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The functions of “settling Qi into elixir field” and omphaloskepsis in Health Qigong

The elixir field is fundamental for human lives, and it is divided into the lower elixir field, middle elixir field and upper elixir field, which store the three treasures, e.g. essence, Qi and spirit. The physique strength of human and survival or extinction all rely on the vitality of elixir field.

The “settling Qi into elixir field" and omphaloskepsis in Health Qigong all refer to the lower elixir field. So, the lower elixir field is also known as the normal pubic region, and it is a very important position in the practice of Health Qigong. The ancients believed the lower elixir field is most closely related to the activities of human life, it is the “the originator of life”, "the source of vitality", “the basis of the internal organs", “the root of the twelve regular channels”, "the meeting of yin and yang", "the door of breath", " the intersection of water and fire”, which is the hub of the asending and desending, opening and closing of vatility Qi, as well as an important parts of collecting, refining and storage.  

The health maintenance experts in all ages all advocate the omphaloskepsis, because this part is most closely related to the activities of human life. It is located in the center of the body, which is the starting point of the channel qi of Ren channel, Du channel and Chong channel. The twelve regular channels are also directly or indirectly flow into this meridian through the pubic region, and then transferr to the corresponding organs.

As the saying goes, " The three treasures of heaven are the sun, moon and star. The three treasures of the earth are water, fire and wind. The three treasures of human are essence, Qi and spirit.” In the traditional health maintenance theories, the essence, Qi and spirit are taken as the three basic elements of human life, in which the essence and Qi are the material basis of the life activities, and spirit is considered as the external manifestations of life activities, or referred to as the overall functional information of the life structure. The internal relations among them are mutual breed. Sufficient essence and Qi is benificial to the spirit. If the spirit is uneasy, it leads to consum the essence and Qi. If the essence and Qi is not sufficient, it leads to the uneasy of spirit. As long as the essence, Qi and spirit are sufficient, the life activities of body can be in a healthy state.

The health maintenance experts believe that the pubic region is the base of the promotion and demotion, opening and closing of vatility Qi, and it is also the site where the man storing essence and the woman nourishing the fetus. Human vitality is originated in the kidney, hidden in the pubic region, and circulated through the body by the way of the triple burner, in order to promote the functional activities of the internal organs. The physique strength of human and survival or extinction all rely on the vitality of pubic region. So health maintenance experts have attached great importance to the maintenance of the vitality of pubic region. Enrich and exuberant vitality of the pubic region is conductive to mobilize human potential, as well as the systemic circulation of the vatility Qi. The “settling Qi into elixir field" and omphaloskepsis can regulate yin and yang, communicate the heart and kidney, so as to the vatility Qi is unblocked in the eight meridians, and restoring the innate physiological functions, as well as promoting the health and longevity of the body. The lower elixir field connects the navel in front and the kidney behind. As the navel is the survival roots of fetus in the matrix, and the kidney is the basis of essence and life of human. Thus, all meridians are closed when inhaling, and all meridians are open when exhaling, in the practice of “settling Qi into elixir field" and omphaloskepsis. The vitality can grow while breathing, and further adjust the smooth flow of the meridians.

As the saying goes, "The most important treasure of the heaven is only the sun”, which hangs in the sky. "The most important treasure of the heaven is only the kidney-yang”, which is hidden in the pubic region. For life individuals, "The desending of yang-qi is much important than the asending of yang-qi". As long as it achieves the desending of yang-qi, the homeostasis of the body can be maintained, the independent individual can be achieved in the theory that man is an integral part of nature, otherwise human will be emergence or gasification between heaven and earth, not to mention the life individual.

The yin and yang fish shapes in Taiji diagram are so soft and harmonious, which rise and decrease gradually, yin lives in yang and yang lives in yin, yinand yang hold tightly mutually, end to end. The human body is also like this. Yin and yang can not come to the fore, otherwise, it will be cold or hot. The five elements can not take hold, otherwise, the coordinated relations between the organs is disrupted. Although the essence of life is a tangible yang-qi, but it should be mild and warm, instead of strong and rebellious. Yang-qi should not always asend without desending, or stay in the high state. The life form, life stablity and individuals maintaining further stress the collecting, asending and desending of yang-qi, e.g. "“settling Qi into elixir field" .

As aresult of climate warming, the asending of yang-qi in the nature is far more than the desending of yang-qi, which has a great impact on the five internal organs. The mind is chaotic, the flaring up of liver fire, the lung and kidney lacking proper support, the desending and hiding of the body can not be fully assisted by the cool autumn and cold winter. The yang-qi of human body does not desend, which is just like hidden traitor making human upset. If the yang-qi does not stay in its position (the parts of pubic region), distributing unevenly, always asending rather than desending, and floating above, it will cause hot, common upset, insomnia, dry mouth, mouth pain, aphtha,  ozostomia, head pain, high blood pressure, sore, carbuncle, pyogenic infections in the upper part. And it will leads to relatively insufficient of yang and cold in the lower part, e.g. cold chills, nocturia, osteoporosis, infertility, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, and so on.

It can be seen that the lower elixir field in the picture of inner scripture is located behind the navel and in front of the spine, as well as below the kidney. Compared with the picture of woman weaver revolving, we can see that the lower elixir field is about the size of the both kidneys.

From the point of view of the physiological anatomy, the ureter is in the left and right of the lower elixir field, the kidneys and adrenal glands are above the lower elixir field, the stomach and spleen are on its upper left, liver and gall are on its upper right. The small intestine is just below the lower elixir field, and then the bladder is below the small intestine, following the testis and epididymis. There is the transverse colon at the horizontal position of lower elixir field, the pancreas is on the navel, the descending colon is in the the bottom left, the ascending colon is in the lower right, the duodenum acrss the orifices point on the right, then the sub-layer space is the intersection of the arteries and veins, the sub-layer space of the lower elixir field is the site of solar plexus and gonadal nerve, the backmost sub-layer space opposite to the lumbar vertebrae and the pelvis in the lower part.

It is precisely because of the special position where the lower elixir field locates, omphaloskepsis can mobilize various parts of the body and the interassociation of all levels, so as to stimulate the vitality.

Also, because the lower elixir field can connect the kidney, pancreas, liver, marrow through the vegetative nervous system, gonad and hypophysis cerebri have conditioned reflex, omphaloskepsis can enhance the gonadal function, but also feedback to the autonomic nerve center, which can enhance its functions, strengthen the function of the endocrine system, as well as the metabolism, immunity, and emergency response capacity.

So, how to practice and achieve “settling Qi into elixir field"? In a word, “thinking about the vital gate while inhaling, and thinking about the pubic regionwhile exhaling." It is the reverse abdominal breathing, also known as the pubic region breathing exercises. How to do it specifically will be disccussed in the following.

(Ou Liangshu)

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