Qigong – Why all the Stretching & Twisting?

Leaving aside ‘Standing’ qigong (aka Zhan Zhuang, Standing Pole, Standing Like a Tree , etc.), there are many types of Qigong which are not unlike very short and repetitive Tai Chi Forms. These exercises quite simply move the body from a static, usually feet-together position, into a particular posture, and then out if it again, not unlike some yoga exercises.

Professor Zhang Guangde’s qigong ‘sets’.

Digestive system qigong.

The purpose of Daoyin YangSheng Gong. Because the exercises are based on TCM, they are a wholistic approach to health.  Using the example of the Stomach/Spleen set,  the movements are in fact about balancing all the organs of the body so that they wor k as a harmonious whole, but with an emphasis on the Digestive system.  One way in which this idea is put into practise is by making use of the theory of 5 Elements  (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) which explains how one organ directly affects or influences another.

How do the exercises work? By means of twisting, stretching, pulling, pressing, and even hitting the body on specific acupuncture points, energy is moved and redistributed in the body.

A brief intro to ‘5 Element theory’.

In practical terms. So, if your Digestive system is weak, it could be because the Heart (mother) is too active, but could also be because the Lungs (son) are too active.  On the other hand, if your Digestive system is too active, it could be because either or both of the Elements on either side are too weak! This is simplistic (you can see from the diagram that there are other aspects involved), but it demonstrates one use of 5 Elements theory which at root is only a functional model, the aim of which is to understand the energetics of the organs in the body.

And the twisting & stretching? If you have a wet towel and want to squeeze the water out of it, you roll it up and then twist it. When you use the same concept with your limbs or body, you achieve exactly the same thing; you move the fluids within the body by compressing the tissues.  Simultaneously, the twisting expands and lengthens the tissues, veins, nerve fibres, lymphatic connections, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.

It’s not the key to the universe, but then again, if everything is a microcosm, maybe it is!  So keep doing lots of Qigong! _______________________________________________________________________________________________ James Drewe teaches Taijiquan and qigong in both London and in Kent. Details of weekly classes can be found on the website, and there are classes for 2-person Taijiquan one Saturday a month.

CONTACT: http://www.taiji.co.uk http://www.qigonghealth.co.uk Email: taijiandqigong@gmail.com Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308 _______________________________________________________________________________________________

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