Laogong or Pericardium 8 is in the center of the palm, between the 2nd and 3rd metacarpal bones, closer to the 3rd metacarpal bone. When a fist is made, the point is where the tip of the middle finger touches.
Taoist practitioners and other energy healers who use Qigong emission (external qi therapy) techniques to amplify and balance another person’s Qi frequently use this point from which to emit energy. This point has a direct connection with Kidney 1. Any change at Kidney 1, for example a weight shift, has an immediate and direct reflection on Laogong. In Qigong practices, these four points must connect to Dantien at the lower abdomen for the Qi of the entire body to be integrated.
This point must be open and hollow for Qi to spread into the hand and fingers, and to the entire upper body. It is extremely important point to release pent-up heat in the heart and the head. Laogong is excellent in calming the spirit and resolving exhaustion and fatigue.
HOW TO ACTIVATE LAO GONG
To massage your own Lao Gong, simply rest one hand, palm up, then use the other hand’s thumb to locate and press Laogong. Apply moderate pressure, with your thumb, moving it in tiny circles, as you place your mental focus gently upon the point. Again, two or three minutes will be sufficient.
The sequence of massaging is left Yongquan, left Laogong, right Laogong, then right Yongquan, to make a full circle. It’s best to use this technique before bed, however, it can be used anytime of the day. One full week of self-massaging these four points will renew your vitality tremendously.
The first point is Kidney 1, or YongQuan, located at the sole of the foot. This point lies in the depression that appears when the toes are curled. It is between the second and third metatarsals, about one third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel.
Yongquan is the only acupuncture point on the sole of the foot, the lowest and most Yin part of the body. In my clinical experiences, I’ve found that Kidney 1 is almost completely blocked for most people. Perhaps, it means that in this cyberage, we have simply lost the key in connecting with Mother Earth.
Actually, we use Kidney 1 all the time when our feet are on the ground. Through this point, we maintain our contact with the Earth. This point can be used as a portal through which we can draw upon the energy of the Earth as a tree’s roots draw nourishment from the soil.
Yongquan is a major energy vortex that has the ability to revitalize body, mind and spirit. When a person lacks stamina, strength, will or perseverance, Kidney 1 can help him/her to draw on reserves in order to get a kick-start.This point can also be used in restoring consciousness when someone has fainted. Additionally, this point has been widely used in treating dizziness, headaches, brain-fog, blurred vision, nosebleed and hypertension.
Apply a gentle but firm pressure on this point for two or three minutes. In the beginning, it can be very painful, but the the pressure will lessen as you progress. Always start with left Kidney 1, then progress to your left hand point, LaoGong.
Four Point Technique can do a wonder in addressing chronic fatigue
Extreme fatigue or tiredness that doesn’t go away can be quite debilitating. The causes of chronic fatigue aren’t well-understood in conventional medical science. Chronic fatigue can be caused by viral/bacterial infection, overgrowth of parasites, psychological stress, nutritional deficiencies, and/or thyroid issues. Although fatigue can affect anyone, women in their 40s and 50s seem to get hit most often.
The good news is that you can deal with chronic fatigue quite effectively just by massaging two different acupuncture points (actually four points including both left and right side of the body), one in the hands and the other in the feet. For centuries, martial arts, Qigong, Nei Gong, or Taoist meditation practitioners have used the same technique revitalize themselves. Specifically, I use these four points to resolve exhaustion among chemotherapy patients.
To deal with leg cramps that do not respond well to those lighter version remedies, here are a few things you can try.
- Soak your feet in hot water mixed with epsom salt for 20 minutes. Fill hot (lukewarm rarely works) water in a basin big enough to hold both feet, then add ½ cup of epsom salt. Water level has to be high enough to cover the ankles. Put your feet into the basin, regardless how hot the water initially feels. With heat, all six meridians running on your feet– kidneys, liver, spleen, stomach, gallbladder, and bladder–start to open up and Qi and blood flow into the areas of blockage. Chinese medicine regards every single disorder, including leg cramps, as stagnation of Qi and blood flow. Approximately 20 minutes later, you will feel warm and tingly sensation in the lower half of the body.
(Note: Our feet have the most and largest pores of the body, therefore with salt will not only draws toxins out of the body, the body absorbs the magnesium in epsom salts. This method effectively deals with chronic arthritis in the feet and ankles, plantar fasciitis, achilles heel tendonitis, and even toenail fungus infections.)
- After the foot bath, make a fist and rub on the center of the soles.
3. Press and knead on the following points: Taixi (KD3), Kun Lun (BL60), Cheng Shan (BL57), Yang Ling Quan(GB 34), Zu San Li (ST36). Use the thumb to knead forcefully on each point for 30 seconds.
- Squeeze and roll the calf muscles with both hands, begin at the ankle and move gradually upwards, for 2 minutes.
The above is suggested to be a routine before sleep. You can try one or more of the above remedies to find out to which protocols your body reacts most favorably. In a few days, most of your leg cramps will be eliminated.
Chronic and persistent leg cramps usually indicate serious internal orders, most notably pre-diabetic conditions or active diabetes. Please pay attention to your sugar consumptions, and other lifestyle or diet changes.
Most leg cramps respond to gentle massaging and stretching. However, since different people may be relieved in different ways, you have to try and find out what works best for your muscle cramps. For calf cramps, you can try as below:
- Immediately stand on the legs, lean forward gently to stretch the contracted muscle, hold on until the cramp goes away.
- Sit up, straighten the leg and flex the foot. This can be helped by placing a rolled towel under the ball of the foot, hold the towel at both ends, and gently pull the towel toward the head while keeping the knee straight. Hold in this position until the cramp is gone completely.
3. If you can find someone to help, then sit down and straighten the leg, let the helper hold the foot, raise the leg and flex the foot gently toward you. Remember to keep the knee straight.
4.When leg cramps happen during swimming, try to remain calm, hold the toes and raise them toward the chin. Pinch or bit the upper lip can help calm down if necessary.
5.Walk around or jiggle the legs.
6. Rub around the affected muscles.
Leg cramps are sudden and painful. They often occur when the body is at rest, typically during sleep. The muscle cramps can last for a few seconds or up to several minutes. Leg cramps, commonly referred to as charley horses, occur when muscles in the legs contract involuntarily. Muscle groups that mostly involved in leg cramps are calf (back of the lower leg), hamstrings (back of the thigh) and quadriceps (front of the thigh). Some people experience cramps even in their feet, sometimes on their toes.
What Causes Leg Cramps
Leg cramps are common, many people experience it occasionally, elderly people and pregnant women have a higher risk to develop the problem. The cause of leg cramps is not well understood, it may be associated with following factors:
- Exercising, injury and overuse of muscles
- Exposure to cold weather, especially to cold water
- Improper posture of standing or sitting for long periods
- Dehydration of the body, especially in hot weather
- Poor blood flow in the legs (blood vessels narrowing in the legs)
- Electrolyte imbalance or mineral deficiencies, particularly calcium and magnesium
- Medications such as diuretics, statins, lithium, prednisone and nicotinic acid
- Health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disorder, liver cirrhosis, alcoholism, and/or hypothyroidism.
Personally, I experience leg cramps after I dance in 3-inch spikes for many hours. Obviously, I should refrain from wearing those highheels or dancing too much. At this point, I can’t give up either. Here are a few things I do to prevent and/or deal with leg cramps.
The Qi Face Washing Exercise is designed to stimulate blood circulation throughout our face, unblock stagnations, and remove toxin build-ups. This exercise will tone the entire facial muscle groups, clear the complexion, and prevent wrinkles.
First, wash your face and hands clean. Apply some amount of facial lotion, cream, or oil on the face and hands. Then place the palms together and rub them briskly. The suggested number of times of rubbing is 36 back and forth movements. You will feel heat in your palms as Qi develops between the palms.
Next, place both hands with fingers along side your nose. Move your hands upward (fingers gently pressing on the face), pass the eyes and forehead, to the frontal hairline. Once you reach the hairline, move downward all the way to the chin. Your thumbs will actually pass over your ears. Again, begin at the chin and move along side the nose, over the eyes to forehead, and move downward to the chin. Do this sweeping motion lightly across the face 36 times. Make sure you touch the whole face when you move up and down on the face.
I was told that to see a real impact, you’ve got to do it 36 days in a row (Number 9 carries a special meaning in Taoism, therefore 36 which is 9 times 4 is recommended), although I still do not understand deeper meanings of number 36.
I’ve tried this exercise myself, and it took about 5 minutes all together. Not too bad for a free anti-aging skin care.