Return to Origin: lecture on Qi, Diet, and Acupuncture in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

In the lecture below, my first Chinese Doctor (Amy Tseng) compares her job as a acupuncturist and herbalist to a traffic cop and road repair crew. She talks about acupuncture will keep “unblock traffic jams and keep traffic flowing” and diet and herbs to “repair the roads and bridges” aka channels/meridians of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

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Lecture at University of Richmond with Dr. Amy Ballons

Original Blog post with more details about Chinese Dietary Therapy: Chinese dietary Therapy

The number #1 cause of health issues she says is stress, and it is important to reduce it. There are several ways she says we can reduce stress:
1. Diet: a diet low in salt, low in fat, low in sugar, good carbohydrates, protein, and anti-oxidants.
2. Acupuncture: acupuncture to open blocked channels from the stress and dis-ease.
3. Nutrition and herbs: these repair the channels.
4. Healthy Lifestyle: including meditation, Qigong, Taijiquan (Tai chi), proper sleep, bowel movement.

Amy says to maintain your roads, reduce the stress that damage them. She compares disease as to a avalanche that blocks the road. Diseases like ulcers, cancer, and others affect different people in different ways. Certain types of food are more suitable to different body types.
So in order to help the different issues, a person needs to identify there body type and avoid certain foods.

Food and body types:
1. Han (Cold)- a person with cold body type will have cold hands and fear the cold. They will need to avoid cold foods like cucumber, melons, tropical fruits like banana and pineapple.

2. Liang (cool)- this body and food type is not seen as an extreme like the cold type. Foods that are cool are safe to eat: apple, pear, green tea, mushroom.

3. Wen (Warm)- this is a healthy body type. Warm foods are safe to eat for everyone. Best foods are steamed or boiled vegetables like kale, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, and shallots.

4. Re (hot)- this is an extreme body type- person usually has a red face, dry lips, strong personality. Oily/greasy, deep fried, and BBQ food needs to be avoided along with sugar, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.

5. Fa (expanding)- a 5th category of body type and foods.
There are also other body types depending on the school of TCM. For instance someone who is Damp body often feel tired, heavy and bloated. A person with “stuck” body type often feel irritable and get tension headaches. Whatever the case, Chinese Dietary therapy will help.

What is important to know is that Warm foods are suitable for all body types.
Warm foods include meats like fish, chicken, turkey, pork and beef.
Warming herbs include: ginger, sweet basil, thai basil, shallots, onions, and garlic. Ginger tea is great. Just peel the skin and have a cup in morning or lunch, however it is not advised for night.

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hypertension, you fall into Hot category.
Hot foods that need to be avoided: fruits: pomegranate, tangerines, dates.
Hot types should not eat these meats: lamb, duck, and venison.

Chinese Diet Chart with Cold , Cool, Warm, and Hot foods in both Chinese and English:

more food classifications here:
http://polariswushu.net/blog/2009/12/17/tcm-diet/

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Just for Women- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) seminar/class notes

11/22/2014 Seminar notes: VUOM acupuncture school.

Uterus: regulates menstruation (transport) and houses the fetus during pregnancy (storage).
Conception and penetrating vessels flow through the uterus.
Conception brings qi, yin and essence to the uterus.
Penetrating vessel brigs blood to uterus.

Kidney is the origin of “tian gui” or menstrual blood. Theheart governs blood, heat qi descends and meets kidney-essence to form tan gui. Heart Qi- descends to promote discharge of menstrual blood and eggs. Heart qi is responsible of the transformation of yang to yin and vice versa in menstrual cycle. The liver stores blood which fills the uterus. Spleen makes blood which supplements tian gui. Stomach is related to the uterus via the Penetrating vessel.
Channel from heart to uterus is Bao mai, channel from kidney to uterus is Bao lou.
__________________________________________________________________________________
Painful periods:
50% of all women experience painful periods.
10% of those women experience severe weakness for first 3 days of period.
-headaches, muscle spasms, low back pain, stabbing pain.
Some of these pains are caused by:
Uterus myonoma
Stress
Vaginal infections
Cold abdomen.

Things that can help:
1. Exercise
2. Tai chi or Yoga
3. Qigong (dan tien breathing) lower diaphragm breathing.
4. Avoiding junk foods, deep fried foods, fast foods, instant foods.
5. Avoid cold beverages, like ice water, ice sodas.
6. Avoid alcohol and coffee.
7. Sleep well and early, the internal organs start to store blood at 9pm for sleep.
If still active at night, the blood will not store.
8. Dress warm and keep belly covered. Do not walk around in belly cut shirts.
Excessive wind and cold to the abdomen can cause infertility.

TCM view on painful period:
Blocked Qi
Liver qi stagnation
Cold abdomen
Damp heat in pelvis.

Food and herbs that help period and menopause:
-Black beans, juju beans (herb)
-Tofu
-Cooked tomatoes
-Soups and stews

Teas:
-Yi Mu Cao
-Raw ginger tea

__________________

Other notes from class that pertain to women’s health:
Western medicine views organs materially and anatomically.
Eastern medicine view is of a complex energy system.

Liver-
Liver is a resolute organ.
Liver loathes wind.

Liver stores blood, regulates smooth qi flow, helps sinews, assists eyes, associated with anger.
Affects menstruation:
1. Liver blood is normal: menstruation is normal.
2. Liver blood deficiency: scanty or amenorrhea.
3. Liver blood stasis: painful period.
4. Liver blood heat: heavy period.

A healthy Liver ensures smooth Qi flow and the opposite is Liver qi stagnation (imbalance). Liver helps the other organs in supporting their qi direction. It helps spleen energy rise, heart descend, stomach down, kidneys up.
Liver rising up to head: red face, temper, stroke, repressed anger all affect liver.
Liver controls sinews. If liver blood deficient: muscle cramps, numbness, if liver blood stasis: muscles will be stiff.
Wind affects Liver, wind pathogen is pain that moves around not fixed in one place.

Ethereal soul (hun) resided in the liver and is responsible for planning, sleep, projects, life goals.

__________________________________________________
Pericardium (PC):
Xin zhu- envelop of the heart.
-protective membrane around the heart
-governs blood and houses the mind.
-points invigorate or cool the blood.
-points invigorate or calm the mind.

important acupoints:
Pc6- invigorates blood.
PC3- cools the blood.
PC5- reduces phlegm, “mist of the mind”.
Theory of “mist of mind”: Shen “mind” escapes heart, due to negative emotion (anger, worry, fear, etc.) it leaves a hole in the heart for phlegm to enter. The negative emotion will start to take over. PC5 will help this which in extreme cases causes manic disorders and delirium.


Mind/spirit and blood relationship of Pericardium:

PC Blood deficiency- depression/anxiety.
PC Blood heat- insomnia, agitation.
PC Phlegm- mental confusion. Emotional problems from relationships.

Bao Mai- “Uterus vessel” is part of Pericardium in women.
PC fire- causes heavy periods.
PC deficiency- amonorhea, scanty period.
Blood stasis: painful period, cramps.
Emotional issues: affects menstruation cycle.
——————————-

3. Heart and Kidney- Essence (Kidney jing) is the basis of a stable mind, and mind (heart) influences the essence. Menstrual cycle: heart/kidney is essential. Kidney is the origin of menstrual bloods ebb and flow. Heart controls Yin/Yang, Yin to yang in ovulation, govern Qi, commander of blood storage. Tian gui is the name of kidney/uterus blood.

6. Liver and Kidneys: Liver, stores blood, Kidney stores the Essence (kidney jing). Stamina. Essence helps make blood. Gynecology- kidney is the origin of Tian gui and menstral blood, liver provides blood to the uterus. Liver and Kidney are close to Ren mai and Chong mai channels.

San jiao- triple warmer- separates body into 3 sections. Thought of as a type of organ in TCM that moves Qi.
A C-section birth cuts the san jiao, can cause san jiao dis-eases.
Ren meridian as well.

Men- are more Yang, body is warm and hot temperature.
Women are colder more Yin, because of blood loss monthly. Tend to cold limbs. This changes at menopause when menstruation stops. Body will begin to get warm, thus ‘hot flashes’.
Healthy women- adjust to menopause in weeks time and get used to the new internal system.
Unhealthy women- takes several years to adjust, have a hard time adjusting to new internal system.

Use common sense, listen to your body.
One thing is that in some western practices they may have mother who just gave birth take a cold bath. Taking a cold bath is not good after giving birth.
It is best to use warm. In Asian culture many new mothers are expected to stay away from cold 100 days after giving birth. Warm heals faster than cold.
Ice and cold are for pain, but if you do not feel a lot of pain and are just sore, use heat. Some women have a heat liniment rubbed on legs after giving birth.

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Chinese Medicine view of the internal organs as energy systems

11/1/2014 notes from TCM school:
Zhang organs: Heart, Liver, Lung, spleen, kidney.
Fu organs: stomach, gall bladder, urinary bladder, large intestines, small intestines.
Zhang- store essence.
Fu- function “administration center”
Yang organs fill and empty, Yin organs store vital substances: qi, blood, jing, fluid, and shen.
Western medicine views organs materially and anatomically.
Eastern medicine view is of a complex energy system.

Body types when meeting new patients:
Fat person- more damp energy.
Skinny person- heat.
Pale skin- lung deficiency.
Dark skin- abundant kidney qi.

Organ and tissues:
Heart governs blood and blood vessels and tongue/taste.
Liver stores blood and supports sinews and eyes/sight.
Lung gathers Qi, it influences fluids, the skin and nose/smell.
Spleen- governs food qi, holds blood, and supports the muscles and mouth/gums.
Kidneys- stores essence, influences fluids. Supports bones/teeth and ears/hearing.
Signs:
Athletes need more liver formulas as “sinews is also muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage”.

Organs and the 5 basic external and internal causes of disease:
Liver- affected by wind.
Heart- heat.
Spleen- dampness.
Lungs- dryness
Kidney- cold
____________________________
Heart:
Mind is also heart.
Joy- excessive joy imbalances the heart.

Heart governs blood, menstruation, houses the shen, controls the vessels.
heat blood stasis- hardening of arteries.

heart affect complexion of face:
heart blood deficiency: dull pale face.
heart yang deficiency: bright white face.
Heart blood stasis: purplish/dark face.
Heart heat: Red face.

Joy mental state: it is a mental state that favors a smooth function of the internal organs and mental faculties.
-excessive excitement and mental stimulation injures the heart.
-unrestrained feelings- stir up the minister fire to flow up and over stimulate mind.
-excessive joy over stimulates the heart causing enlarged heart.
-Sudden joy causes Yang Qi to float, over dilation of heart and vessels, pulse becomes slow and empty.
Dreams are caused by excessive or deficient heart blood.

Heart houses the “shen”- consciousness, thinking, affections, memory.
_____________________________
Lungs:
Lungs are delicate and they loath cold.
Lungs control 100 vessels.

-diffuse qi to the ‘Cou li’ space (between muscle and skin), help defensive qi fight external pathogenic factors (EPF).
-diffuse body fluids to cou li as sweat.
-Regulate water passage via descend Qi to kidneys for breathing, kidneys ascend fluids to lungs for moisture.
-lungs descend fluids to the bladder for urination.
-Qi can ascend, descend, enter and exit cause of lungs.
-Lungs make sure all organs get qi and fluids.
-They fight EPF at the level of skin.
-Lungs govern the qi in the channels, nutritive qi. Deep breathing during acupuncture can assist in the treatment.
The lungs ensure the ascending and descending of qi, entering and exiting of qi, qi to the organs, free movement of qi, regulate qi, and communication to kidneys.

Regulate Nasal mucus:
Normal is a properly moistens and lubricated nose with normal mucus secretion.
Impaired Lung: diffused and descending impairment causes stuffy nose, accumulated build up.
Lung heat/phlegm heat- thick yellow mucus.
Dry Lungs- mucus is insufficient.

Lungs- Emotion of worry/sad:
Worry will “knot” up the Lung Qi causing tightness in the chest, tension in the shoulders.
grief and sadness: deplete the Lung Qi making a breathless feeling, tired. pulse will be weak, voice weak.
All three of those emotions cause Qi stagnation in the chest, a type of tightness.

Lungs house the ‘corporeal soul’ (po) responsible for sensations, sight, physiological activites, enter and exit of jing.

__________________
Liver-
Liver is a resolute organ.
Liver loathes wind.

Liver stores blood, regulates smooth qi flow, helps sinews, assists eyes, associated with anger.
Affects menstruation:
1. Liver blood is normal: menstruation is normal.
2. Liver blood deficiency: scanty or amenorrhea.
3. Liver blood stasis: painful period.
4. Liver blood heat: heavy period.

Liver ensures smooth Qi flow and the opposite is Liver qi stagnation. Liver helps the other organs in supporting their qi direction. It helps spleen energy rise, heart descend, stomach down, kidneys up.
Liver rising up to head: red face, temper, stroke, repressed anger all affect liver.
Liver controls sinews. If liver blood deficient: muscle cramps, numbness, if liver blood stasis muscles will be stiff.
Wind affects Liver, wind pathogen is pain that moves around not fixed in one place.

Ethereal soul (hun) resided in the liver and is responsible for planning, sleep, projects, life goals.

______________
Spleen/Stomach-

Eating- preferred way to eat is 5 to 6 small meals, rather than 3 huge meals, this creates less load on spleen and stomach.
Spleen determines appetite, nourishment/malnourishment.

Spleen likes exercise after meal to nourish limbs, distribute qi to limbs.
Spleen also likes regular intervals of food, same time each day, no skipped meals, regular sleep times. Spleen does not like skipped meals, irregular fasting, irregular sleep.

Spleen-clear fluids, up to the body, lungs and skin. Turbid fluids down to intestine.

Spleen transports food essences to all muscles. More you move limbs the stronger you get. If spleen is weak, there will be weariness in muscles in extreme cases atrophy.

Pensiveness- to much thinking, worry, obsessiveness injures the spleen, knots qi in the middle burner.

Spleen houses the intellect (Yi)- study, memory, concentration and focus.

“Spleen loathes dampness”
“Governs the 4 limbs”
“Root of post heaven Qi”
“Spleen likes Dryness” (especially weight management.
_________________
Kidney
-stores essence
-governs birth growth, reproduction and development.
-marrow in brain and bones.
-governs water and the reception of qi.

Zhi- will power, determination, tenacity, single mindedness. Opposite is timid, no courage.

“Kidneys control open and close”
“Kidneys loath dryness”
“Kidneys control strength, skill, and stamina.”
“Kidneys are the root of pre-heaven”
__________________________________________________
Pericardium (PC):
Xin zhu- envelop of the heart.
-protective membrane around the heart
-governs blood and houses the mind.
-points invigorate or cool the blood.
-points invigorate or calm the mind.

important acupoints:
Pc6- invigorates blood.
PC3- cools the blood.
PC5- reduces phlegm, “mist of the mind”.
Theory of “mist of mind”: Shen “mind” escapes heart, due to negative emotion (anger, worry, fear, etc.) leaves a hole for phlegm to enter. PC5 will help this which in extreme cases causes manic disorders and delirium.


Mind/spirit and blood relationship of Pericardium:

PC Blood deficiency- depression/anxiety.
PC Blood heat- insomnia, agitation.
PC Phlegm- mental confusion. Emotional problems from relationships.

Ba Mai- “Uterus vessel” is part of Pericardium in women.
PC fire- causes heavy periods.
PC deficiency- amonorhea, scanty period.
Blood stasis: painful period, cramps.
Emotional issues: affects menstruation cycle.
——————————-
Yin organs interrelationships

1. Heart and lungs: heart is blood, and Lungs is Qi. Heart and lungs are important for athletes. Gathering qi is in the chest. Herbs to tonify blood.
2. Heart and Liver: Liver blood deficiency will cause heart blood deficiency aka depression.
Heart/mind/shen- recognizes and controls emotions, the liver ensures smooth flow of emotions. Ethereal soul of the liver is the ‘coming and going” of the mind.
3. Heart and Kidney- essence is the basis of a stable mind, and mind influences the essence. Menstral cycle: heart/kidney is essential. Kidney is the origin of menstral bloods ebb and flow. Heart controls Yin/Yang, Yin to yang in ovulation, govern Qi, commander of blood storage. Tian gui is the name of kidney/uterus blood.
4. Liver and Lungs: Lung qi descends, liver qi ascends, it is a mutual relationship. Stagnation occurs, lung qi going up is cough.
5. Liver and spleen: Liver stores blood, Spleen makes blood. Liver flow assists spleen, spleen helps liver qi flow. Digestive points for spleen/liver/middle jiao: ST36, LI4, LV3.
6. Liver and Kidneys: Blood-Liver, Essence- kidneys. Stamina. Essence helps make blood. Gynecology- kidney origin of Tian gui and menstral blood, liver provides blood to the uterus. Liver and Kidney are close to Ren mai and Chong mai channels.
7. Kidney-Liver: Deficient kidney essence: dizziness, blurred vision, Tinnitus.
Kidney Yin deficient- causes Liver deficient Yin.
Liver deficient Yin- hyperactivity
Liver yang rising: dizziness, headache, blurred vision.
Deficient Liver blood: cause weak kidney, deafness, nocturnal emission.
8. Spleen and Lungs: Lungs govern the Qi and decend down, spleen Qi goes up to lungs. Deficient spleen qi can manifest as phlegm in the lungs.
9. Spleen and Kidneys: Kidneys is the source of pre-heaven Qi and heat to spleen. Spleen is the root of post heaven Qi, and help kidneys excrete. Spleen supplements Qi to kidneys.
10. Lung and kidneys: Lungs send Qi down to kidneys, kidneys send qi to lungs for moisture.
11. Spleen and heart- spleen makes blood (food qi to heart), Heart governs blood (nourishes spleen), heart yang moves blood, supports spleens transformation of food essence.

Emotions associated with organs in TCM:
Liver is Anger.
Lung is worry, grief, sadness.
Heart is excessive joy.
Kidney is courage determination, opposite is fear.
spleen is pensiveness, over thinking, obsession.
pericardium- emotional protection.
small intestines- clear judgement/ discriminating choices.
stomach- shutting self from outside world.
Large intestines- letting go.
Gall bladder- decision making to act.
urinary bladder- jealousy , long standing grudges.
Triple warmer- outward toward others or inward towards self.

Organs as government officials:
1. Heart is like a monarch it governs the shen (mind).
2. Liver is like a Army general from with strategy is derived.
3. Lung is like a prime minister in charge of regulation.
4. Spleen is like a granary official from which the 5 tastes are derived.
5. Kidney is a the strong official from which ingenuity is derived.
6. Pericardium is the ambassador from which joy and happiness are derived.
7. Stomach is the official in charge of food and the 5 flavors.
8. Small intestines is the official in charge of receiving, being filled, and transforming.
9. Large intestines is the official in charge of passage and conduction.
10. Gall bladder is the upright official who makes decisions.
11. Urinary bladder is the district capital, it stores fluids which are excreted by the power of qi transformation.
12. Triple burner is the official in charge of irrigation and control of water passages.

Organ imbalances and affect on dreams:
Heart: deficient- dreams of fire, smoke, fire in the dream.
Excessive: laughing.

Liver- Excessive- angry dreams
Deficient- unable to get up, or laying by trees.

Lungs: deficient: weeping, killing, battles.
Excessive- worry, fear, flying, gold bjects.

Spleen- Weak- hungry, house building.
Excessive- singing, heavy weight feeling, mountains.

Kidneys: weak- swimming, ship wreck, plunging in water, scared.
Excess: detached from body, spine detached.

Stomach- dream of large meals.

Small intestines: weak- large cities
If you have a parasite: crowds, fights, mutual destruction.

Large intestines: weak- open fields.

Gall Bladder- weak: fights, trials, suicide.

Urinary bladder: weak: dream of voyages.

Triple warmer: dream of flying if emptiness in lower burner.
Dream of falling if fullness in lower burner.

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Protected: TCM Basic Theory and Acupuncture Anatomy study notes- Fall 2014 semester

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About Yang Family Taijiquan

yang-fam
image: left to right: Yang Luchan, Yang Banhou, Yang Jianhao, Yang Shaohao, Yang Chenfu.

Yang family Taijiquan is one of 5 major schools of taijiquan with the others being the Chen, Wu (Hao), Wu, and Sun.
Chen- founder is Chen Wan ting.
Yang- founder is Yang Luchan.
Wu (Hao)- founder is Wu Yu xiang.
Wu- founder is Quan Yu.
Sun- founder is Sun Lutang.

Taiji name was originally from the I-Ching or “Book of Changes”. It means “Supreme Ultimate” which is “yin yang”. The theory of the origin of Taijiquan (martial art) is not clear. Some say it is from Chang Sanfeng, a monk from Shaolin temple who settled in Wudang temple around the Yuan and Ming dynasty. However, evidence points to the creation in Chenjiagou, Wenxian county, Henan province to Chen Wangting, a garrison commander 300 years ago during end of Ming and early Qing dynasty.
sanfeng-wangting
image: Chang Sanfeng (left) and Chen Wangting (right).

Taijiquan has 13 postures (often called principles/powers/or energies):
13_powers
Ba Men (Eight gates):
1. Ward-off
2. Rollback
3. Press/squeeze
4. Push
5. Yank
6. Split
7. Elbow
8. Shoulder
Wu Bu (Five steps):
9. Forward
10. Backward
11. Look left
12. Gaze right
13. Center equilibrium.

Taijiquan comes out of obscurity to the capital of China: Beijing.
Yang Luchan originally learned the Chen Taijiquan from Chen Chanxin. Chen Taijiquan is characterized by both slow and fast movements, jumping, stomping, and displays of sudden explosiveness (fajin). The Yang form that is most widely trained today is the Yang family’s “Da jia” or large frame standardized by Yang Chenfu in the 1930’s. The Yang family is originally from Yongnian country, Guang Ping prefecture in Hebei province. Its movements are characterized as slow, even, gentle, long, and large. Yang Luchan was invited to teach in Beijing to the Emperors family and Imperial guard. People watched and wanted to learn since he displayed many unique skills there.

The earlier frames of Yang taijiquan are as follows:
Yang Luchan form is considered the “Old Yang” form, Yang Banhou and Yang Shouhou practiced a frame called the “Small frame”. Yang Jianhou practiced what is called the “Middle frame”. Yang Chenfu publicly taught the “Large frame”.

Relaxation is key to Yang taijiquan. By relaxation we mean to open the joints, tendons, and bones while unifying the entire body during your practice. The waist leads your entire body as energy is led from the root in the feet, exploded by the legs, controlled by the waist, and expressed by the hands. The first of the 10 principles is very important- raise the head opens the spirit, it aligns the body internally, and directs mind to sink downward.

Yang Chenfu laid down the art into 10 requirements:
1. Raise the head, lift the spirit to the crown.
2. Sink the chest and round the back.
3. Relax the waist.
4. Separate the weight, understand the full and empty in the legs.
5. Drop the elbows and shoulders.
6. Coordinate the upper and lower body.
7. Coordinate the inner with the outer.
8. Use the mind not external force.
9. Move continuously without interruption.
10. Seek stillness within motion.

The Yang family art has 5 major parts:
1. Study of the Long form (108, 103, 85 depending on count, but all the same sequence).
2. Study of Straight sword
3. Study of Saber
4. Study of Long staff
5. Study of Tui Shou (push hands and Da Lu, fixed and moving).
Long form images:

Straight sword with Yang Jun:

Sabre with Yang Jun

Tui Shou with Fu Sheng Yuan:

Fundamentals of Yang Taijiquan:
Stances:
Bow stance requires:
1. The shape of an archer stance.
2. Knee follows the toe, does not go past the toe.
3. Back leg straight but not locked.
4. Shoulder width between feet.
5. Back foot points to 45 degrees.
6. Weight is 60% in front and 40% in back.
3 postures that use the bow stance are ward off right, brush knee, and slanted flying.

Empty stance requirements:
1. Back leg is pointed to corner while front leg points straight.
2. Front foot touches with heel or toe, while back leg bears most of the weight.
3. Back leg knee is aligned with toes.
4. Foot work is narrower, stay on both sides of the centerline between the heels.
5. Weight is 30% front leg and 70% back leg.
Postures: Fist under elbow and Play pipa uses empty stance with heel touching ground, while High pat horse and White crane spread wings uses front toe touching the ground.

Yang family also practice the Straight sword. It is characterized by it agile, fast, open, and lively movements.

Want to Study Yang Taijiquan? more info at the link here to the Yang Family International Association:
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/home

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