Eight HEQ students successfully completed their first 9-day Bi Gu Retrat that has 7-day water only Bi Gu or Qigong fasting led by Qi Dragon this February. This retreat as a life science experiment shows us the great potential of our own innate healing abilities. It is also very timely for increasing every participant’s immunity and Yang Qi as well as the confidence gained in facing our current coronavirus crisis.
           Here is some feedback from our participants of this retreat:

” Really feeling grateful for the Bigu retreat now that everything is in chaos. It fortified me. I was grateful before and I am feeling even more now. I have been eating well and digesting well and feel more balanced. Thank you!”  

“I definitely will do the Bi Gu retreat again! I haven’t felt so well in a very long time. I purged up some yellowish acidic fluid during Bigu which made me realize that I really need to modify my eating habits.”

“This retreat was very beneficial. Physically, it “reset” my digestive system and I feel healthier since the retreat. Energetically, qi is moving more noticeably – feels as though my qigong practice is definitely stronger. Spiritually, it has impacted me in several ways. This retreat is a clear validation of HE life science – we actually did it, living and thriving on qi alone for 7 days. Now it is no longer a matter of faith, but confidence.”

“The bigu retreat was a remarkable experience. It had the curious effect of challenging me, while at the same time giving me the strength to meet and overcome those same challenges. It served as an important reset, not only for my body but my will and my spirit. “

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! It was a beautiful experience, and I can’t tell you how much it all meant to me. You have created something very powerful and amazing for your students, and have more than earned our respect and devotion.”

“The 7 days bigu retreat with Shifu Liping was a treat. It was a great opportunity to widen my experience and understanding of the deeper aspects of qi gong, in a small group setting that allowed for an intimate learning experience in a beautiful and protected setting.

Full Article of Bi Gu Retreat Review by Dr. Francesca

The 7 days bigu retreat with Shifu Liping was a treat. It was a great opportunity to widen my experience and understanding of the deeper aspects of qi gong, in a small group setting that allowed for an intimate learning experience in a beautiful and protected setting. 

I came away clearer of the difference between a fast (which contemporary medicine is embracing anew) and a specifically qigong fast, which in my experience both deepens and widens the healing benefits of a regular fast (reducing inflammation, resetting the immune-system, cleansing and regeneration, lowering insulin levels, increasing Human Growth Hormone and mitochondrial activity etc.).   For example we practiced a special abdominal massage 3 times a day, which supports the cleansing and detoxification of the organs, both on a physical level as well as an emotional level. We engaged daily in a “qi massage” (energy healing massage) which helped me greatly in clearing out surfacing pains and discomforts and in calming my nervous system.  We also practiced many exercises to nurture and circulate our qi, both indoors as well as outdoor among the ancient redwoods of Northern California.  The daily qigong walk in the redwood and collecting light meditation in the crisp air on the outside deck were glorious experiences.

At the end of the retreat I felt stronger: generalized feeling of chronic inflammation lowered, diagnosed arsenic toxicity feeling cleared on the liver (will need to test again), concentration much stronger, inner vision more subtle and clearer, a weight lifted from my back around ongoing relational challenges, a quiet determination to face fearlessly all the many challenges of our daily living in our more and more connected world, a clearer sense of efficacy and effectiveness in cultivating qi, a more peaceful heart around my human condition and more confidence in my ability to maintain it so.

Through out the workshop Liping’s voice resonated as a calming balm, always guiding us with precise instructions and communicating safety, equanimity, protection, radiance and aliveness.  Her caring carried all the way through from the very beginning to the end, when she surprised us with a special bag lunch of transitional food for navigating travel, and a small thoughtful gift.

In these times of crisis this Bigu retreat is a special kind of peaceful warrior training, a life-affirming way of lowering our foot-print on this planet and of collecting light in our beings to radiate as we walk on in this precious life and beyond.

Francesca Castaldi, Ph.D.
February 2020

Bi Gu is an ancient Daoist practice that requires education, guidance and practice and it is different than conventional fasting. Please consult with your doctor to check your suitability of a practice like this and make sure you receive proper instruction before you try it. Any practice without receiving proper instruction or guidance by a qualified teacher is at your own risk.


         Educate yourself about TCM and know how that could be potentially helpful to you as a healing option together with western medicine if needed.   According to many articles from China, Chinese Medicine played a very important role in preventing and treating those who contracted coronavirus in the early, mid-stage and recovery stage. China has learned a big lesson from treating SARS in 2003 with heavy western medicine antibiotics and steroids at the initial stage and later found the survivors ending up with severe avascular necrosis. For treating coronavirus this time, TCM has been very much integrated with all western medicine treatments and in some hospitals treating early stage patients only TCM was used. Here is a one hour video by Dr. John Chen on using TCM treating flu and viral infections (at 1:02, he talked about the formula Yu Ping Feng San. It was inspiring to hear about the ancient time Chinese physician Dr Wu treating patients in the frontline at the outbreak of epidemics).  Also another very good Youtube by Dr. John Chen on How Coronavirus is Treated in China with TCM.                

Here is a newly published authoritative Handbook on diagnosis and treatment of Coronavirus with TCM in China for those of you who want to look at some tongue diagnosis pictures and who can read Chinese. I am still looking for the English translation version (The book cover says it is in both Chinese and English, but no English version has been found).  


All these articles are for education purpose. The actual clinical application can be much more complex. Chinese Medicine is only prescribed by licensed acupuncturist and herbalist according to each individual’s health condition and symptom manifestation. Any self diagnosis and prescription can endanger your health. Please call your acupuncturist to get a thorough evaluation before you take any herbal prescriptions.

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