A certain threshold of chi-sensitivity is essential for a sound and healthy practice. You may ask why did you use the word healthy, is there anything unhealthy about a lack of chi-sensitivity in learning chi-kung or chi-related discipline? Some chi-kung teacher when facing with students who are weak in chi-sensitivity, either to comfort them or to keep them as continuing students, will tell them "just imagine that you got the chi-feeling". I think this approach is wrong. Firstly, the student might actually have a chi-feeling but fail to conceptualize their feeling into chi-feeling (like can't distinguish the chi-feeling of heat from high-temperature feeling of heat). The solution is to impress upon the student that he has to make such distinction. An acceptance of the student's narrative that he didn't have chi-feeling might block his possible acknowledgement of such feeling in the future. Secondly, the student might have a wrong concept that chi is just a psychic/imaginary phenomenon rather than a genuine and distinguishable body sensation, a psychological reality having a physical implication.
Back to the subject of training chi-sensitivity, the best everyday approach that I recommend is to take ready-made bitter herbal tea and/or to take cold shower. In Hong Kong, one can go to the many herbal tea shops to take a bowl of hot bitter herbal tea (廿四味涼茶 - 24 ingredient herbal tea) for a few HK dollars. It is one of the most common drink in Hong Kong, the Coke is for the kids and the bitter herbal tea is for the adults (nowadays more young ladies take herbal tea for a better complexion). If that is not available in your country, one can buy bottled one, sachet packs or the packaged ingredients for in-home preparation from a shop that sell over-the-counter Chinese medicine for the most popular bitter herbal tea. Should be quite inexpensive. Use very hot water for the sachet powder and heat up the bottled one, so that you will be forced to sip it bit by bit, and the bitter taste can register for a larger number of times. When you swallow the bitter herbal tea, relax your body and allow the bitter effect to be like transmitting to the tip of your fingers. And don't allow the bitter taste to make you shiver! Chi will follow this bitter effect and travel to the tip of your fingers. Needless to say, proficiency comes with practice.
Another way to train chi-sensitivity is my favorite cold-shower routine, that I discussed many times in this blog (so interested readers should find their own way to search, won't be difficult). Beginners can start with not-so-cold water, and begin in hotter Summer months. This method is more power and is reserved only for the more courageous. These two are both legit classical ways to train one's chi-sensitivity, and I shall refrain from commenting more esoteric methods, because I am not an expert in that area. My philosophy is if there is a good and legit method, why try to reinvent the wheel? Your car might just break down with those more esoteric wheels....:)
PS: The concept of training up one's chi sensitivity is not the same as taking medicinal or heath preparations to boost up one's internal chi. For the latter purpose, ginseng is one popular preparation, and it is not part of chi-kung practice.
|A brand of packaged Chinese herbal tea (for the purpose of explanation only, not my recommended brand)|