Qigong and detoxification

A moment for deeper understanding

A majority of people start to practice Qigong simply because they want to improve their health or they want to find a way to relax. What beginners often don’t know is that after some time of practicing Qigong regularly every day you can experience the process of detoxification, in short detox. When they start to feel bad they are thinking that they are doing something wrong  or they start to question Qigong practice and  sometimes they stop their practice as not suitable for them.  Some think that they are sick and they go to see a doctor.

There is no reason for panic, but certainly is a moment when the need for deeper understanding raises. The purpose of this blog is to shortly explain the process of detoxification, so that in the case you experience it you will be able to recognize it and accept it as a natural process toward greater health and clarity.  Anyway, this process is not experienced by all practitioners as we will see later.

What is detoxification?

Detoxification is a process in which the body is trying to remove harmful and unnecessary substances and expel stagnated and pathogen energy Qi, which have accumulated in your body over time.

»How to detoxify your body« is nowadays a »hot« topic in all sorts of media. Different diets, supplements, medications and other methods are discussed, some are more natural than others and some might be pretty aggressive. But this is not a topic of this blog.

I will write about the spontaneous process of detoxification that might arise when the Qigong practice has improved the condition of your body to the point that  is capable to start the process that until now it couldn’t.

 Too much for your body

Your body has an innate capability to remove metabolic wastes and release certain amount of tensions that life experiences cause in you every day. If this process could go on constantly, day after day, would be much softer, practically unnoticed. This was the original plan of the nature, cleaning your body every day.

But if you are giving to your body new and new tasks but no support by your life style and habits, over time it will end overwhelmed. It will be able to perform only the most necessary tasks in order to survive.

So, you can’t blame your body for the current situation. These are your old debts that now you have a chance to pay. If all these waste material, toxins and blockages didn’t manifest in some illness yet, be content and appreciate this detoxification experience as a possibility to start over again.

 Why now?

Thanks to the Qigong practice your body and energy channels are starting to open. Finally  Qi flow can start freeing blocked areas. Body starts to remove substances as waste material and toxins. On the energetic level it starts to expel stagnated or pathogen Qi, release blockades produced by your mental and emotional tensions, etc.

Signs of Detoxification

The signs of this process can manifest in many ways. You might experience a general discomfort, tiredness and lack of energy. Frequent signs are headache, pain in certain parts of the body, especially on the locations of some old injuries or scars from past operations. You can experience different digestion problems, as for example diarrhea, and you might urinate more frequently. Also different rushes on the skin are not uncommon. You can notice thicker lining on your tongue, unpleasant smell from your mouth and your whole body might have an intense smell. Occasionally you can experience also some fever, hot or cold flashes. And so on…

Signs are not limited only to your physical body. It is usual that you feel emotionally unbalanced and your mood can change fast. You might feel apathetic, depressed or irritated and aggressive… You can be in a mood to blame others or feel self-pity…

All these signs are normal for this process. You can experience only one of them or more.

If you notice blood in your urine or in your stool be more cautious. It might be a sign of some already present disorder that until now didn’t manifested. In this case is recommendable to consult a practitioner of TCM etc. Just in case.

It is not always detox

Here I would like to mention that if you are experiencing tension, pain or discomfort during your Qigong practice the reason is not always detox.  The reasons can be that your body alignment is not right; you are physically tense, using too much your muscles instead of relaxing them and rely more on tendons; you might be mentally tense; and the reason might be also incorrect or too forceful breathing.

All these mistakes are a part of the learning process. Gradually you will improve your practice and discomforts will disappear.

But if you have checked and excluded all of above mentioned reasons but discomforts continue to happen the reason is probably a detox of the body. Toxins accumulated in your body over years are starting to flush out of the body and this is causing you a discomfort. Be patient. Think how long it took you to accumulate this heavy luggage. It will not take you so long to let it go. 😉


If you are one of the rare persons who are very healthy and you take care of your body, energy and mind you will not experience these symptoms or they will be very mild. This doesn’t mean that eventual discomforts will not appear later at some other layer when you will go deeper into the Qigong and Neigong practice.

Who will most usually experience detox?

Detoxification process (of different intensity) is usually experienced by people who eat/have eaten unhealthy food (junk food, processed and refined food, fried, microwaved, frozen, empty food, pre-prepared food etc.); consume alcohol, drugs, smoke cigarettes now or in the past; are/were mentally overstrained and/or emotionally unbalanced; lack movement, fresh air and sleep for prolonged period etc.

The process might be more intense if people already have some health issues on physical or energetic level and people  often or regularly take allopathic medications. In this group are also those who have experienced some physical or emotional trauma.

People who are/were involved in aggressive and toxic medical treatments (as chemotherapy, radiation…) or they are occasionally or permanently exposed to toxic environment usually experience pretty serious and prolonged detoxification. Some of these cases might require  a qualified person who can assist them in this process.

How long it takes

The process of detoxification can last for days but also weeks. The length and intensity, as I already said, depends from a current condition of your body and energy system.

However, you should know that detoxification process might repeat several times in a longer period of time with different signs and lengths. Body has its inner wisdom that prevents too drastic changes to happen at once. The process is unwinding by layers and it goes deeper and deeper. Some processes are less demanding, some more. It depends what is that body and your mind have to release/remove.

Of course the frequency and intensity of subsequent detoxifications depend from how the way in which you will continue to treat your body after the first detox. If you continue to practice Qigong but you mistreat your body and mind in the same way as in the past, you will not progress above the certain level. And your body will continually try to find the ways to remove toxic things – substances, tensions…

How to soften the process

During the periods of detoxification drink enough water. Remember, it is impossible to remove the dirt from the dishes without enough water! Pure water is a must! No artificial drinks, sweetened  juices etc., just water. However, don’t exaggerate –  for a normal person 1,5 to 2 litres per day would be enough. This water shouldn’t be cold but of room temperature or tepid! (By the way, as a Qigong practitioner you should always avoid drinks and food which are cold or comes directly from the refrigerator.) Drink in small quantities or gulps throughout the day, but not during your meals or soon after.

Eat only small quantities of light food; no fast food,  no meat, no dairy products, refined and processed food…

Continue with your Qigong exercises as they will help you to expel stagnated Qi and toxins from the body. Adapt  practice if necessary.

Go for easy walks and breathe a lot of fresh air. Take a shower frequently.

If you feel really bad, lay down, rest and try to relax or practice abdominal breathing.

Have enough sleep. Listen to yourself and offer the body what it needs… sometimes  simple rest, silence and warmth are just enough.

Don’t force yourself physically, neither mentally. Be patient and give to your body enough time to do the necessary processes.

It is obvious that if you take any kind of allopathic medications to alleviate your symptoms of detox, this would prevent your body to do its work. But if you want you can apply some natural remedies to alleviate your discomfort and to  help you relax.

Explain to people, who live with you, what you are experiencing. They will be more understanding for your swinging mood. 🙂

Above all, try to accept the process, relax and learn how to be patient and trust your inner wisdom. If you have any questions or fears, contact your Qigong teacher, TCM therapist or some advanced Qigong practitioner who can in any way support you in the process and reassure you.

Time for yourself

If possible, I recommend you that during the process of detox you stay at home for a few days. You will alleviate detox of your body and you will have time for yourself. Maybe you will start to reconsider your habits, diet and your relation with body, mind, world…  But don’t mull over life too much. Rather relax, breathe and try to feel yourself.


Once the process of detoxification is over, you will feel much better and your level of energy will increase considerably. The feeling is not the same as after some illness when you feel relief but you are energetically weakened.

Going through this process will make you also more sure, stable and confident about your self-healing powers.

The beautiful thing that you often experience after detox is greater mental clarity and experience of significant insights about yourself and about life in general.

A good starting point

When the house is pretty clean, it is easy to maintain it in order by only minor daily care. After a detoxification you are in a good starting position.

But the choice is up to you. Will you return to your old path or are you prepared to change some old habits in order to keep and improve your current state of health, clarity and well-being?

Choose wisely.

May the Qi be with You!


Photo: Pixabay

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  1. Thank you very much for those explanations. I’ve juste started repracticing Qi Gong and taoïsts breathing exercises 3 days ago (After many years of stress and bad habits about food) and the process of detoxification started yesterday, and it’s even stronger today. I was worried and went to see my doctor this afternoon. I hadn’t found any text about that in my language. You describe exactly what I feel, I’m reassured.

  2. Thank you for this article. This is exactly what I have been experiencing. I am now reassured that my Qi gong practice is a good thing.

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