Movement and Qi Flow
"The Most Important Connection You Will Ever Make in Your Life is With Yourself" Master Zhen Hua Yang
Movement is the activating principle made manifest. The activating principle being Qi or Life Force, the energy that animates all, it gives the body (matter) movement/life - without it we are inert, without life. This holds true from the perspective of any medical system worldwide be it Chinese, Western or other. The difference lays somewhere in understanding the what, how and why of movement.
Western Medicine places emphasis upon the health of the circulatory or cardiovascular system the major organ being the heart that pumps blood around the body through a network of blood vessels. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is of a similar understanding: the need for blood to circulate through the body, to send nutrition, oxygen and information to the various organs and tissues.
TCM however looks more to the inter-connection of all the body's organs. Diagnosis is determined by the flow of Qi/Life Force through the organs, from one organ to another. This flow from one organ to another, moves in two directions depending upon whether the flow or movement of Qi is in a Cycle of Generation or a Cycle of Destruction. The patterns of harmony/dis-harmony, the quantity and quality of Qi and the communication and movement of it through the organs and the body determine the state of ones' health.
Both Western and Eastern medicine use the movement of blood through the body to help in understanding ones' state of health. In both systems this movement presents itself in the form of a pulse, usually determined through the pulse in the wrist. In Western medicine this can give your health practitioner a pretty good idea of the state of the heart.
However, in TCM there are up to 200 different types of pulse with emphasis placed upon a handful of pulses directly related to the function of the organs. The movement of blood through the organs shows up in the pulse expressing itself as being eg jumpy, erratic, overly strong, weak etc if the body is in a state of ill-health. On the contrary if one is in a state of good health blood flow is strong but calm, in a state of harmony. Through the use of Mind/Intention, Movement/Flow the goal of Calligraphy Health is to bring about a seamless energetic flow of fresh oxygen laden blood that services the whole body.
There is an emphasis in Calligraphy Health training upon turning one's focus or mind inwards, away from outside stimuli and connecting the Thinking Mind or Intention - with the Action Mind/Lower Dan Tian or movement. This body/mind connection helps in activating the life force or Qi to keep the blood flowing freely and harmoniously through the body. "The main principle of Qi Gong is to direct and lead your Qi To use your mind and physical movements to direct and lead your Qi circulation in the correct way" Dr Yang, J.M.,
Movements that take us through a range of motions eg forwards and backwards, upwards and downwards, sideways and spiralling are what we should be working towards as three dimensional movements are essential to the development of every single cell in our body. For "people who work out at a traditional gym or do outdoor cardio, most of the time you're only moving through one plane of motion" Applied Movement Neurology Academy (Web 2017).
Calligraphy Qi Gong takes that one step further working with 4 dimensional movements that help release muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints and increase oxygen flow through the body. Three dimensional movements include up/down, forward/back and sideways. The fourth dimension uses Vibration to unblock clumping cells. The force of your Qi creates a vibration that has the ability to unblock stagnant energy, taking one deeper into the Art of Self-Healing.
Through the training and use of multiple 3D movements (e.g. manipulating 3 - 4 spherical planes of movement at one time in one motion) ones' co-ordination, balance and function are greatly challenged. It is during this process that the movement of blood thought the body is greatly enhanced.
Based upon his depth and breadth of training Master Yang has bought together the established traditions of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Indian Yoga. Each of these modalities contributes to forge a distinctive synthesis that is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their physical health, strengthen their psychological resilience and cultivate their internal energetic reserves.
- The principles of Tai Chi bring smooth effortless movement
- The principles of Chinese Qigong bring an understanding of internal energy and a focus on the Dantian as an energetic centre
- The postures of Indian Yoga bring a physiological structure and form to the movements
Our training focuses on the spine and intervertebral discs, as well as the hips, neck, knees and shoulders. As you get older you are joints tend to become "dry", with a decrease in synovial fluid. Our movements improve the circulation to the joints enhancing mobility and function whilst minimising pain.
An improvement in movement and blood circulation in Western medical diagnostics would directly relate and help with high blood pressure, heart palpitations, heart and renal ailments, memory loss and impaired lung function. Although this would also hold true for Eastern Medical diagnostics the improvement of blood circulation and blood quality is directly linked to and emphasis's organ functioning - the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to your organs is vital for health, happiness and longevity.
For Qigong to work and for you to be able to unravel the fascinating world of energy you need to learn to open the body, calm your mind and relax. In fact, relaxation is the key as Qi cannot circulate in an unrelaxed body. In our movements we must learn to yield like bamboo learning to be supple but strong. The Qi Gong practitioner is in a state of active relaxation - the more relaxed we are the stronger our Qi will become. This relaxation is not about becoming a blob, this relaxation brings powerful activation to one's whole being.
Ensuring your practice is not simply a dry physical movement, you learn the importance of the connection between the Dan Tian and the spiral movements of Calligraphy Qi Gong. The spiral movements create an equal and opposite force in all directions encouraging the movement and circulation of Qi to flow freely like a river throughout the body.
As Lipton, B., PhD clearly points out mind and matter are intrinsically bound together, (p118). Mind and mental focus or intention activate the body with movement and energy. In the beautiful flowing meditative movements of Calligraphy Qi Gong one is teaching the Body/Mind to work together seamlessly, in unison, to maximise the receiving and circulating of Qi around the body. In essence one is channelling the Divine Life Force though the body - when this is flowing freely when you are moving with "No Mind Movement", Body, Mind, Spirit or Heaven, Human, Earth are in alignment, moving together as one.
CH uses movement as a form of moving meditation. Focus on the Dan Tian helps to keep the mind focus, movement allows the body to unravel from the Xin or emotional mind that has kept memories stored in the recesses of the body. The movement helps to shift what has been stored in the body by the emotional mind. The Yi mind works as the CEO staying focused on the Dan Tian and allowing the body to unroll and release tension and trauma that has been locked into the body blocking flow of the life force energy.
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