The Ten Fundamental Treasures

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2 comments

  1. Des

    Received by email, from Lesley.
    Just a few questions on details if you don’t mind please.

    Q. – Re returning to upright after some of the lower movements – am I right in remembering that it’s on Hold the Toes that you ‘uncurl’ to upright? I’m presuming the others require the spine to stay flat, pivoting at the hips.

    Abdominal Lift – at lowest point, is the spine parallel to ground or curved with head dropped?

    Re the ‘missing’ movement – does it differ much from the punching movement in Shibashi?

    A. – Returning to the upright. Yes, you are correct that the back is kept flat when doing “Shaking the Head and Waving the Tail” & “Abdominal Lift”. Uncurling, when doing “Holding the Toes” has a beneficial effect on the Bladder meridian (the yang partner of Kidney meridian).

    Abdominal Lift. You should let the body relax and fold forward as far as possible (this will usually produce some curving of the spine). The initial difficulty with this exercise is isolating and tensing the abdominal and the gluteus muscles………….. without allowing that tension to spread.

    Holding the Fists Tightly and Staring with Glaring Eyes. A bit of a misnomer as the tension, in the fists, is momentary and at the end of the punch. Like the Shibashi punching exercise, the fists are loose for 95% of the movement. Also, like the Shibashi, there is no bobbing up and down with the punch.

  2. Des

    Received by email, from Lesley.
    Hi Des

    I’m still trying to work out the five element aspect of ‘Change the Sinews’ – any chance you can enlighten me please? I can feel that it’s similar to the Sun and Moon from the Brocade sequence, but am not sure of specifics.

    I’m not sure how to form a more general question about the five elements – but here goes. What is the difference (if there is one) between the circulation around the meridians (ie liver/wood etc) and the moving expression of types of energy? I’ve come across references in books etc about energy expanding, descending, etc and I can relate to that even if I haven’t quite ‘got’ it yet.

    A.
    Hi Lesley,

    Here goes with my attempt at enlightenment………………

    1. Some Five Elements exercises follow the Mother to Son cycle (Fire feeds Earth, etc) so you have a sequence of Fire, Earth, Metal, water, and Wood. Although the exercise can start with any of the Elements it follows that order.
    2. Some follow the Control cycle (Fire controls Metal, etc) so the sequence would be Fire, Metal, Wood, Earth, and Water. Again, although the exercise can start with any of the Elements it follows that order.
    3. Some do a mixture of both and the sequence can appear to be a bit random.

    As a Five Elements Qigong, Change the Sinews falls into the third type. The sequence is Fire, Metal, Earth, Wood, and Water.

    Remember that with any Qigong there is always more being influenced than one pair of meridians, or even one meridian for that matter. So, saying that, this exercise is more than just a Five Elements exercise and is also used to influence the Qi in the Eight Exceptional Vessels and the focus points that I taught you were to do just that (I know that you would have liked to know that at the time but it would have just muddied the waters).

    OK, using the specific focus that I pointed out this is an Eight Exceptional Vessels Qigong…….

    Yin Wei Mai and Chong Mai – Inhalation: Raise the hands (elbows relaxed and “heavy”) and draw the back of the hands towards the chest.
    Exhalation: Press, forward, with the palms (wrists flexed and fingers pointing upward) until there is a slight stretch in the forearms.
    Ren Mai and Yin Qiao Mai – Inhalation: Turn the palms upward before opening the arms, laterally, fully with the focus on the wrist crease (a 1” band).
    Yang Wei Mai and Dai Mai – Exhalation: Turn the palms inward as you lower the arms, crossing the wrists in front of the Lower Dan Tien. The palms pass in front of the Kua before returning to the original position.
    Du Mai and Yang Qiao Mai – Inhalation: Continue the outward swing of the arms, laterally, until the hands are above the head (palms facing upward during the swing, and facing each other at the top of the movement).
    Exhalation: Turn the palm upward, opening the fingers slightly, before lowering the arms by swinging them laterally until the hands are held in front of the groin (palms inward) and a connection made between both thumbs and both index fingers.

    ………….This is because the focus points each correspond to the Eight Vessel Master Points and Coupled Points.

    To do this exercise as Five Elements……….

    Fire – Inhalation: Raise the hands (elbows relaxed and “heavy”) and draw the back of the hands towards the chest.
    Exhalation: Press, forward, with the palms (wrists only slightly flexed and fingers pointing upward) and focus through HG8, in the centre of the palm.
    Metal – Inhalation: Turn the palms upward before opening the arms, laterally, fully while focusing on the index finger and thumb.
    Earth – Exhalation: Turn the palms inward as you lower the arms, almost bringing the index finger and the thumbs together in front of the Lower Dan Tien. The palms pass in front of the Kua before returning to the original position.
    Wood – Inhalation: Continue the outward swing of the arms, laterally, until the hands are above the head (palms facing upward during the swing, and facing each other at the top of the movement). Focus on GB meridian as the rib cage is slightly stretched
    Water – Exhalation: Turn the palm upward before lowering the arms by swinging them laterally until the hands are held in front of the groin (palms inward) and a connection made between both thumbs and both index fingers. Focus the Qi through KD1, on the sole of the foot.

    Regarding the circulation of Qi. There is a difference between using the breath, movement, eyes, and focus to guide the Qi and imagining the energy expanding, lowering, etc. One method is efficient ant the other less so. By opting for the efficient method and listening you will not have to imagine the energy expanding, lowering, etc………. You will feel it. Much more rewarding . A way forward is to practice a particular exercise (Wood, for example) and spend time listening to the qualities of the Qi during and immediately afterward. In time you will be able to recognise these qualities and be able to put a label on them………….. “Wood”. When you can recognise the Five qualities you will be able to tell what effect any Qigong is having.
    I have often come across practitioners who talk about imagining “expanding” or “lowering” their energy and have listened to them practice………… only to hear little, or no energetic movement.

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