“Beating the Heavenly Drum” –Qigong Exercise

I discovered this exercise only a few weeks ago after I did a frantic research on tinnitus for my patient. Turned out to be this “Beating the Heaven Drum” is an age-old Taoist Qigong exercise, practiced mostly by Taoist monks in northern China. This exercise is refuted to be a valuable tool in aiding and maintaining a healthy ear, hearing mechanism, and maintaining a clear mentality. There are two ways to do this exercise.

  1. Method 1

Take a moment to relax by breathing slowly and deeply sitting on a chair or on the floor. When ready, close the ear canal by pressing on the tragus (stick-out part in front of ear canal) with your index finger. tragus

Tap gently on your index finger with the same hand’s middle finger, in a slow steady rhythm. Tap 12, 24 or 36 times and then release the fingers from the ears and rest. Tap both ears simultaneously or alternatively on each ear. Repeat the cycle three times. Ideally, you need to do this exercise one to three times a day, depending on the severity of ear ringing.

beating the heavenly drum2

When tapping on the index finger, make sure you hear a hollow metallic drum-like sound. The pressure shouldn’t be too hard, but firm enough to elicit metallic sounds. The key is to maintain a relaxed state of mind, not rushing through the exercise, focusing on the maximum benefit not only for the ears, but for the entire body.

  1. Method 2

Take time and relax for a few minutes breathing in and out slowly. Close your ears by placing your palms over them, with your fingers facing towards the back of the head. beataing the heavenlydrumTap the back of your head with all eight fingers, OR place your index fingers right underneath the occiput (the pronounced protrusion of skull, slightly above the base of the skull), and then put the middle fingers over your index fingers and snap them down on the occipital bone.posterior-view-of-the-skull-parietal-bone-occipital

The best results can be achieved through a steady pulse of beating. Again, tap 12, 24 or 36 times using either the alternating or simultaneous tapping. Repeat the sequence 3 times a day.  

Some people report immediate relief with this exercise, while for some, it takes a few days to see a real impact. Repeat the tapping as long as ringing persists.

Note: Another excellent relief can be found by placing heated salt pouch (2 Tsp of heated salt in a cotton pouch) over the ears for about 10 minutes.

 

Acupressure Relief for Headaches

Headaches present differently for each person, with varying degrees of pain, tension, and/or tenderness. So, a lot will depend on the location of the pain, as far as which points will require acupressure. To begin, the first step is to sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed, and loosen any tension or tight muscles in the body. Performing acupressure while relaxed ensures optimal results.

First, Large Intestine 4 is such a powerful acupuncture point for headaches that it is often referred to as “the headache point.” It is located on the padded area of your hand, between the thumb and index finger and between the first and second metacarpal bones. Massage this point with your thumb on both hands for approximately 30 seconds.

acupunctureforheadaches

Second, Taiyang on the temples. If your headache is on one or both sides of your head, which can include the temples, then apply pressure at a point called TaiYang, which is half way between the outer corner of the eyebrow and your hairline. Using a firm touch from your middle finger, press and hold for 10 seconds. Next, without lifting your fingers, make little clockwise circular motions for 10 seconds. Repeat this procedure in a counter-clockwise motion. This may be repeated for up to 3 minutes.

taiyang

Third, there is Gall Bladder 20 called Feng Chi. For relieving pain and tension in the back of the head and neck, the area including and surrounding GB20, is an excellent choice. You will find your left and right GB20 point about 2 inches outward from your spine, at the base of your skull. The medical term for this part of the cranium is the occipital bone. Cradle the back of your head in both hands and use your thumbs to firmly rub back and forth right below your occipital bones. Create some heat with a vigorous rub, then use your thumb pads to press into the area. This can be done for 2 or 3 minutes.

gall bladder 20

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches or migraines? Call today to find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!