MIGRAINES AND THE SKILLS OF CHI KUNG
I suffer from chronic migraines for over 15 years. I am somewhat desperate. I do not remember all this time having spent one month without suffering from it. Can you give me some advice on Shaolin chi that I can do well for this problem?
-— Joaquim, Brazil
You may be pleased to know that I myself suffered from migraines in my young days. It was so bad that I had to carry medical pills with me everyday.
But the migraines went away after I practiced chi kung regularly. Actually I did not know when exactly the migraines went away. I just realize I was no longer carrying medical pills everyday.
Practicing high-level chi kung is an excellent way to overcome migraines. But you need to learn it personally from a good teacher. You should make sure that what you learn is genuine chi kung, and not just some gentle physical exercise.
The forms are the same in chi kung and gentle physical exercise. In fact many chi kung practitioners nowadays do not know the difference. The crucial difference is that in chi kung there is chi flow, but not in gentle physical exercise.
I have read some of Sifu Wong's books and I would like to ask what exercises are best for preventing migraines? Many of my migraines are caused by weather changes, like storms and wind. What I can do in these cases?
It is not the type of chi kung exercise you practice, but how you practice it that is importnat. Indeed, this is an important fact that many people who practice chi kung do not realize.
Why is the skill in practicing chi kung more important than the chosen exercise?
Let us take an example. "Lifting the Sky" is excellent for overcoming migraine. But many people who suffer from migraine may practice "Lifting the Sky" diligently, but still they cannot overcome their problem. Why? As mentioned above, it is not the exercise but how it is practiced that is important.
An analogy will make this clear. Suppose you are in a car race. Which car would enable you to win a prize?
At the basic level, if you do not know how to drive, it doesn't matter which car you use you would not win a prize. On the other hand, if you are a very skilfull driver, it doesn't matter which car you drive, you would win a price.
Now we move on to the next level. All the competitiors are equally skilfull dirvers. In this situation, those with powerful cars will win prizes, whereas those whose cars are mediocre will be left behind.
Now we have a different situation. The one with a mediocre car is a far superior driver than another dirver with a powerful car. The former may win a prize whereas the latter may not.
The same principles apply when we substitute driving a car to win a prize with practicing chi kung to overcome illness. At the basic level, if you do not know how to practice chi kung, it does not matter what chi kung exercise you choose to perform, you would not overcome your illness. At a higher level, amongst those who have the skills to practice chi kung, the ones using more appropriate exercises will be more effective in overcoming their illness than others who use less approprate methods. In another situation, when a practitioner is very skilfull, he can be more effective than a less skilfull practitioner in overcoming illness even when the former uses an exercise that is not as powerful.
This is the same as teaching chi kung, or teaching driving. If you do not know how to teach, it does not matter what chi kung exercise you teach or what car you use, your student would not overcome his illness or win a prize. If teachers have similar teaching skills, those who choose powerful methods or cars will produce better results. On the other hand, a skilfull teacher will produce better result than a mediocre one even when the former uses a less powerful method or car.
This explains why you can't learn chi kung from books, in the same way a non-driver cannot learn driving from a driving manual. It is because you are not a chi kung teacher, and the non-driver is not a driving instructor.
Logically, one would get the best results -- in chi kung, driving or any art -- if he has the combination of an excellent teacher, excellent methods and he himself is an excellent student.
I would recommend that you learn from one of our certified instructors, or attend my Intensive Chi Kung Course. Basing on the results, we are not afraid to say that we have excellent teachers, excellent methods and we produce excellent students.
After you have learnt from us, you should have excellent skills to practice chi kung, and be able not only to overcome migraine, irrespective of whether they are caused by storms and winds or other factors, but also to have good health, vitality and longevity. Overcoming illness is just a stepping stone to many more wonderful benefits.
The above is taken from Questions 7 and 8 of February 2011 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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