Grandmaster Jiang Yu Shan explaining how in the Eastern point of view everything needs to be balanced as the Yin & Yang symbol suggests.
Energy is one of those things that everyone knows is real but is hard to measure or quantify in exact numbers.
Why? Because it's a holistic thing. It's a combination of a lot of things PLUS the absence of something being badly wrong in the body system.
Your body can be working perfectly but if one thing is out of order, your entire system and energy levels will collapse. For example, bad inflammation in your foot or just something wrong with your neurological pathways can ruin your energy levels.
However, as a healthy adult your energy levels are primarily the result of a lot of things functioning properly and being in order. These include: lack of inflammation, proper nutrition, proper sleep and a balance of recovery and exercise just to name a few.
The Eastern point of view sees the body exactly like this: as a holistic complete body system. The West often wants to quantify everything and only talk about things that are "provable" with exact measures.
In this new video, Jiang Yu Shan talks about how your energy needs to be in balance with the strength of your body. What does this mean?
It means that the more energy you cultivate, the stronger your body needs to be in order to be able to use that energy. We cover Qigong energy work in the new Grand Circle course.
How does this translate into Western terms?
We see some parallels to Western medicine regarding energy and efficient use of energy. Two things that come to mind are metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity. These two are about efficiency.
When your body has a high insulin sensitivity, the cells of your body are effective at using blood glucose which reduces blood sugar.
For example, people with a low body fat percentage and a good level of fitness often have a high insulin sensitivity and can better utilize carbohydrates.
This means that when this kind of person eats a pizza with lots of carbohydrates and a high amount of calories, the pizza is not as unhealthy (i.e. fat gain) for them as it is for unfit people with high insulin resistance (the opposite of sensitivity).
A person who has a strong body and "strong Qi" can enjoy the pizza (lots of energy) without negative side effects as long as he or she doesn't make it a habit. Moreover, you can "earn" your cheat meals by exercising hard and eating well prior to that instance.
This is why fasting is also beneficial – you are not just burning calories but you are also regenerating your body system and increasing insulin sensitivity.
Metabolic flexibility is another term you might be interested in. Metabolic flexibility is the "the ability to respond or adapt to conditional changes in metabolic demand".
The metabolic flexibility means that your muscles can shift their reliance between lipids and glucose during fasting or related to insulin. Your body is flexible at using your body fat as the primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates.
In practical terms this means that no matter what you do or where you go, your body is not easily compromised by your diet or lack of food.
For example, I started experimenting with fasting 6-7 years ago. Back then, a basic fast would kill my energy levels. I could only lie on the bed and watch YouTube. If I went for a walk, my calves would cramp.
Today? I can be days without food and it doesn't have much of an impact on my energy levels. In fact, when you are metabolically flexible there is hardly any change in your energy levels during a fast believe it or not.
In many ways, you have a better focus and more energy while in the fasted state. In this instance you have reached a good level of metabolic flexibility. Even without food you can exercise, study books, work as normal and take long walks. And you still feel great.
Metabolically flexible body can last for a long time without external energy sources because the body burns body fat for energy. An inflexible body on the other hand must continuously get energy from external sources to function well.
Good metabolic flexibility and high insulin sensitivity are both characteristics of having a strong and healthy body – strong and healthy Qi. However, there are exceptions if you have underlining illnesses such as diabetes.
In addition to the metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity there should be a lot of other things to consider. We are not sure if Western medicine has even figured out all of this yet, or at least not made it mainstream.
For example, a fit person can enjoy high cholesterol foods such as eggs without negative side effects whereas an older person who is obese should probably avoid eating too many eggs. It seems like a weaker body can't handle the energy it is getting from the eggs.
However, one thing is certain: improving your Qi and becoming a fit and strong person will make you more resistant to a lot of negative things.
When it comes to improving your energy levels, cultivating energy and improving your metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity, Qigong really has a lot to offer.
In both Health & Fighting Qigong and The Grand Circle, we cover lots of practices related to generating energy and improving your entire body system.
A powerful Qi is the goal.
If you are interested in holistically improving your body with very practical tools and methods, these courses can certainly help you as they have helped us and countless others.
With many methods you can feel the effects and benefits almost immediately. If you follow the powerful qigong cycles, the benefits will come over time during the cycle.
Interested to learn more? You can find the courses at WarriorNeigong.com