The interview with Faye Yip was led by Nils Klug in the context of a Workshop on Ba duan jin given by Faye in the Tai Chi Studio, Hannover, in Summer 2016.
Qi as healing energy and the scientific mind
If someone comes to your class, like beginners for example, quite often they want to feel energy – this kind of esoteric stuff. What do you tell these people?
I give them some simple exercises really, depending on that individual. Sometimes, in their mind they have already decided whatever energy is bullshit or talking nonsense basically. Things I can’t see I can’t smell, they don’t exist. Then, it is very, very hard to make any minds open. – If you get a person that is already starting to accept the energy, I think it is not impossible from simple movements to start feeling something. If you think this way: our body, the circulation already generates body heat. [It is about] logical explanations, because Qi – we call it “blood and Qi” in a functional way rather than the anatomical way – they are already moving. The circulation is good to regenerate the body heat. The body heat is actually a sign of the energy. It is already a sign, so it is not that impossible to feel. If you put your hands a little bit closer you may feel it or even if you put your hands closer to your eyes and close your eyes you may feel the warmth at the back of your eye from heat from your palm. That is already a form of Qi – that is already a form of energy! It is not that impossible to feel, it just needs the right type of guidance.
And obviously not I do not ever feel it is right to describe the Qi as some superpower kind of fixing everything under the sun. That cannot happen. We must use a scientific mind frame to actually accept or try to understand the concept of Qi and energy and try to not make it mystical as if it was just a mystery-mystery – no! Everything is logical, leading to why it works, how it works, the reason behind it… so we have that science, and that’s why I am stressing the need to have research, good research. – Academic professors were trained by the scientific approach, so the process of the study is thorough, is good, and not just like: “Oooh, yeah, so I initiate the Qi, emit it and fix you.”
I would be very cautious about that – but: very down to earth, you can still feel it.
Images: Yonghui Deistler and Taiji Forum
The interview with Faye Yip part 11 – “Fang song” and “relaxation” in Tai Chi and Qigong
The interview with Faye Yip part 7 – Voluntary work and rich life
The interview with Faye Yip part 2 – competition landscape in Tai Chi