Q & A on Issues Specific to Women’s Practice
By Master Mantak Chia
During your period, the upward draw is very useful. One precaution: do it gently. Gently draw the energy up without squeezing the uterus because the blood might be drawn up into the urethra. This can be a problem if a woman has any level of urinary incontinence. If her urethral sphincter does not contract easily to hold urine and release it only when she wants to, there is the possibility that when she squeezes the vagina shut, the urethra remains open a little and any vaginal secretions can be sucked up in the urethral opening and then drawn up toward the urinary bladder. This might lead to an infection in the urethra or bladder. This is sometimes a problem as women get older and nearer menopause, but can happen at any age. This problem can be avoided by gently drawing up orgasmic energy without tightly squeezing the vagina or buttocks. By urinating right after practice a woman can help avoid this problem, but she should recognize that urinating right after practice can drain some energy. But “safety first” for women with urinary incontinence.
As a woman continues to practice vaginal contractions and the upward draw, her urethra and bladder will gradually strengthen so she will eventually be able to practice with normal force.
For getting pregnant, Dong Kuai augments a woman’s blood, the chi flow in the lower part of the abdomen, and hormones. If a woman can’t get pregnant because chi is not flowing smoothly in the pelvis, Dong Kuai can help. If a woman cannot get pregnant because her body is too weak, Dong Kuai can help build up her strength. After childbirth, Dong Kuai will restore the blood and the chi to the vagina and the uterus and help these organs return more quickly to their pre-birth shape, by strengthening the muscles.
What practices are good to do before getting pregnant?
To help get pregnant, ovarian breathing and orgasmic upward draw will promote energy flow, and bring chi and blood to the ovaries to strengthen the sexual organs. A woman might have difficulty getting pregnant because her ovaries are not on the same level, that is, one is lower. This means that the tubes also are not in the correct position. This change from the natural position is usually caused by muscle tightness on one side of the pelvis. Chi Nei Tsang massage of these muscles can bring the two ovaries to the same level in the body. The timing of the egg release as well as the mucus from the cervix, and the time it takes for the egg to travel from the ovary to the uterus, all determine whether a pregnancy will “take.” [Note: Additional information is available in the Chi Nei Tsang book regarding massaging the ovaries]
What practices are good to do during pregnancy?
During pregnancy the ovaries are quiet so it’s not necessary to do ovarian breathing. However, when a woman finds she has increased sexual energy during pregnancy, the Upward Draw will bring up the aroused energy. Bring it down and circulate it in the baby.
Do everything gently: Microcosmic, Fusion I and II are good – if doing Fusion II, avoid the thrusting channels – too strong for the fetus; 6 Healing Sounds but not too much stretching upward; Iron Shirt, no packing, just standing and gathering the forces; avoid the turtle position; above all, use your judgment – if something feels uncomfortable, just don’t do it.
The first three months a woman has to be very aware of her energy and everything should be done gently. After the 2nd trimester, a woman can do her practices more naturally because the placenta and its attachment to the uterus is stronger. She can add in more movement, like tai chi and a lot of walking. This will help the labor go more smoothly.
Postpartum? When can a mother resume all her practices (Iron Shirt, Upward Draw, etc)?
Right after childbirth, gently start with vaginal contractions and orgasmic upward draw, emphasizing the mind with gentle movements of the vagina. Gradually increase the number and strength of the contractions each day. This will help the uterus, vagina, and bladder get back into shape. This will also help prevent loss of energy through the vagina. Six Healing Sounds, Inner Smile and Microcosmic Orbit and all meditations are safe at this time.
When the bleeding slacks off, a woman can resume tai chi and iron shirt practice – embracing the tree with packing if she likes – but not the turtle yet. Some stretching exercises can be reintroduced at this time.
At What point does a woman stop doing ovarian breathing in order to get pregnant?
Not every woman has to stop ovarian breathing in order to get pregnant. The first part of ovarian breathing strengthens a woman to get pregnant. When a woman gets to the next level of controlling the menses, that is, her periods are shorter and cycles are longer, she may have to stop ovarian breathing and eat more stimulating food. That way her cycles will return and she will have signs of ovulation, such as changes in mucus.
What techniques can help morning sickness?
The Six Healing Sounds, with emphasis on spleen/stomach/pancreas sound, plus the Microcosmic Orbit Meditation will disperse clogged or congested energy.
Should a woman try to circulate the microcosmic orbit in her fetus?
Yes. The fetus will be stronger. As the energy comes down the front channel, the mother can circulate the energy around the fetus for a few minutes, and then let it rise up again.
During FUSION II, do the thrusting channels go through the fetus also?
Yes. But in the first three months It’s too strong for the developing baby, so a woman should wait till she’s at least in the 4th month before resuming practice of the thrusting channels. Belt channels are okay. Also, during pregnancy, a woman should not do iron shirt packing or the turtle position. When doing the six healing sounds, she should not stretch her arms too much in the lung, liver and heart sounds. This is because the tendons connect between the arm and the uterus and the lower abdominal area. This kind of strain may cause a miscarriage. (avoid movements like pushing open a window or reaching for a very high shelf). These precautions are particularly for women who are weak in the uterus, especially if they had miscarriages in the past. If a woman is strong before her pregnancy she generally won’t have problems.
Vagina contractions, ovarian breathing she can start right away. Egg exercise (after the blood stops).
Should a woman with an IUD restrict or adapt any exercises?
Be gentle doing egg exercises. If she wants to use weights, she should use a weight that creates only a little resistance
If a woman has had any of her reproductive organs removed, or is in menopause, what benefit can she derive from ovarian breathing? For the orgasmic upward draw, should she use ovarian energy or from some other source?
If a woman has a uterus or ovaries she can do the practices easily. If she had her uterus AND ovaries removed, she will have to use pituitary energy. The gland massage will definitely be beneficial.
During menopause, which practices are most beneficial?
Ovarian breathing, vaginal contractions, and orgasmic upward draw will help balance and control the energy and the hormones in the proper way.
For hot flashes, what else do you recommend?
Some say that hot flashes occur because the energy that would normally be lost during a period accumulates in the body. However, hot flashes indicate a woman’s energy is also unbalanced and out of control. Ovarian breathing, vaginal contractions and upward draw will circulate energy and transform this extra energy so a woman can use it. These practices plus the gland massage will be very helpful for balancing the chi and hormones.
The triple warmer sound can provide temporary relief because it circulates the energy from the bottom up. Exhale the unbalanced energy down to the earth, and bring earth energy up through the soles of the feet.
Sometimes in menopause a woman might lose her sexual desire. These practices will help enhance her sexual response and increase self-confidence (personal power).
[Master Mantak Chia, the creator of the Universal Healing Tao system, and is the director of the Universal Healing Tao Center and Tao Garden Health Resort and Training Center in the beautiful northern countryside of Thailand, http://www.universal-tao.com. Since childhood, he has studied the Taoist approach to life. His mastery of this ancient knowledge, enhanced by his study of other disciplines, has resulted in the development of the Universal Healing Tao System, which is now being taught throughout the world. Throughout decades of teaching, he has written a series of instruction books and published a number of workshop videos. Mr. Chia is known as an author, a teacher and a healer, but he views himself primarily as a teacher who, “helps his students empower themselves through cultivation of their chi energy.” His students include many well-known people from the “west”, such as Michael Winn, Eric Yudelove and Dennis Lewis. His books include, Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (1984); Fusion of the Five Elements: Basic and Advanced Meditations for Transforming Negative Emotions (1991); and Cosmic Healing: Cosmic Chi Kung (2001) ].