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Thread: qi?

  1. #1


    i have noticed that when i sit zazen my palms begin to warm up.
    i usually have very cold hands during the winter and they are freezing but when i do zazen they become quite warm, even to the point of starting to sweat.

    did anyone else ever encounter this? and does anyone know why it might be happening?
    my theory is that qi actually flows in the body more freely during meditation.

    Gassho, D.

  2. #2

    Re: qi?

    dont the hands natrually emit heat? and are your two hands together when doing zazen thereby amplifying said heat?

  3. #3

    Re: qi?


    Having lived in China and Japan for about 1/3 of my life, I am not a great believer in "chi/qi/ki". It is an ancient idea of traditional Chinese medicine from centuries past when Chinese and Japanese doctors never actually understood what we now know about human anatomy ... and thought that the mysterious energy of "ki" was running through us in vast superhighways. That organ has never been measured or found in reputable testing. While accupuncture and such does have some limited effects, the cause is certainly not the manipulation of "ki".

    But anyway, I digress ...

    The following is the most complete list I have ever found on medical/physiological/neurological studies on the effects of meditation (besides the Austin "Zen and the Brain" books). It runs to several pages, although I am not sure if it has been updated (it may be only up to several years ago). The research is ongoing ... even as we sit.

    It contains studies such as the following, which I find probably more likely related to hot hands:

    Blood flow is directly or indirectly manipulated for mental clarity, health, increased energy, or the promotion of religious emotion through hatha yoga postures, breathing exercises, prostrations, tai chi movements, dervish dancing, and other activities associated with the contemplative traditions. Traditional teachers could not measure blood flow with scientific exactness, of course, but some of them could skillfully guide their students' practice through empathy, intuition, and kinesthetic feel, and in doing so they sometimes looked for bodily signs related to blood circulation, such as flushing of the face and chest and changes in skin tone and complexion. [33] The picture of meditation's effect on blood flow provided by modern studies is quite preliminary, though. Most of it comes from TM-sponsored research.

    Delmonte (1984f) tested fifty-two subjects and found that meditators showed a significantly greater increase in digital blood volume during meditation than rest. Jevning, Wilson, and O'Halloran (1982) studied muscle and skin blood flow and metabolism during states of decreased activation in TM. They concluded that acute decline of forearm oxygen consumption has been observed during an acute, wakeful behaviorally induced rest/relaxation state. This change of tissue respiration was not associated with variation of rate of forelimb lactate generation. Since forearm blood flow did not change significantly during this behavior, the decline of oxygen consumption by forearm was due almost solely to decreased rate of oxygen extraction. Decreased muscle metabolism was a likely contributor to these observations.

    Skin Resistance and Spontaneous GSR

    Low skin resistance, as measured by the galvanic skin response test, is generally thought to be a reliable indicator of stress because it is caused in large part by anxiety-induced perspiration. Like respiration rate and muscular tension, it has been affected by meditation in many contemporary experiments. This measure of stress, we believe, fits into the general picture from both traditional and modern accounts that meditation often lowers anxiety.

    Increased skin resistance, as well as lower frequency of spontaneous galvanic skin responses, has been widely reported in the TM literature or in studies of TM groups [see Delmonte (1984c), Bono (1984), Bagga and Gandhi (1983), Orme-Johnson and Farrow (1977), Farrow (1977), Laurie (1977), West (1977), T.R. Smith (1977), Orme-Johnson (1973), Wallace and Benson (1972), Wallace et al. (1971b), and Wallace (1971)]. Other researchers who concluded that meditation increases skin resistance (and sometimes lowers the frequency of spontaneous GSR fluctuations) are: Schwartz et al. (1978), Sinha et al. (1978), Pelletier and Peper (1977a), Glueck and Stroebel (1975), Walrath and Hamilton (1975), Woolfolk (1975), Benson et al. (1973a), Akishige 1970), Akishige (1968), Karambelkar et al. (1968), and Bagchi and Wenger (1957). In addition to increased skin resistance, Wenger and Bagchi (1961) found slow oscillatory skin-resistance waves in the later part of meditation for several subjects.

  4. #4

    Re: qi?

    thanks Jundo.
    i must admit i didnt get all of it even with my medical background.... but i got the jist


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