Breath Work

6 Healing Sounds


Qigong charactersChi Kung

Breath Work




6 Healing Sounds...Liu Zi Jue

The term Liu Zi Jue (6 Healing Sounds) first appears in a book called “On Caring for the Health of the Mind and Prolonging the Life Span.”  This book was written by Tao Hongjing, 420 – 589 A.D., of the Southern and Northern Dynasties.  He was a leading figure of the Maoshan School of Taoism and renowned for his profound knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  He wrote “One has only one way for inhalation but six for exhalation.”

Zou Pu'an of the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) was a major contributor in terms of theory and practice to the transmission of the exercise through his book “The Supreme Knack for Health Preservation – Six Character Approach to Breathing Exercises.”

There were no body movements that accompanied the 6 Healing Sounds (Liu Zi Jue) until the Ming Dynasty (1386 - 1644) when Hu Wenhuan and Gao Lian wrote books on the subject.  They both included a summary of the 6 Healing Sounds for dispelling diseases and prolonging the life by combining controlled breathing with physical exercises.

There are a number of schools of exercises which incorporate elements of the 6 Healing Sounds including Yi Jin Jing, Ba Gua Zhang and Da Yan Gong, but the sounds are used as an aid to physical exercises in these dynamic Qigong methods which is different from the 6 Healing Sounds.  An authoritative work on the subject is Ma Litang's Liu Zi Jue Health and Fitness Exercises for clinical application.

The theoretical basis of the 6 Healing Sounds is in line with the ancient theories intrinsic to Traditional Chinese Medicine of the Five Elements and the Five Solid Viscera.  They tend to be on common ground on such issues as mouth forms and pronunciation methods, and the direction of body movements and mind follow the inner circulation law of the meridians.

The 6 Healing Sounds

This is a secret method of meditation commonly practiced by the Buddhist monks.  In this method of meditation, the mind is concentrating on the sound from the silent reading of six (6) words during the breathing process.  The silent reading of each one of these words during the meditation will benefit the corresponding organ.  In the practice of the silent reading meditation, the mind is concentrating on the sound that is pronounced silently and slowly while exhaling. 

Each sound has been found to be directly related to an internal organ or system, a season, an element and a posture. 
If you wanted to optimize the effect of the meditation:  You could practice a single sound to help a specific organ;  You could practice the sound more in the related season;  You could even optimize the effect more by doing it in a particular posture.

If you are looking for mere general health, these 6 words can be practiced together in an order that creates internal energy when practiced in the following order:

Sie                   Chuae             Hsu                 Kor                 Fu       See

The reason for this order of practice is based on the ancient philosophy of five element theory.  This theory has five basic elements which when arranged will create a cycle creating energy.  Those five elements are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.

Metal generates water which goes into the earth.  Water makes plants grow and generates wood.  Wood provides fuel which generates fire.  Fire burns the wood and creates ashes which go back to the earth.  Earth stays in the ground and becomes iron ore which creates metal.  The practice of these words in such an order of creation in nature will similarly facilitate the mutual growth of their corresponding internal organs.
Here I have provided to you the Chinese character for each sound, the Chinese spelling, a description of the sound you are making, and the benefit of the sound. 

All syllables are pronounced on a level tone - the so-called first tone (regardless of the dictionary pronunciation of each word); typically all but the fifth sound are sustained - the fifth sound may be sustained, or pronounced quickly and forcefully.

Method:  The mind concentrates on the sound that is pronounced silently and slowly while exhaling.