Can you make an object move without touching it?
How strong is your chi?
The following, simple device is said to provide some answers…
A Chi wheel (also known as Psi wheel or Gonzo wheel) is a small pyramid-shaped piece of paper or foil, balanced on top of a low-friction pivot such as the tip of a needle.
It is commonly used to attempt to demonstrate and develop psychokinetic powers (i.e. telekinesis).
Chi wheels are also said to provide a measure of the strength of one’s chi, or vitality.
The beauty of a Chi wheel resides in its simplicity, and the ease with which one can seemingly get fast results from it.
The base of the Chi wheel is made up of a needle, pushed through a rubber.
The top is usually constructed from a 2/3in square piece of paper or foil, which is then folded along its diagonals so as to assume the shape of a small pyramid.
Psychic powers and telekinesis
Here’s a quick tutorial I have thrown together (based on a method some people have found successful) on how to make your Chi wheel spin through your psychokinetic powers:
1. Our first step is going to involve making a Psi ball, which we will hold in our cupped hands, and subsequently use to spin the wheel. This involves some visualization.
Sitting in front of the Chi wheel, but not focusing on it at the moment, we’re going to start drawing energy from the nearest available source: the earth.
Let’s visualize drawing energy from the core of the earth, through our feet. Picture this stream of energy flowing from the deepest part of the earth, and rising as a torrent of fire to your feet. Picture yourself drawing this energy through your feet until it rises through your legs, abdomen and torso, and finally separating into two streams flowing down through each arm.
Visualize this stream of energy still flowing through each arm, twisting and meandering like a great torrent of flames, until it reaches your cupped hands, where it is gathered in a ball.
As you keep visualizing the earth’s energy being drawn through your body, the Psi ball in your hands will be slowly growing. Keep going until it reaches the size of a football, and you can feel it’s size, weight and texture in your hands.
You have your first Psi ball!
2. Now, still holding this ball of energy in your hands, bring it to the Chi wheell so that it would envelop the device, the foil pyramid sitting in the center. Keep visualizing this ball of energy still flowing through your hands and now starting to spin, and starting to make the Chi wheel spin with it.
Through visualization, you can also reverse the direction of the flow, and make the wheel spin the other way.
You have now just mastered basic telekinesis!
Harness the power of chi (qi)
Chi (also spelled ch’i or qi) is a vital concept of chinese culture. The term, meaning ‘life force’, or ‘breath’, is said to be a form of energy (though it cannot be measured directly) which flows through every living being and organism, and can be harnessed in the human body at a point in the lower abdomen called ‘tan t’ien’.
Chi wheels are said to provide a measure of the strength of one’s qi, and they have sometimes be used in the West by some martial artists to provide a physical manifestation of qi.
A version similar to the one we have built is sold commercially as the ‘Chi-spinner’, a tool said to “help you measure your chi energy level” (http://chi-spinner.com). cf. video 2.
Chi cultivation is an essential part, notably, of chinese internal martial arts such as T’ai Chi or Qigong, as it is said to dramatically enhance performance -notably strength, balance, and coordination. The fundamental concepts of these martial arts cannot -obviously- be picked up in a few minutes, but here are a couple of simple exercises used in chi cultivation (demonstrated in video 3):
1. Diaphragmatic, or belly breathing:
As you inhale, allow your stomach to push-out, thus relaxing your diaphragm, and allowing more air to enter your lungs. When exhaling, allow your stomach to return to its normal position.
This method of breathing is said to allow the accumulation of chi energy in the ‘tan t’ien’, a point an inch and a half below the navel.
2. Taoist breathing:
Taoist breathing is the contrary of belly breathing. With each breath, pull in your stomach, while allowing it to return to its normal position when exhaling.
This sort of breathing is said to help facilitate moving chi around your body.
3. Embracing the tree:
In an upright position with feet shoulder-width apart, allow your knees to drop until they are directly over your feet. Keep your back straight and relaxed. Raise your arms in front of you level with your shoulders, and extend the palms of your hands as if hugging a tree.
In this position, use abdominal breathing to accumulate qi in your tan t’ien.
Chi spinners have also found themselves on the market, under a slightly different disguise: the Egely wheel.
The Egely wheel is the brain child of Dr. George Egely (http://www.egely.hu), a Hungarian scientist who, after many years of research, developped a version of the wheel featuring a very low-friction pivot.
You can see the mechanism of the Egely wheel, and the way it is used in video 4.
Dr. Egely’s research suggests that his wheel gives a good measure of vitality, which he also calls ‘life energy’, and compares to chi. In short, it gives an indication of a person’s health, fatigue, mood, and personality.
The results from his research can no-doubt translate to our Chi wheels:
– 0-2 revolutions per min: Vitality very low, must be improved.
– 2-4: Low vitality, worth improving
– 4-5: Still under average
– 6: average level
– 6-12: good healthy level
– 13-24: outstanding high level
– above 24: exceptional talent
Vitality, according to Dr. Egely, can be increased through: sleep, relaxation exercises, sport, vitamins and trace elements, diet, exposure to sunlight… etc.
Interestingly, the highest score ever on the Egely wheel was reportedly achieved by Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik’s cube, with 35 revolutions per minute.
The most common scientific explanation for the movement of the Chi wheel involves heat convection: by placing your hands around the wheel, they warm the air surrounding the wheel. This warm air, through convection, rises above the surrounding cold air thus creating a small updraft that sets the wheel in motion. The direction of this motion can then be affected by hand positioning, and the slight off-centering of the paper or foil pyramid.
Observation suggests that a temperature difference of at least 10 degrees Celsius (20F) is required between your hands and room temperature for the wheel to turn.
The extremely low-friction pivot which is formed by the foil pyramid and the needle, means that the Chi wheel can be affected by the slightest air current, from drafts in the room, to your breath and the movement of your hands.
Again, the Chi wheel’s inherent sensitivity means that vibrations from the surface it rests on can set it in motion.
Video 5 demonstrates that an object charged with static electricity can easily set the wheel in motion.
Better Chi wheel design
The standard ‘paper pyramid’ design of the Chi wheel means that there remains a fair amount of friction between the paper and the needle, thus making it less susceptible to the influence of air currents. Consequently, it does not yield any great results for the non-gifted!
This can be improved by reducing the weight of the paper (i.e. hollowing out the sides).
Tin foil Chi wheels, tend to have less friction, though they are a bit trickier to shape. These are by far my preferred choice.
A Chi wheel which will be particularly sensitive to heat convection can be fashioned by cutting out half of each side of the pyramid, thus forming an helix.
Finally, in a pinch, the foil wrapper from the inside of a cigarettes pack makes ideal Chi wheel material (the shiny foil part should be on the inside of the pyramid, in contact with the needle, for reduced friction.
The ultimate test
Short of suspending the paper pyramid in zero gravity, the following experience should be the ultimate test of your Chi powers:
The influence of air currents can obviously be dramatically reduced by placing the Chi wheel under a glass bowl.
Contact with the surface on which the Chi wheel rests should be prohibited, in order to rule out the possibility of vibrations affecting it.
Finally, in order to rule out the possibility of other factors affecting the wheel, a second Chi wheel should be placed under the glass… The aim of the experience being to spin the main wheel, without the second (the test one) being affected.
Being able to change the direction of the spin at will would also constitute a sign of a very strong Chi!