Liu Zi Jue: Six Sounds Approach to Qigong Breathing Exercises by the Chinese Health
Singing Dragon, London and Philadelphia, 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84819 006 1
The Chinese Health Qigong Association is an organization which promotes and researches
health qigong and is a group member of the All-China Sports Federation. CHQA promotes
four particular classical qigong practices, of which this is one, both in China and
abroad. The Health Qigong Federation UK is the organisation recognised by CHQA in
UK. CHQA sends teams of health qigong masters to various countries to teach people.
They also set standards for these forms.
Liu zi jue is also known as the Six Healing Sounds, the Six Qi Method and the Six
Word Secret. This is a classical system first written down in the sixth century.
Originally, the practice was a breathing exercise using the six sounds but later
body movements were added to the practice. Today, there are different versions of
the practice both with and without body movement and the sounds used also vary.
This practice is closely related with Chinese Medicine. Five of the sounds relate
to the five yin organs (Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs and Bladder) and the sixth sound
relates to the Triple Heater organ which can be understood in this context as the
three cavities of the body which hold the internal organs.
The purpose of the practice is to cleanse these internal organs of stagnant and toxic
energy, restoring them to optimal health.
In some versions of this practice the sounds are made audibly. However, in this particular
method, audible sounds are used initially to help in getting the shape of the mouth
and the pronunciation correct. However, the final goal is silent exhalation with
the mouth in that particular shape.
The book includes a very comprehensive DVD which is complete in itself. This makes
the book a bargain.
The book and DVD give the most comprehensive description of how to make the sounds
correctly. There are very specific instructions on how to position the mouth, teeth
and tongue and, of course, you hear the correct sound on the DVD.
After introducing the history of liu zi jue and the characteristics of the six sounds,
some practice tips are given. Then, the book goes through a step-by-step description
of each of the six practices. After each practice, the key points are highlighted,
common mistakes are given and how to correct them and the benefits of the practice
The movements that accompany the sounds are simple and could easily be followed by
anyone with any level of fitness. Along with ba duan jin, this practice would be
the easiest to begin with of the four qigong exercises being promoted by CHQA.
One slight drawback to the book is that being produced by a Chinese team and is written
like a textbook. Personally, I like to read books which give the personal background
and experiences of the author and that are written in a more chatty style.
The DVD is very professionally and beautifully done and is one of the best that I
have seen. The practitioners demonstrating the forms are clearly very experienced
and are excellent models to follow.
The DVD follows the same pattern as the book: demonstrating the forms, showing common
mistakes and their corrections, and explaining the benefits. My recommendation would
be to watch and learn each form from the DVD and to just use the book for reference
once you’ve learned the forms.
I have practised a much more dynamic version of the six sounds where the sounds are
fully vocalised. This practice built up heat in the organs. I think this version
is safer and easier to practise.
This book and DVD are a reliable and thorough guide to the practice of liu zi jue.
If you aren’t already familiar with the principles and methods of qigong, I would
strongly recommend that you also get a good general book on qigong and I have no
hesitation in recommending Ken Cohen’s “The Way of Qigong”.