By: Gillian B
I first learned about this exercise in Donna Gates’ book The Body Ecology Diet. This technique is very similar to something that is practiced regularly in yoga and pranayama (breath practice) with the use of the Bandhas (internal locks). However, I always find it interesting to see how similar techniques are used in different cultures around the world!
Besides using natural herbs and acupuncture, the ancient Chinese used exercises to prevent disease and heal the body. Many of these were taken from observations of wild animals. They found that wild animals seemed to live in a state of perpetual health.
Three animals: the deer, the crane, and the turtle were known for their longevity. Of these three, the deer was noted to have the strongest sexual and reproductive abilities.
The Deer Exercise
Like many great teachings of Taoism, an ancient religion and way of life, the Deer Exercise works on the physical, mental and spiritual layers of being. This Qi Gong practice is known to increase sexual virility and overall health, it is an awesome way to foster a more open and loving attitude towards your body and core sexuality.
It gets its name because a deer in nature continuously stimulates its sexual glands by contracting and relaxing its anal muscles, and moving its tail, side to side.
This internal stirring of energy travels to the tips of its antlers, which is why deer antlers are so prized in Chinese medicine. However, in humans, this exercise is said to build sexual desire, which is generally weak in those under stress or chronic illness.
Other Benefits of Regularly Performing the Deer Exercise:
- Strengthens digestion.
- Supports complete elimination and detoxification.
- Tones the anal muscles and colon, aiding in peristaltic action and reducing transit time.
- Just like exercising our major muscle groups, toning the rectal and anal muscles prevents deterioration, which can lead to hemorrhoids and cancer.
- In women, the exercise also stimulates the vaginal muscles, bringing circulation to the area, which can prevent and heal menstrual disorders, infections, and vaginitis.
- In women, this exercise tones strengthens the vaginal muscles and the ligaments supporting the ovaries, and fallopian tubes increases fertility and increases pelvic blood flow and relaxed sensitivity.
- Rejuvenates and refreshes the prostate gland (in men)
- Strengthens and builds the tissues of the sexual organs
- May help shrink a swollen prostate (in men)
- Increases potency and fertility
- Diminishes premature ejaculation (in men)
- Can prevent and reverse incontinence
How to perform the Deer Exercise:
This is an excerpt from The Book of Internal Exercises by Stephen T. Chang with Richard C. Miller:
- This exercise is best done in the morning and the evening.
- Sit in a comfortable position and tighten the muscles around your anus as hard as you can and hold as long as you are comfortably able.
- Note: Women should also tighten their vaginal muscles, such as in kegel exercises.
- Remember not to force the process but perform it until you are tired. Stop, break and repeat. You may find that you can only hold it for a few seconds at the beginning but over time, you will develop endurance to hold it longer.
When this is done correctly, it will feel as if air is being drawn up into the rectum. In time, you may notice a pleasant, energetic feeling traveling from the base of the anus, up through the spine to the crown of the head. Such a beautiful feeling!
- The Body Ecology Diet: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity by Donna Gates
- The Book of Internal Exercises by Stephen T. Chang with Richard C. Miller