Qigong for Weight Loss Case Study: Day 4
Four days of fasting completed! 11.1 pounds lost! Nearing the 100th hour without food!
The 4th day ushers in a new phase. Today I’ll talk about how to deal with the fasting symptoms and the simple cure to what appears on the 4th day of a water fast.
This is a good time to remind you that practicing Qigong makes this entire process far easier, because you’re replacing the energy that you’re not getting from food with direct Qi energy.
Today I’ll share the new Qigong mini-lesson first (after that I’ll talk more about what’s happening today with my fast).
Note: This blog post is also a supplement to the video above, so be sure to watch the video for the full story 🙂
Gathering Energy to the Dantian
The tan tien is sometimes spelled dantian. It’s good to know they mean the same thing.
Today’s Qigong technique expands on the alignment of palms hand placement that was explained in my first blog post in this series.
Start with either a sitting or standing posture. From either posture, take closed hands and put your knuckles together. Extend your middle fingers, while keeping your other fingers closed. With your knuckles pointing upward move the two middle fingers that are touching back to back to two inches below your belly button.
Press the back to back touching middle fingers into the dantian (2 inches below your belly button) slightly with minimal pressure. It should only be hard enough to feel something. Don’t push too hard. Your elbows should be pointing forward slightly and not resting on your body.
Your fingers are pointed directly at your tan tien, which is about 2 inches below your belly button, and about 2 inches inside of your body. Once you’ve placed your fingers pointing toward your tan tien imagine a beam of light shining out from the fingertips of your middle fingers and focusing the beam of light 2 inches inside your body to a point at the tan tien.
Focus on the beam of light shining into your dantian. Imagine the light feeding the point of the dantian and see the dantian glowing more brightly. Feel your dantian getting warmer and the energy flowing in.
At first you will imagine this process before you may feel it. Your imagination is what triggers the Qi. It may take some time to feel it. It will come after practice. Until you feel it, imagine it happening and it will eventually happen.
Practice this very simple exercise for 5-15 minutes per day or longer if you want to. You can also practice this exercise lying down comfortably on the floor so your spine is aligned. This will also help you tune into the feeling of having your spine straight, which will help you in your standing posture.
If you’re new to this, here’s a very doable challenge for you:
Practice this technique in a comfortable position for 15 minutes. Set an alarm on your phone. Try not to think of anything other than light going into your dantian through your middle fingers while they’re pointing and pressing into your dantian.
If you’re able to concentrate for most of the 15 minutes and avoid distractions, see how intensely you can feel the Qi flowing into your dantian. Let me know in the comments below how strongly you can feel your dantian while doing this.
You will most likely feel something. Probably more than you’re expecting.
The more you practice, the more strongly you’ll feel the Qi flow.
Now back to my fasting results…
Day 4 Without Food: Timeline
Day 4 happened on March 26th, 2020. I didn't eat any food and worked overnight again at my part time job doing security (2 x 12 hour shifts a week overnight in order to get health insurance).
Here’s what I did during day 4:
I'm still at work until 7am. I squeeze in a half hour of Qigong as that's the longest that I can go in between my rounds.
I get off of work, drive home, take a shower, relax and watch another episode of The Wire before going to sleep. Drank 3 glasses of water between 6 & 8am.
I'm working overnight again tonight, so for today this is my night time. Time to sleep for a few hours.
Recorded and edited today's video. Drank (2) 16 ounce glasses of water .
Uploaded today's video, and relaxed before heading to work. Spent an hour with my wife when she got home from work before I headed out.
Drove an hour to work. Did my security rounds hourly, in between rounds I wrote and published this blog pos 🙂
I've been fasting for 100 hours! That's about 20% of the total 504 hours that make up 21 days. This is now my mid-day, so I do the Qigong for Weight Loss routine from the book. It gives me a nice boost of energy to keep working all night long.
In between my rounds I keep working on the website. A new website has a lot of work! I'm still setting up some of the functionality. There's a new podcast coming and I'm designing some stuff to make the videos nicer.
Two New Sensations (Symptoms)
Now that I’ve been fasting for four days I’m noticing two new sensations. At first glance you might be tempted to call these challenges. These are experiences to be aware of and I’ve got some pointers for how to deal with them.
To be perfectly honest, these are the first two unpleasant experiences on this fast. The experiences are only mildly unpleasant, just noticeable. This isn’t anything new. It’s a normal part of the fasting process.
The first sensation is a drop in blood pressure. The positive side of lower blood pressure is a feeling of more calm and relaxation. That’s the nice part!
The downside of this is that if you stand up too fast you may have a moment of lightheadedness. You can cope with this by standing up slowly. Whenever you’re sitting or lying down and you get up, stand up slowly. Before you take a step, stand there for 1 second. Then begin walking slowly before speeding up your pace.
If you remember to stand up slowly, it’s enough to bypass the lightheaded feeling. If you forget to do this and stand up too quickly, you’ll be reminded of this…
If you do forget and feel lightheaded when you stand up suddenly, just pause for a moment. Try to lean on something if you can. The feeling will pass in a second or two.
The reason for lower blood pressure is because I haven’t eaten any salt in the past 4 days. Salt happens to be an important mineral for our body’s electrical system. Although we don’t need food, we still need salt.
The second sensation also comes from having a reduced salt intake. That sensation is a mild form of nausea. It’s not a full desire to vomit, it’s a light queasiness. There’s an easy solution that will solve this problem for you immediately.
Have some salt.
For me, I’m not having any calories for 21 days. So here are all options that I’ve tried in the past.
Of these three options, I’ll be drinking the xtend electrolytes with BCAAs. There are no calories so I think it’s fair to do considering it completely eliminates the lightheadedness and mild nausea. You don’t need food to get salt, you just need salt.
The intention with the options above is to only take salt when you feel you need it. I wait until I feel these symptoms a little more strongly and then I’ll have a drink. The nice taste is a bonus after only drinking water for awhile. I also don’t want to get too used to tasting anything as I don’t want to activate a desire to taste anything until I decide to break the fast 17 days from now.
Just to mention it, another great option is broth! Chicken, beef or vegetable broth all have plenty of sodium, and taste delicious! You can get bullion cubes and dissolve in hot water and enjoy a nice cup with very little preparation or expense.
There’s only 11 calories in a cup of broth, so for most people it’s still consistent with fasting. Although there are technically 11 calories, if that's your only allowance for any type of calories during a water fast it really won't hurt you. The boost to your spirit and the extra salt will probably be worth it for most people.
For my purposes, I’m delaying my decision on bullion. I'm also seeing how I feel. If I arrive at the point where I feel I need some extra sodium, then I may choose to have some. I will let you know if and when I make that decision.
Taking salt is the one thing that I believe is well worth the benefits in addition to water.
Final Thoughts About Day 4:
Overall I feel really good. I’m going to wait until the mild nausea and lightheadedness get a little more uncomfortable before having an electrolyte drink. However, if I had one right now it would be a positive thing.
I’m wanting to save it as a necessity so I don’t start to develop a desire for tasting things. Right now I have ZERO desire to eat anything. It’s simply not an idea that makes sense to think about. It’s just not there.
The most important thing to do today is to charge your dantian. You can get a few meal’s worth of calorie free energy in 5-15 minutes AND improve your life in countless ways when you learn to do this.
With this information now available to you. You should at least try it! Let me know how well it works (or doesn’t) for you by leaving a comment below. I read all comments and respond whenever possible.
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