Chapter 24: Ki Healing

Have you ever heard of the term, “pressure points?” A pressure point is a place on the body that, if you touch it or push it correctly, will cause an immense amount of pain. A properly trained martial artist can strike a pressure point on his opponent, which will lead to the opponent being incapacitated, unconscious, or screaming in pain. In fact, there are even places on your body that, if struck the proper way with the correct amount of force, can cause death.

These vital points are also known as the “Ki stations” ,because they are strongly connected to your Ki energy. The terms “pressure point”, “vital point”, and “Ki station” are all interchangeable.

Taechung: Liver energy channel beginning point
Taechung: Liver energy channel beginning point

To understand this, imagine that your Ki energy is a mass of cars, traveling along a vast highway (which represents your body). A pressure point can be likened to a major exit; it is a place where many vehicles congregate and drive through. Exits on the highway lead to major cities or towns. Similarly, each of the main pressure points in your body are leading to something very important: your organs. For example, there is a major pressure point located on the indent between your big and index toe. It is one of the most important stations because its corresponding organ is the kidney. If it is struck, energy to the ­­­­kidney is cut off and the person will feel immense pain.

Here is where the kidney vital point is located (see diagram (letter/number)). Energy circulation is cut off by pressing deeply into the area

Below, I have included a diagram of the many vital points in the human body. There are twelve major stations connecting to the twelve major organs.

Sure, knowing about the pressure point could prove useful in self-defense, but what importance does this hold in terms of our longevity? Vital points were discovered 3,000 years ago and, besides being useful in combat, they are used in Korean traditional medicine.

If we have a health problem, it can be traced back to a problem with an internal organ, and all of our internal organs have a corresponding vital point. This means that proper stimulus of the correct vital point area can help heal the organ, and provide relief. Acupuncture healing is based on this idea. When someone is in pain, the problem is traced back to its origin. The corresponding pressure point is then found, and needles are placed in the correct area. Gently turning the needle encourages energy flow, therefore, returning Ki energy to the weakened organ. Acupuncture is a daunting form of treatment to many people. That is why there are other popular ways to heal through the pressure points, such as massaging the correct one, or applying heat to it. Here are some alternative ways to use Ki stations for healing, that you can perform at home.

There are three components to healing, all of which work separately, as well as jointly: blood, spirit, and Ki. They all unite as one to form the energy field. Ki leads to blood circulation, spirit leads to Ki, and blood assists the spirit function, so that it works properly. The ancient grandmasters realized that all three together balanced each person’s life force. In martial arts, tai-chi is a form of breathing that emphasizes inhalation and exhalation to form balance within the body. Yoga also emphasizes balance, but in a physical way. The best yoga posture is standing on your head, because you stand on your feet all day. This creates balance. Our heart is used to pumping blood up to our heads. If you stand on your head, your heart is higher than your brain. This makes it easier for your heart to pump the blood to your brain, but your spinal cord might be hurt or be injured due to the unnatural position of the body. That is why it is dangerous, to a degree.

There are two avenues to use when stimulating Ki energy for healing. Avenue number one is we manipulate our Ki stations ourselves. The above cases are prime examples. Pretend you have a headache. To heal it, you would look at the symptoms you are experiencing. In this case, it would be pain in your forehead, temples, in the rear of the head, and to the top of the head. Then, you determine that the pain is caused by an unbalanced or ill internal organ; again, the brain. Finally, by massaging or applying heat to the correct Ki station, you can increase your Ki energy flow, and heal yourself of the headache. This is the preferable avenue.

The second avenue involves you manipulating the Ki station on somebody else, to help ease their pain or discomfort. Although this is effective, it has the potential to be dangerous for a number of reasons.

First, you must have proper training in Ki energy techniques in order to locate the source of a person’s pain. If they are having indigestion, it means something is wrong with their stomach. What if you think the source of their indigestion lays with the heart? You locate the Ki stations that affect the heart. You manipulate these areas. The result? Nothing. Their pain does not go away. So, they continue to suffer and their bodies may become more unbalanced because no healing occurs. So, untrained use of vital points is dangerous to the person.

However, the second, and most important, reason Ki treatment is potentially dangerous is because of the impact it has on the person doing the healing. When you use vital points to increase Ki flow, you are sending your good Ki energy into a person with poor Ki energy flow. This means we lose some of our energy to heal another person, which weakens us. Think of an electrical circuit. Let’s say you are installing electrical outlets into a home you are building. Assume you already have one installed that works that hooks to a main electrical source. If you plug a lamp into it, the bulb burns bright. Now, you install another outlet and, instead of hooking it up directly to the master power source, you simply connect the wires to the other outlet. Then, you install another outlet this way, connecting its wires to the outlet you just installed. All in all, you eventually install 10 outlets this way. You have a chain of outlets, all linked together, all tied into the first outlet. Now, plug the lamp into the first outlet. What happens? The bulb still glows brightly, just like before. But, if you plug lamps into all of the other sockets, by the time you plug in the last lamp, the light it gives off will be very dim. In order for the other bulbs to glow at all, the first outlet must sacrifice most of its power. That’s why the next lamp in the chain is a little dimmer than the one before it. Each outlet must sacrifice some of its energy to power the next outlet.

My teacher, Master Han, healed a lot of people, but died before reaching his life expectancy. Whenever somebody came to him who showed outward signs of illness, he would help them using Ki healing. For example, assume a person came to him with a crippling and debilitating disease, like Crohn’s Disease. The symptoms a person may experience are persistent diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, constipation, etc. He knew, based on these outward symptoms, that the problem lay in an ill digestive tract. So, he would manipulate the appropriate vital point the connected to the digestive tract. In doing so, while he would alleviate their symptoms by increasing the Ki energy flow into this area, he would lose some of his life energy. He would become weaker. Using your own Ki to help another is good ONLY if you are able to recharge you Ki energy by doing the appropriate exercises. Master Han could not recharge, because he was too busy. He taught Taekwondo classes, he had to do his daily grocery shopping, prepare meals, run errands, etc. The only free time he had was when he slept. Just sleeping will not recharge your Ki energy. He died young because he helped so many people. In fact, over 800 people attended his funeral, many of whom he had helped during his life. Ki energy is life-force energy. When it is gone, we are gone.

How does Ki healing work? Have you ever had a bad headache? While somebody cannot feel your pain, it manifests on your face. You squint your eyes, your face is red, you rub your neck. All are outward signs of a problem with your brain. The pain can be alleviated or cured by applying the proper amount of rubbing pressure around the eyes and behind the ears. There is a pathway that connects these vital points to the brain, where the pain is coming from. The proper rubbing actions and proper pressure therefore stimulates Ki energy flow between the areas rubbed and the brain. Thus, we create a healing effect in our body due to the manipulation of Ki energy.

When we are ill, it is because our bodies are unbalanced. A headache means we are unbalanced. When this happens, stimulating the Ki flow puts our bodies into balance. Thus, Ki energy promotes healing. If our Ki energy is balanced, we are healthy.

Look at how Ki theory shows the relationship between body parts and the organs. For example, poor kidney function relates to hearing and hair loss. Kidney problems mean blood flow is reduced. We have adrenal glands at the top of our kidneys, and they produce hormones. Hormones help us to maintain healthy bodies. Unhealthy kidneys cannot produce as many hormones as healthy kidneys. For women, poor hormone production leads to menopause. After menopause, blood circulation is poor. This means they are aging faster due to weak kidneys. What helps improve blood flow and better kidney function? In Ki theory, making the stomach area and lower back area warm. These are just some examples of how the body can use Ki energy to heal itself.

Breathing is divided into two parts: inhalation and exhalation. Exhalation is controlled by the lungs, but inhalation is the kidney function, which is called “mung-moon.” Mung-moon is also called “life gate”, and it is located in the 11th area of the spine, which is the area located one vertebrae from the bottom of our neck vertebrae to the top of the tailbone. Life means breath and gate means door. So, breathing in and out of this location is the life gate.

In Ki theory, all of our organs work together to create and channel the energy that we need to live a healthy life. People who have breathing problems not only have lung function problems, but also kidney problems. So, the lungs mainly control breathing, but without the kidneys’ assistance, the breathing function fails. In other words, the lungs need help from the kidneys. For example, those suffering from asthma have problems not only from lungs, but also the kidneys and other internal organs, according to Ki theory. To put it another way, look at the heart. It pumps so that it can spread blood to all of the cells for nourishment. Without the blood vessels contracting properly, the heart’s main function will fail. Ki theory contemplates and provides a meaningful construct for the intricate relationships between the organs, blood vessels, blood and ultimately our overall health.

Grandmaster Darim Jang, Back kick: targeting a cement block supported by (2) cement blocks, NJ, 1993
Grandmaster Darim Jang, Back kick: targeting a cement block supported by (2) cement blocks, NJ, 1993
This technique is a ten board power break using a front kick technique without a holder holding the boards. Grandmaster OH, 2001
This technique is a ten board power break using a front kick technique without a holder holding the boards. Grandmaster OH, 2001

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