Year of the Fire Monkey

From the Book: “Universal Laws of Cosmic Cycles” written by an Englishman Robert Ferguson who live in China and studies Feng Shuai, Astrology, Chinese Zodiac, etc.

Subject: Year of Monkey

monkey

Year of the Monkey is a go-between year between you, other zodiac signs and the cosmic mind. It harmonizes millions of contending forces at work within the universe. Monkey is a close partner with the universal mind- which is the power that controls and governs the entire universe in which we live. This is a good year to start a new business even if it is risky.

In this year write a letter to your cosmic mind: Pour your heart out, be honest, and tell your secrets.
1. After letter is written, take the bottom right corner of paper and fold it to the upper left corner of paper and say: “I am now attuned with the vibration of the zodiac monkey. My cosmic messenger is at hand.”

2. Take the bottom left corner and fold it to the top right corner and say: “The cosmic power of the universal zodiac is now prepared to deliver my message to the power of all powers.”

3.Step 3, your paper should be in a triangle shape pointed towards you. With your left index finger on the triangle point, repeat:

“I now command that the universal power that resides within every nerve and cell of my body deliver my personal letter to the great cosmic mind. Cosmic mind is now awaiting its delivery. I am now confident that my letter will be delivered with the speed and diligence that only cosmic angels possess. And so it is!”

You should now burn your cosmic letter.

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Structure and 3 Dan tien: alignments for Taijiquan training from a TCM perspective

Some Mindfulness for structural alignment based on some TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) concepts and Tai Chi Classics:
The ideas come from 3 Dan Tien, , simple body alignments, and upright spine and what to do to achieve this in Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan).

ren-mai-characterv2

8-gua-channels

yin-yang-tai-shao-jue-mingv2

On structural imbalances: 3 dan tien: are located in the head, chest, and hips.

1. Upper dan tien: YinTang between eyebrows as a spiritual center.
2. Middle dan tien: between nipples: Mind and emotional center.
3. Lower Dan tien: True center, center of gravity below umbilicus.

wu-ji-taiji_man1

Tai Chi Classics for body alignment:
1. Sink the chest,
2. Sink the qi to dan tien,
3. Move with the Qi sticking to the back and permeating the spine.

“Stand like a balanced scale and rotate actively like a wheel.”
1. Hips level: non-forcefully lengthening lower back, slight tilt of hip and tailbone.
2. Shoulders level- slight roundness of back, sink of chest.
3. Head suspended: shoulders down, head lifts up.
These Complete the scale.

Align these to help the yin (Ren mai) and yang (du mai) energies of the body balance like a scale at: Neck ST 9, SP15- lateral to navel, KD11 pubic bone of hip.
They are some reference points that assist with body structure and opening Du and Ren mai:
Hip Alignment: Pubic bone point KD11 and SP15 above at the anterior ASIS (Anterior Superior Iliac spine) in the Front with the sacrum and mingmen Du4 on the back.
Neck Region alignment: ST9, SCM (Sternocleidoidmastoid muscle) muscle on the anterior side in the front aligns with Du 16 at the EOP (External occipital protuberance) on the back of neck.
ren-du_master

Some Taijiquan masters with education in TCM will discuss the importance of opening the the Ren and Du mai vessels to correct structural issues.
It is said to do this by: Connect with the Ren mai, by way of the Du mai beginning at the Hui Yin point CV1 at the perineum. It is located between the sex organ and the anus. It connects with GV1 at the tip of the coccyx. It is important that the qi reaches to the top of head, when this occurs it can move down. It has to pass the difficult ‘locks’ at the shoulders and neck to reach the top. By following the principles of Taijiquan body requirements this should naturally open without forcing to much effort.

taiji-pole

On the Upright body:
Taiji Lun: “Do not lean in any direction” Insights to the 13 postures (Wang Tsung-Yu): “Body must me upright and stable, comfortable to support force from 8 directions.”

spine-elongate

Ming men- space between kidneys.
Chapter 8 of the Han Dynasty TCM classic: Nanjing mentioned, “Space between kidneys that pulsates.”
This is probably one of the most important points for health and commonly activated in qigong and Taijiquan.

miister-fire-gate-of-life

CV3/CV4- Lower Dan tien is considered an area for longevity, bones, blood, and sexuality/libido.

1. “Sink Qi to the tan tien” phrase in TCC to accumulate Qi there, it is the first martial art to address this location. In TCM it is thought to tonify kidneys and adrenals, strengthen immune system, fortifies bones and sexual organs.

2. Rotation of body: should originate from this dan tien center.

3. Weight shifting: is initiated from this center.

On the Inner Exercise of TCC (Tai chi Chuan): in TCM, Qi has excess or deficiency imbalances. When this imbalance happens, Qi gets stuck or blocked and eventually leads to disease. TCC is used to circulate blood and qi, and when this circulation improves the mind relaxes more. The homeostasis that heals the body can then begin to repair imbalances.

Mentality in Taijiquan: Is one of softness, gentleness, yielding, acceptance.
You yield to force and place self in advantageous situations. Find strength in softness. Competition, success, and power are let go of. Life is full of uncontrollable situations. Trying to control and be perfect creates undue stress. Trying to achieve influence only brings disappointment, and bad health. Releasing muscular tension is important so that we can use feeling to seek out tension. Even when standing , we try to release tight muscles in our thighs.

Conclusion: Martial Art harmonized with Wai gong (External skill) and Neigong (Internal skill).
With diligent practice and perseverance, we believe that the original intent of practicing the solo forms of Taijiquan, you should have a balance of unified external: addressing opponent (martial art) with focus on your external structure, combined with inner awareness of bone structure with relaxation. The Tai Chi classics are the key to obtaining this as previously mentioned. While some channels, vessels, and points are mentioned, they should not be the areas of focused intent, but rather assistants to points of reference for proper structure.

taiji-wuji

Martial Structure in Action and Purpose in Taijiquan: Gotta know how to FIGHT with it!

TAO_Taiji-Boxing

video sample of DAO: Square, Wedge, and Spherical structure to uproot opponent

References:
13 chapters on Taijiquan– translation of Cheng Man Ching’s book by Douglas Wile.
Tao of Taijiquan- Jou, Tsung-Hwa
The Master Tapes- Shur Jung school videos from NYC. Can be found here: http://www.chengmanching.com/OrderForm.htm
Ben Lo lectures- Compiled by Martin Inn can be found here: http://www.iritaichi.org/iri-store.html
TCM practitioner and Tai Chi master: Martin Inn, Internal Research Institute: Iritaichi.org

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Wu Ji posture, Yu Bei, and Gall Bladder 31 point: Feng Shi : “Wind Market”

last update 1/20/2016

As we stand in Wuji posture prior to the first movement in Taijiquan, we lightly touch the point at the side of the leg. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) this point is called Feng Shi or “Wind Market”. It is located the following way: “When the patient is standing erect with the hands close to the side, the point is where the top of the middle finger touches.”- Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Cheng Xinnong, p.218.

Yangjun-prepare

Wind in TCM and the Wind Market:

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are external and internal factors that the body Defensive Qi (Wei Qi) must be able to tolerate. The first is External Wind pathogen. This wind can be Wind-heat (Yang) and Wind-cold (Yin) and there are small variations of those as we will see in this article. It is said that the Liver and Gall Bladder loathe Wind in TCM. Giovanni Maciocia describes wind the following way: “It invades the Cou Li, a space and texture between skin and muscles. This is the energetic space of defensive qi. The triple warmer helps all three layers: the skin, cou li, and muscles which are prone to stagnation, obstruction, entering and exiting of pathogens (wind, cold, heat, etc.) into the spaces and cause aches and pains.”

GB31

Wind-heat needs the body to cool itself and Wind-cold needs the body to heat itself. They are external wind variants, so the body needs to release them externally through the skin. That is why many of the herbs that address wind help release wind pathogen by exterior, through the skin by sweat. Taijiquan as well should be practice of raising your basal metabolic rate to lightly sweat and increasing ability to release cold or heat trapped inside and release externally through the pores.

‘Internal Wind’ is something much more serious. Wind is something moving, swirling, travels around and not in a fixed location. The classic description of someone who has internal wind is that they are sore and achy in different places at different times and pain is hard to pin-point. Wind causes muscle spasms, stiff muscles, tremors, involuntary twitching, and in the worst case scenarios wind-stroke which is the same as stroke in Western medicine. The Wind market means that winds will come and collect at this one point. If you have ever been to a market, people come from far away places and converge to sell and buy, exchange goods, ect. It is a very busy place. The idea here is that various winds from the body can gather here.

5-elements

Wood Element and Gall Bladder

According to Traditional Chinese medicine the Gall bladder (GB) is related to the wood element. The Gall bladder meridian flows down to the feet and will assist you in your “rooting to the earth”. The gall bladder is responsible for the storage and release of bile. According to Taoist bio-rhythms, the time it best does this bile function is from 11pm to 1am at night during sleep. Gall Bladder has an influence on sleep quality, so it is important to be asleep before 11pm.

The Yang aspect of the wood element is the Gall Bladder, it helps qi circulation especially to the sinews (tendons). GB provides Qi to the sinews to ensure proper movement and agility. The Yin aspect of wood, the Liver, promotes blood circulation to the sinews. The sinews are the pullers of muscles and create action. In taijiquan we want the sinews are to be relaxed and naturally stretch to assist the muscles in storing and releasing power for fajin.

The book, “Manual of Acupuncture” by Peter Deadman, Mazin al-khafaji, and Kevin Baker says that the point Wind market (GB31) is an important point for treating wind, especially wind-damp that affects the lower leg. This can be sciatica, numbness of leg, heavy sensation in the leg with difficult sitting, contraction and pain of the knees.

Below this point near the knee is GB 34 called Yang Ling Quan, which is the Hui meeting point of the Sinews. Deadman writes, “The knees are the residence of the sinews (tendons).” This Gall Bladder point has a long history of being considered the main point of influence for all the sinews in the body.

Dai Mai (Belt Vessel) and GB 26

The Dai Mai or “Belt/girdle Vessel” in the TCM 8 extraordinary Vessels is heavily influenced by the Gall Bladder meridian and shares points. It touches the 12 meridians and assist the movement of qi in the channels that flow up or down vertically. It is the only channel or vessel that flows horizontally. One point in Particular is called Dai mai, GB 26 in the waist.

dai-mai

The master point for the Belt Vessel GB 41 is the confluent point for the Dai mai and is used to treat structural problems between the upper and lower parts of the body with origin in the waist and hips.

GB-channel

Gall Bladder and the Shao Yang Foot (Gall Bladder channel)

Let’s discuss the Gall Bladder and the meridian a bit more. The Gall Bladder stores and releases bile. The “minister fire” (Qi aspect of the Ming Men) warms the gall bladder so it can aid in digestion. Flow of bile depends on flow of Liver qi, and GB qi aids in ascending of Liver Qi. Smooth flow of bile helps the stomach digest, and the spleen to transform. GB’s decision making helps all 11 organs.

Qi-healthy-flow

In TCM, gall bladder channel mentally has to do with making decisions. Healthy GB helps you make wise decisions. Imbalanced Gall Bladder is viewed as when a person is timid or confused about what decision to make.

In relations to Taijiquan practice

Yang Chenfu’s first principle is, “Raise the head as if suspended from above, or empty, lively, pushing up energetic”. When standing in the Wuji posture, you have to clear the mind and be in the present moment. You have to close thoughts and awaken the spirit. The tense areas of the body (sinews and muscles) must be found internally and released before beginning to practice Taijiquan. You have to decide to do this and the Gall bladder channel is the vehicle to assist this. The mental aspect of the this channel promotes courage and good decision making to benefit the whole body. Relaxing of the sinews and muscles will maximize Qi (Yang) and Blood (Yin) circulation.

3 Yang Muscle Sinew region in TCM
3_Yang-foot-jinLu

Shao Yang (GB), the pair of Shao Yin (Heart)

Shao Yang foot pairs with Shao Yin hand in the Open, Close, Pivot theory in TCM. That means the Gall Bladder pairs with the heart meridian and the spirit. The wood element is thought to be the ‘Hun” the ethereal soul or the ‘coming and going of the mind‘ and the Heart “fire” is the root of Shen or the “spirit”. That is why when we are in Wuji posture before beginning Taijiquan, it is of utmost importance to Raise the spirit and calm the mind. Otherwise there will not be a high level of progress if the mind cannot be focused during training.

Tong-zhang-fu

So in conclusion, when standing with the hands at the side touching the Feng Shi point, just decide to clear the mind, relax the sinews, and root down as you raise up the spirit before beginning Taijiquan. Keep it simple. Jiayo!

PicsArtz_taijiman

References:

“A Manual of Acupuncture” by Peter Deadman, Mazin Al-Khafaji, and Kevin Baker. Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

“Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion” by Cheng Xinnong. Foreign language press Beijing.

“The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists”, by Giovanni Maciocia. Elsevier, churchill, Livinstone press.

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“Standard” International Yang Family Association Tai Chi forms

2016 self evaluation of the “Standard” forms taught by Yang Jun of the International Yang Family Association. I’ve been studying Yang Family Tai Chi since 2003 out of respect for Yang style. My Yang tai chi began in 1990. 2016 a new year to keep progressing, growing, changing, with humility, diligence, discipline, and perseverance.

Yang Family website

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yang-morals

10-essence

PicsArt_1447788167608

13 Saber posture names link

67 Straight Sword posture names link

103 Long form posture names link

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12 channels, 2 vessels, and extraordinary points in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

last update 1/28/2016

Study guide for students of acupuncture and TCM.

Actions, Locations, and Indications of the acupoints: Data for exams

-In the Language of Traditional Chinese medicine.
-In the Language of Anatomy.
-In the Language of pathology.

References:

“A Manual of Acupuncture” by Peter Deadman, Mazin Al-Khafaji, and Kevin Baker. Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications.

“Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion” by Cheng Xinnong. Foreign language press Beijing.

“The Foundations of Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Text for Acupuncturists and Herbalists”, by Giovanni Maciocia. Elsevier, churchill, Livinstone press.

Tai Yin Hand (Lung channel)

Lung-channel

Lung-actions

taiyin-hand-Lung

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Yang Ming Hand (Large Intestine channel)

Large-intestine

LI-hand-actions

LI-loc-ind
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Yang Ming Foot (Stomach channel)

stomach-channel

ST-actions

stomach-ind-loc

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Tai Yin Foot (Spleen channel)

spleen-channel

SP-actions

Spleen-loc-ind
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Shao Yin Hand (Heart channel)

heart_channel

heart-shaoyin-hand

heart-actiions

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Tai Yang Hand (Small Intestines channel)

IMAG2787

IMAG2794

SI-actions

SI_loc-ind

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Tai Yang Foot (Urinary Bladder channel)

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IMAG2614

bladder-actions1

BL-actions-part2

BL-first

BL-second

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Shao Yin Foot (Kidney channel)

kidney-channel

kidney-actions

KD-ind-loc

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Jue Yin Hand (Pericardium channel)

PC-channel

heart-pericardium-actions

Jueyin-hand

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Shao Yang Hand (Triple Warmer/energizer/burner aka San Jiao channel)

sanijiao

SJ-actions

Sanjiao_loc-ind

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Shao Yang Foot (Gall Bladder channel)

GB-channel

GB-actions

GB-loc-ind

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Jue Yin Foot (Liver channel)

Liver-channel

liver-actions

Liver-meridian-jueyinfoot

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Du Mai (Governing Vessel)

Du-vessel

du-mai-actions

Du_mai_GV

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Ren Mai (Conception Vessel)

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CV-actions

Ren-loc-ind
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The Extraordinary Points

extra-actions

TCM_extra_points

Extraordinary-points

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