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The Bai Hui: What's In A Name?

buddha statue with galaxy above
Deepen your practice by deepening your understanding of Qigong theory.

When we begin our Qigong journey, we learn so much right away. We learn how to enter into a Qigong state, how to relax our physical body simply, how to perform our Qigong patterns simply, and how to coordinate those patterns with the breath work that makes them so powerful and effective. In fact, I joke in the beginning classes I teach that it’s like drinking from a fire hose. Really, there’s more truth than jest in that statement.

As we become more comfortable with the fundamentals of our practice and these once brand-new ideas become second nature, we then dive deeper into other foreign concepts that are part and parcel to this art. Qigong theory is full of terms and concepts that just don’t exist in the Western world, so gaining an understanding of these ideas adds a depth to our practice which also takes it to the next level.

Let’s talk about the Bai Hui. You’ve been introduced to this idea if you’ve taken one of my advanced classes or perhaps if you’ve been training elsewhere for some time. Located on the tippy top of the head, the Bai Hui is an acupuncture point that bears the unsexy name of DU20 in the international point numbering system. Here’s where a little understanding can really add to our practice.

In Chinese, Bai Hui means the ‘meeting of the 100 vessels’. This means every energy channel in the body has a direct or indirect link to this point. You can treat the entire body by needling this point and by opening it up in your Qigong practice once your skill level is sufficient enough. The Bai Hui is the Chinese understanding of the crown chakra.

In the acupuncture clinic, I use this point about 98% of the time. It has an extraordinary calming effect which can also be revitalizing at the same time. Due to its location on the head, it is also frequently used to treat sleep issues, sinus problems, and even to help the rehabilitation of stroke victims.

In our Qigong practice, learning to open our Bai Hui corresponds to the Daoist technique called the ‘opening of the five flowers’, an advanced technique that allows the practitioner to send a powerful flow of energy all throughout their body, which removes blockages while building abundant Qi at the same time. If you have ever noticed this area throbbing or pulsing during your practice, this is a very good sign- don’t start looking for it each time though, just notice it and continue on with your training.

The Bai Hui is just one of many fascinating concepts within Qigong and Chinese medicine theory. Have I piqued your interest and made you hungry to learn more? Check out one of my most popular posts on understanding the dan tian and enjoy how much this newfound understanding can enrich your practice.

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