Qi Gong Deviations

Qi Gong Chu Pian (氣功出偏) or ‘Qi Gong deviation’ is the over-riding term for Qi that has been caused to reverse its flow within one or more of your channels. It is a kind of sickness that can arise out of Qi Gong practice. This can result from an inherent condition being brought to the surface through your training or else as a result of incorrect movement of Qi; often through forced use of willpower or excessive use of visualisation in your practice. It can also come as a result of excessive use of Zi Fa Gong (spontaneous Qi movement) in your training with no understanding of grounding the experience safely.

Those with a knowledge of Chinese medicine should note that the kinds of ‘reversals’ that fall under the heading of Qi Gong Chu Pian are quite different from the kinds of Qi counter-flow that can cause acute bouts of vomiting or acid indigestion. These kinds of deviations are literal reversal of energetic flow within a channel. Each channel has a core directional flow that is considered healthy. Though there will always a degree of two-directional flow within all channels, there is a key direction that the Qi should be moving for the majority of your life. If Qi reverses in one or more of the channels then it can lead to problems developing.

When Qi reverses within a channel it generally leads to pain and aching feelings that distend along the length of the channel. There are generally also muscular shakes and twitches along the length of the channel as well. Note that the experience of shaking can be Zi Fa Gong, and thus quite normal for Qi Gong development, but would be considered Qi Gong Chu Pian if they persist outside of your practice time. If, during your daily life, there are shakes and tremors in the muscles of the body accompanied by pain then you should really consult with your teacher about the chance of having developed a deviation that needs treatment.

To treat the condition there will likely be some adjustments that need to be made to your practice. You will need to learn how to ‘ground’ the Qi to a better level and your teacher will have to help you with this. Also, look at the strength of the intention you are using and consider re-visiting some of the foundational steps of your practice schedule as how well you are sinking.

Chinese Medical Protocol

If you are a Chinese medical practitioner and you are looking to aid a person who is suffering with a condition related to Qi Gong deviation then first seek out underlying deficiencies. The tremors are a manifestation of pathogenic Wind and as such look to the Liver and Blood as a good starting point. From here, seek out the channels affected by using sensation along the channels as well as presenting symptoms of channel blockages.

From here, the length of the channel will need to be opened over the course of several treatments. I generally find that using the Jing (井) Well points to initially open the channels will help with alleviating the discomfort and if you add in the Xi (郤) Cleft point of the channel it will help to stabilize the Qi in the channel. From here, a couple of treatments in, begin to restore the correct flow of Qi to the channel with the following point combinations:

Channel with Deviation Point Selection
Lung Tai Bai (太白) (Sp3) & Tai Yuan (太淵) (Lu9)
Large Intestine Zu San Li (足三里) (St36) & Qu Chi (曲池) (Li11)
Stomach Yang Gu (陽谷) (Si5) & Jie Xi (解谿) (St41)
Spleen Shao Fu (少府) (Ht8) & Qian Gu (前谷) (Sp2)
Heart Da Dun (大敦) (Lv1) & Zhong Chong (中衝)(Pc9)
Small Intestine Zu Lin Qi (足臨泣) (Gb41) & Hou Xi (後谿) (Si3)
Bladder Shang Yang (商陽) (Li1) & Zhi Yin (至陰) (Bl67)
Kidneys Jing Qi (經渠) (Lu8) & Fu Liu (復溜) (Kd7)
Pericardium Da Dun (大敦) (Lv1) & Zhong Chong (中衝)(Pc9)
Triple Heater Zu Lin Qi (足臨泣) (Gb41) & Zhong Zhu (中渚) (Sj3)
Gall Bladder Zu Tong Gu (足通谷) (Bl66) & Xia Xi (俠谿) (Gb43)
Liver Yin Gu (陰谷) (Kd10) & Qu Quan (曲泉) (Lv8)
Governing Bai Hui (百會) (Du20) & Qi Hai (氣海) (Ren 6)
Conception Zhong Wan (中脘) (Ren 12) & Qi Hai (氣海) (Ren 6)

Table Appendix 1 – Channel Qi Deviation Points


The points listed above should be needled bilaterally and the needles retained for a longer time than many use in their practice; around the thirty-minute mark is a good length of time usually.

Of course, these are only starting points for your treatments; all point prescriptions should be individually tailored to the patient according to their presenting conditions, but at least the above table will help to guide you in the case of being presented with a deviation of Qi as a result of Qi Gong practice.

Note that Qi Gong Chu Pian is one of a whole host of illnesses identified as being a result of incorrect Qi Gong practice. This condition is a ‘channel-based’ illness whereas other conditions will have an impact upon other regions of the body. There is still a lack of knowledge in the Chinese medicine world around the subject of Qi Gong sickness. With the rising popularity of Qi Gong and the freedom of access to often high-level material freely available on the net, I think that Qi Gong sickness will be a condition that more Chinese medicine practitioners encounter in the coming future.