A wonderfully instructive posting by Peter.
Here is some more good chi right back at you!
As you may already know, the body-mind is filled with maps of many varieties...foot reflexology and the homonculus (the map of the body in the brain) to name a few. Yet unknown to but a few is the map of the body in the mouth.
Appreciate the intersecting histories and energy systems shared by yoga, qi gong and tai chi (ie. the chakra-nadi/meridian systems)- then give the chi and prana palpable anatomies to call home, via western allopathic medicine.
To begin with there are distinct types of energy (earth, water, fire, air, ether, spirit, light plus wood and metal that can be associated with the 7 chakras/energy centers: starting at the base of the spine and opening out to the top of the head, operating much like a valve or sphincter which can be formed by opening and closing the hand.
In fact a series of hand positions or mudras follow this analogy quite well which in turn 1. activate nerve centers that coincide with the chakras 2. stimulate breathing at specific levels of the body 3. initiate and support controlled movement, however slight or pronounced at those same levels.
This is where the qi based energy systems fit in nicely to promote the circulation of energy through the body mind to balance harmoniously with nature, Heaven and Earth.
Interestingly, the part of the body that is simultaneously out of conscious control AND potentially the most controllable access to nerve function, hard and soft tissue facilitation, breathing, blood flow and joy is (did you already guess?) . . . THE TONGUE!
And with that in mind, get ready to be able to access your body fully and deeply via the map in the mouth where the tongue tip contact positions are with respect to the numbered chakras from base of spine (#1 on up), sound & corresponding anatomical location in CAPS:
1. On the gum ridge behind the lower teeth
BASE OF SPINE-toes/foot/ankle/knee/pelvis,
sex organs and elimination organs
AH as in "shah"
2. Retroflexed back touching the soft palate
LOWER tan tien intestines,bladder, kidneys
AW as in awful
3. Up onto the middle of the roof of the mouth
MID TAN TIEN solar plexus, liver, stomach
adrenals and spleen/pancreas.
AY as in aim
4. On the gum ridge behind the upper teeth
HEART, lungs - accessible with all hand
mudras (referred to below)
OH as in OM
5. Mid mouth not touching anything (nta)
THROAT, thyroid/parathyroids, neck, upper
back, base of skull/reticular formation
OO as in broom
6. Back of mouth, nta
MIDBRAIN, pituitary, occipitals & frontals
IH as in bin
7. Tongue pulled further back, nta
CROWN, corpus collosum
EEE as in seem
Now this system can be navigated by the use of modified tongue shapes and the kind of hand shapes or mudras mentioned earlier, giving access to anywhere in the body/mind. Since they defy verbal description, I can share them with you by other means later.
While assuming a particular "posture" or combination of tongue position, breathing level, sound etc. you can become aware of
how you feel in general (ie. temp, mood), what parts are tight or relaxed, the kind of inner sounds, music, visual imagery, or tai chi memories are invoked.
Try to focus on and perpetuate the ones you prefer or are more comfortable with. Then practice re-experiencing them by simply repeating the tongue position alone.