A. How Qi Is Produced and Stored
There is a place in the body where qi is produced and stored, it is called the Dan Tian. There are three Dan Tians. The Lower Dan Tian is located in the area of the stomach about 3 inches below the navel. The Doaists believe the Real Dan Tian is located higher at the center of gravity. Their viewpoint is that although the Lower Dan Tian can produce Qi, that area does not store the qi for a long period of time like the area at the center of gravity. Qi that is produce in the Lower Dan Tian is called Water Qi, it has the ability to cool the body, it is also called Yin Qi.
The Middle Dan Tian is located near the diaphragm. Qi that is produced here is called Fire Qi because it has the ability to agitate or increase energy in the body; it is also called Yang Qi.
The Upper Dan Tian is the lower center of the forehead connected to the brain. It differs from the first tow Dan Tians in that although the brain consumes large amounts of Qi, it does not in itself, produce Qi.
B. How Qi is Produced
Taking a close look at the makeup of the areas of the Lower and Middle Dan Tian we can understand the principle of how Qi is produced. These areas are comprised of layers of muscle, which conduct electricity, and fat accumulated in the fasciae, which insolate against electricity. When the muscles are moved, contracted and relaxed, the fat is turned into bioelectricity. When the bioelectricity encounters resistance from the fasciae layers, heat is produced. This sandwiching of the layers of good and poor conductors act like a battery and are able to temporarily store energy and generate warmth.
C. Cultivating Qi
Understanding how Qi is produced, one could assume that one should able to manipulate the body to produce a higher level of Qi. This is accomplished by breathing using the muscles of the stomach, called Normal Abdominal Breathing, rather than the muscles in the lung area. As one inhales, the stomach muscles are extended, and during exhalation the stomach muscles are contracted. It is a common practice to inhale through the nostrils and exhale through the mouth and with the tongue touching the roof of the mouth. A person can increase the level of Qi either by sitting down or by standing, but the body should be erect and relaxed, not stiff. It is also very important that the mind be at a quiet state, not distracted by outside concerns. When cultivating Qi, the mind should be focused on the Lower Dan Tian.