Notes on Qigong

Editor's Note: This is copied from an original hand written note by Grans Master Feng to Master Zhang. Here's my attempt to organize the various Qigong moves into phases.


降濁洗臓功 jiang\ zhuo/ xi~ zang\ gong-

Literal Translation: “Lowering, Impurity, Wash, Organ, Exercise”

Descriptive Translation: Lower Impurity, Flush Organs

三丹環抱功 san- dan- huan/ bao\ gong-

Lit: “Three, Pill, Circular, Embrace, Exercise”

Desc: Embrace Energy through three Dan Tians1

三丹採氣功 san- dan- cai~ qi\ gong-

Lit: “Three, Pill, Collect/Pluck/Pick, Energy, Exercise”

Desc: Collect Energy through three Dan Tians

天陽抓墜功 tian- yang/ zhua- zhui\ gong-

Lit: “Heaven, Yang, Grab, Drop, Exercise”

Desc: Gather Yang2 Energy from Heaven and Sink

地陰提抓功 di\ yin- ti/ zhua- gong-

Lit: “Earth, Yin, Lift, Grab, Exercise”

Desc: Gather Yin3 Energy from Earth and Lift

採氣抓閉功 cai~ qi\ zhua- bi\ gong-

Lit: “Collect/Pick/Pluck, Energy, Grab, Close, Exercise”

Desc: Gather Energy and Hold

開合聚氣大力功 kai- he/ ju\ qi\ da\ li\ gong-

Lit: “Open, Close, Gather, Energy, Big, Strength, Exercise”

Desc: Open close, gather Energy for strength

左右收氣入丹功 zuo~ you\ shou- qi\ ru\ dan- gong-

Lit: “Left, Right, Save, Energy, Into, Pill, Exercise”

Desc: Gather Energy from both sides into Dan Tian

Note: Repeat for all three sections i.e. Upper, Middle and Lower

雙手開合拉氣功 shuang- shou~ kai- he/ la- qi\ gong-

Lit: “Double, Hand, Open, Close, Pull, Energy, Exercise”

Desc: Double Hand Open Close Pull Energy

Note: Repeat for all three sections i.e. Upper, Middle and Lower

環形前後開合採氣功 huan/ xing/ qian/ hou\ kai- he/ cai~ qi\ gong-

Lit: “Circular, Shape, Front, Back, Open, Close, Collect, Energy, Exercise”

Desc: Circle arms, front and back, open close, collect Energy

雙手心相向轉勞宮 shuang- shou~ xin- xiang- xiang\ zhuan~ lao/ gong-

Lit: “Double, Hand, Heart, Facing, Direction, Spin, Labor, Palace”

Desc: Rotate Lao Gong4 with palms facing

旋轉日月功 xuen/ zhuan~ ri\ yue\ gong-

Lit: “Whirl, Spin, Sun, Moon, Exercise”

Desc: Circulate the Sun and Moon5

洗頭順氣健腦功 xi~ tou/ shun\ qi\ jian\ nao~ gong-

Lit: “Wash, Head, Sooth, Energy, Health, Brain, Exercise”

Desc: Clear the Head and Brain with Energy for Health

胸部順氣五臓熨磨功 xiong/ bu\ shun\ qi\ wu~ zang\ yun\ mo/ gong-

Lit: “Chest, Area, Sooth, Energy, Five, (Digestive) Organ, Heat, Massage, Exercise”

Desc: Sooth Chest Energy and Massage Internal Organs

雙腿陰陽提降功 shuang- tui~ yin- yang/ ti/ jiang\ gong-

Lit: “Both, Leg, Yin, Yang, Lift, Sink, Exercise”

Desc: Guide Energy Up and Down the Ying Yang leg meridians6

轉腹還原氣血熔化功 zhuan~ fu\ huan/ yuan/ qi\ xue~ rong/ hua\ gong-

Lit: “Rotate, Abdomen, Return, Origin, Energy, Blood, Smelt, Melt, Exercise”

Desc: Rotate abdomen, return to origin, fuse energy and blood


  • Perform all the above exercises in multiples of nine repetitions

  • After practicing each of the above exercises, do the following intermission exercises:

    • 降氣歸丹功 jiang\ qi\ gui- dan- gong-

      • Lit: “Lower, Energy, Return, Pill, Exercise”

      • Desc: Lower Energy to return to Middle Dan Tian

      • Repetitions: 3 times

    • 無極守丹功 wu/ ji/ shou~ dan- gong-

      • Lit: “Nothing, Ultimate, Guard, Pill, Exercise”

      • Desc: Ultimate Emptiness7 except Inward8 Focus on Middle Dan Tian.

      • Duration: At least 1 minute or about 10 breaths after each exercise, or strive for 10 minutes when doing this on its own

Additional Exercises

The previous section is translated from a piece of hand written note from Master Feng Zhi Qiang, Master Zhang Xue Xin’s teacher. The translator adds the following to cover some excluded exercises that are commonly practiced in conjunction with the above.

磨盤功 mo/ pan/ gong-

Lit: “Grind, Plate, (Grindstone) Exercise”

Desc: Rotate Waist

拍打功 pai- da~ gong-

Lit: “Slap, Hit, Exercise”

Desc: Slap and Hit various major acupuncture points

保健功 bao~ jian\ gong-

Lit: “Keep, Health, Exercise”

Desc: Face Massage for Health

Another set of related exercises are the traditional “Standing Meditations” or “Stance Exercises”:

三環樁 san- huan/ zhuang-

Lit: “Three, Ring, Stance”

Desc: High Natural Stance, hold arms in a circle (upper, middle or lower section)

Duration: At least 3 minutes per each section

三体樁 san- ti~ zhuang-

Lit: “Three, Body, Stance”

Desc: Back Stance, extend front palm forward, push back palm down (alternating side)

Duration: At least 3 minutes per side

Note: this stance came from Xinyi

四平马步樁 si\ ping/ ma~ bu\ zhuang-

Lit: “Square, Horse, Stance”

Desc: Horse Stance, one open upright palm in front of the heart (Fire) (like a single hand Buddhist Monk salute), the other hand forms a hook at the back, between the kidneys (Water).

Duration: At least 3 minutes per side

Reference: From Chen Xin's Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan "Brush Knee Twist Step" pose 陈鑫陈式太极拳图说 搂膝拗步 定势

Brief Discussion on 氣, qi\, “Energy”

In Chinese traditional medicine, the concept of Energy is highly pervasive yet remained incredibly vague. The phrase “Life Force” is probably more easily understandable by Western language speakers, but it is also equally ambiguous. Qi is not scientifically measurable directly, but its effects like heat flow, tingling, numbness of certain body parts can often be felt by Qi Gong practitioner, not to mention the general feeling and effect of well being and strength.

Brief Discussion on 丹, dan-, “Pill”

Under the context of Chinese mythology and Taoist alchemy/mystical knowledge, the concept of Pill refers to the concentration of Energy into a small ball or pearl inside the body of some highly elevated “beings”, such as long term meditation and Qi Gong practitioner, deities or demons. Great martial abilities or even magical power can come from the development of such a Pill. For example, mystical beings such as dragons and demons in Taoist religious paintings are often drawn with a fiery pearl coming out of their mouth to demonstrate this point.


  1. 上丹田, shang\ dan- tian/, “Upper Pill Field”, the energy spot on the forehead, where one cultivates 神, shen/, “Spirit”. 中丹田, zhong- dan- tian/, “Middle Pill Field”, the energy spot in the lower abdomen, where one cultivates 氣 qi\, “Energy”. 下丹田, xia\ dan- tian/, “Lower Pill Field”, the energy spot at the perineum, the general region between the anus and the genital organs, where one cultivates 精, jing-, “Essence”. Please refer to the appendix for more information on the word “Pill”.

  2. 陽, yang/, a concept in 易經, yi\ jing-, or I-Ching, “Change, Scripture”, the Book of Change, that symbolizes Positive, Masculine, Active, Heavenly, etc.

  3. 陰, yin-, a concept in the Book of Change that symbolizes Negative, Feminine, Passive, Earthly, etc.

  4. 勞宮, lao/ gong-, “Labor, Palace”, an acupuncture point in the middle of the palm.

  5. 日月宮, ri\ yue\ gong-, “Sun, Moon, Palace”, the left and right side of the chest and abdomen, respectively.

  6. 足三陽, zu/ san- yang/, “leg three Yang”, the three Yang meridians along the outer side of the legs, namely, the Stomach, the Spleen, and the Bladder meridians. 足三陰, zu/ san-yin-, “leg three Yin”, the three Yin meridians along the inner side of the legs, namely, the Kidney, the Liver, and the Gall meridians.

  7. 無極, wu/ ji/, “Nothingness, Extreme”, Ultimate Nothingness, a concept proposed by scholars of the Book of Change that refers to the Absence of Substance, Action, or in this context, absence of Movements and Wandering Thoughts.

  8. Specifically on 中丹田, Zhong- Dan- Tian/, “Middle, Pill, Field”, where one cultivates 氣,qi\, “Energy”.