) tablet, Circulation No.1 Tablet (based on Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang and Ge Xia Zhu Yu Tang formulas), Al #3 capsule (containing Mucunae caulis, Sargentodoxae caulis and Paederiae caulis), Cordyceps capsule, and finally Artemisiae capsule (Artemisinin from the plant Artesmisiae Ching Hao Herba).

Jake Paul Fratkin of Natural Solutions magazine supports the use of Chinese medicine to detoxify and support the liver and to address intestinal permeability issues. Caveats have been inserted by myself in square brackets.

www.care2.com/greenliving/chinese-medicine-for-chronic-fatigue.html

'The key treatments in Chinese medicine focus on regulating and detoxifying the liver and repairing small-intestine inflammation and permeability. This requires specific herbs to move liver qi and blood and to cool any inflammatory heat. As the liver regains its ability to detoxify, poisons exit the body. The symptoms of headache, fibromyalgia, and fatigue [may] gradually disappear [or be slightly alleviated]. Chinese medicine and acupuncture can be quite effective [to some level], especially if the intervention occurs early on in the condition [ - practitioners sometimes left scratching their heads in severe and complex cases]. This holds especially true when an active viral irritant is present, because TCM is quite effective in combating viral illnesses. Detoxifying the liver can be done with a variety of Chinese herbal formulas, including Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan, Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Minor Bupleurum Formula), or Xiao Yao San (Free and Easy Wanderer) [TCM practitioners are not so knowledgeable in detoxing the actual cells in the entire body - detoxification is sometimes viewed in energetic terms, with a couple of weeks deemed enough to 'detoxify' the body, when in reality this will not have achieved much on a biochemical/cellular level]. Repairing the small intestine epithelium requires spleen qi tonics such as Liu Wei Di Huang Wan (Rehmannia 6) or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang and special formulas that reduce small-intestine inflammation [Please see the Bacterial page for information about TCM herbs to combat parasitic overgrowth]. Of course, treatment of complex syndromes such as leaky gut or chronic fatigue should be managed by an experienced practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine [experienced - meaning multi-disciplined and open minded - the vast majority are not - and achieve limited or no success with CFS patients].'

Although not universally true, the vast majority of energetic practitioners can offer sound dietary advice and how diet relates to one's energetic state and what is appropriate and not appropriate. However, when it comes to obscure or not universally understood medical conditions, such as dysbiosis and high levels of toxificity or cell membrane impairment, and supplements and their functions, energetic practitioners are in general not very skilled or knowledgeable. For exmaple, they may not understand issues surrounding highly processed foods or simple carbohydrates and their effects on harmful micro-organism overgrowth. However, do not let this cloud your judgement when discussing your case history with your energetic practitioner, and give them the benefit of the doubt (innocent until proven guilty!) But as a general rule, you can't expect one person to be skilled in every area of treatment, so one normally has to see a couple of different specialists depending on what types of treatments you are after (i.e. medical/holistic, energetic, skeletal/muscular, NLP coach etc) - although some practitioners ARE multi-disciplined and highly skilled. In some cases you may get sound advice about when to back off a detoxification regime etc. and when to resume again, on account of liver health etc.

Many practitioners of energetic treatments and therapies believe that all CFS patients can be cured without any supplements whatsoever. And that by proper nutrition, sufficient water consumption and clean air, gentle exercise and energetic stimulation, the body will naturally recover. Whilst this may indeed be true for some CFS patients, one can view supplementation in a variety of ways. One can look at nutritional support, i.e. vitamin, mineral and fatty acid support as complimentary to recovery for a certain duration of time of the treatment, but which could stop once the patient has recovered. Or one could look at aggressive supplementation and treatments, for example prolonged use of detoxification supplements, poor diet, inappropriate diet for the individual (e.g. too much raw food or cold energy containing foods), too much physical exercise, too many tasks, prolonged or inappropriate hormonal treatments, colonic hydrotherapy, gallbladder flushes or excessive stress, sadness or anxiety as factors which put a stress on the body and deplete the body's energy levels, thus impeding and prolonging long-term recovery.

Clearly a balance has to be reached, and it is wise to reduce the amount of aggressive, energy depleting activities/emotions that the mind/body is subjected to during one's treatment and recovery to maximise the effects of energetic treatments and the flow of energy in the body and the health of the individual organs. Indeed some treatments if received too often may deplete rather than build up the person's energy reserves (i.e. those treatments that redistribute the body's energy to balance meridians rather than actually channelling energy into the body or encouraging the body to build energy). There may be a specific part of a person's overall treatment when the body is energetic enough to participate in additional cellular detoxification and a time when it simply needs a break and to be allowed to properly recuperate.The ability of a person to utilise the additional energy that is received during specific treatments discussed below very much depends on the individual and the person's ability to heal themselves. These treatments are really about helping the body to heal itself, rather than forcing the body to heal or trying to heal the body through external means. Two people may receive the same amount of energy during a treatment, but what happens when they leave the room may differ, and excessive emotional/physical/energetic abuse may indeed negate many of the benefits of the energetic treatment. This is something the individual must identify himself and perhaps something for the practitioner to advise and discuss also. The body may also respond better to one type of energetic treatment or treatments than others. This clearly varies according to the individual.

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Energetic Therapies and Religion:

Some strict Christians and indeed some atheists may regard some or all the treatments on this page as 'new age' or even 'Satanic'. This web site has tried to include only those treatments that I have personal experience of and have determined empirically that they are of benefit to one's energy levels and general health, as part of a treatment programme and taken at the appropriate time. I try to approach each treatment with an open mind, but expecting nothing (a little scepticism), and to see what happens, and if it was beneficial, to try repeat treatments and notice the effect of treatments and how they fit into the different stages of one's treatment programme. Some treatments, such as Acupuncture, I have had on and off since 1993, the reason being that he found it very effective (at certain points), clearing up most of his CFS symptoms in the space of a few weeks (in 1996). However, without a complete understanding of what was going on in his body, I did relapse slowly over the next 9 years. Indeed, some treatments, such as Quantum Touch, I was recommended and wanted to try, but was a little sceptical as it did sound a little 'new age'. However, I was amazed with the results initially. I have tried to be as scientific as possible in reviewing the treatments below, and have avoided anything I consider too 'new age' for inclusion. I understand that some of a strict religious disposition, particularly strict Christians, may regard some of the below treatments as 'spiritually damaging'. I have not personally experienced this with any of them, but clearly it will depend to some degree on the practitioner and one's own spiritual sensitivity. I am chiefly concerned with what works most effectively without any (significant) negative psychological, physical or spiritual aspects. However it is clearly up to the individual what is right for him. A web site below lists 'spiritually damaging' arts'.

www.spiritual-research-network.com/dangerouspractices.html

It should be noted that Christianity has a history and tradition of followers of Jesus engaging in 'spiritual healing' and even 'resurrection' (according to myth)! Clearly tradition or religious healing practice is safe as long as it is in the past, and becomes an issue when we have to think about it in the present. Most western churches like to forget about this healing tradition, which is more accepted and embraced (as the Holy Spirit) by Evangelical and Charismatic churches, mainly in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Dowsing for example was commonplace during the Vietnam war, to find Vietcong undergrond tunnels. In addition, the Catholic Church deemed dowsing to be spiritually acceptable if used for 'good' purposes. This is just an example. Incidentally, the Vatican regards Teslar technology as beneficial, and this is described on the Electromagnetic Deficiencies and Therapies page.

A web site dedicated to Christian acupuncture is shown below.

http://christianacupuncture.com

An 'objective Christian' view of Acupuncture can be read at the link below. The overall conclusion is that acupuncture is not 'occult', but the practitioner 'might be'.

http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14661.htm

A Christian friend of mine, Angela, has stated that Acupuncture is not 'pagan' or 'Satanic' per se, but only if done in the spirit of pagan Gods. The same could be said about any type of therpay or massage, if one adopts this viewpoint, it depends on the spiritual intention of the practitioner behind what he is doing. A Swedish massage could be 'Satanic' in this context (if you believe in this concept). My friend has stated that only God can truly create, or from a Panentheistic perspective, all creation in the universe, related to life and life force, comes from connecting with God in some fashion, or 'using' God. Call this the Holy Spirit, God, vibration, whatever. My friend argues that the 'counterfeit God', i.e. the Christian view of Satan, is unable to create but tries to mimmick creation. So it ultimately depends on what the practitioner's intention is, and to what extent they are truly creating, and to what extent they are mixing up true creation with 'counterfeit creation', or relying on the latter.

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Quantum-Touch:

Quantum-Touch (QT) was 'developed' by Richard Gordon from 1978 onwards, upon training with a very accomplished healer Rob Rasmusson. Quantum Touch is a type of energetic therapy which works through light touch and the holding on of hands.

QT works through removing energetic blockages in the body's meridians, and through amplification and resonance of internal energy. In a sense it is like a catalyst to helping the body heal itself. It is however not just an energetic therapy like acupuncture.

The primary principles of QT are resonance and entrainment. Resonance is the interaction of the practitioner's life force energy field with the universal energy field. This results in a significant increase in the vibrational energy of the practitioner's field. Entrainment is the tendency for similarly tuned system to 'lock into phase' with one another so that they vibrate in harmony. The idea of QT is that the practitioner stays at the higher level of vibration and brings the vibration level of the client up to his vibration level. The practitioner maintains this higher level of vibration through visualisation, grounding and breathing. The practitioner visualises energy moving through his body - coming up from the ground through his feet and legs, up the torso, to the top of his head, then down the sides of his head, into his shoulders and then out through his arms, with the energy moving into the hands. The practitioner co-ordinates this visualisation (or sweeping as it is known) with breathing techniques or set breathing patterns - usually nose breathing. Different combinations of breathing exercises may be employed during the course of a session. The practitioner begins by preparing himself by employing these techniques, and then continues them in varying forms during the actual healing session. By simply placing his hands on the client's body or afflicted body region, the practitioner is able to assist the client to 'heal himself' by helping the client to raise his own vibrational energy field to a higher level of vibration (i.e. increased flow of qi and increased 'amount' of qi). The practitioner is also 'healed' by the follow of energy through his body from the universal field - as it passes through, some is absorbed. In addition, by raising his vibrational level, prior to a session, the practitioner is also 'healing himself'.

Energetic blockages are often associated with areas of muscle tension and skeletal misalignment. By removing the energetic blockages, the tissues and skeleton can relax and realign respectively. Dramatic skeleton, muscular and postural changes can happen in individuals through QT treatment. So QT can be used to treat all manner of complaints, not only chronic muscular, skeletal and tendon problems, but also general energetic problems associated with the body's improper functioning. In some patients, a catch 22 arises, which is not unfamiliar with sufferers of CFS. A person may have chronic muscle tension in a certain area, for example, the pelvis, lower back or the neck. This muscle tension causes or is caused by (or both) a severe energetic blockage in that area, which can impact other areas such as the endocrine system or digestion. However, because of the nature of the problem, a purely mechanical therapy is not able to release the muscle tension, and a therapy like acupuncture may not be able to remove the energetic blockage because of the way it is manifested and self-perpetuated physically. And unless the issue is resolved, the person will not see any significant progress even though he is doing all the right things in terms of supplementation and perhaps adaptogenic herbs. A therapy like QT can really help in such instances. A skilled practitioner is able to actually perceive the energetic blockages by just looking at a person standing up or even sitting down. QT is probably the most powerful of all energetic therapies and has been used to cure a number of conditions ranging from CFS to MS and other neurological and auto-immune disorders. The energy put into the body during a QT session usually takes up to 4 days to be fully absorbed and utilised by the body. Some patients may feel very little for 24 hours and then suddenly feel amazing. One can exercise on the day of the treatment, but it is probably not advisable, but to rest and drink plenty of water. Patients vary in their frequency, and may have treatments every week, every month, or just as and when they feel they need one.

There are three levels of QT training, Basic, Supercharging and Core Transformation. At the basic level, practitioners work on putting energy into the body. At the supercharging level, practitioners are much more proficient at putting energy into the body and are able to perceive energy in the patient. At the Core Transformation level, practitioners are able to 'melt and unravel' energy in the body, which could be related to realigning the flow of energy or removing energetic blockages. Even after the basic workshop, any layperson is able to perform some basic QT techniques. QT does not have a concept of good and bad energy as does bio-energy healing, but only energy that is in synch or out of synch with where it should be and what it should be doing. A list of QT practitioners in your country/area is available on the association web site. You may wish to select a practitioner who suits your personal style best, whose background skills you like the sound of, and who has the most experience/skill etc.

Skill in QT is not always a matter of training for 10 or 20 years like in some professions, but may come very quickly in certain individuals. QT can also be performed through 'distance healing' which may seem a bizarre concept to some, but it does indeed work. Try it if you are not convinced! Related disciplines to Quantum Touch can be learnt using the principles of Quanutm touch, including performing a distance healing session by simply thinking of the intended recipient. In some sense QT could be regarded as using one's 'God given power' as its focus is on God and sending 'unconditional love' or as in some part panentheistic. However, I am just commenting on its actual physical and medical effects and on his own experiences.

Whilst one can indeed seek a practioner for QT sessions, one can also learn QT oneself fairly easily. This can be accomplished by attending one of the Basic Workshops and/or buying the Quantum Touch manual (which can be purchased from the QT web site) or downloaded here. The basics of QT can be learnt in a matter of hours. This could be an important tool for assisting you in your recovery from CFS or a related condition.

www.quantumtouch.com

www.quantumtouch.com/index.php?p=view_category&category_id=2

Information documentaries on Quantum Theory (i.e. theoretical physics as distinct from Quantum Touch as a therapy) can be viewed at the link below.

www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html

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Bio-Energy Healing:

Bio-Energy Healing operates on similar principles to QT in terms of removing energetic blockages, but actually relies on the practitioner putting energy (qi) into body from the surroundings with one hand and simultaneously drawing out 'bad energy/qi' with the other hand, rather than amplifying the energy through resonance. This is how energetic blockages are removed. Bio-Energy Healing relies soley on using the hands to feel the patient's energy and to move energy as described above. Bio-energy healing can also be practiced via distance as well as in person. The concept of bad energy may perhaps mean an energetic blockage or energy 'out of synch' for example hot energy or other concepts from Oriental Medicine or QT. Bio-Energy Healing is often performed in consecutive daily sessions, for example, 5 days in a row, every few months. Exercise on the day of the treatment is not recommended, and the patient should drink plenty of water and rest.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

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Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a Chinese art that works by placing needles and/or moxibustion cones (heat) onto specific acupuncture points on the body. The points chosen will depend on which meridians are blocked and the nature of the qi in the body (stagant/flowing, hot/cold energy, damp/dry heat etc.) Needles can either be left in for up to an hour and a half, or simply inserted briefly for a few seconds. Sensation may vary, such as a dull pain, a sharp pain or on occasion an electric shock that shoots down the leg and onto the ball of the foot. Sometimes practitioners use electric currents through the needles, and attach a special machine where frequency and amplitude can be adjusted, to increase the effect of the needles. Acupuncture works on the body's different meridians to release energy blockages and thus to promote harmonious flow of qi (or life force) around the body. Each meridian corresponds to a real or imagined organ, for example, the Spleen meridian or the Triple Burner meridian. In addition, the function of the meridian does not necessarily correspond to the function of the organ, for example, the pancreas determines the quality of digestion but it is the spleen meridian that determines this also. Acupuncture sessions need not be monthly or weekly, but the frequency can be adapted according to the patient's progress. Acupuncture may also involve cupping therapy, which is where small glass cups are used and placed onto areas of muscle tension/acupuncture points. They are effective as the practitioner uses a lighted splint and puts it briefly into the upturned cup before placing it onto the body. This results in a lower pressure in the cup and thus a 'suction' effect. They may be placed over points where needles have already been inserted, or alone. Cupping therapy can either involve placing the cups on the points and leaving them there (for upto 30 minutes), or actually running the cup up and down the back which can be quite uncomfortable!

www.tcmbasics.com/introduction.htm

See the link below for an acupuncture point wallchart image.

http://www.orienthall.co.uk/images/acupuncture%20point%20wall%20chart%201.jpg

The identification process in TCM works on the basis of general questions about symptoms, diet and medical history etc., examining the tongue, feeling the different 'pulses' on each wrist (which correspond to the different organs of the body), but also in observing how the body reacts to treatments and how the balance of the meridians changes.

A 'tongue gallery' can be viewed at the web sites below, which explains what characteristics are associated with what type of energetic imbalance.

www.acumedic.com/flash/tongue/index.htm

www.giovanni-maciocia.com/tonguegallery/default.html

Please note that 'Medical Acupuncture' is not the same as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Acupuncture. Medical Acupuncture is practiced in certain British Hospitals, and uses TCM acupuncture points to relieve pain and prevent nausea during medical treatment. It does not work with the concept of 'qi' or meridians etc. and is not intended or used to treat or cure illness or ill health.

www.medical-acupuncture.co.uk

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Chinese Herbal Medicine:

A good and experienced acupuncturist will also be proficient in the use and preparation of Chinese Herbal Medicine. This is prepared from a large selection of different Chinese herbs, and particular herbs are chosen according to their primary and secondary (side effect) energetic properties. These should not use animal products. Do not see an acupuncturist who uses animal products as 'herbs' - these often include endangered species and have little or no effect whatsoever - these parts may be full of mould in any case. Optimally, the herbal preparation is balanced to counteract the effect of some of the primary herbs used to treat a specific condition the patient has. The herbs act to rebalance meridians and also to build up energy in the body. Each time the patient visits the acupuncturist, the energetic state of the patient is measured through the tongue, pulse and symptoms, and a new set of herbs is prescribed. Thus the herbs are tailored to the individual and adapts as the person's energetic balance and problems change and resolve. They are tailored also to the particular areas the acupuncturist is working on in his treatments. Herbs are dried herbs, stored in jars, and are given to the patient in paper bags, one for each day.

Normally the contents of the bags are boiled twice for 15-25 minutes in a non-metallic pan and strained each time, and the 'juice' is mixed and drunk (warm) in the morning and evening. It is often convenient to prepare two days herbs at once, and to keep the unused portion in the refrigerator. An alternative to prescribed and individually tailored Chinese herbs is to take ready prepared Chinese herbal powder. This is usually sold in capsule form. Although a wide range of capsules is usually available, so the practitioner can approximate your exact prescription, they are not as strong or as specifically targetted to your energetic needs and so will not be as effective. They are however more convenient, especially when travelling (although you may find it interesting explaining it to customs if there are no labels on the packaging!). It is ultimately up to the individual which path he chooses.

Chinese Herbal Medicine draws on a variety of herbs, fruits and tree barks that are native to mainland China. This is not to say that one could utilise herbs, plants, fruits and bark native to a European country for a very similar effect. However, to devise such a system, one would need to identify the primary and secondary energetic qualities of each herb, as well as it's immediate physical effect on the body, and apply the concepts of TCM when prescribing combinations of herbs for a particular patient. The method used by most Western herbalists creates a kind of 'energetic mess'.

Of the various ingredients used by Chinese Herbal Medicine, those that are commonly used for conditions such as yin deficiency, qi stagnation and low stomach-spleen meridian energy, include Goji berries and Orange peel. One can purchase Goji juice or dried Goji berries from supermarkets or health food stores - they are extremely tasty! Eating a small amount every day may well provide various benefits in certain individuals. Dried orange peel in TCM is boiled along with other herbs. It has been established that citrus fruit peel contains a type of pectin that can assist with heavy metal chelation, and it is not certain whether this is a coincidence and added benefit or something that was 'energetically' established by TCM practitioners.

TCM practitioners generally recommend that one engages in a programme of Qi Gong or T'ai Chi Chu'an together with one's TCM herbal prescriptions, in order to maximise the ability of the body to build up its Jing.

It should be considered that the quality of herbs supplied by or purchased from Chinese Herbalists may vary considerably, depending on how polluted the area in which the herbs were grown (e.g. close to industrial areas where smog is a big problem, close to busy roads - vehicles still using Leaded petrol/gas); pesticides and herbicides, used on the herb fields, some of which are still illegal in Europe and the US, e.g. DDT; containing chemical additives not declared on the ingredients that may be illegal in this country; or even have inadvertent contamination from the manufacturing/drying and encapsulation process for processed herbs. It is perhaps best to ask your practitioner about the quality of the herbs being supplied and if they have any information about their origin.

www.happyherbalist.com/chinese_herbs.htm

Dr Richard Schulze in his Video programme, Save Your Life, argues that many herbs grown outside of the US are not grown to the same standards and are often toxic, polluted or of very low grade with a low concentration of active ingredients. He named in particular herbs from India and China as prime culprits for toxicity. Presumably not all growers from these countries produce the same quality or purity of herbs, but the extent of the problem is not really known. One could argue that the vast majority of tea leaves are grown in India, and should everyone stop drinking tea? Perhaps it is best to stick to Organic tea in any case, but it is perhaps more likely that Tea plantations are more widely regulated and monitored, the market segment being much bigger and subject to scrutiny (and purchases being taste-oriented as opposed to medicinal herbs that can taste as ghastly as they like). There are suppliers and wholesalers of Organic Chinese Herbs now, although not so common, they are out there. Perhaps try to find a practitioner who uses organic herb sources. Organic does not necessarily mean high quality (strong) of course, but it is a starting point.

As an experiment I brought along a bag of Chinese herbs along to my practitioner appointment to have my practitioner muscle test (Applied Kinesiological testing) them on me, in conjunction with other herbs and supplements being tested. The Chinese Herbs were tested to be neutral, i.e. 'nutrition' or not particularly wanted by the body - which is disappointing considering they are meant to be a custom medicine treatment tailored to one's exact problems - in contrast with a Licorice Extract from an American supplier which tested positively (at that point in time). One would have thought that a custom Chinese herbal prescription would muscle test very well, if it was from a reputable source. The only caveat here is that the Chinese Herbalist determines the prescription based on symptoms, the pulse and the tongue appearance and if they detect a problem, they make a judgement call of which herbs to arbitrarily use for the job, factoring in how well the last prescription worked and how to best balance the types of herbs they intend to use for this prescription. This may of course result in the assigning of certain herbs that they body doesn't particularly respond so well to, as opposed to others that it might. Without going through each herb and muscle testing it individually, one would never know. Chinese herbalists do not generally know muscle testing and these two disciplines are unfortunately not generally found in the same practitioner. A bag of herbs containing some herbs that the body needs and others that it does not want may not muscle test positively as a unit. Those cynical individuals who dismiss both muscle testing and Traditional Chinese Medicine may think that this is all academic as they won't be using either method for determining what to take, but there are definite merits with each approach. Although we see some Western practitioners using some herbs that are also used by TCM, it is still a long way from getting the best of both worlds.

Non-TCM herbal supplements, manufactured by European and American companies, clearly vary in quality too. Not all are organic, but as mentioned above, being organic does not necessarily mean high potency of active ingredients. There are other things to consider including fillers, other compounds added, encapsulation and so on. In addition, some manufacturers have more stringent quality testing methods than others. Reputable and high quality manufacturers test each batch of raw ingredients for pesticides and other toxins as well as the end product, whereas others only test each batch of raw ingredients. Vital Nutrients tend to use organic ingredients and test the end product, whereas Jarrow Formulas and Thorne Research only test each batch of raw ingredients, according to T. Michael Culp.

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Acupressure Massage:

Acupressure is a Chinese art that works on the basis of massaging acupressure/acupuncture points on the body's different meridians to release energy blockages and thus to promote harmonious flow of qi (or life force) around the body. Each meridian corresponds to a real or imagined organ, for example, the Spleen meridian or the Triple Burner meridian. In addition, the function of the meridian does not necessarily correspond to the function of the organ, for example, the pancreas determines the quality of digestion but it is the spleen meridian that determines this also. Acupressure is normally given in conjunction with Acupuncture and Cupping Therapy. Acupressure is regarded by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as being inferior to Acupuncture, and so a practitioner will rarely give just an acupressure massage in isolation, but in addition to an acupuncture treatment (on the same day or on an alternative day). Acupressure does however have the advantage of relaxing the muscles, and a good hour long acupressure session can be very relaxing and therapeutic. Acupuncture and acupressure do not actually put any more or new energy into the body, but merely redistribute what the body has to level out imbalances and work on blockages. It is therefore unwise to have too many acupuncture sessions too close together or one can deplete the body's qi levels, even though the body is more 'balanced' energetically. The sessions rely on the patient building up their energy levels in between each session, so there is more energy to work with and rebalance. This is why some practitioners only practice Chinese herbal medicine.

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Medical Qi Gong:

Medical Qi Gong is related to acupuncture, and is considered to be the forefather of acupuncture. It is still practised by some TCM practitioners, and has grown increasingly popular in recent years. Instead of using a needle or series of needles to remove a blockage, the practitioner uses his own qi, transferred from his hands to the acupuncture point, to remove the blockage. It is thought of as being a more direct and effective method. It does however use the practitioner's own qi, and as a result, healers in ancient China had to practice external Qi Gong exercises regularly in order to be 'overflowing with Qi', so they could then use that excess Qi on some of their patients. It is thought that acupuncture was devised to order to preserve the practitioners' own Qi levels. With today's busier lifestyles, and TCM practitioners able to perform less and less Qi Gong themselves, partly on account of acupuncture being a full time occupation or a business, you can see why many TCM practitioners have favoured acupuncture and acupressure over medical Qi Gong.

www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=31516

Below is a paper (in pdf format) about Medical Qi Gong being used to treat Fibromyalgia patients.

www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers/QigongFibroJacm2006.pdf

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Afternote:

A useful web site examining techniques for recovering from Chronic Illness can be found at the link below, explaining some aspects of TCM in terms of Western Medicine.

www.acu-plus.co.uk/How_to_recover/how_to_recover.html

A good acupuncturist should really go through your entire diet at your first sitting, or give you a diet sheet to fill in, to include everything that you've eaten, drunk and smoked in a week. This gives the acupuncturist a good idea of whether your diet is causing you major energetic problems or not.

Let us consider myself as a case study. During the early to mid 90s, I had frequent bouts of cold and influenza, very bad post-viral fatigue for about one to two months after each bout of the flu. My diet was vegetarian, high in spicy food and he smoked cannabis on a regular basis. I went to see an acupuncturist who was also his Tai Chi Chu'an instructor. This practitioner did not enquire too deeply about his diet, and after many sessions, we got nowhere. The acupuncturist was rather confused.

In 1995/6 I went to see an excellent acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist in London called Dr Lee at a clinic called Fook Sang (now unfortunately closed down). He differed from most other acupuncturists in that he demanded I fill in a diet sheet (for all food/drink each day), and then circled most of the items on there and gave me a list of foods to avoid (excessive heat or cold) which included most processes foods and spicy foods, and anything with artificial additives. I was put on a diet of boiled white rice, beans and vegetables, cheese salad sandwiches with butter and white bread and oatmeal pretty much. This varies quite considerably from the anti-candida diet, but was a detoxification diet of sorts. I was given a huge, single bag of herbs each week (in opposition to the usual small, daily bag of herbs). The herbs were boiled and consumed in two halves, one half before going to bed, and the other half at 4am(!) It was very extreme, but after just 4 bags of herbs, I felt much better and was able to cope with 5 or 6 hours sleep a night and felt energised and amazing each morning, and all throughout the day! I had the option of going to bed early some nights but chose not to! My diet went back to 'normal' although without the spicy food after a few months, and went to see a different acupuncturist again (big mistake!) Gradually my energy levels returned to those pre-Dr Lee. I had stopped smoking cannabis at this point too. Within 18 months I had developed stomach and digestive problems which came and went on and off over the next 10 years, despite having semi-regular acupuncture at a highly respected clinic. I never found anyone like Dr Lee again! I did find that although he was very good, he never really addressed my toxicity and digestive issues, which plagued me over the following years - but perhaps I never saw him for long enough.

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Shiatsu:

Shiatsu is a Japanese art, with many overlapping areas with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Acupressure and Acupuncture, with the same concepts of meridians and qi (see below). It differs somewhat in that the shiatsu practitioner works on the whole meridian rather than just on acupuncture points. The shiatsu treatment can also help to release muscle tension as well as unblock meridians and increase energy flow in weak organs, perhaps like the spleen, stomach, liver, kidney and lungs. The practitioner uses massage, hand and sometimes elbow manipulation, and certain assisted stretches to unblock energetic blockages, to work a specific meridian or meridians and to release muscle tension. Shiatsu does not actually put any more or new energy into the body, but merely redistributes what the body has to level out imbalances and work on blockages. It is therefore unwise to have too many shaitsu sessions too close together or one can deplete the body's qi levels, even though the body is more 'balanced' energetically. The sessions rely on the patient building up their energy levels in between each session, so there is more energy to work with and rebalance.

Shiatsu practitioners promote the Macrobiotic diet. Further information regarding macrobiotic diet and hot/cold energy can be found on the Digestive Disorders page.

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Reflexology:

Reflexology practice allegedly dates back to ancient Egypt, India and China, but it was not introduced to the west until 1913, as Zone Therapy, by Dr William Fitzgerald. In the 1930s Eunice Ingham refined Zone Theory into what is now known as reflexology. Reflexology is an internal system of energetic treatment focussing on finger pressure on the foot. Each major organ or part of the body is mirrored on a particular point on the foot. It operates in a similar manner to acupressure or shiatsu massage, but focussing purely on foot points to work on the meridians of the entire body.

TCM also uses acupuncture and acupressure points on the foot, which are used by some practitioners. In addition, certain health products such as Foot Detox Patches are alleged to utilise the reflexology map when promoting toxin release and lymph absorbance from the targetted organs.

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Reiki:

Reiki is a Japanese art, with many overlapping areas with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture, with the same concepts of meridians and qi (see below). It differs somewhat in that the Reiki practitioner works on the whole meridian rather than just on acupuncture points and just uses the hands to unblock energetic blockages and to increase the energy of particular meridians such as the spleen, stomach, liver, kidney and lungs. Reiki involves very light touch of the palms of the hands, which are placed sequentially around different points on the body. Reiki actually works on the principle of putting energy (qi) into the body, and so although a type of oriental medicine, differs from the other forms in this respect.

Reiki is a generic term in Japanese referring to healing. It is based on the healing system of Dr Mikao Usui in the late 19th Century.

www.reiki.org/FAQ/HistoryOfReiki.html

Reiki is somewhat different and more 'new age' compared with the other energetic practices on this page as it may utilise 'divine beings' called 'Reiki Guides' or 'Ascended Masters' and some liken it to a form of spiritualism. Some people are not comfortable with this and regard the healing as 'spiritually confused' or as a 'mixed bag', although clearly this may depend on the individual.

www.reiki.org/reikinews/reikin6.html

www.spotlightministries.org.uk/reiki.htm

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Applied Kinesiological / Muscle Testing:
 
Overview:

There are many types of kinesiological testing. What we are interested here as a diagnostic method is Applied Kinesiology (AK), also referred to as muscle testing or muscle strength testing. AK testing can be used to determine how the body reacts to certain substances, be they food, supplements, toxins or micro-organisms, as either strength or weakness. In addition, AK testing can be used to determine what your body requires at a precise moment in time. AK testing is a form of strength testing, where the practitioner will move your arms and legs into different positions, to see that the body is responding and processing information correctly, then will use your right arm to apply pressure and notice the strength response, whilst placing a number of small samples of substances in small glass jars one at a time in the vicinity of your body. He may also help you form a number of finger positions to deduce dosage and frequency when it comes to supplements the body requires.

By moving the left arm into a variety of different positions, the practitioner can determine whether the body requires nutritional, electro-magnetic, kinesiological or structural input. Structural input may be craniosacral therapy or another structural input. Electro-magnetic could be homeopathic or energetic therapy. Once the practitioner has determined what area he needs to work on, he can test a variety of supplements if it is nutritional, for example, and see what the body responds to and what it doesn't respond to, based on a set of samples of good quality products and ideas he has about what it likely to be the kind of the thing the body might need, based on your past history of treatment and your current symptoms and laboratory test results. The practitioner can also work on a particular set of pathways (or processes/functions) rather to a particular set of glands or organ in order to determine what process is blocked and what supplement to use to treat it with. The number of types of treatment that can be tested (e.g. energetic or electro-magnetic) is going to be restricted to what the practitioner knows and what tools/remedies are available.

No two AK sessions are exactly the same and precise effects on the body and the route taken to obtain results may vary betweens sessions and between people. However, the results or outcome if performed correctly are usually the same. AK testing is a type of testing using the 'body intelligence'.

If you don't ask the right question in the right way, you may not get an answer back or at least the answer you were after. For example, you may ask the body about a certain substance and it may give the answer that it is 'balanced', but if you did not ask specifically about a possible immune-modulated allergic reaction to that substance, then the body may not tell you.

It is recommended that you find a consultant who is proficient in Applied Kinesiological testing. This type of testing is a valid form of test in itself as well as the laboratory tests described above, and is extremely important to effectively adjust and tailor the approach effectively, rather than just by guessing supplements and quantities. My view is that one should not however rely on AK testing alone, but as a form of fine tuning in one's treatment programme. It should not really be used to determine primary causes and problems, and this should be obtained from both qualitative and quantitative laboratory testing and microscopy work. A wide variety of tests are available to measure one's progress. There are also other types of muscle testing or bio-feedback type testing to determine what the body needs, what the body is allergic to, and what problems you have.

Wikipedia's definition of Applied Kinesiology can be found at the link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_kinesiology

A brief overview of the more basic type of kinesiological testing can be found at Cancer Remission web site below. Please note that many of the pathways tested and supplements test for are not necessarily 'good' or 'bad' intrinsically, but what the body requires at any point in time may change.

www.cancerremission.com/TestingDetails.html

Please see the two sections below for my views and experiences on the limitations of AK testing.

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Benefits of Applied Kinesiology/Muscle Testing:

From my limited experience, Applied Kinesiology testing seems to be very useful as part of a wider testing and identification programme. It appears to be very useful in determing a brand and type of supplement to take, and fine tuning dosage requirements for a condition identified by other means, e.g. laboratory testing. It also appears to be quite useful in determining the requirements of the most chronic mineral and vitamin deficiencies, digestive system support and adrenal gland support. It can also be useful in determining the presence of significant numbers of harmful micro-organisms, although I would not personally rely on this method alone to determine this. It does not appear to be so useful in determining toxicity levels and the approach for a detoxification programme. It also does not appear to be so useful in determine mitochondrial dysfunction or electromagnetic deficiencies. This may perhaps vary according to the practitioner, but I prefer other test methods in these areas for these conditions.

If when you start seeing your practitioner and the body is totally confused, then it may only provide a few answers in initial AK/muscle testing sessions, e.g. a couple of different supplements in small dosages, even if you intuitively know the body 'should' require higher dosages or a number of other supplements, from examining your lab test results or just from intuition/common sense. However, just because your body 'should' require higher dosages or additional compounds, that doesn't mean that it can utilise them. The body may choose a lower dosage supplement, e.g. 250mg Acetyl-L-Carnitine compared with a 500mg version from the same manufacturer. Taking the higher dosage may result in the body being overloading with 'information' or not being able to utilise it as well. However, as one progresses with treatment, stops doing treatments or taking supplements that are confusing the body (being 'overzealous' and forcing the body to jump through hoops of your choosing), i.e. not what it requires at that point in time, then the body may start to give more answers and know better what it wants and be better able to utilise high dosages or other compounds that are technically required by the body in its current condition. The more you work with the body, the more it tends to best respond in order to climb out of the hole that has been dug. The more you work against the body and force it to do things that it doesn't actually require (as opposed to theoretically require according to someone's opinion or some lab results), the less effecively it will utilise what you throw at it and the less things it can actually utilise (effectively) as it becomes so 'confused'. Chopping and changing supplements and regimes regularly can result in biochemical chaos and energetic/other confusion.

If one is to see one's practitioner once a month, there are so many changes in the body's pattern, dosage changes and slightly different ways of addressing the same problem that may be needed, that muscle testing really is invaluable. To intelligently arrive at the same result at the end of each appointment would require a wide range of testing of numerous parameters, involving multiple urine tests and blood tests each month, which would not be practical. Most practitioners who rely on laboratory tests alone tend to stick to one or two parameters to closely monitor and leave other parameters to intuition, based on changes symptoms reported alone. Of course, AK practitioners should also use laboratory tests, but may not repeat lab tests more than every 6 months or so, depending on the what they are. Some patients resort to trial and error based on what they think will work, from test results, things they've noticed or what they've read on the internet. This can be very disruptive on the body and very taxing, as the errors tend to unbalance one's whole functioning, and the tendency is to keep retrying and making errors until one finally arrives at what one believes is the right balance (which may not necessarily be the case, only that which does not cause noticeable harm or disruption in the short term). AK testing can help avoid all this experimentation and arrive at an optimal and consistent regime.

AK testing when utilising other disciplines such as craniosacral therapy, homeopathy etc. can be a useful treatment in itself, to 'unconfuse' the body and get it to function better and communicate to itself better internally (in terms of nervous system function etc.) I have found that his energy levels increase after an AK testing session, even with all the logistics of getting to see the consultant are taken into consideration. Yes these are tiring, but the overall effect is a positive one for the body.

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Potential Problems and Pitfalls of Applied Kinesiology/Muscle Testing:

The results of an AK testing session must be interpreted correctly in order to be meaningful. A failure to do this by either you or your consultant can provide less benefit than you would otherwise gain. Sometimes the result of the testing is correct but you may be wrong! Let's say your practitioner tested you for 2 Betaine HCl capsules with each meal. But your experience tells you that this isn't enough as you still have pungent wind frequently and trouble digesting protein. However, you may be overeating at meal times, such that if you ate a little less at each meal, but perhaps ate more often, then your Betaine HCl requirement would decrease and your digestion would improve. Does this mean that AK is rubbish? I do not think so, but believe that it has its limitations. However, make up your own mind and choose the style of testing that you feel most comfortable with.

Sometimes muscle testing provides a dosage that seems minimalist and often totally insufficient. Specific examples from my experience include 5-HTP dosages, which always seemed to be barely enough to ensure a proper night's sleep; and also mineral supplementation whilst using a demineralising chelating agent (for Lead detoxification), specifically EDTA. The mineral regime was perfectly fine if no chelation was being carried out, but because EDTA tends to remove nutritional and trace minerals as well as heavy metals, then the actual requirement would be greater than the 'normal' amount of mineral supplements. As to how one is supposed to draw this distinction with AK testing, I do not know, but it is one failing of AK testing. Another example is either antioxidant or blood pressure lowering herbs to help with cardiac support. Whilst the general antioxidant regime was geared more to free radical proliferation, the suggested regime on several occasions (but not all) was not quite sufficient for cardiac support. On those occasions it was, the benefit came more from assisting mitochondrial function and body balance in general so the heart was not under pressure in the first place.

It is difficult to determine complex schedules of supplementation with AK testing. For example, cases where a couple of weeks on and a couple of weeks off are required. One example would be chelating and mobilising agents as part of a heavy metal detoxification programme. This was not such an issue with EDTA, as the dosage determined in my case was 3 Detoxamin for Kids suppositories per week, which worked out fine. However some examples of problematic cases are listed below.

AK testing has also established a dosage for a multi-vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplement such as Thorne Research's MediClear. However, this contained Rice Bran, which I was allergic to. I would get a very mild sore throat after consuming it (i.e. an IgE food allergy). Generally, it is recommended to avoid any foods completely that give one such a reaction (as it upregulates the whole inflammatory condition of the body), but here the practitioner was recommending it (in a small dosage) - not because of the rice bran but its other ingredients. Any more than the suggested dosage and my sore throat symptoms were much worse. AK testing established a dosage which was just about tolerable. However, one may wonder whether it is satisfactory in this respect as I would have preferred for multiple reasons to have taken something or several supplements with the same ingredients but with no allergic effect, which would have helped with lowering my overall level of inflammation, whilst having the same benefits.

AK testing thus in certain instances provides a theoretical 'optimal' regime for the body from an AK perspective, rather than a functional and fully workable regime. The AK-derived regime may be optimised and balanced from an AK perspective, but this may not necessarily be optimal for one's overall recovery. In certain instances, particularly concerning long term mobilising agent use, one simply may not be asking enough 'questions', or is able to do so, so that one cannot simply equate the AK answer with what the body really wants or what is best for the body from all perspectives.

There may be an attitude amongst AK testing purists that AK testing always gives the right answer, and if not, and there is some problem with the treatment regime determined, then it is not their fault as they were just relaying back to the patient what the body told them. In this sense there may be a total denial of accountability, a doctor telling you what to take, then denying any responsibility for if it works or not, or if it does more harm than good. This type of attitude is not really what one expects from a practitioner, as one is paying them for them to use their brain and not slavishly follow the testing results (which in a metaphoric sense would be like having a trained monkey as your doctor).One expects the practitioner to sanity check the regime and pay attention to reported symptoms and how they change over time; and look to cross checking with regular laboratory testing.

Supplements that provide no muscle testing response, i.e. provide a neutral or 'food' answer, from an AK perspective, could be interpreted as meaning 'you can take it if you like, it won't make any difference'. Some practitioners interpret this as meaning 'you can take as much as you like, it is of no consequence'. The latter answer is not quite right however, as it really means 'from an AK perspective'. Whilst a particular supplement may not be optimised or functional from an AK perspective, that is not to say that it will not still perform a biochemical role in the body, and that too much may still cause imbalance, disrupt the body or in the case of certain detoxification supplements, make one extremely ill if one takes more than a small amount. Always take such suggestions or advice with a pinch of salt. I was once told that I could take as much Cilantro as I wanted, that it wouldn't make any difference. This was based on a lack of awareness of the poweful heavy metal mobilising properties of Cilantro, and at the time (after removing a Mercury Amalgam Filling) made him extremely ill (even more ill) and was the last thing he should have been doing.

Some patients may feel that AK or muscle testing sessions are 'rigged' in that the practitioner may be 'cheating' my faking a response from the body to prove what he wanted to be proven, i.e. simply making it up. My AK practitioner denied that this was the case, even though it did feel like it at times. However, it is objectively very difficult for the patient in this posture and with the practitioner holding their arm up at a certain angle to judge this. It may well be the case for less reputable or 'shifty' practitioners.

It would appear from my experiences that at certain points in my condition, that there was a honeymoon period after a consultant where his body had been energetically 'reset' by the AK practitioner, and where the body responded well to the prescribed regimen, and to the minimalist and targetted supplement regime. However, after this honeymoon period was over (likely a result of overdoing it physically/mentally or perhaps having gotten carried away with too many additional supplements and put the body into a confused state again), or when the energy boost from the session had worn off (similar to how the up-beat effect of an acupuncture or other energetic seession wears off after a few days), the body did on a number of occasions did not respond so well to the supplements and see that level of expected or previous progress. In these cases, I wonder whether another AK session to reset the body again and re-test the previously prescribed supplement regime, would have fixed this problem, or whether this signified that the supplement approach did not really work or would only work if one hadn't overdone it and become unresponsive and much worse physically; thus requiring a different type of treatment approach. This may be exaccerbated when a patient is so ill that he has to physically recover from appointments for a few days or even weeks, when the whole logistical experience of the appointment negates (most of) the actual benefit the appointment brings (the net effect being slight progress but not as much as had been anticipated by either party). Is it in a sense like having acupuncture once a month but without taking any Chinese herbs in the interim to build on the acupuncture treatments? When it doesn't work, that is? This is probably something the individual must figure out for himself.

You or your practitioner may chose in specific areas to override your 'body intelligence' or what it has been determined that your body thinks it needs at a certain point in time. For example, if you have very poorly functioning adrenal glands, and your body is clearly signifying it wants supplementation to stimulate these, but over several months such supplementation is not making any progress, and your body is signifying that it does not want certain detoxification supplements (assuming you have a toxicity issue here), then you or your practitioner may choose to override the body's requests temporarily in this area and begin detoxification whilst still supporting the adrenal glands. In certain instances, the adrenal glands will not recover until sufficient toxins are removed from the body and stress levels are lower. However, if you do override the 'body intelligence' and use your common sense, you will occasionally get it wrong! And you have to accept the consequences.

So it is wise to regularly review your approach and not to feel locked into anything for the sake of it. Sometimes the body is so confused, that it may not understand the process and order of treatments that will be most effective. Throwing too much at your body may be detrimental or at best ineffective, as opposed to focussing on what the body most needs, and being disciplined enough to stick to that. The vast majority of the time, Applied Kinesiological testing gets the right answers however, and part of the process involves 'resetting' the body's responses if it does not provide a positive answer. So whether this rare type of problem scenario lies in the body's answer, the interpretation or the practitioner is a philosophical matter. This is really the practitioner's job to figure all this out, not yours! However...

The whole point of AK is to listen to feedback, so one has to listen to the feedback of the actual progress and how the patient is feeling (in addition to regular test results), not just slavishly follow applied kinesiological tests to guide treatment in its entirety. In other words common sense, wisdom and a wider awareness of protocols and perspective is required. Being locked into any one approach rigidly is rarely a good thing.

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Applied Kinesiology and Supplements:

When a patient or practitioner becomes aware of a particular problem, there are a large array of supplement types, manufacturers, formats and so on to choose from for that particular application; which are all theoretically (and on paper) the right tools for the job. Many practitioners stick to a certain brand for all patients, or a fixed combination of herbs or antioxidants for example, to address a certain classification of problem. However, this does not take into account the relative properties of the supplements and how they affect the body on an energetic level. Progress may be affected depending on which set of supplements one takes. This is likely to be different for each individual at a given point in them. Some may be helpful, some of limited benefit, and some cause more bodily confusion or imbalance than do good.

Remember that not all supplements are created equal. Your body can probably utilise some types/forms/brands better than others, and many your body is actually subtly allergic to, and which won't do you any good at all, and will just waste your money. This is usually true of cheaper brands. However, certain types of supplement may not be effectively utilised by your body at any one point in time. A good naturopath should be able to determine what works best for you, what your body needs, kinesiologically. This may sound strange, but it does work. Black Spy was highly sceptical at first about Applied Kinesiology. AK testing of supplements again is a skill that an individual practitioner will have, and they may be excellent at it, average, below average or awful! Certain brands tend to agree with the vast majority of patients for the vast majority of the time. An example of some high quality, non-allergenic supplement brands includes Nutri, Metagenics, Vital Nutrients, Jarrow Formulas, Thorne Research, Tyler, BioCare, Planetary Herbals, Metabolics, Source Naturals etc. Nutri capsules are quite fragile and have a habit of breaking in the jar. Other brands tend to show an allergic reaction to the body nearly all of the time with all patients, such as Solgar or Holland and Barrett. But it is clearly dependent on the individual. 'Out of the box' supplements tailored (and marketed) by their manufacturers for specific health problems are not always effective (and are often self-prescribed). They may not provide the constituent ingredients in the right ratios, in the required concentrations and of the right quality for that individual. In specific cases, you may need to overrule the AK test result about a specific supplement and use your common sense. But as a general rule it is extremely useful.

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Bio-Resonance Testing:

Applied Kinesiology (AK) is a form of bio-resonance testing. There are other forms of bio-resonance testing available, including using a pendulum (often referred to as 'pendulum dowsing' somewhat incorrectly. This may not be your cup of tea. The patient does not have to be physically present, nor the supplement being tested, but if they are, it usually produces a more accurate result. Electronic biofeedback or bio-resonance devices and software are available on the market and seem to produce some useful results, depending on the practitioner who is using the device, but in my opinion these are not a true form of bio-resonance testing and do not necessarily offer any advantages over using a pendulum, if that is your particular cup of tea.

I did have a session with an Asyra in the UK (see below for details of the Asyra). Whilst many of the specific results were variable in reliability, and there were some key parameters and deficiencies missing from the report (e.g. a severe amino acid deficiency at the time) and very bad candida overgrowth, it did pick up psychological symptoms with remarkable accuracy which I was highly surprised about. To what degree the exact results were guided by the practitioner I do not know but she was not party to all my non-medical background. The bacterial/parasite diagnoses from the Asyra and similar devices are supposedly picking up on the present or residual historical 'energy signature' of the organism in the body - so a diagnosis may simply mean that one once had such and such an organism but not any longer, or it could mean it is currently prevalent in the body. The answer is not clear. In this area, the Asyra also provided me with a Lyme Disease diagnosis, which was later verified with a MELISA Borrelia blood test - however the exact Borrelia bacterial species I do not believe was correct, but that was of little practical consequence. It was a useful pointer to investigating the possibility of Lyme Disease and prompted me to have the blood test done, as otherwise I probably would never have considered it. Also, the Lyme co-infection species on the report I am not 100% convinced were correct - conflicting with muscle testing results - but this is yet to be determined and identified by blood tests. I was also diagnosed as having the energy signature of a tape worm, although this must presumably have either been referring to a protozoan parasite species instead - i.e. the wrong species - a collosal difference in size!) or referring to a historical occurrence of tape worms 20+ years prior - to my knowledge. I had been taking Diatomaceous earth prior so it is unlikely I had a tapeworm - as well as having had multiple broad spectrum anti-parasite/tape worm treatments in the past - to deal with protozoans.

Bio-resonance testing in general can determine potential issues with a patient including mitochondrial dysfunction, toxicity, adrenal issues, electromagnetic imbalances, emotional imbalance etc.

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Bio-Feedback (BEST/EDS/EAV) & Electronic Devices:

VEGA Machine is an electronic diagnostic device manufactured by VEGA Medical Devices. The first electrodiagnostic device available on the market was the Vegatest in 1968. The technology has recently been bought up by Wegamed in Germany, and the products being offered are currently Med matrix, Med select, Med audiocolor, Check Medical Sport and Test Expert Plus.
http://www.wegamed.de
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vega_Machines
www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/electro.html

Asyra Pro, distributed in the US by GTech, is an electronic bio-energetic testing device connects to a PC, and uses two cylinders that are held by the patient, and is claimed to be able to diagnose and treatment various conditions, including food allergies, pH imbalance, hormonal imbalance, parasite, lyme, protozoa and bad bacteria overgrowth. Its primary interface is a set of brass cylinders that the patient holds and also a laser which is used to diagnosis and treatment (e.g. one application is LED Detoxification). It includes 60,000 nutritional supplements and homeopathic remedies preprogrammed into its database. GTech also produce another device for Detoxification, called Body Cleanse, which is a type of ionic foot bath. NutriVital are distributors in the UK, who also provide Asyra training and their own brand of nutritional supplements.
www.asyra.com
www.asyra.co.uk

Co-Re, distributed by Inergetix Inc., is a German invented biofeedback/bio-energetic diagnostic and balancing device that is able to test on 4 levels - structural (bones, muscles, tissues etc.), Biochemical (cells, microbiology, body chemistry etc.), Energetic (electricity, light, sound, heat, magnetism etc.) and Informational (pure symbol). It uses a number of interface tools including metal cylinders (golden hand electrodes) as well as Acupuncture applicator, bracelets, a projector, goggles and magnetotherapy applicators. According to a practitioner of mine, the device does not need use the applicators (as it can work remotely) but they are really there to appease the patient. Unlike some other biofeedback devices it has a number of algorhythms for psychic and emotional problems (as well as actual supplements and remedy items) and is claimed to be used for spiritual healing as well as biochemical healing etc. It has over 100,000 such items in its database to date.
http://www.energy-medicine.info/
http://www.naturaltherapyclinic.co.uk/_docs/Theoretic_Basis%20_of_CoRe.pdf

Avatar 4.0 EDS is manufactured by VeraDyne Corporation. It is said to require more practitioner intervention and manipulation than EAVs such as Asyra which are more automated.
http://veradyne.com/

QXCI Synergy - distributors of the Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface. The QXCI is a electric device that is claimed to be used to diagnose and treat medical conditions by reading a huge number of bio-energetic patterns of the patient from a headset, and processing this data in a computer and then computing up to 100 different treatment programmes to remedy these bio-energetic problems. The treatment is therefore presumably only as good as the software.
www.qxcisynergy.co.uk/index.php

The Rife Machine was first created by Dr Royal Raymond Rife. It is claimed to use different electromagnetic frequencies to treat a variety of conditions. It seems to be withdrawn from the market, presumably on account of the FDA.
www.rifehealth.com

Biomeridian's Vantage is an electronic device that is claimed to diagnose medical conditions by measuring the energetic strength of the body's meridians. One probe is held in one hand and the other probe is connected to different acupuncture points on the hand, foot or body.
www.biomeridian.com

CNGI, Inc. are manufacturers of the Detox Box, featuring 550+ preprogrammed codes and 450 frequencies (similar to a Rife machine). This has now been withdrawn from the market (presumably on account of FDA pressure or action). CNGI also sell an LLLT device and The ION Bath Platinum Edition (designed for use with a foot bath of water).
www.ionbath.com

The Vibrational Integration Bio-Photonic Energiser (VIBE) Machine. An electrical device working on the premise of using certain frequencies of fluctuating electromagnetic field (presumably) to increase the voltage of the body's cells. It is claimed to be used for diagnosing problems and conditions as well as the body's responses to various supplements or external test items. The treatment is therefore presumably only as good as the software and the practitioner. The VIBE Machine cannot be purchased by the public, as presumably is cost prohibitive and requires training. However, a list of practitioners with a VIBE Machine can be found at the web sites below. Update - this machine has been withdrawn from the market voluntarily on account of threat of action by the FDA.
www.vibemachine.com
www.vibemachine.co.uk

EnVision by NuVision USA is a software program that runs on a PC that claims to be able to diagnose a patient without a physical contact with the patient. It uses 'Holographic Scaling Technology'. The patient's full name, place of birth, date of birth and symptom classifications are entered into the program and it runs a diagnostic and produces a list of conditions or issues. It can also set up a program on the NuVision server which 'emits frequencies' to heal the patient, much like EMC2's AIM Program but at a fraction of the cost and using specified frequencies rather than firing everything at once like AIM. I have used it and in many areas it is shockingly accurate. Apparently similar to the CoRe in terms of its diagnostic capabilities.
http://www.nuvisionusa.com/

Zyto is a manufacturer of bio-feedback systems including Elite, Select, Balance and EVOX. It includes a subscription.
http://www.zyto.com/

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Other Alternative Treatments related to Bio-Feedback (BEST/EDS/EAV):

Ionic Foot Baths or Spas are referenced above in conjunction with EAV devices. Here are some other EAV related technologies and treatments that are considered to be alternative. I have not personally evaluated any of these.

Tools for Healing's Don Croft Zapper or Terminator II is an EM device based on one proposed by Dr Hulda Clark that is reputed to be able to safely 'zap' harmful micro-organisms from the body, e.g. yeasts, parasites, bad bacteria etc. There are several variants on this model.
www.toolsforhealing.com/Products/Zapper/Products/TerminatorII.html
www.toolsforhealing.com/Products/Zapper/Articles/MiniFGFAQs.html

Neuroliminal Training (by Dr Philip Bate, PhD) uses similar principles to EEG Biofeedback testing but uses taped waveforms to adjust the amplitude of certain brain waves. It is claimed to help insomnia, depression, autism, ADD and ADHD and is currently being trialled on CFS patients (in combination with Biofeedback testing).
www.drbate.com/howitworks.html
www.immunesupport.com/library/showarticle.cfm/id/9046

Micro-Current Therapy is a type of therapy similar to TENS, using electronic devices such as those by MicroDoctor or MicroAce. It is said to speed up the rate of cellular repair, as well as reduce pain and inflammation (the latter qualities are like TENS). A type of microcurrent therapy is recommended by Dr Dietrich Klinghardt.
www.microdoctor.co.uk
www.microace.com
www.frequencyspecific.com

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Bio-Feedback (BEST/EDS/EAV) & Electronic Device Articles:

Asyra's web site contains a historical overview of Bio-Feedback devices, a.k.a. Electro-Dermal Screening (E.D.S.) or Bio-Energetic Stress Testing (B.E.S.T.), including it origins in the 1900s. Bio-Energetic Stress Testing has nothing to do with the Morter Health System a.k.a. Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.) which is a non-intrusive physical treatment for rebalancing the body's weaknesses, which uses some principles of Applied Kinesiology and uses various hands-on release techniques. The two share nothing except for the acronym 'B.E.S.T' and a claim to use Bio-Energetic principles.
www.asyra.co.uk/technology

The Mayo Cinic's web site contains an article of Biofeedback testing and explains some of the available electronic methods.
www.mayoclinic.com/health/biofeedback/SA00083

The Association for Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback (AAPB) is a central resource for locating biofeedback practitioners and educators in the USA.
http://www.aapb.org/

The article below describes what are biofeedback machines, and what features are not strictly biofeedback but related technologies (including NES and Ondamed).
http://www.aapb.org/tl_files/AAPB/biofeedback/Legitimate%20Biofeedback%20January%202009.pdf

Nutri-Energetics System (NES) machine is manufactured by NES Health.
http://www.neshealth.com/en-gb/homepage.aspx

Ondamed is a biofeedback system developed by Ondamed GmbH in Germany. It is also distributed by Ondamed in the USA.
http://www.ondamed.de
http://www.ondamed.net

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Kinesiology-based Treatments: NAET and ECR:

Kinesiology-based treatments for allergies, food and otherwise, include Applied Kinesiology, Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET), and Energetic Cellular Release (ECR). These also work on the energetic system.

NAET was devised by Devi S. Nambudripad M.D, drawing on acupuncture, applied kinesiology and allergy medicine. She has written a number of books on the subject. There are also NAET practitioners that can practice the therapy on patients.

www.naet.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAET

ECR is an evolution of NAET, and was created by Tracy Wakefield Southwick ND. It uses classical NAET treatment and antigen vials but uses additional vials and infra red light to enhance and speed up processing times for the body to reduce its allergic response to an antigen. ECR can also use the EnVision bio-feedback system to create new antigen vials for virtually any biological disruption, even troublesome emotions.

http://www.heightsofhealth.com/services.html#ecr

http://www.nuvisionusa.com/ecr/tracy-wakefield-southwick/

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Craniosacral Therapy:

Craniosacral Therapy is a type of treatment that looks to improve the rhythmic circulation of cranial fluid throughout the cranium and spine and also release muscle tension in the skull. In a sense it is like a catalyst to helping the body heal itself. The skull is comprised of a very large number of individual bones, all of which should be able to move slightly. Those with CFS or related conditions often have a completely jammed skull and hardly any cranial fluid motion in the cranium or spinal column. This has a big impact on the energetic and bio-chemical health of the body, and may cause/aggravate existing symptoms and slow down recovery. Don't forget that the spine is part of the brain - think about that, those of you who like to slouch!

In many respects the strength and regularity of the flow of cranial and spinal fluid circulation seems to correspond with the strength and flow of qi in the body. When the level of qi in the body is low, the stength of the flow and rhythm of the cranial and spinal fluid circulation is weaker. However, the quaity of the rhythm of the circulation is also related to the qi levels and balance of meridians in the body. How exactly qi levels and the cranial and spinal fluid circulation relate is not quite clear, but there is a definite relationship of sorts. Improving one's cranial and spinal fluid circulation will undoubtedly improve one's qi circulation also. Craniosacral therapy does not use up the qi in the body, but encourages it to flow better and indirectly to set up conditions to allow the body to build it up. One can therefore have multiple sessions in close successions without being concerned about depleting qi levels. However, the body may require up to 3 or 4 days after a session to really work the changes through, so the effectiveness of doing this is debatable.

There is an exercise that one can perform at home to gently encourage some movement of the cranial fluid. This is performed by placing two slightly springy balls (tennis balls or slightly smaller) in a sock, pushing them to the end and tieing the sock to hold them in place. A ball slightly smaller and softer than a tennis ball may be preferable and more comfortable, and may not slip as much as a tennis ball in a sock. Place this dual ball sock just below the hard bone of the back of the skull (the occipital ridge). Follow the line of muscle and bone ran runs diagonally up the back of the neck behind your ears. Your Cranioscral Therapist will be able to advise you of the optimal positioning. You may wish also to experiment with the positioning slightly and notice which gives the greatest effect. The position should be symmetrical from one side of the neck to the other (each ball's position). One places the balls on the floor and lies on one's back with these balls supporting the head. Ideally one should lie there for 20 minutes. This can be performed every few days and is a good relaxation exercise. It can also be combined with a breathing or visualisation exercise. It should be noted that performing this exercise for long durations and every day for long periods of time may result in overstimulation - if one is experiencing visual disturbances of any kind (e.g. seeing 'stars', sharp objects appearing fuzzy, 'tripping out' etc.) during or immediately after performing this exercise, then cease its practice immediate and for an indefinite period - until you have consulted your Craniosacral Therapist.

The exercise and positioning are described at the web site below.

www.hummingbird-one.co.uk/craniosacral/cstsmin.html

A photograph of two tennis balls in a sock is shown below!



Like many other types of physical therapists, quality of treatment varies considerably. Some are excellent and some cause more harm than good. This is why you might want to see a highly qualified, highly experienced and highly recommended Craniosacral Therapist.

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Homeopathy:

Homeopathy was invented by a German in the late 18th Century. It is a system of diluting a plant extract or other compound until its concentration is virtually zero, but it's energetic properties are claimed to still remain in the solution. It uses the principle of treating like with like (akin to fighting fire with fire, energetically speaking).

www.homeopathy-soh.org

Critics of homeopathy state that herbal solutions do not actually contain any measurable concentration of the stated herbal ingredients, and are basically water and alcohol; and compared with strong tinctures of high quality organic herbs, which have the actual properties of the plant(s) in question and arguably more of the 'energy' of the plant in them, they may be ineffective. Critics of homeopathy also point to those preparations that use heavy metals, puss, tumours, faecal matter etc., diluted down, which is meant to 'cure' the patient. Dr Richard Schulze claims that the founder homeopathy even used to suffocate birds as he believed the essence of the bird would go into the alcoholic solution.

www.curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=547732

'Dr. Samuel Hanhemann (1755 - 1843), a medical doctor, after years of orthodox medical practice became dissatisified with his therapy. He developed his own system, using the same medical drugs of the era, but in very small even invisible dosages. I repeat he used the same chemical drugs, animal parts, herbs, reptiles, insects, metals, minerals, acids, and radioactive material which are still employed by modern homeopathic and medical doctors. He believed that the remedies took on the spirit, especially in the case of the animals, reptiles, and insects. A common practice of his was to suffocate live birds into the alcohol to capture the spirit of the animal into the remedy. This is still practiced today in such homeopathic remedies as Formica Rufa or Myrmexine, used in the treatment of arthritis, which is made from crushed live ants. He did not believe that we could depend on nature to treat disease and illness as stated in his book The Organon of Medicine written in 1810. Some of his fundamental beliefs were recorded in this work. He felt that nature was undependabe as a healing agent, most of nature was unusable in its natural state, and if it did cure disease it was only by chance. He felt the only certain cures were remedies manufactured by the physician. These views are exactly the views of most orthodox medical doctors today, certainly not the views of Holistic or Natural Practitioners.'

www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/homeo.html

Arguments for Homeopathy can be found in this Natural News article, some being more meaningful than others.

www.naturalnews.com/024512.html

I have tried a number of homeopathic remedies over the years, by various skilled homeopaths, some skilled in working with CFS patients, and have not ever noticed any substantial effect from them. I do know of patients however who have made a full recovery using homeopathic medicine, so keep an open mind, but remains slightly sceptical.

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Qi, Jing and Sex:

I would like to discuss the concept of Qi as it relates to sexual activity according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As discussed in the Cheung Meridian Therapy section, there are four types of energy (strictly speaking 3 types, the Three Treasures or Three Jewels: Jing, Qi and Shen). Whilst Qi can be acquired, generated and mobilised from various inputs and activities, food (e.g. carbohydrates), light exercise, fresh air and proper breathing, etc. Exercise helps to circulate your Qi more so than actually generate it.

Jing is much harder to acquire/replenish. Two known methods for generating Jing are Qi Gong and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Internal Chinese martials arts, in performed correctly, are designed to preserve pre-natal Jing and build up post-natal Jing. Chinese herbs are also said to perform such a role in those with energetic imbalances.

Jing is known as Essence or Inherent Chi. This the fixed amount of energy you are both with, and is determined by the health of your parents at the time of conception. Jing is generally stored in the kidneys, known as kidney essence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jing_(TCM)

There are various disciplines, including martial arts, that help to develop your Jing and your Qi. The most effective is believed to be Qi Gong. Second to this, T'ai Chi Chu'an (and probably Yoga) are deemed to be the next effective. After this comes various kung fu styles, the more internal forms are regarded as being superior at developing Qi. These are Ba Gua, Hsing I and Wing Chun; and perhaps also Shaolin Five Animals to a lesser extent. Virtually all kung fu styles help to develop Qi, some relying on external strength more than others. Some styles or disciplines are more physically demanding than others. The physical intensity may depend on the style but also how your train, which particular aspects of the art you are practising and the duration of your training sessions. Clearly doing too much too soon may simply tire you out and use up more qi than you actually create. So a balance has to be struck with your training sessions. More strenuous arts may also not be suitable for those with very frail health (which require a certain level of fitness in order to perform and to build qi), who may be better off focussing on Qi Gung and T'ai Chi Chu'an. The amount one performs depends on what one has learnt and how much one is comfortable doing. There is usually an optimal amount you can do every day, to slowly build up Qi, and beyond this, you may simply be wearing yourself out. This optimal amount may change with time.

Jing is consumed throughout one's life by one's daily activity, and one is said to die when one's jing becomes too low. The rate of depletion of one's jing depends on how well one takes care of oneself. If you look after yourself by eating well (according to various disciplines such as western nutrition and also TCM), sleep enough, not staying up late all the time, not working too hard and generally living a moderate life, then you will continue to replenish your Qi and Blood which helps to protect your Jing from being used up. This will help to conserve and protect your Jing. Your Jing in a sense is your body's reserve which is dipped into only when the Qi and Blood supply is low. In addition to these things, you can keep yourself in tip top shape and health through the practice of Qi Gong and also taking Chinese herbs if applicable to any energetic imbalances you might have.

However, if you fail to eat properly, fail to sleep enough or rest enough, experience stress, work too hard, study too hard, exercise too heavily without days off, experience excessive stress, ingest too many toxins, sexually overindulge, etc.,then these things will tend to greatly use up or lower your Qi and blood levels, and when they become low enough, your body will lose that level of 'protection' and start to use the Qi and Blood from your Jing instead. This is why imbalanced or excessive or destructive lifestyles are extremely draining and unhealthy for the body and your Jing.

Jing is the essence of the Kidney from which yin and yang are derived. Exercise also helps to make yang more available in the body (temporarily). It does not however help to replenish your yang. Yang is generaly topped up by eating particular food types such as red meat, ginger and garlic, as well as taking certain Chinese herbs and using certain acupuncture points.

Semen loss and menstruation/egg production are said to put a particular strain on one's jing. Jing is given to the foetus at the moment of conception. Conception is the fusing together of an egg cell and a sperm cell. The mother only produces/releases one egg per month, whereas the man produces millions of sperm cells. The egg cell is however many times larger than the sperm cell. TCM considers the egg and the sperm to be forms of Jing.

One can look at it from a 'spiritual' angle, that the actual egg produced is more vibrant that other bodily cells and has more 'energy' or 'essence' (Jing) in it, compared to other cells. Indeed it holds half of the life force of a new human life in there - the 'soul'. This would require a significant amount of jing to be shared from the mother to produce. Similarly, the man's sperms are very hardy swimmers and are capable of unfathomable physical feats in relative terms, relative to their size. However, the man does not produce one sperm but millions of sperm cells on a continual basis, and more so if he ejaculates and loses the sperm cells. So perhaps this requires even more of a man's jing to produce. It is possible that when some of the semen is reabsorbed into the body (when stored in the vessels adjacent to the balls) that some of this jing is reabsorbed - perhaps. But anyway, the man must continually produce many individual potential halves of a human being in his sperm.

So whilst the act of sex could be considered similar to other forms of exercise, in the bigger picture, it is likely that it is more than just a case of using up one's Qi and 'blood' so there is less protection for the Jing. There will be some element of actually directly using up the Jing in both ejaculation and menstruation/egg production. Sex itself is a much more complex activity hormonally and in terms of neurotransmitter production than regular exercise. It is no secret that people feel slightly tired after sexual intercourse and climax. More than they would after the equivalent cardiovascular exercise session. This is especially true for men who lose the most jing after climax/ejaculation! This tiredness is more than just the'refractory period' but is Qi/Jing related to some degree also.

For women, menstruation is not optional, but a monthly biological fact (from early teens to late 40s or 50s). The menstrual cycle does however have a built in recover period before it begins again, allowing the woman to build up her blood and jing again. The menstural cycle results in a certain amount of blood and mineral/nutrient loss. Blood is associated with Qi, and it is thus important for everyone, especially, women that their diet is nutritious and that they are able to build up their blood volume (and hence Qi) again in between menstrual cycles. For a woman, childbirth is probably the biggest sexually related factor in 'jing' loss. In addition, having children in close succession may well drain a woman's jing. This is also discussed on the Causes and Effects page, in relation to the preferential diversion of nutrients to the foetus in a pregnant mother and the severe nutrient depletion that can occur when mothers have multiple pregnancies/childbirths in close succession.

Sexual intercourse results in some qi and jing loss from a woman, but not in the same way as a man's ejaculation, as a woman does not have to physically lose a substance containing jing from her body during sexual intercourse. It is unlikely that a woman can recover jing from a man's semen inside the uterus/vagina or if ingested orally. So whilst it is not favourable in health terms to lose more jing than one has to from the body, it is not so critical for a woman as for a man. This can be balanced with the extent that the woman is able to top up her jing, as described above.

A man does not menstruate, and so there is no monthly blood loss and corresponding loss of nutrients and jing this way. However, he does lose some jing during sexual intercourse to some degree, but primarily at the point of ejaculation, where jing is physically lost from the body. Clearly a man will continually produce semen during his life (from early teens to old age, e.g. 70s) regardless of how often he ejaculates, as the body continually tops up and reabsorbs semen, in order to keep the sperm cells fresh and vibrant. However, after ejaculation, the body works harder to replace the lost semen, i.e. it is having to use more of its 'jing' to build up the semen supply again. In other words, regular ejaculation will deplete the jing more than if one does not or rarely ejaculates. Regular ejaculation can also deplete the jing more rapidly if one is not doing much to actually build up the jing in the first place, i.e. taking Chinese Herbal Medicine and/or performing Qi Gong or similar exercises daily. For someone who is very ill (whose jing may be low and/or their protective blood/Qi levels are low and hence providing no protection to their jing), regular ejaculation from a TCM perspective is a very harmful activity - it affects their overall health as well as their sexual health and sexual function (both of which go hand in hand). Anyone with low blood/Qi levels will be more likely to dig into their Jing reserves. One might colloquially refer to it as 'spunking off one's qi'! The exact recommended limits for numbers of ejaculations an adult male should adhere to to ensure that his jing is not unnecessarily depleted varies from TCM practitioner to practitioner. I have been told by a number of acupuncturists that 1-2 times a week is probably the limit for an adult male, especially so for one who is in poor health. A web site below examines the recommended 'limits'. Clearly it depends on the individual, and those with CFS or related conditions may want to consider being especially conservative in this manner.

www.altmd.com/Articles/Sexual-Qi-Gong

There may be some advantages with daily ejaculation, for example less DNA fragmentation of one's sperm, compared with individuals who do not ejaculate daily. This is only relevant however when one intends to impregnate a woman. This advantage must be offset against the loss of jing.

Sexual arousal and sexual intercourse or activity that precedes ejaculation will affect one's energetic movement and balance, besides draining one's jing. The yang element is increased and moves much more rapidly and vigorously within the body during arousal and intercourse. However, this additional yang movement and altered balance between yin and yang should only occur for the duration of sexual activity. The increase in movement and mobilisation of the yang element (produced from Jing) is not so significant in gentle sexual activity compared with vigorous sexual activity. The same could be said of exercise in general.

After sex or sexual arousal is over, the body should return to the state of balance or imbalance it was in prior. Some people's constitutions, however, cannot deal very well with the increased yang in the body or the intensity of yang created during sexual arousal or sex. This can make any kind of sexual activity an overwhelming experience during or afterwards (depending on intensity and duration) as it can upset the balance within their bodies even more. Indeed, this may be especially exaggerated if mitochondrial function is especially poor, when the actual sex act itself can be enough to totally deplete a person's reserves. Jing is the essence of the Kidney from which yin and yang are derived so further depletion of Jing from ejaculation will affect the general Kidney function more severely.

Sexual intercourse cannot be considered to be like any other form of exercise. It may well be tempted as it releases endorphins and makes us feel much better than regular exercise normally does. Sex acts to mobilise and scatter your Qi and Yang element (temporarily) in the same way that normal exercise does, however sexual intercourse does still use up your Jing, for both men and women, even if the man doesn't ejaculate. Avoiding ejaculation just reduces the amount of jing one uses up during sex. Exercise in general does not have this impact on the body, although extreme feats of athletic prowess that put a big strain on the body are highly likely to force the body to reach into its reserves and use up its jing, e.g. long distance marathon running a few times a year, or taking part in long expeditions such as extreme mountain climbing or polar exploration. This is not intended to discourage people from athletic feats, heroic acts or exploration, but merely that this kind of thing will takes its toll on the body and one's health/lifespan, and so in the interests of health should not be done frequently, perhaps just as a one off experience. At one extreme there is leading an uneventful life, which the Chinese traditionally consider to be optimal, and at the other extreme we have the macho western style action hero (who usually doesn't live very long). Where one finds one's personal balance is up to the individual, but clearly cultivating one's Jing will provide damage limitation and allow one to be more adventurous and still relative healthy than the next person who may burn himself out over a period of time with the jing cultivation exercises. It comes down to how long you want to live, what quality of life you want now and also in your latter years, and how much 'fun' you want in the interim. 'Fun' and long life are not incompatible. Bodily abuse or overstretching can be better tolerated with high levels of Qi, Blood and Jing.

Some TCM practitioners believe very strongly that Jing can be somewhat depleted by constantly thinking about sex, or with any sexual arousal even without ejaculation. This could be because the energy and the spirit is not centred or focused, and also because the yang activity generated during arousal is so great that it does consume some Jing from the body. As one's Jing is what your Kidney yin and yang is derived from, it is logical to assume that anything that uses up a lot of yin or yang in the body will have a knock on effect on the body's overall Jing supply.

A man can therefore choose to preserve his jing (related to sex) by reducing the amount of sexual intercourse he engages in, and to a lesser extent by not ejaculating every time he engages in sexual intercourse, or to learn how to separate orgasm from ejaculation. The latter two activities may be learnt/trained through practices like tantric sex or sexual qi gong. These practices may also be used to prolong the sex act for many hours, rather than the shorter durations normally associated with ejaculation-based sex. These may not be for all. Many people want to have sex and simply assume ejaculation is required or necessary, as it is the normal 'conclusion' of events, but this does not necessarily have to be so. One may even practice sex but without a climax, in which case a recovery period is not really necessary afterwards and one can pick it up any time as it were. This is of course not tantric sex in any sense but does preserve one's semen. The practices of tantric sex or sexual qi gong are usually performed in a controlled manner and may not generate as much yang as 'traditional' sex, or if they do, there are perhaps methods of channelling the excessive yang away from the body and influencing its effects so one does not end up draining the body of as much Jing; and to use up less jing during non-ejaculative sex. In any case, these activities should probably not really be learnt without also cultivating one's jing with various internal martial arts and exercises, such as energetic-based meditation, Qi Gong, T'ai Chi Chu'an and even Kung Fu (and perhaps other types of yoga). Jing cultivation and minimising Jing loss should be one's first priority. If one wishes to pursue an interest in the 'energetic arts' of sex, then that should come second.

Some critics of tantric sex or sexual qi gong suggest that the practice of preventing ejaculation at or close to orgasm by pressing the point between the anus and the balls does not actually prevent 'ejaculation' completely. They argue that as semen is mobilised from the scrotum prior to the point of orgasm, then some of it may simply end up in the bladder rather than coming out of the penis, and so the Jing is still lost. However, it depends on exactly one goes about sexual practices and how close one comes to orgasm, if one reaches orgasm, and whether one has trained the body not to ejaculate (or pass semen into the bladder) during orgasm.

Whilst sexual activity (solor or with a partner), even without ejaculation, may have some beneficial effects on the body, in terms of stress relief, neurotransmitter and hormone production, it may still be draining energetically for those who are chronically ill (as mentioned above), and result in hyper-excitability or a state of excitation which may be the opposite of what a person requires to quieten down their mind and normalise their neurotransmitter production for the promotion of healing. Sexual activity can be an excuse to prevent one from quietening one's mind, from detaching from one's stress and (other) addictions, and be an item in a long list of activities that the conscious mind wishes to engage in to prevent the aforementioned quietening and relaxation. Sex can become an addiction and/or a routine, where it loses the fun element. In addition, frequent and daily (or more often) ejaculation for some men results in less satisfying (and harer to achieve) organisms than less frequent ejaculations provide (e.g. once or twice a week). Assuming one is ejaculating during sex. Any fun activity, when we become fixated on it or dependent on it, has all (or at least most of) the fun squeezed out of it.

Of course, as discussed above, it depends how healthy one's blood and Qi levels are, which provide a protective buffer for one's Jing in day to day activity; and indeed it depends on how much jing one has to start with, and how old one is; and what one is doing to top up one's Jing. At a young age one can dip into one's jing frequently if one is pushing oneself or living an imbalanced lifestyle, and not notice any significant effects until perhaps one's early 30s, when lowered jing is more noticeable. One's jing is used up throughout one's life, as mentioned above, but one can choose to try to protect and conserve it as one sees fit. We are all biologically programmed to die, but to reproduce in the time that we are alive. However ageing does not have to mean becoming ill, frail, mentally degenerate, and become more immobile and miserable, and one can maintain good mobility, health and cheer into one's old age, and in many cases embarrass teenagers and people in their 20s who are in much worse health and state of fitness. Youth is often wasted on the young!

Many of us come to rely on sex or orgasm as a way of releasing tension and forgetting about stresses and pains etc. This is fairly normal. Some people additionally rely on smoking, drinking, drug use, comfort foods, working out etc. Whilst certain forms of exercise can be quite healthy, most of the aforementioned strategies are unhealthy and also put excessive strain on our blood and Qi. Those who are too reliant on any of the above go into a cold turkey and experience a mental rollercoaster ride and excessive stress if they try to abstain initially, which is draining of one's energy and Qi, and often leads them to give up and go back to their previous habits. In the case of sex and/or masturbation, one may simply not be used to doing without it, and this has resulted in an addiction and also in lack of mental discipline, at the expense of other methods of relaxation which promote wellbeing and health with no downsides. One should ideally be able to take or leave sex without having one's libido control one's thoughts, and fill one's thoughts with sex if one has not had an orgasm for a certain number of hours or days. It is also not conducive to mental calm and clarity. If one is to cut down on an activity such as orgasm that may be draining for a less than perfectly healthy body, then one must find other ways of tackling the root causes of the stress that the sex/masturbation was used to relieve; and also find other healthier ways of calming the mind and releasing stress. It is good to cut someone out of one's life temporarily just to see how dependent one is on it, and how stressed one really is underneath it all. This can point to a more positive and constructive way forwards. Ultimately it depends what you want out of life, and many people are content to not really want to think about stress, and just assume it is an involuntary response, and use sex or drinking as a distraction. No one is being forced to examine this issue. Ultimately you make your choices and live with the consequences, whatever they may be.

Critics of the whole concept may point to the fact that those who are unwell and in poor health, especially those who tend to survive day to day mainly on adrenaline (i.e. cases approaching or at adrenal 'burnout'), may find that once one has climaxed, that adrenaline levels may perhaps drop, resulting in a feeling that one has 'lost' some of one's energy. However, clearly the sex act itself can be physically demanding and enough to deplete the mitochondria of ATP in those individuals with poor metabolic functioning. This also does not explain why those with chronically low mitochondrial function and cardiac issues (possibly diastolic cardiomyopathy) may experience heart palpatations afterwards (after ejaculation but not after non-ejaculative masturbation) for many hours until the body has had time to recover either hormonally or in mitochondrial terms. Maybe this is on account of the additional mitochondrial burden the orgasm places, as it is very energy intensive/demanding, even if one doesn't realise it. However the type of sensation afterwards is different from heavier exercise, which results in a feeling of weakness and fatigue as opposed to palpatations like an ejaculation (in such individuals).

For those male patients with particularly chronic CFS, I would not recommend any ejaculation at all, if possible, for months at a time if at all, until a partial or full recovery is achieved. With Qi stagnation and Qi deficiency, the last one thing one wants to be doing is ejaculating regularly or even infrequently as it may affect one's sleep pattern and indeed one's 'jing', and not allow the body to build up any jing in between. Building up jing is of vital importance in such patients - it is of the highest priority. CFS patients should avoid all activities/mind states/excesses that sap one's jing. Overdoing things and crash/recovery cycles may be using up one's Jing as one regularly overextends one's limits (low Qi/blood for protection). With this in mind, such male patients may wish to avoid stimuli that make them sexually excited, or maintain a slight distance from this, to avoid 'temptation' - as an emergency precaution!

I personally find it better for health reasons and to generally feel better to avoid ejaculation and retain the semen in his balls. Whilst ejaculation is certainly very pleasurable, it feels like I have lost part of my body afterwards, and that I am running on one or two cylinders less afterwards for 12-24 hours until I have build up the semen again. I have always felt this way, even when I did not have CFS, but then again my health has never been 100% in the past, clearly much better at some times than others. Mid afternoon sex involving ejaculation I found was disasterous in terms of energy levels, causing me to want to have a long sleep and feel shattered for the rest of the day..

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Additional Exercises You Can Perform At Home:

As discussed on the Stress Management page, there are a number of exercises you can do yourself to increase your qi flow and internal calm which is required for proper qi flow.

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Meditation and Breathing Exercises:

The first of these is meditation. This can help a person to relax and feel good about himself. There are many different types of meditation from various disciplines available. A meditation can take many forms, and usually involves sitting on a chair which a straight posture but relaxed, or sitting on a few pillows on the floor, cross legged or in the lotus position if you can achieve this without discomfort. The whole purpose of meditation is to focus on your breathing and to calm the mind. To employ proper diaphragm breathing, whereby you initiate a breathe by pushing out your lower addomen, and filling the bottom of your lungs before you start to lift your rib cage. To exhale, you would lower your rib cage, and finally push your abdomen in to squeeze out all the air from the bottom of your lungs.

The mind is rarely clear and free of thoughts. Our environment is full of constant stimulus (work, talk, travel, computers, television, music etc), but at the same time, many areas of our lives are understimulated, e.g. our senses, our bodily awareness, awareness of the environment around us, feeling etc. Our conscious minds are filled with thoughts, often complete garbage. We are rarely in control of our own minds and able to control our moods, and are subject to a seesaw of emotion and random thoughts. Rarely are we able to clear our mind of thoughts and interrupts and feel what is actually going on in the here and now. And to experience any peace or relaxation. If you try to sit still and no have any thoughts, you may not be able to do it. This is the lack of control. Through regular practice and discipline of meditation, it is possible to clear the mind of this 'white noise' and retain more calm, composure and clarity. Studies show that sensory deprivation (dark, silence) for extended periods of time result in (temporary or permanent) underactivity of the brain's central executive. This affects our ability to process information and in some cases can be used to influence/interrogate/brainwash. However, short periods of sensory deprivation can be very useful tool in meditation. This is why meditation often takes places in a quiet room, with one's eyes closed, sitting still. Being able to 'step back' from the world is useful in remaining objective, getting perspective and also optimising one's mental health. Studies show that those who meditate are happier more of the time than those who do not. Whilst it takes up one's time, it is at least worth making a slight effort to be significantly happier in one's day to day experience, is it not?

There are many many others exercises that can be performed during a meditation exercise. If you do try meditation, and your conscious mind cannot shut up and you cannot meditate without constantly thinking about things, then this is a sign that you really need to do much more, so that you can arrive at a point where your conscious mind is quieter, and you can fully let go when you want to. Of course, some of the problem may also be with your hormonal system, which often keeps on in a fight or flight response to some degree and makes it that much harder to calm the mind. It is important to be able to shut down your conscious mind to achieve any kind of mental calmness. To not be able to shut down one's conscious mind is to be a slave to it.

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T'ai Chi Chu'an, Qi Gong and Yoga:

Other forms of breathing exercise, but utilising the whole body, are qi gong, t'ai chi chu'an and yoga. These are very good at exercising the body and the muscles gently, whilst improving co-ordination, controlling the breathing, relaxing the mind and increasing and ultimately being able to control one's internal energy (qi). As stated in the section above on Qi and Jing, these exercises, combined with Chinese Herbs, are one of the few ways of building up one's Jing.

The concept is that through natural, fluid and continuous motion, in combination with controlled and proper breathing, one clears and calms the mind. The breathing is co-ordinated with the actual movements, inhalation and exhalation, such that the breathing in a sense drives the physical motion. Meditation need not be performed sitting still and becoming stiff. If you are mentally/physically able to do one of these types of exercise, then you would be strongly recommended to do so. These will act to work together with any energetic treatment you are engaged in to increase its benefits and fill in the gaps between treatments. Daily practice is ideal.

The Qi Gong '8 Pieces Brocade' (a.k.a. 8 Section Brocade, 8 Treasures Chi Kung, Eight Pecies of Silk Brocade Qigong, Eight Silken Movements Qigong) and the Tai Chi Chu'an 'Yang Style 8-step form' are both quite easy to learn and quick to practice. Whilst Tai Chi is more complicated to learn as it is more a memory exercise than anything else (to start with), the Qi Gong 8 Pieces Brocade by contrast is much easier to learn and remember, and your Qi Gong instructor can show you this sequence. It is also demonstrated in various DVDs which can be purchased as training aids.

Shuxin Pingxue Gong is a Qi Gong Exercise that is relative easy to learn as well. Please note that one should try to receive tuition from the best possible instructor one can find. A bad instructor may cause you injury.

Another type of Qi Gong exercise is known usually as 'standing Qi Gong'. This essentially consists of standing with your feet flat on the floor, a shoulder width apart, sinking into your stance a little and bending the knees slightly, keeping a straight back and holding your arms out in front of you, as if you were 'hugging' or grasping a very thick tree trunk or similar cylinder. The fingers should be together and the palms of the hands should be facing your chest. Try to avoid raising or tensing your shoulders. You literally keep this stance for as long as you can. You may initially find it difficult as the muscles of the upper arms may 'burn' and fatigue quickly, but with regular practice you can hold the stance and position longer and longer. The exercise can be practised morning or evening. Taoist monks have been known to practice this every night whilst standing in a graveyard! Although this is of course not strictly necessary to reap the benefits of the exercise!! You may start off with 5 minutes and build up over a period of time to a whole hour at a time.

Keeping the extremities warm, in particular the hands and feet, is important to promote qi circulation. Cold hands or feet may also increase muscle tension throughout the body.

If you have CFS, or any other chronic illness, which you likely do if you are reading this, then daily practice of one of the more gentle forms of training above will help you in your recovery to full health.

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Quantum Touch:

As mentioned above Quantum Touch is a beneficial therapy and useful for relaxation, both for the practitioner and the patient. Normally QT is practised on a patient by a practitioner, but there are a number of exercises that can be performed, as a discipline, by the practitioner, for grounding and also to improve the energy flow through the body. Such exercises can be practised regularly and probably provide similar benefits in terms of building up Qi and Jing as Qi Gong, T'ai Chi Chu'an and Yoga. The same applies to the discipline of Reiki. Please see the Quantum Touch section above for details about QT and for information about the Quantum Touch Manual which describes all these exercises.



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Tai Chi Tapping Exercise:

There is a Tai Chi exercise that involves stimulating the body's meridians. This involves drums one's fists lightly over the body, arms and legs. It starts on above the groin and one moves up the central axis of the torso until one reaches the chest. One then drums the chest, each fist covering each 'pec', drumming the whole area left and right and up to just below the collar bone. This particular part of the exercise stimulates the lymph glands in the chest, and the overall lymphatic system in general. One then drums the central axis of the forehead, the top of the head, all the way to the back of the head and the neck. One then drums down one's back, either side of the spine, until one reaches the buttocks. One then drums the whole area of the buttocks, with one fist on each buttock. Then one drums down each arm (one at a time, using the opposite fist to do the drumming), down the outside of the arm onto the back of the hand, then up the inside of the arm until one reaches the armpit. One then performs a similar routine on the legs, down the outside of the leg and up the inside of the leg. One can perform this any time, but it is usually performed first thing in the morning to stimulate the body.

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Cheung Meridian Therapy:

If you are interested in internal Chinese massage and meditations to promote qi circulation, then right click on the link below and select save target as, in order to download the William Cheung Seminar notes. These are my own personal seminar notes from 1998 and describe the 'Cheung Meridian Therapy' as taught by Grandmaster William Cheung.

They are simple massage and meditation exercises that you can perform at home. William Cheung a Grandmaster of Wing Chun Kung Fu and teacher of Bruce Lee. Yip Man was the only other Wing Chun Grandmaster to have taught Bruce Lee. Wing Chun formed the basis of Bruce Lee's own style Jeet Kune Do (JKD), the way of the intercepting fist. The views expressed in these notes are not necessarily those of this web site and should be read with this understanding.

Cheung Meridian Therapy

www.cheungswingchun.com/g/901/cheungs-meridian-therapy.html

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Gentle Cardiovascular Exercise:

Gentle cardiovascular exercise is also good to promote qi circulation, to assist in overcoming qi stagnation and to stimulate the adrenal glands. Gentle exercise can also help to calm the mind and assist in sleeping better. A basic level of cardiovascular fitness is also good for the cirulation of blood and hence qi. This could be in the form of tai chi or qi gong, but also a gentle walk, every day or as often as you feel you have the energy to do and for as long as you feel you are physically able to do without injuring yourself or aggravating any existing injury. Some people will be able to do light weight training a couple of times a week without any negative effects on their energy levels or injuries. Remember to try to be aware of what your body can take, and where the line is between generating qi and using up your qi. Only you can figure this out for yourself, and it may change with time. As discussed above, regular cardiovascular exercise is important in maintaining blood/qi circulation, but it does not actually build up blood/qi. Disciplines such as Qi Gung, T'ai Chi Chu'an and Yoga are best performed for this purpose. This is discussed above in the Jing, Qi and Sex section.

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Hydrotherapy - Hot and Cold Treatments:

Some practitioners hold that heat treatments (e.g. saunas), but specifically, brief, consecutive and repeated exposure to hot and cold assists in promoting the body's circulation, if applied locally or to the whole body. Whilst this may well be true, some people with particularly sensitive hormonal and nervous systems may find that this may result in an inability to sleep the same night. Others may argue that expose to extreme cold (e.g. a cold shower, ice packs) may act to cause the muscles to tighten up and shorten, and may exaccerbate muscle tension around injury areas. However, the technique does appear to have some beneficial effects. It may be best suited for those with injuries or tumors, i.e. localised problems, rather than system-wide problems like CFS. Those with a heart condition should consult their GP prior to engaging in any such activity! Those with very low mitochondrial function that significantly impacts their Cardiac function would do best to avoid this as it is likely to put excessive strain on the heart, and if you subscribe to Paul Cheney's theory, is the last thing you should be doing. You may want to consider Electromagnetic stimulation and or Lymphatic Massage instead which may be easier on your heart and work towards the same goal more gently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrotherapy

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