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Reverse breathing dangerious?


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#1 Adj

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:11 AM

Overall there is a general consensus that it is OKAY to do reverse breathing while meditating. Even though there are some that say not to. Up until today I have used reverse breathing.

So a few months ago searched through my material to try and learn about breathing in Xing Yi chuan. I could not find anything.

I found deep in one book about it, by Dr. Yang Jwing Ming who is also an author with daoist chi gong. He says that there is no Xing Yi documents that say weather you should do reverse or normal abdominal breathing but he said that because it is Daoist it should use Daoist breathing (aka reverse breathing). He also said that this makes sense because Reverse breathing is YANG like Xing Yi and should be used. He also writes, that because we naturally do reverse breathing when lifting things or exerting our body or laughing that in especially XIng Yi you SHOULD use reverse breathing. Also Daoist theory (for those of you who don't know much about it) doing reverse breathing leads the Chi away from the primary Chi channels into the secondary Chi channels near the skin and into the bone marrow making it ultimately more "powerful and healthful." Ultimately I agreed very strongly with Dr. Yang.

So I began doing this because my instructor never taught me about breathing and Xing yi and I told my senior training brother about it and he agreed that it made sense to do it that way. So we started doing it that way. But today I asked my Shir fu weather I should or should not. He said I should NOT. Oi no!

He said never do reverse breathing. He said that as you get older you will see how it damages the body. He knows of several people who have hurt themselves with reverse breathing and said that I should just not do it.

I was a bit disappointed to hear this because I agree with Dr. Yang Jwing Ming intellectually.

But I said, "Yes Shir Fu." Even though I don't fully understand why. And I won't do it. I am a good student. Unfortunately normal abdominal breathing for me now on.

I wanted to hear about other people who do or do not do reverse breathing in Xing Yi. To give me a better understanding of why one would use normal abdominal breathing vs. reverse abdominal breathing.

If any one knows why specifically from the stand point of Chi Gong theory that would be -very- insightful and useful.

I made this post in a Xing Yi board but no one understood Chi Gong to the scope that people do here. Hopefully some one can help me carve out an answer. Below is a link to why reverse breathing is bad so we can include it in our discussion.

http://formosaneijia...eathing-qigong/

Reverse breathing is very dangerous and has lots of health risks.

One Chen teacher I learned it from had me use force to push the dantien down on exhale. He said that doing this would greatly increase my power. I practiced the method with him for a half hour or so and then left class. I felt a little uncomffortable but I thought I was just hungry. I ate a little something but felt worse. An hour later I vomited for the first time. I then vomited everything that I tried to eat or even drink for the next two days. I also had diarhea constantly.

BTW, I knew exactly what the problem was since I knew that this stuff was dangerous before I did it. BUt I was doing as I was told.

I was about to go to the hospital when I remembered that in my BaDuanJin (8 pieces of brocade) practice I had been taught by another teacher, he had me lift UP on the dantien when breathing, the exact opposite of the reverse breathing. That practice was excellent for my health, so I immediately got up and slowly did about a hundred reps of the first brocade exercise. I felt immediate relief and I was able to eat an hour or so later.

Reverse breathing, especially with dantien rotations, can be VERY bad for your health for a number of reasons.

1. it can create acid reflux disease. In my case, my stomach acid was getting kicked up into my esophagus every time I pushed down and out. Thatís what made me so sick. I also know that a big name in the states that used to do Chen style and who talks about dantien rotations and reverse breathing a lot also said last year that he is on medication for acid reflux disease as a consequence of this training.

2. it can create hemorrhoids and hernias fairly easily. You create a lot of downward pressure on the lower abdomen, which can cause the above problems. Gogen Yamaguchi of Goju karate fame was said to have terrible hemorrhoids because of too much reverse breathing. Iíve also heard of one bagua group that was bringing their teahcer over from China every year. He taught them reverse breathing, they practiced it religiously, and many of the core group wound up with blood in their urine because of it. Not good.

3. it can lead to high-blood pressure. Again, youíre purposely creating pressure in the abdomen. That pressure has to go somewhere. When reverse breathing is combined with relaxation in the body, the pressure created naturally rises. Your just asking to have high blood pressure.

I see so many people chasing reverse breathing, dantien rotations, and fajing training like they are some sort of martial arts Holy Grail or something. Usually because of something theyíve heard or read in a book somewhere.

In their quest for martial arts power, most people donít realize how very dangerous some this stuff is and how totally unnecessary it is as well.

Sacrificing your health is not worth it IMO.



#2 h.uriahr

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:27 AM

The only thing I've ever heard about it is that the breathing helps store chi in the lower dt.
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#3 Taiji Bum

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:45 AM

You cant get high blood pressure from reverse-breathing. High blood pressure is a heart condition.
http://www.medicinen...ure/article.htm

You cannot get hemorrhoids reverse from breathing. Everyone already has hemorrhoids too.
http://www.medicinen...ids/article.htm

If anything, reverse-breathing would help a hernia.
http://www.medicinen...nia/article.htm

Nobody knows what create acid reflux disease.
http://www.medicinen...rticlekey=57772

There is no real medical data to show that reverse-breathing is harmful. If there is I cant find it. But... it will make you fart. :o
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you fall to the level of your training.

#4 fiveelementtao

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:25 PM

I found deep in one book about it, by Dr. Yang Jwing Ming who is also an author with daoist chi gong. He says that there is no Xing Yi documents that say weather you should do reverse or normal abdominal breathing but he said that because it is Daoist it should use Daoist breathing (aka reverse breathing). He also said that this makes sense because Reverse breathing is YANG like Xing Yi and should be used. He also writes, that because we naturally do reverse breathing when lifting things or exerting our body or laughing that in especially XIng Yi you SHOULD use reverse breathing. Also Daoist theory (for those of you who don't know much about it) doing reverse breathing leads the Chi away from the primary Chi channels into the secondary Chi channels near the skin and into the bone marrow making it ultimately more "powerful and healthful." Ultimately I agreed very strongly with Dr. Yang.


I'm sorry but I can't think of worse reason to do something. 1, It came from a book 2. The guy who wrote the book says he doesn't know but "it makes sense."... Why would you want to follow that kind of advice?... Dr. Yang's books are informative but he has alot of his history wrong. He also admits that he is not taoist. he sees everything from a shaolin buddhist perspective. He also tends to paint everything with a black and white "Taoist or buddhist" brush. His books are fun to read but I would not take any advice from him on Taoist stuff...

Edited by fiveelementtao, 08 March 2009 - 02:31 PM.


#5 Adj

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:48 PM

I'm sorry but I can't think of worse reason to do something. 1, It came from a book 2. The guy who wrote the book says he doesn't know but "it makes sense."... Why would you want to follow that kind of advice?... Dr. Yang's books are informative but he has alot of his history wrong. He also admits that he is not taoist. he sees everything from a shaolin buddhist perspective. He also tends to paint everything with a black and white "Taoist or buddhist" brush. His books are fun to read but I would not take any advice from him on Taoist stuff...



Ooo thank you for your opinion on that. Makes me feel better about not doing reverse breathing in my Xing Yi practice.

There are a pair of other books by Dr. Yang Jwing ming about Taoist meditaiton particularly embryonic breathing and small circular meditation (which I do not have). The first, embryonic breathing, motivated me into studying and practicing taoist meditation that eventually lead me to this site.

How do you feel about his books that are more specifically about Taoist meditation? I know he does extremely good source work.

#6 fiveelementtao

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 02:57 PM

Ooo thank you for your opinion on that. Makes me feel better about not doing reverse breathing in my Xing Yi practice.

There are a pair of other books by Dr. Yang Jwing ming about Taoist meditaiton particularly embryonic breathing and small circular meditation (which I do not have). The first, embryonic breathing, motivated me into studying and practicing taoist meditation that eventually lead me to this site.

How do you feel about his books that are more specifically about Taoist meditation? I know he does extremely good source work.

Well, I have a couple of his books and have read them but I saw that he was very Shaolin oriented in his theories and that made me a little cautious about his stuff. The Shaolin history of Taoism is a little skewed in their favor.... IMO, don't study shaolin from a taoist and don't study Taoism from a buddhist... Thats just my thing. I'm sure that alot of people have had great success with his books. So, I am not trying to say he's good or bad. I'm sure there are many on this forum who have good things to say about him. As I said, I read his books and chose not to follow his advice. When possible, it's always best to learn from a live human as opposed to a book. But in that particular instance.. he himself said he had no idea, "but since it's taoist use taoist breathing" which presupposes that ALL taoist breathing is reverse breathing. This is the kind of mindset that worries me. In that instance, he makes broad judgements based on erroneous presupposition. Now, I'm not even a Xing Yi guy, any xing yi people out there. Does Xing yi use reverse breathing?

#7 Aetherous

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:18 PM

You cant get high blood pressure from reverse-breathing. High blood pressure is a heart condition.
http://www.medicinen...ure/article.htm

You cannot get hemorrhoids reverse from breathing. Everyone already has hemorrhoids too.
http://www.medicinen...ids/article.htm

If anything, reverse-breathing would help a hernia.
http://www.medicinen...nia/article.htm

Nobody knows what create acid reflux disease.
http://www.medicinen...rticlekey=57772

There is no real medical data to show that reverse-breathing is harmful. If there is I cant find it. But... it will make you fart. ohmy.gif


Darin,

I disagree. It is very possible to get high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, hernias and acid reflux disease from these types of methods. Real medical data is always after the fact...and I don't really know of any decent studies on different types of breathing. So it doesn't make sense to ask for real medical data about Taoist practices, which for the most part don't capture the attention of the medical community. And if there does exist some odd study, I'm sure it's biased towards saying that "these practices are good for relaxation" etc.

I trust my own body over what anyone tells me, and my body says that without a great foundation, it's a dangerous practice.

If anyone ever feels bad effects from a practice, that's a sign that it's not right for them and they should try something else.

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#8 Spectrum

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 03:19 PM

He's protecting you. Most importantly what did you feel when you experimented with breathing methods? There are man. Reverse, compression, vacuum, condensation, etc.

One Chen teacher I learned it from had me use force to push the dantien down on exhale.


That's not the reverse breathing I learned. What that describes is simply emptying the diaphram of stale air, but it's not "reverse" as I was taught. I don't see anything wrong with compressing the lower abdomin to get ride of old aire.

Reverse Breathing as I've learned is breathing in through the mouth w/ aspirated haa and out through the nose aspirated hen(g); pushing the naval outwards on the exhale and pulling it in on the inhale. It was suggested to me that I use it when sick, for breif periods of time as it reverses the orbit direction, and has a tonic effect.

Condensation Breathing: What we learned in the wei dan forms was condensation breathing which utilizes the natural vacuum and compression of the torso cavity by completely empting the lower dan tien and regulated the inhale w/ the throat/tounge aspirated hen so a vacuum forms in the cavity from the natural expansion of the dantien after it's compression. on the exhale tongue drops and aspirated haa regulates the breath. No tension is held in the torso, it is the vocal cavity which regulates the breath, the mind can be completely free and the body can completely relax and melt into the breath.

Condensation breathing works in the same way a super charger gives a car more horse power than the old fashioned carburator. The coolest thing about it is how relaxing it is as once the upper cavities expansion creates compression and lower cavities compression creates vacuum, you go zoom zoom vroom vroom.

I used to hold my breath under water in the bathtub, I suppose I could have drowned. Experiment small. Less is more.
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#9 ralis

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 04:06 PM

Instead of listening to someone who is merely guessing, why not buy a blood pressure cuff and find out if the blood pressure is affected. Put these teachers and so called experts to the test. Why does one keep on listening to someone who may or may not know what they are talking about.

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Edited by ralis, 08 March 2009 - 04:14 PM.


#10 Adj

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 08:18 PM

Instead of listening to someone who is merely guessing, why not buy a blood pressure cuff and find out if the blood pressure is affected. Put these teachers and so called experts to the test. Why does one keep on listening to someone who may or may not know what they are talking about.

ralis



Good point, I won't listen to you then. ;)


Overall I asked this same question in Xing Yi boards. No one could really answer me. Some say they do, others say they don't do reverse breathing.

Ultimately my instructor tells me not to. So I wont, even if it is safe. There is a reason he is telling me not to. Perhaps because I am too young or he hasnt found the time to teach me how to do it correctly. Who knows. I just say Yes Shirfu and listen. And no reverse breathing in my Xing Yi practice or meditation practices until some one properly teaches me how to do it for my meditation practices only.

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 09:23 PM

Reverse breathing is a natural outcome of being perfectly empty. If you force it as with any chi practice you stuff yourself up. Most if these 'unnatural' practices that harm practitioners seem to happen when you apply martial style attainment to natural processes from what I've heard- you actually do a yang on what was a yin process. It's like meditating -meditating should usually come after 'enlightenment', then you will come to understand you were in the way of your own desire to be free of your desire for outcome (and round and round it goes). It's very humbling to know that what is consciously desired in a willed sense creates the opposite of the outcome you are chasing (except we don't honestly know what we are after since we haven't 'experienced' it). Watch a baby breathing while they are sleeping if you can. Empty/Full.

Reverse breathing is a natural outcome of being perfectly empty. If you force it as with any chi practice you stuff yourself up. Most if these 'unnatural' practices that harm practitioners seem to happen when you apply martial style attainment to natural processes from what I've heard- you actually do a yang on what was a yin process. It's like meditating -meditating should usually come after 'enlightenment', then you will come to understand you were in the way of your own desire to be free of your desire for outcome (and round and round it goes). It's very humbling to know that what is consciously desired in a willed sense creates the opposite of the outcome you are chasing (except we don't honestly know what we are after since we haven't 'experienced' it). Watch a baby breathing while they are sleeping if you can. Empty/Full.



I forgot to say reverse breathing came naturally when I succeeded to tao twenty or more years ago. It hasnt changed since-as long as you are completely without tension in your mind/body it comes of its own accord.
for the last four years I was forced into shallow (chest and higher breathing) breathing by an unfortunate threatening alliance with a girl'friend' and it almost killed me. reverse breathing has returned and I am healing VERY fast now- I feel the chi going boom boom in that area now. stay empty...

#12 shidadao

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 10:08 AM

As far as I know, (and that is, as far as I was taught), reverse breathing - also called correct breathing, is not forced in anyway, or used when moving around. Mostly, I was taught to do it in a seated position, but sometimes when standing, but stood in a relaxed manner, and definitely not when moving.

It can be a quick method of acquiring energy. Literally separating qi from carbon dioxide - the latter is breathed out, whilst the former is taken down into the Dan Tian

Charles Luk has written two books containing reliable information; one is Taoist Yoga, and the other is Secrets of Chinese Meditation. Luk trained under a Daoist master, and conveys interesting information and practical advice. Not everyone should do this method, and if they do, it should be under the guidance of a qualified master - the warnings are clear.

I think Xingyi is a battlefield art - possibly based upon the wuxing (five phases) of qi transformation. And probably not Daoist in the true sense. Therefore, reverse breathing would not be a suitable practice for this art.

As for medical concerns, there has not been any reliable research that concludes that reverse breathing is systemically dangerous when practiced. Individuals may have had medical complaints before starting reverse breathing, or develop health issues due to unconnected reasons. Do not practice without proper guidance. I have used reverse breathing for 20 years, with no associated ailments.

Edited by shidadao, 09 March 2009 - 10:12 AM.


#13 Qlites

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:04 AM

Hi Adj. Which lineage of Xing-Yi do you do? I been doing Kenny Gong lineage for 5 years now. There is a reverse breathing in his system. I was told to do it for a hundred days straight. It build chi in my boby, open channels, and other benefit to my Xing Yi and other internal arts that I practice.

You have to do embryonic breathing first to build the first level strength or you will have issue doing reverse breathing.

Peace,
Q..

#14 h.uriahr

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 11:06 AM

Good point, I won't listen to you then. ;)
Overall I asked this same question in Xing Yi boards. No one could really answer me. Some say they do, others say they don't do reverse breathing.

Ultimately my instructor tells me not to. So I wont, even if it is safe. There is a reason he is telling me not to. Perhaps because I am too young or he hasnt found the time to teach me how to do it correctly. Who knows. I just say Yes Shirfu and listen. And no reverse breathing in my Xing Yi practice or meditation practices until some one properly teaches me how to do it for my meditation practices only.


It could be that he is biased towards his own techniques or that he was never taught reverse breathing. No insult intended.
Oh, I am so unfortunate that this has happened to me. Not at all, but rather How fortunate I am that, even though this has happened to me, I continue uninjured, neither terrified by the present, nor in fear of the future.

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#15 mjjbecker

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:48 PM

..

Edited by mjjbecker, 26 August 2009 - 02:28 AM.

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#16 Spectrum

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:56 PM

Less is more. Try easy. Experiment.
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