My initial experience with this is that it hurts my shoulders. Are my arms supposed to be straight or have a slight bend in the elbows? I am also having trouble with my meditation position because of inflexibility in my hips. Because of this, I have taken to meditating in a chair; is this ok for these purposes? It allows me to fall into a deeper meditation much more quickly than sitting cross-legged.
I can definitely feel a tingling sensation and heat in my palms,but I also feel heat in the main trunk of my body (at the same height as I'm holding my hands).
Hurts my shoulders after a few minutes too. Arms have a bend in the elbows. Sitting in a chair is fine. You can also do this exercise standing up, in Wu Qi stance.
As an alternative, you may make the mudra hand sign with your hands in your lap and focus on that. The reason the arms are supposed to be straight out is because when you fill the arms and hands up with Qi they will usually feel 'heavy' for most people, and thus the arms will be lower when you finish than when you started. This is the same for the optional exercise for those having trouble. However, this may also be due to the arms tiring. So, if it's more comfortable, do it like this:
Again, the key is to be comfortable and deeply relaxed.
Begin the exercise after doing 10 minutes of Void meditation to reach a deep mind state. You should have feelings of warmth, tingling, internal heat, and neural discharges before proceeding.
Remember to focus the attention on the hands. The eyes should be open and looking at the hands. Focus your awareness in the hands, just like with Dantian meditation, and breathe. Pay attention to the meridians if you can feel them, and take note of how the Qi moves through the body. Traditionally, for meditations like this, Qi healing, and the Microcosmic Orbit, the eyes to to be half-open (a squint). However, having the eyes fully open will train you to be able to manifest Qi in your body in your normal waking state or in fighting over time.