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Posted on Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - 16:35:   

I have often seen in variouis Chinese texts that sex - especially for the male - should be restricted. I have also read somewhere that those who wish to excel in taichi must preserve their chi and abstain from sexual relations...
I wonder if there is any proven truth in these assumptions and what is the logic behind it.
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Shmuel Halevi
Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - 14:36:   

You are right Pyumkin, Chinese classical thought, both medical and martial, emphasize that true internal Chi (nei gong) can develop only with strict sexual moderation or abstinence. Sexual intercourse taxes the Source (Yuan) Qi which is very important in order to either recuperate from a severe illness, or engage in building up a true Neigong - internal power. Chinese Taoists usually maintained that ordinary people should engage in sexual activity in relation to the seasons. In winter, it is best not to have sex at all and in spring one may have sex once a week or so, in order to maintain a reasonable level of Yuan Chi. It is believed that a healthy person may need 7-10 days to recover his Qi after one intercourse... A complete abstinence of three months is needed in order to regain the preliminary stage of one's Yuan Qi!
Thus, monks or other people who practiced high level martial arts in ancient times, were also committed to celibacy and to a sex-free life.
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Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 03:06:   

By your reply to Pyumkin, it appears that you are talking about the classical or "old" way of viewing the topic of sexual moderation. Is that the case or is this the current view of sexual practice. My wife and I used to have intercourse 5 times per week until she began to study Chinese medecine. She then cut us back to 1-2 times per week citing a statement she read in a book on Chinese medicine that led her to believe that we are born with a limited amount of essence (which I take to mean chi) and that once we use it up we die. She stated that excess sex uses up your essence thereby hastening your demise. My view is that there is no evedence of essence or that too much sex will drain it prematurely. In fact my view is the opposite.

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Shmuel Halevi
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 11:45:   

This is, as you say, the classical opinion of Chinese medicine and martial art conduct. Since modern medicine, nor any other scientific modality, has been so far able to determine, quantify or even fully comprehend Qi, Yuan Qi or the other types of Qi, we have to abide by the measures that the ancient sages have set. Yet, many people do not fully comprehend the principles that were set by the sages and tend to take them too literally.
Yuan Qi, which resides in the kidney energy domain, is responsible for reproduction as well as for the general health and well being of a person. It also dectates the decline and aging pace of our body. There are quite a variety of causes that determine the decline of Yuan Qi of which excessive sexual behavior is only one. Normal people, who are not engaged in spiritual asceticism or martial arts excellence, may have sex as much as they feel they should in utmost care to follow their body's demands and potency (pun intended). Different people have different sexual capabilities. This should be taken in consideration along with the age, the season, state of general health, condition of the CNS such as tiredness or vitality and many more consideration. Above all, there should not be doubt that sexual activity does tax the Yuan Qi this way or another and people should perform it with attention and not perfunctorily.

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