The healer’s VS the warrior’s path

I have always felt conflicted, because I knew as a small child that I wanted to heal people, but at the same time something pulled me toward martial arts. When I watched people practice, I felt something emitting from them. I wondered if it was possible to follow both a healer’s and a warrior’s path. Now, more than ever, I am sure that these two paths are linked.

Most people think that they are incompatible, but they actually complete each other, like the yin and the yang. You need strength and inner energy to be a good healer. This chi (internal energy) will be accumulated through hard work every day, by meditating and practicing qi gong movements. On the other hand, if you don’t heal yourself, your warrior’s path won’t go very far as well. 

Water tai chi VS Fire Tai chi

Through tai chi, you learn to use your intention to guide your qi through your body. Tai chi is quite physical and it is a martial art. While water tai chi is focused on longevity, getting healthier and circulating the energy inside yourself. Fire tai chi is linked to kung fu and you learn to emit power. You start with water tai chi to build up your chi, then you can practice with the fire! What is interesting with the fire tai chi is that you build up this capacity to send out your power for protecting yourself, but it also teaches you how to expand your energy to another person, so with simply changing your intention, you can now give your energy to heal someone.

Brittany doing the Pu Bu in the tai chi form
Me trying to do the Pu Bu in the tai chi form…

With fire tai chi, if you want to strengthen your energy field, you also need to develop your physical muscles. When Shi Fu (teacher in Mandarin) saw me practicing the fire tai chi sequence, he said that my Fa Li lacked physical strength. The Fa Li is the power you emit, it is done within a short distance from your opponent. Also, he kept telling us that we needed not only technique, but power too. Basically, you need to combine technique, strength and chi power. Water tai chi is great to heal yourself, but it lacks the training on power emission that I believe to be essential when you are pushing your own chi into someone to help their circulation.

Physical strength

As I have mentioned in another article, my arm strength is quite bad. One day, I noticed when I was massaging my friend’s back at the temple, my hands and arms were getting tired really quickly. It’s of course important to know the technique, but if you lack physical strength, then you won’t hold a long time. I know that if I ever want to become a good healer, I will have to train what I dislike the most, push-ups…ugh!

Weights and ropes to train in kung fu
Weights and ropes we used to gain muscles in fire tai chi

Also, we had been learning a lot about acupressure points and you need to be able to press hard on them. A senior student, Cheng En (Linus), was showing us how he got good at pressing these points by doing push-ups on his fingers. He explained to us that we needed to start on all five fingers, then when they were strong enough on 4, 3, 2 and even down to 1 finger on each side. I can barely do one normal push-up with my hands on the ground…He even did it while doing the yoga push up…(yup, I have sooooo much training to do!)

Energy circulation

One day in the common room, Li Shi Fu was saying if you have cold hands and feet all the time, it means that you have poor chi circulation and you lack energy. If you really think about it, how can you be an efficient healer if you cannot circulate the chi properly in your own body? How are you supposed to help someone’s else’s in that case? He explained to us that as long as we have deficient bodies, we can’t heal until we have recharged our own batteries.

When a person is ill, their meridians are messed up. You need to help them flow again normally. This takes energy that you need train for it to build up in yourself. If you wish to transmit your energy to heal someone than you must stock enough energy for you to use on yourself throughout the day and then have some extra to spare.

This means you must accumulate energy in your lower dantian (your center of energy that is behind your belly button). This takes lots of training and time. Train you must young Padawan…uhh I mean fierce healer!

Discipline: a warrior’s mentality

Before I worked hard on healing my physical body. I did as much as I could on my own by reading books and doing research on how other people healed. I came to a point where I had reduced most of my physical pain (from an autoimmune issue), but I still wasn’t at optimal health. Although I had gotten so much better, I then let my guard down and I started going back to some of my bad habits. My discipline that comes from a warrior mentality, was disappearing little by little to be replaced by laziness and with it the return of flare-ups and painful symptoms.

If I listen to that lazy voice, I will never train enough to get energy. I won’t take the time to cook a healthy meal or meditate for 30 minutes. It’s a strong state of mind that is required to push yourself even if you’re tired, sad or not feeling well.

Students from the Five Immortals temple who are stretching
Students and me stretching against the wall in front of the Five Immortals temple

At the Five Immortals temple, I met Daniel from “The Purple Cloud Institute”. He demonstrated energy healing on my shoulder. It felt warmer and warmer and I could feel his energy going up into my head. Since I had been training a lot, I had a lot of tension in my body and in just 30 seconds, I felt this really soothing sensation flowing through me. I asked him later how he developed this ability. He told me he trained qi gong for hours every day to do energy healing. You need a warrior’s mind to have that kind of discipline through such daily diligence.

 Change your mindset

Looking back on my life, it wasn’t during the calm and peaceful moments that I evolved. It was when I was battling my fears and anger. I needed to have a warrior mindset to change my life. I had to let go of the pain from my past and that is something that required a lot of strength. In the book, The Valley Spirit, written by Lindsey Wei, Li Shi fu said:

“It is not the body which is hard to heal”, shaking his head no, “it is human thought!”

Forgiveness is a process that can make us stronger. We finally free ourselves from a weight that is not ours, it is a very difficult process yes, but that shows us that we are brave. I noticed after working on forgiving, even though I must continue working on it, it has helped my inner qi flow better and stronger. Not long after, I had an amazing experience when I healed a friend of mine who was in pain. I was beside her and I had this surge of energy that I had never had before that helped her. By working on a mental blockage, I was able to heal my own energy circulation. You mustn’t forget to also work on your state of mind when you are healing.

I will admit, I don’t really appreciate as much as I should the wonderful practice of meditation, but it is definitely very important to work on strengthening and healing your state of mind. Sometimes, I feel like I am in a battle against my inner demons and other times I am on my way to healing myself.

Train like a warrior to heal like a master

If you want to become an amazing healer, you must have the discipline to not only study the material, but also train every day whether it is to accumulate more chi or develop your physical strength if you do massages and acupressure or even meditate by building up that warrior mind and your health. Now embrace your inner warrior to become a badass healer!

Tell me in the commentaries if you wish for me to write an article about how to be more disciplined or if you want me to develop another subject that is mentioned in this article!


If you are looking for an awesome podcast to listen to or read great articles about Traditional Chinese Medicine, Daoism, Chinese culture and spirituality, you can visit the Purple Cloud Institute’s website:

purplecloudinstitute.com

If you want to read Lindsey Wei’s book, it’s about her journey in Daoism and her training in martial arts, tai chi, qi gong, Daoist medicine, meditation and so much more at the Five Immortals temple, here is the link:

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