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Signs of Over-Cleansing

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A little cleansing is a good thing, too much can be uncomfortable.

Last week I talked about signs of over-training in Shaolin Kungfu and Qigong. It is an important phenomenon to discuss, as our arts that we practice in Shaolin Wahnam are very high level, and can be over-trained if not practiced properly and with care. This week I want to talk about cleansing as a direct result of our training, as well as how to avoid over-cleansing.

Obviously, cleansing is a good thing. We are working with our energy to optimize our health and overcome physical, mental, and emotional issues. By necessity, we have to cleanse out the blockages that cause those conditions. If you are a Buddhist, the concept of cleansing runs even deeper, going so far as cleansing our karma so as to achieve enlightenment. But too much cleansing all at once can be overwhelming and even discouraging. So how do we know this is happening, and what do we do about it?

If you're working on a particular physical ailment, say back pain or shoulder pain, you might find that the injury which had been getting slowly better is now worse, even though you’ve determined that you've been practicing correctly. You might feel fatigued, mentally foggy, have a rash or pimples. Sound like what I was talking about last week? It should, because over-training leads to over-cleansing.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the solution to over-cleansing is the same as the solution to over-training. When these pains crop up, emotions rise up, or you just feel like you’re suddenly trudging through mud, take a step back and evaluate your training. You can reduce the amount of time you train, you can lower your level on purpose by not going too deep into a qigong state of mind, you can select qigong patterns that don’t induce such a vigorous Qi flow, or you can take a break from training for a few days. Return to your practice and continue to practice at a lower level. Often, it doesn’t take very long before those unpleasant symptoms go away, the pains vanish, and the old ailments feel better than ever.

We can’t help but cleanse when we’re practice qigong and kungfu, it’s how we get healthy again or stay healthy, and a little bit of detoxification at a reasonable pace is a good thing. The key is to always pace ourselves and know the signs that we might be overdoing it when they start to crop up. In this way, our progress is nicely metered and we always feel our best.

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