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What is Dantien and How Internal Qi Energy Can Change Life

Updated on September 26, 2012

If you happen to be part of any internal Martial Arts or typical hard styles such as Karate, Taekwondo, MMA etc.. I undoubtedly believe that more than once your Sifu has talked about the Dantien area and advise you to inhale and focus your breath into it when executing a technique (Kiai!).

Even when you are not a Martial Arts practitioner you definitely still do the same thing, especially before you must commit an intense physical act that required a short burst of energy.

You probably know by the common sense that Dantien is not anything related to a type of food, some handsome guy or hot girl (even though that could be the ultimate motivation for a blessing rush of adrenaline).

Now, essentially the Dantien being talked about is your centre core of the body, located just right below your navel. There are actually three different Dantien levels; they are separated at the center of body mass, the heart level and the third eye. In this lens, you will be learning about the first Dantien level that gives us life.

Is it this Dantien really really that important? What can it actually do and does it even Exist ? How does it give someone a Jedi ability ?

If you are destined to read this, you will soon learn far more than the scoop of this lens can offer. But, let's make the first step of this journey begin by flipping every page of History way back to the very first chapters of civilization, of China to be specific.

The Story

Once upon the time, dated around the ancient period when the population of China was mostly occupied by peasants; poorest farmers of the low classes in the society. These villagers call a day by starting as early as the fifth hour in the morning, sweating in the fields until sunset. Then, they return homes for some rest.

If you are young, you would gather with all your friends to listen to stories of the elders; while some others would enjoy the the cool night air that just silently replaced the heat of the day.

Out in this very moonlight, the weary peasants wind down and relax. Suddenly they become aware of something moving around inside their body, and it was more like steam instead of blood that flows.

This strange steam could move up and down, into different organs, into legs and arms, torso and head. It always seems to relate to the body breathing and mind.

The naïve people noted all these unusual feelings. And in the end they discovered that everyone has a center somewhere right below the navel, where it keeps the whole body warm and strong.

They call this area "Dantien". Dan means 'the essence of energy' or 'crystal', and 'tien' means 'field'.

Now when you ask other senior disciples in your training class, you may get different answers about the location of Dantien.

Some probably say it's behind your navel, some say it's a point a few inches below your belly button or even next to your tailbone. However the word 'tien' means 'field', meaning Dantien is an area not a point. Perhaps it is unnecessary to be too strict about the exact location. Don't worry if you cannot tell where it is right now. When you wind down and relax like someone once did, you will discover it naturally.

The Qi

Everyone of us was born with a certain amount of energy (Qi) called Pre-natal Energy.

This energy is inherited from your parent and it stays inside your body, flows through your channels to create the life of you. You can confidently say that the Dantien area is where the sperm first met the egg and conception begun.

When the Dantien is open, it can store a lot of energy (Post-natal Energy).

You may see many of strong big person, but they may get sick much easier than a small kid.

The more physically active you are the more energy you use and without proper recovery, that will reduce your lifespan. External training is good, it can improve body structure but you must do it in conjunction with internal training to replace and store more Qi. Otherwise, you will soon find yourself becomes tired, for the body is unable to handle the exertion.

Physical activities belong to Yang element, it makes the body strong and active like a burning flame. Mediation, Tai-chi or Qigong practices are Yin element, they restore positive energy and replenish the lost Qi.

Oldest Turtle in the World: LONESOME GEORGE
Oldest Turtle in the World: LONESOME GEORGE

Learn from Nature

So is all that true?

Let's look at the closest friendly pet of human, the dog.

Dog breaths very quickly in a fast pace. It opens its mouth wide to grasp for much air as many times as possible.

They are active and occasionally seem to be on crack, always running up and down, they are very Yang.

Perhaps that is the reason they only live for fifteen to twenty years at most.

On the other side of the world, a turtle does not breath with its nose alone.

It inhales through the whole body, from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet. Each breath takes approximately 2 minutes and the air which carry strong Qi travel deep into the Dantien area. Each breath does not only stop at the lung level, it merges with the body.

The turtle moves slowly and quietly, clearly to be very Yin. On average, turtle lives for more than two hundreds of years under the right condition!


We are just the same as any other living things on Earth.

If you go running, do a lot of drill training and weightlifting until you become fatigue, then you might grow to be big and strong but you are consuming your own energy. These exercises benefits your physical body, not your vital energy (Just like when someone spends thousands of dollar on modding a car to make it look better, yet he doesn't want to invest on premium fuels for the engine)

Quiet, slow, gentle are the ways to help you store your Qi to a higher level.

People who could store more energy than their Pre-natal Qi, are able to open all the channels and acu-points inside the body. This leads to a healthy life, put asides other potential abilities such as healing sick person, open the Sky eye and see different auras of people, predicts the future (since Qi is universal energy, it is the bridge for your body to connect with the nature and receive its message) or release fragrance that smells like flowers at dawn (Fragrant Qigong is known to cure Flu and Allergy).

When you breath, you should not just use your lungs to grasp in the air, you should use your abdomen. The abdomen is deeper than the chest, therefore you can never do it quickly if you using the abdomen to breath in the correct way.

Imagine that the pure air does not flow in and stop at your chest, it flows naturally deep down to your abdomen.

Your breath becomes deeper, longer, more internal.

This way the Qi sinks directly to your Dantien, strongly affects internal organs, particularly the kidneys, lungs and heart.

In fact, now you are breathing with your Dantien.

This is the 'Natural breathing' method that I have walked you through. In another article, we will talk about the 'Normal breathing' and 'Reverse Breathing'. Nevertheless, despite of which methods you are doing, you must always do it naturally with a relaxing mind.

The True Power of Qi

Spring Forest Qigong

This is one of the best Qi exercises that new disciples can learn. It is easy to follow and the benefits over long-term practice can be very tremendous.

Share Your Thoughts about Qi :) ?

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    • hovirag profile image

      hovirag 4 years ago

      you had an interesting story about Qi and the Chinese peasants I've never heard of.... who knows how things started - I also heard of a version that some "Gods" taught men qigong

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 4 years ago

      Very nice topic and lens. I am just starting to explore and learn and have several dvd's about Tai chi and Qi Gong. The best of them all is the Yang Tai Chi for Beginners by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming shown above. it is a slightly different approach but the explanations of why and how movements were adapted makes everything easier to learn. The style Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming teaches is not the standard form though - which makes it even more interesting. Recommended!

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens! Thanks for sharing!

    • Delynie profile image

      Delynie 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Interesting, I ought to do some more reading about Ayurveda. Thank you very much for the idea :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Loved this article, a great explanation of the energy levels we possess and we need to maintain in order to sustain a healthy life. Yoga and Ayurveda also explain the same but in different terminology.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a lovely page- thank you for your explanation of dantien :)

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your lens. When I took Hapkido our instructor had us focus a lot on our breathing. He too taught us to breathe deeply using our abdomen.

    • Delynie profile image

      Delynie 4 years ago

      @dolphin7720004: I'm glad you found it helpful :)

    • Delynie profile image

      Delynie 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you so much :) hope you liked it

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      great topic and interesting read. nicely done

    • prikazen profile image

      prikazen 4 years ago

      Great info, thanks for sharing :)

      Carpe Diem

    • Delynie profile image

      Delynie 4 years ago

      @malena10: Thank you very much for dropping by :)

    • dolphin7720004 profile image

      Eleanor Candy 4 years ago from Australia

      I enjoyed reading your lens, very interesting

    • Delynie profile image

      Delynie 4 years ago

      @junecampbell: Oh my that is great! Which style of Taiji and Qigong are you practicing? I've just been taught a very nice White crane Taiji from a master in my area and it's similar to the Yang style I learned, but a lot shorter :)

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I have been doing Tai Chi and Qi Gong for several years now. I am well acquainted with both chi energy and the dantien. Great lens.

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 5 years ago

      Interesting lens, thanks for sharing with us!