What is Qi Gong and what are the many benefits it can bring into your life? Discover in this fun interview with Peter Ragnar, who has been our guest several times before, and Tristan Truscott. This includes benefits to:
Some of the fascinating topics of this call includes:
- How a Diagnosis can be Worse than the Disease
- Aligning Yourself with the Earth’s Frequency and How this Alters Your Brain Waves
- Killing Bacteria and Free Radicals with Qi
- A Chinese Clinic with an Amazing 95% Cure Rate…using just Qi Gong
- Building Your Charge like an Alternator
- Creating Attractor Fields and Luck in Your Life
- Achieving and Internalizing a Flow State by Fluid Movements
- How Daoist Immortals thought about Hormones
- The Effects of the Kidney Hormone Erythropoietin
- Stimulating and Sedating Organs by Time
- What Herbs Help Your Qi Gong Practice
- The 6-Step Blueprint to Using Qi
- And Much More
Discussed specifically on this call is the well-structured, powerful yet easy-to-apply to your life Good Morning Good Evening Qi Gong.
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.show
Logan: Welcome to another episode of The Vital Way podcast. I’m Logan Christopher and I’m excited today. This will be the first podcast where I’m joined by not one but two guests. We have Peter Ragnar who has been a guest I guess this is now the fourth time. So thanks for coming back, Peter.
Peter: Thank you, Logan. A privilege.
Logan: And we also have joining us Tristan Truscott who I’ve just recently met and gotten to know a little bit. Thanks for joining us, Tristan.
Tristan: I’m happy to be here. I’m excited.
Logan: All right. And today, this whole call we’re going to be talking about qi gong and all the many benefits it can bring in different areas of life. It’s really fascinating, something that I’ve dabbled in here and there but just recently, with the help of these two men, got doing a regular practice both in the morning and night time and we’ll be talking about all of that. But to start, for people who may not be familiar with it, how would you describe qi gong?
Tristan: You want to hop in there, Peter?
Peter: Sure. Qi gong is basically working with energy. That’s basically what the term means. What do we mean by energy? Well, all of us have a life force and it’s interesting that our life force can actually be measured by you and by being very sensitive to how it moves in the human body. Now what’s fascinating to both Tristan and I, we discovered ways to accelerate those feelings and monitor the life force within us or the qi within us. We’re able to reach plateaus we never dreamed of in vitality, physical strength, endurance and getting younger.
Logan: That sounds good. Sounds like something that everybody probably wants. Do you have anything to add to that, Tristan?
Tristan: Absolutely. I got onboard with qi gong simply because I had to. I was struggling with a back injury for about five years and I have always been incredibly alternative in my approach to health and vitality ever since I was a young boy. I was trained in herbology by the great Dr. Richard Schultz so that was always my path. But when I hit this wall with a back injury that I sustained in my martial arts school, even trying everything alternative, I just couldn’t seem to break free. The $90,000 surgery put me in worse shape after so I was kind of at the end of my rope.
Fortunately, I was led, if you will, to a qi gong workshop and someone was visiting from China here where I live in Austin, Texas. It was the first time I actually felt life force. I’d always known about it and I kind of thought it was a little woo-woo, a little weird. I was a martial artist. I was used to breaking stuff with my fists. Show me something to punch. I used some energy but this kind of floating and gentle and all that, I never believed it was real. Anyway, I had to learn something to heal my back. Fortunately, I felt the life force doing this qi gong workshop and I was able to use it to heal my body. So I think it was an incredible, I’d like to call it the Swiss army knife for personal growth because you’re moving, you’re stretching, you’re breathing, you’re meditating and you’re healing yourself. I would add that to the equation.
Logan: Excellent. I’m curious, Peter. How did you get introduced to this in the first place?
Peter: Mainly from my interest and quest for greater longevity and greater levels of youthfulness. I’ve always been interested in Zen and the Taoist approach to life and of course naturally martial arts. I began studying martial arts in 1955 and it was somewhere around the same time I became involved in Zen and other esoteric practices. But I wanted to have the real, physical manifestation in my body. I wanted to get stronger. I wanted to have more endurance. I wanted to stay young and to be able to perform athletically at a peak performance level when I was about in later years, which I’m doing right now.
Logan: So I think it’d be good to dive into specifically how this helps with some of those different areas that you talked about. Let’s start with pain. If you want to dive into that, how specifically was this able to help you fix your back pain that nothing else could fix, not even surgery and all that?
Tristan: That’s a great place to dig in. Pain is obviously, as so many of us know, I think at this point the pain lives in the brain. So your brain gets a certain blueprint and it starts creating a loop, a proprioceptive feedback loop where your body is injured, it sends a signal to the brain, the brain sends a signal back and over time you get stuck in pain. That’s at least what happened to me and people telling you that you have this condition, you have this problem, that also sets it in stone as well.
There’s a saying out there that the diagnosis is often worse than the disease. When doctors looked at my x-rays and MRIs and told me with that authoritative stern voice this is what’s going on young man, you’re probably not going to be able to do martial arts again, I believed them. So I think we also know the placebo effect affects the body and the body is listening and it can heal itself. Well, there’s also the opposite of that, which is the nocebo. So if you believe something is going to be bad for you, or if somebody tells you that you have this condition and it’s not going to go away or you’re going to be stuck in pain then so be it. That’s what happened to me. I just got stuck in pain loops.
So I had to use something that would change that blueprint and also carry the information because so much of the data of life is encoded in images and qi gong has a lot of visualization in it, visualizing the flow of water and golden white light. So when I started working with these mental techniques, what’s called nei gong—it’s the aspect of qi gong, inner scale, if you will—when I was combining that with the physical movements, when you do these physical movements in qi gong, you create a charge in your body. It’s called big qi. When you get really big qi, the body starts to heal itself. There are blockages that are created and those also create pain.
But anyway, I’m talking more about the mind-body connection right now. So to get out of that feedback loop I was in, I had to visualize beautiful energy flowing to the area in my back. It was almost like an energy cyst. It was stuck. It was blocked for so long and I was able to have an incredible healing where I felt tingling energy flowing literally from my brain and through my body down into the back area that had been poked, prodded and shot since surgery. I could feel like energy just tingling and healing and opening up and flushing all the way down through these channels which are called meridians. They’re pathways that the energy needs to flow through. So I think what was going on, Logan, was mine was blocked and I had this loop in my brain and it was keeping me in pain. I changed the loop in the brain, I changed the imagery and the blockage opened and the pain went away.
Logan: Excellent. Was it something that just got better a little bit at a time as you continued to do this practice or was there at some point like a night and day difference with the back pain?
Tristan: Great question. At first, the big qi is something you’re developing. So I could feel a slight relief gently, gradually over time. My first qi gong class, I had to take it lying on my back. I couldn’t stand for very long. So I signed up with the instructor for private lessons because I did feel something. I wasn’t healed from that first class but I felt life force so I knew I was onto something. And then when I had what I would call my healing breakthrough, there was a powerful surge of energy and from that day forward, it was about two months from that day forward that I was back in my dojo teaching again. So it can happen very quickly once you know how to line everything up and get the energy flowing in the right way.
Logan: Excellent. I really like that. one thing I’ve tried to tell people is often with pain or an injury, we only focus on the physical, different movements we can do for it, getting surgery or physical therapy, all these different aspects but it’s not as often covered, the mental and emotional side or the energetic side.
Logan: But really what I’m seeing with this is with the visualization, with the movement, it’s really a way to bring all that stuff together all in one. Really, those issues, the mental or emotional issues can be what’s holding the injury in place. So I really like your story there.
Tristan: Cool. Yeah, that’s awesome that you brought it to that. I really think people should be looking through the life lines of the physical body and the energy body and of course the deeper subconscious mind where it’s the blueprint that trumps everybody so awesome.
Logan: Excellent. So Peter, how does qi gong help with longevity?
Peter: Well first of all, it helps us to align us with the earth’s frequency. Now this is a basic Eastern tenet. If we’re in harmony with the vibration of the earth, our body heals naturally and what they have found with qi gong is that qi gong brings the body into alignment with the earth’s 7.8 Hertz frequency. Now what’s interesting about that is that when the brain’s frequency is in the range 8 to 14 Hertz, the brain emits an alpha wave and they have found that by studying this that it is only when the brain is emitting an alpha frequency that spontaneous healing takes place, which is very, very fascinating because obviously in order to remain useful, to maintain your flexibility, your endurance and your strength, the body is continuously working on balancing itself, keeping everything harmony. This is where Tristan and I both found qi gong helps so much. Actually the vibration of qi, once you start generating the vibration of qi, it has its effects. You can see it on your skin. You could see it in your eyes. You could see it in a glow around your body.
Now like Tristan said, it’s not woo-woo. It’s not something from outer space. It’s something that can actually be quantified by medical science. As an example, the Shandong University in China, their Microbiology Department in particular, did some tests on the qi that qi gong humans emit. They found that they exposed the qi when they had them emit qi toward a Staphylococcus bacteria and they found that eight-minute exposure to that qi killed the Staph bacteria up to 76% kill rate. Now what does say to you about your own body? If you’re generating this kind of qi in your body, what are you doing? What about the free radicals? When we talk about the free radical concept of aging, we’re immediately negating that process. So what else can you do but grow younger?
Logan: That’s excellent. I’m curious. You mentioned people that are healing with qi. Is this something that anyone can learn to do? Is it something that’s going to take years to develop, sort of that control of your qi and your energy?
Peter: Well, I’d really like Tristan to address that because he has a particular student that hobbled into his dojo and I would hope—let’s have Tristan tell the story.
Tristan: There are some great stories. Peter and I both have a lot of them since we started working together with qi gong and sharing in a Western-friendly way how to implement this. Really, Logan, it doesn’t have to take a long time. We were blown away actually. Being martial artists for many years—I’ve got 30 years; Peter has got over 60 years so that’s like a combined 90 years of training—and bringing that to qi gong and meditation, it’s a moving meditation, bringing all those years of discipline, you get good at something through the practice. So we were wondering: can we take our years of discipline and what we’re discovering about this art and bring it to people who are busy or maybe they don’t have that kind of desire to go down the rabbit hole like we did? So we condensed and crystallized what we knew and created a framework for people, things that they do in the morning, three main things and three main things they do at night.
Amazing transformations started to flood in, people talking about having more energy, more healing, better sleep, things like that. So I know that it can happen and it can happen quite quickly but the story that Peter’s referring to was one of the ones where you go holy cow, is that real? So this particular fellow walked into my martial arts school and this was shortly after I had had my back healing and I was teaching again. He came in with a cane and he was going blind in one eye and losing his hearing on the same side and then losing all ability to balance himself on that same side of his body. Now he came in with his girlfriend and he said he had recently been diagnosed with MS, with multiple sclerosis but he wanted to train at our martial arts school and he wanted to get a black belt.
So all the lights go off in your head like what?! How did you even think this was going to be possible? MS is gnarly. He had been given the diagnosis. He’d probably be in a wheelchair not too long after. I just had to trust that anything’s possible. You had an amazing healing, Tristan. Why can’t this happen for this guy? And I think that’s really important for all of us. No matter where we’re at on our journey of healing or longevity, what you believe, you can achieve. I really think that’s true. We are powerful creatures. So I had to drop all my ideas. I said okay, you got it. You show up, you train consistently, I will be your sensei, teacher and let’s do this.
I tell you the power is in the consistency. This guy never missed a class. I set him out starting on qi gong, visualizations, moving meditations, working on his physiology and within I believe it was six years, this man took his black belt test and I’ve got a picture of him kicking the bag. It wasn’t one of those oh, he had MS and we gave him a black belt because he really tried hard. Oh no, no, no. I don’t know medically what happened, if he rewrote the code in the brain, if he rewired around the myelin sheaths that the MS had been attacking but he completely reclaimed control of his body and his nervous system. He’s kicking the bag on his test and he’s splitting the bag in half down the middle. It was awesome. I think that’s the story that Peter wanted us to hear about.
Peter: Actually, if you see the photo itself, you would say wow. And when you hear the story behind it, you go wow, wow, wow, wow.
Tristan: Yeah, it’s cool.
Peter: Is this actually possible? Well on the same vein, in China they have a hospital. It’s called the Huaxia Zhineng Clinic. They have studied 10,000 patients that went there. They had a 95% cure rate, 95% of 10,000 people and the only thing they taught them was qi gong.
Logan: Wow, that’s pretty amazing. I’m just trying to grasp 95%. Nothing works that well. That is pretty amazing. There’s something you mentioned in there that I want to address, Tristan. The guy was extremely consistent. Why is it that qi gong is really best when it’s an everyday practice or not even just everyday but as you guys teach in the course we’re going to talk about, twice a day?
Tristan: I think there are a couple of things. I think consistency across the board, we all get it. The more consistent, the better results we get.
Logan: With anything, pretty much.
Tristan: Right. It’s just a no-brainer. But with qi gong, you’re building your charge. If you’re charging a battery a little bit here and then you stop and a little bit, it never really gets the big charge. It’s sort of like an alternator. You need to drive the car for a while once you’ve just jumpstarted it again. That’s sort of what it feels like when you do qi gong. It’s like you’re getting a jumpstart. But you’ve got to drive around for a while and charge the battery back up or it will go dead again. It’s sort of like that with qi gong. You need to be consistent to build the big glow.
You can feel the glow of qi in your body. It feels like you’re wearing an energy suit and I believe that people can feel it coming off of you. At least that has been my experience. When I’m filled with qi and it’s really big, people tend to be drawn to the work that we’re doing or they just want to hang out with you because you’ve got a good vibe. But if you’re not consistently doing that, the qi just goes up and down and it just never really gets where you want it to be. Peter, what are your thoughts on that? That’s what I experienced.
Peter: I second that wholeheartedly. What happens, too, Logan, is that when you’re emitting that kind of vibration, whatever your aspirations might be, whatever your goals might be, whatever your vision might be, you have amplified the power of that and in a way, you create an attraction field that is beyond imagination. All good things are suddenly drawn to you. You have opportunities you never ever thought you’d have before and you wonder, what the heck is this? Where is this coming from? Well, just like Tristan said, it’s coming from your big qi. I know for a fact that Tristan has had a business opportunity fall on his lap simply because he has built his big qi.
All of a sudden, you become “very, very lucky” with everything. You’re lucky with your health. You’re lucky with your romance. You’re lucky in love. You’re lucky in finances. It seems almost as if it were some kind of magic out of woo-woo land. But it’s not. It’s all scientifically proven. It’s solid. It works. It works for me. It works for Tristan. It works for anybody who does it on a consistent, regular basis, bottom line.
Logan: Yeah, I just love those times when there’s some sort of transformation or as you said, just like consistent practice can build it up and then things fall into place. Do either of you have a story around that that you’d like to share?
Tristan: Well, Peter for sure has a little book written about him called The Magic Man, like crazy magical things. At one point, I stop talking about them because they felt so magical like oh sure, you just think positive thoughts kind of a thing and great stuff happens to you but it’s really not like that. I think we all get that that person has good energy. They’ve got good vibes. We even say it about ourselves like, I just feel off today. My energy’s off. We get it. We are energetic beings and I love that we can use this energy for vitality, for healing, for building great strength in our body. Look at what some of the kung fu monks can do, busting through stuff or being hit like Iron Shirt qi gong. It’s amazing.
But that’s done with the power of the mind. You’re taking this life force and you’re directing it for a purpose. So why can’t we do the same thing in our world today and direct it for a purpose? That’s been my experience. Certain people that I’ve wanted to meet or possibly work with, when I’m doing my qi gong, I get insights. I think everybody gets that when you’re like in the zone or like a really cool, meditative place. You get what we call satori. You get an insight. You get an aha moment.
I’ve had several of those that have turned into the business opportunities. One of them was with a fellow who was in the movie The Secret, John Assaraf. So I just was doing my qi gong standing meditations out in the back garden one day and I got this idea. I literally saw like a visual of the guy who was talking about the home that he ended up living in that was cut and on his vision board and he didn’t even know that he’d moved into it. That was John and I just thought that guy had such good energy. He was so charismatic. I’d really love to work with someone like that. Two weeks later, I get a phone call from his company saying hey, we’re going to be in town doing strategy sessions for our clients. We noticed you were one of my clients—and I was not but I understand marketing; maybe I had downloaded something and they put me into a funnel—so I said sure, I’ll take the free session.
A guy came in and gave me a session and then I pivoted. I said, let me pitch something to you now. I’ve got this cool idea and next time you see John Assaraf, why don’t you mention it to him? I’ll just cut to the chase. I ended up going to San Diego with my wife, Sabrina, and we were going to build these digital vision boards on the iPhone. I thought John would be like the perfect poster child for this product. We ended up meeting with him and we became business partners. So it’s pretty cool how stuff is culled. Pretty cool.
Tristan: Yeah, it was great.
Logan: Well, let’s shift gears a little bit and talk a bit more about strength and endurance because I know we have a lot of athletes of all different types listening to this call. How does the qi support any sort of athletic endeavor?
Peter: I guess I’ll field that question. I think one of the greatest fears that athletes have is that they work their butts off and they achieve a certain plateau or level and then they have to fight to regain it or they never regain the level of that plateau. So what do you do to maintain your growth, your progression? Can you still continue to progress? Now you hear a lot of people say well, the big 4-0, after 40, some people after 30, you can no longer compete on a high level. Well, I find this rubbish. I think that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When you are able to tap into qi, all of a sudden you have a confidence that you are in control of your body. The qi will move in your body, will strengthen the body, will revitalize the body, will give you the power that you desire for anything and everything you want to accomplish, physically, mentally, spiritually, whatever it is. My personal experience is, after over 60 years of working out, after 60 years of strength work or 60-plus years—I don’t know how many years actually altogether—I’m still breaking records. I’m still crushing my personal bests. Now how do you do that as a septuagenarian? The only answer I can come up with is big qi, developing, cultivating and conditioning yourself to accept more and more qi. And I don’t believe the age myth. Time isn’t toxic. It can’t kill you. It can’t dampen performance or anything else. Someone said well, where are your credentials? And I said you’re looking at them.
Tristan: Those are the best.
Logan: Right. I like to look at you as an example of what can be achieved at an older age, Peter, because I want to continue getting stronger my entire life. So I’m excited as I advance in years. That’s just more time I get to train so I should become stronger, better moving and all that, right?
Peter: That’s it. Look, if you can extend the time that you get to training, what do you do? You get better and better and better. As you get older, it’s not that you all of a sudden compare yourself to your particular age group. To hell with that! You compare yourself on what performance level you want to play the game at. You want to play at a top, top level performance? You can do that if you have the mindset and if you have the qi. If you’ve been doing this on a consistent basis, as Tristan has been saying, you can have it, if that’s what you really want. And I’m not talking about 70-year olds competing with 70-year olds. I’m talking about 70-year olds competing with 20-year olds.
Logan: Yeah. That’s fascinating. I’m excited, foreseeing just what this can do. I don’t know if you guys are aware but I did another interview with Chris Holder who works at Cal Poly and they actually conducted a study with some of the athletic students where they a control group that didn’t do qi gong and a group that did do that. They both engaged in the same strength training program. So in addition to the things most people would think about with practicing qi gong where they had like better mental outlook and perception of more happiness, the people that practiced qi gong also got pretty significant, dramatically more strength in the results of the lifts that they were doing in the gym. I don’t think that study has been published yet but they’re working on finalizing that. That was just fascinating to see.
Tristan: That is very cool. There is something also that happens. Because it’s a moving meditation. You become incredibly mindful of your lifts, your posture and your technique. When you see people in the gym, it’s just like they’re cranking away but they seem to be not having a lot of fun. They’re just like really trying to hit those new levels and their faces are scrunching. I get it. Sometimes, you’ve got to blast but there’s something about knowing how to breathe right and to be able to take your mind and the energy of your mind and to put it into your lift or into your sculpting. Some of the greatest bodybuilders that I’ve ever met, they say put your mind in the muscle. You’ve just got to really be in there, contracting all the fibers and the qi gong, I think, gives you that kind of level of presence. Not only that, it helps you prevent getting injured because you’re so in tune with your body, you’re not pushing things in a way that’s going to mess you up.
I got so messed up from using my practice in the wrong way. This makes you more mindful and more present. I will add that I’ve become more flexible because of the breath work that’s in qi gong. Any time the mind is tight, the body gets tight. But if you can keep your mind pliable and open and supple, your body will follow. So I would say those are some really important things to look at as far as strength training or sculpting. Get the mind in the muscle. Be present. Use the breathing and use the qi gong like Peter is doing. I watch him lift weights. It’s like it kind of blows my mind. I was always about the healing and he was like, “Well, let me show you something else, son.” I’m like damn! I kind of don’t get it but I get it. It’s really cool.
Logan: That’s great. Qi is energy so it can be used in all sorts of different ways. We’ve talked about many of them here. I’d like to shift gears a little bit and talk about how this may affect hormones, specifically cortisol and the stress response, how the qi can work with that, how that’s going play into how all hormones work together as a symphony. A lot of our listeners would be interested in how this may affect testosterone levels for instance.
Peter: That’s basically what the ancients figured out thousands of years ago. That’s why you have these fables or stories about “the immortals.” They were Taoist sages who got a handle on how to do qi gong and how to reverse their aging, how to live for incredible lengths of times. One of the bases or premises for this is strengthening the kidneys. When we strengthen the kidneys, what begins to happen is that we start regulating our hormones. If you think of all of the hormones as if you had a bunch of glass bottles on the table and these glass bottles are now filled with a certain level of fluid and they’re connected at the bottom, every one of these hormones is governed by the other one. So as one goes down, they all go down. The levels go down together or the levels go up together.
Well, what the ancients figured out was by stimulating the kidneys with a certain type of exercise in qi gong, they were able to boost their hormonal levels and in particular the testosterone level. Testosterone levels went up and cortisol levels went down. Naturally, cortisol levels are directly connected to our level of stress. Now obviously if you’re working out and you’re going up to the gym, you’re going to create a lot of stress so in order to compensate for that physical stress that you build up, when you do qi gong you immediately neutralize that and you allow growth hormone to be released. When cortisol goes up, growth hormone goes down. When growth hormone goes up, cortisol goes down. They’re in direct relationship. When your human growth hormone is high, so is the production of testosterone and muscles love testosterone, bottom line. So as you’re creating that, by stimulating certain parts of the body, moving qi around, you’re actually building an environment where it’s very, very easy to put on lean muscle mass and also at the time to burn fat. It’s the best of both worlds.
So if you’re a lifter, if you’re workout out, if you’re an athlete on any level, when you bring all of these components together, when you bring qi gong into the equation, you’re going to find that your workouts in the gym are going to be far more effective, you’re going to get a lot more out it and when you’re resting and recuperating, you’re going to recuperate faster. Your hormonal levels are going to be high. You’re going to be pretty feisty because your testosterone is up.
Logan: Excellent. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. One thing, I’d sometimes talk to people about the concept of yin and yang. We’re doing all this yang, hard-driving, athletic, lifting heavy weights, that sort of training really for optimal results. That must be balanced with yin types of practices. Of course, qi gong definitely fits in there among other things but I’d say that’s one of the best ones. So if you have this balance, I’d say really because you’re using both energies, they can help support each other and just be more expansive in what you’re doing in both areas.
Tristan: That’s right on. That’s essential. If not, you break yourself. That’s what I did. I was so young, fighting, doing full contact stuff and I just broke my body. I was doing something that started yin. I was meditating but then I started to take my meditation and use them to negate pain because you can drop your mind, drop your feelings, drop your thoughts and keep going. You really don’t want to do that. You want to have it soft and balanced. A karate teacher used to tell me the strong can afford to be gentle. You can be both. You can be super strong but you want to stay gentle, too. I think even in the gym when I’m hitting it hard, I can find a sweet spot in the effort that is also yin so the core result is not striking. I’m not putting my body in stress while I’m pushing really hard. That’s a great skill to have so I think qi gong has helped me a lot with that a lot.
Peter: Essentially if you’re working let’s say on a heavy bag and you get in that space, that sweet spot as Tristan just said, you’ll find that your punches and kicks are going to be so snappy, they’re going to be so fast, they’re going to be spontaneous, it’s almost as if you got out of your body and you just watch yourself dance. Your speed, because you can relax your body and then attentive only at the last split second, you don’t get tired. It’s amazing. I work out on my heavy bag almost every single day and I’ve only gotten faster because of my meditative practices and my qi gong.
That seems strange but that’s the way it works. You’re able to relax yourself. You don’t exert yourself except that split second of final contraction. It’s an explosion and then you rest. You explode, your rest. Even if you’re grappling, you explode and you rest. Even while you’re rolling on the mat, you’re relax. It’s incredible. Do this practice and these will be the results.
Logan: It kind of sounds like what you’re describing, you said the sweet spot but entering that state of flow that so many athletes and other people really talk about, does qi gong help you get into that state? You can access it when you’re doing qi gong but outside of that, is that your experience?
Tristan: 100% for me. Flow state is where I want to live as much as possible. Of course, the movements in and of themselves are fluid and flowing. These are postures and movements taken from nature. The Taoists would watch the way birds would move and fly or water would fly so we are trained as qi gong practitioners to enter into flow through the physical body. But remember, that then gets internalized and goes into the energy body and then it shapes the way the mind is. So you tend to seek out flow naturally when you do qi gong. It also is putting your brain in those other states that Peter mentioned before. You can live in an alpha. Some people are getting theta states and I’m talking eyes open, functioning and flowing through life. There’s less reactivity and more just responding to the moment. You can flow even when things aren’t flowing. That requires training your mind to be able to be in the moment, be present and you feel those initial or those old reactive patterns that used to be there. Maybe they spike for a moment, but you’re able to sense them now and then choose—I think that’s the key word—choose to remain or return to flow. So it gives you that through the presence of the training.
Logan: Peter, you were talking about the kidneys which largely in sort of the Eastern look at the kidneys rather than the Western look, although there are correlations there, a little bit different as well, with a lot of the qi movements you’re working with the center line of the body, the central governing channels or the microcosmic orbit and in other energetic traditions like the chakra system from India, each of the chakras correspond to different endocrine glands. I guess it’s kind of a broad question but how is the qi interacting with these different endocrine glands and organs in the body?
Peter: That’s an excellent question, Logan. Yes, the emphasis has been on the kidneys but when they’re talking about the kidneys, they’re also including the genital area. The kidneys are not just exactly that gland and of course the adrenals sit on the kidneys so the adrenal glands are also included where obviously we’re secreting hormones.
Now what they discovered was that when you start stimulating the kidneys and there are certain movements that stimulate the kidneys at a particular time, such as in early in the morning if you do qi gong, you’re going to stimulate the kidneys, what happens when the kidneys are stimulated, they give off a hormone called erythropoietin which basically causes the bone marrow to produce oxygen-rich red blood cells. These blood cells that are produced from stem cells in the bone marrow, they in turn, as the stem cells differentiate—in other words, they answer the body’s call to become whatever type of cell or tissue that’s required—so if you need muscle tissue, it’s stimulated simply because you’ve triggered the kidneys into operation. They trigger the stem cells, the stem cells trigger the other cells. You need nerve cells? You need hair cells, skin cells, whatever it is, the body is capable of producing. But it needs the messenger first.
Well, in this case qi gong becomes the messenger. The ancients figured out that if I stimulate this point or that point, I’m going to trigger my kidneys, my kidneys are going to send out a message and all of these other hormonal effects are going to take place. Now obviously, they also included herbal supplementation so when you do both, wow! It’s just off the charts. This stuff is just utterly fascinating. The thing, too, is here you have hard workouts, your body needs to get rid of lactic acid buildup. It needs to oxygenize itself, lots of burning fat. That’s what red blood cells do. They bring more oxygen into the body so that it can repair and recuperate. Amazing. It’s just amazing.
Logan: That’s awesome. That’s something I’m going to have to look up more, some of the details on that. You mentioned herbs and I know a lot of our listeners are going to be interested in that angle because obviously they do work together because the herbs are working on different energy systems and organs on the body. Are there specific herbs that are going to help enhance the qi gong practice more so than others?
Peter: Well, I’ve especially found bottom line pine pollen. The ancients used pine pollen from I don’t know when. He shou wu is another. There are so many of these things that I’ve spoken about at length. You look at the world’s oldest people, especially from the Taoist perspective, they had a whole entire regimen of different herbs that they took at different times. You couple that with qi gong practice, which they did, that’s how they earned the title of being “immortals.”
Logan: Okay, so you guys were gracious enough to send me the Good Morning, Good Evening Qi Gong course that you put together and I’ve been really enjoying it. I can talk a little bit more about my experience but a question some people might want to know is what sets this apart from other qi gong courses that might be out there?
Tristan: That’s a good question. This is just the best—no, I’m kidding. I don’t know what sets it apart. The thing is we really haven’t studied other people’s courses. We might understand the marketing perspective of how people position things differently but this is just what we do and what we know. We know that people are busy and we know that they want to incorporate these arts into their life but they want to do it in a way that is time-efficient and I think what people really want more than anything is to be guided through a process that’s doable. Sometimes when you buy a course these days, you tend to get a lot of great information and it’s sort of just given to you, like here you go and oh, good luck with that. We’ve seen that in the industry and we don’t care for that.
We’re teachers. We’ve had dojos and students for decades now. So what we know is that a student needs to digest information one chunk at a time so we designed a course that does that. It actually is designed over a four-week period where each week you’re working on a specific aspect of qi gong and then you’re building, as you know, by going through it, you’re building upon it. That’s the feedback we keep getting not only from students but also celebrities in the industry that have looked as this program. They’re like, we love the way you designed this; this is so efficient. So that’s one of the things I would say separates it most likely from other courses.
I had questions initially that I could distill my qi gong practice that was anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, that it could actually distill down into a 10-minute practice. There are days that you just oh, I’ll just do a little something but I wasn’t sure that 10 minutes would be that effective. But then when I came across Peter Ragnar who was talking about his 10-minute practice, I was really intrigued. So by working with Peter, understanding how he was able to condense the power of qi gong into short practices and then taking all that I know, we were able to create this six-step blueprint that could be done in ten minutes. Peter, what’s your take on that?
Peter: I’m totally in harmony with everything you said, Tristan. We started putting our heads together. We started looking at this. I looked at it and I said, how is this different? The main difference, and you notice it’s called Good Morning, Good Evening Qi Gong, there’s a reason for two different practices, two different very short practices. I’m shocked. I’m really shocked that nobody yet out there that I know about has discovered this correspondence. The correspondence is that there is a rhythmic circulation of qi from the morning to the evening and there are certain organs that peak at a certain time, that get very active and then there are other times that they’re not.
As an example, the stomach peaks at the 7:00 to 9:00 AM in the morning while the large intestines would peak at say 5:00 to 7:00 AM or the heart at 11:00 in the morning to 1:00 in the afternoon. We can go through entire organ systems, the stomach, the spleen, the heart, the small intestines, urinary bladder, the kidneys. When do they peak? When does the gallbladder, the liver, the lung, all of these organs, when do they peak? When are they recessive? We fit our program to harmonize our movements that would stimulate or sedate those organs at a particular time.
Now there’s a lot built into Good Morning, Good Evening. That’s why it’s called Good Morning, Good Evening. There’s a lot more science behind this simple approach that people think. Is there anyone else doing that? I have not seen it. But I know that the ancients had a handle on it. Talk to any acupuncturist who’s really well-educated in acupuncture and maybe they will agree and they’ll probably scratch their heads and say well yeah, that makes perfect sense; how come I didn’t think about it? How come I didn’t come up with a program that harmonizes with the rhythmic circulation of qi?
Logan: Yeah, it’s something that’s interesting about this and it might be in many people’s experiences. Everyone knows people that wake up at a certain time in the morning, that can be when that energy crosses over because when one energy is at a high point another one can be at a low point. That can signify there’s some sort of weakness or some sort of disorder in that energy and then it can be corrected in some way. I’m curious about what you were saying with the practice that is just laid out into in this course. Is there an ideal time to do those because morning and evening is kind of broad? Would you say there is a specific time that if you can do that, that would be ideal?
Peter: Everyone’s schedule is a little different and to keep it from being too rigorous, to keep it playful and I think this is very, very important, you do it around that time. When you’re getting up, you do the morning. Before you go to sleep, you do the evening. It will find its own slot because what happens is you start to feel it. You start to feel intuitively I should do it at this time and let me do it a little earlier, let me do it a little later. Whatever it is, it will adjust itself over time to your particular practice. Now one thing is I will caution people over is don’t get so busy. Make sure you set enough quiet time for yourself. You’re giving yourself a gift. And then do your practice. Allow it to be part of your life, like brushing your teeth and taking a shower and all of the other things you’d do automatically. That consistency will balance itself out to the perfect time.
Logan: Absolutely. You guys sent me the course and I was so busy I actually didn’t do it right away. I didn’t really look at the instructions and realize that to begin with, you only need five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night. Anyone can fit that in if they’re really honest with themselves. Anyone can do five minutes and do ten minutes. It’s just a matter of prioritizing that. I have to say yeah, I’ve noticed I do seem to be recovering even better from my workouts. It just feels good in general doing this. I’m really enjoying the course because, like you said, it’s laid out in such a simple manner that people can follow along. I’ve done some other qi gong courses before but this is something that I can see myself actually sticking to because it’s simple, easy amount of time doing it, and I can definitely feel the exercises a lot. You do seem to have packed a lot of powerful qi gong experiences to these simple follow-along drills.
Tristan: Awesome. Yeah, it really is packed, isn’t it? There’s a lot in there. They flow perfectly together. It’s such a favorite practice for so many people these days. We had no idea that it would become as popular as it did. It was just something that we loved and we wanted to share it with the world. We put it out there and we’re like well, let’s see what happens. That was a couple of years ago when it was originally filmed and since then there are thousands and thousands of people doing Good Morning, Good Evening Qi Gong in I don’t even know how many countries now. So it has become quite a popular experience for people. We’re just happy as coon dogs.
Logan: Excellent. One of the things you talk about in there is sort of the six-step blueprint. You mentioned that you have these different sorts of exercises that work on these different aspects of the qi. Could you talk a little bit about that?
Tristan: For sure. In the morning, I think we all want to feel awake and that’s the first phase in Good Morning qi gong. You are doing certain tapping, fast breathing and bouncing techniques to literally activate and awaken the life force. That’s phase one then you immediately go to—think of your meridians or your energy channels like a hose, a garden hose that the water is flowing through. When the hose is too tight or a rock is on top of it, it’s impinging upon the flow of the water. If it’s bent or has a kink in it, that water can’t flow through it. That’s one way of looking at qi. You want to do movements that are going to open the pipes. Then another thing is sometimes there’s a disruption so doing the tapping and activating techniques, you’re clearing disruption. You’re correcting them and getting the blocks out. Then your energy naturally goes up. So that’s how you awaken the qi.
And then you build it. There are movements that are coordinated with the breath. They’re nice, big swooping movements and you are activating the qi in the lower belly. I like to call that your power center. The Chinese call it your dan tian. Then you’re moving the qi. You mentioned earlier yoga and the chakra system. You’re moving the energy up now to the heart center. You’re opening that up and you’re building the qi there so they’re like batteries again. So you’re building it and then you go all the way up to the forehead, that wisdom center and you’re opening that up. So you’re very focused and you’re very present and you’re very filled. Then you take all of the qi and you move into the third section in the morning and you pack it into your body. You store it. It’s like you went to gas tank and you filled up your tank. Now off you go and you have an incredibly productive, present day. That’s the morning and those are the phases of that.
Then when you come home or you’re at home, it’s the end of your day and you want to just calm down, sometimes we’ve been busy with work, maybe you’re on the computer a lot or you were around negative people or you were kind of in a negative environment or you just were super busy or you had a regular day, whatever, you cleanse your qi. That’s the first phase of the Good Evening. So there are certain movements that you’re squeezing and releasing and you’re getting the stagnant energy out of your system, you’re getting the toxic qi off your skin and off your body. You’d be surprised how much negative energy we pick up and if we could see it, it’s stuck on the body. So we clear that off and then we move into the next phase where we calm the qi because if you don’t calm your system and the life force, the qi, you tend to be hyperactive at night and people don’t sleep well, especially in our busy culture today where we’re info-overloaded and teched out.
So we have taught people how to cleanse it first, then calm it. Get that brain start to move into alpha and then accumulate. That’s sort of like at night when you take your cellphone and you plug it into the wall and you recharge it. There’s a way to do certain movements and postures in qi gong that are like jumper cables that reset all of the energy flow and the conduits in the body so that when you’re sleeping, you really do accumulate a lot of energy. So if you’re consistently doing awaken, build and store in the morning and then cleanse, calm and accumulate, you will build big qi.
Logan: Excellent. Any final things to add from either of you two before we wrap up?
Tristan: There’s just so much to say always.
Logan: Yeah, we could go on for another couple of hours there.
Peter: We can definitely go on. When Tristan and I went up to the mountains of Mexico beyond Santa Fe, we spend time out there really brainstorming and allowing our intuition to guide us and the qi to guide us, to come up with this program. We had one aha moment after the other as we discovered how to put this program together. We meditated up there. We made ourselves completely open. We came with open hands and open hearts and we let the universe fill us. This is what results from it and the results that we have gotten, the results that our students have gotten, all I can say is that they speak for themselves. All you have to do is just take a look. Take a look and you’ll be wanting to do it. Anyone who recognizes all of a sudden that what we’re talking about is real, they’re going to say, oh my heavens; it works! I said yeah, it works. Like Tristan just said, we made it Western-friendly, made it easy for you to understand. We made it easy for you to do. We made it easy for you to have. All you have to do is say yes, I want this.
Logan: Excellent. We’ll include the links in the show notes where you can find out more videos or more information. I believe you guys have some free videos. We’ll have that as well as check out the entire course. If you’re listening and aren’t on a computer right now, remember this simple URL: LostEmpireHerbs.com/qi. If you go to that then you’ll be linked over there. I highly recommend you check this out. Once again, you can find out more details about this on the show notes on the website. We’ll have the full transcript of this available. Thank you guys so much, not only for what you shared today but for this course because like I said, that’s making a difference in my life. So thank you very much for that.
Tristan: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having us on the show. I love being here. It’s always a lot of fun to get on the calls with Peter and listen to the wisdom coming out. Anyone who goes through this program, you will be blown away. We just scratched the surface here today. There are deep dive private lessons where we really share some of the secrets of this art with you. So I look forward to meeting you for the training. Again, thank you, Logan, this has been awesome.
Logan: Excellent. And thank you, Peter.
Peter: Thank you so much.
Logan: All right, thanks everyone for listening. I highly recommend you check this out. After listening to this call, I think you can see that there are benefits from doing this practice so I highly recommend it. Make it a part of your life and then you’ll get those benefits. Thanks everyone. Talk to you again soon.
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