Excellent, Chi Gung class held by Cliff on Friday nights
8.00 - 9.00
Cliff has made his class very friendly and informative regarding relaxation and calming methods.

After only three months I thoroughly enjoy the Chi Gung and am starting to feel happier & less stressed with a more positive attitude maybe becoming addicted to that "springy feeling" which comes with it.

Thank you for your support and teaching tips so far and I am looking forward to more classes in the future.

-Lesley Carle

Contact Us

For any enquiries feel free to Email or phone.

Sifu Cliff Alderson
Tel: 07957 221738

IMAS Martial Arts Centre
413 Montrose Avenue
Slough, SL1 4TJ

The Three Treasures: Jing, Chi and Shen

In Chi Gung and oriental healing arts we hear different meanings for jing, chi and shen. These differences are usually dependent on context. One difficulty in understanding the concepts implied in jing, chi and shen is that we can not separate these words as we do in the English language. The character for heart for example Ė xin - refers to the whole entity of heart, the physical, emotional, and spiritual. Each of the five elements has spiritual, emotional, and physical realms of being. Simplistically it is often described that jing, chi and shen means body, mind and spirit. At the time of union of sperm and egg, the new being is pure jing. Gradually chi enters the embryo and the circulation of energy and animation develops. Much later on, we develop the shen part of our being through good practices and virtues. We can think of jing, chi, and shen as levels of development in life and in practices (Chi Gung, meditation, yoga, Kung fu etc). At first we learn the fundamental movements, and then with time and effort we refine our development and practice (and life) moves increasingly into the realm of shen cultivation.


The character for jing means sperm or essences. Jing is considered the source of life. It is sperm and vaginal moisture, ephemeral essence and the organic substance that forms the foundation for growth, reproduction, and development. Jing is responsible for bone growth, teeth, hair, normal mental development and sexual maturity. After puberty, jing is responsible for reproductive function and fertility. Jing moves us through the changes that punctuate our lives: birth, childhood, puberty, childbearing, maturity and elderhood. Jing is involved with time and changes. It can also be thought of as our foundation. Deterioration of jing is often accelerated by prolonged illness, overwork, injury, abuse, stress, exhaustion, excessive sex, and poor nutrition. When the Jing begins to wane a person will notice thinning and graying hair, decreasing moisture throughout the body, loss of sensory and mental acuity, and weakening of the bones, teeth, and connective tissue. The rate of loss can be slowed down by practicing Chi Gung and acupuncture and the use of special herbs.


Chi is rather like an electrical current, it animates our being. Our meridians and organs are like hardware: wires, transformers, power plants, through which this electrical current moves and gets amplified, stored, and routed. Every living being has chi, yet each of us has a unique and particular quality of chi. Chi Gung practices assist chi circulation and flow, storage, and regeneration. Our chi circulation and flow is dependent on how much and which type of chi we received at birth from our ancestors, diet and nutrition, and overall lifestyle. Practices can transform chi into shen or jing and healing energy. In the ancient character for chi there is an image of steam rising from a pot of rice on a fire. If the fire is continuous and appropriate to the proportion of rice to water, energy will show up as steam. If the fire gets too hot, the water dries up and not only does the rice burn, but eventually the container as well. The flow of chi and its strength must be regulated and balanced for optimal health.


Diagnostically in Chinese medicine the signs for the quality of the shen are observed in the eyes primarily, and to a lesser extent the skin and hair. When the shen is good we radiate positivity and our eyes sparkle and mirror our souls. In serious mental illness, there is almost always shen disturbance. The sign for this is revealed by how the person looks out into the world, the gaze, the degree of connection with the eyes of others, sometimes a wild look. One diagnostic term in traditional Chinese Medicine for a type of mental imbalance is phlegm misting the soul. The soul becomes turbid and cloudy and is mirrored in the person's eyes. Shen is not a given, unlike jing and chi which is possessed by all who live and breath. It is achieved in the higher levels of Tai Chi and Chi Gung practice and through a lifestyle that is integral to these practices. Shen is connected to the hun, or Ethereal Soul. Shen is spirit and it is everywhere. It comes to us when we reach a higher level in our practices after much time and perseverance. It goes elsewhere when we neglect our practices, when we abuse ourselves, or live in an unvirtuous fashion. The shen is nurtured by music and dancing, participation in the arts and creative activities. The character for shen contains the symbol of a bird. A bird is free to fly away, to go when conditions aren't favorable and may choose to remain when they are. We all have the potential to cultivate the type of nest that the shen bird will be attracted to.


"Qigong has had a profound effect upon my life. Physically and mentally, I am fitter and healthier than I have ever been before; the exercises taught ensure that I start each day refreshed and energized.

With Sifu Cliff Alderson's patient teaching and the support of the other students, it was easy to grasp the concepts of this art."

- Matthew Sin, 16/10/09

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