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Dennis Hooker 08-15-2006 01:44 PM

Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
These are a couple of pages from a book I did for my grandchildren a few years ago. Over the last year I have had over two hundred requests for all, or parts, of the book from people in need or representing a family member in need. I have no intent on publishing although my Sensei and several people want me to. This is a work of love to my grandchildren.

Because I teach these things at seminars and they are an integral part of my struggle with Myasthenia Gravis I have recently had a flood of requests on the breathing section. These are a few pages of it and I offer them as a catalyst for discussion in hopes of helping people. I make no claims regarding the exercises beyond what they do for me personally. This is one af many excecises.

"A Collage of Poppy's Life"
A Book to My Grandchildren
Copy Right 1999




TANDEN NO KOKYU:

The Tanden refers to the lower abdomen (hara), No is the Japanese possessive and Kokyu is breath. These various forms of deep breathing are designed to clean the internal organs, to purge them of poison and stimulate the body. This is much like sweating during a physical workout. This exercise is best done while sitting in seiza. Seiza is the traditional Japanese way of sitting with the heels under the buttocks, spine erect. However, if seiza is not possible then sitting in a chair is recommended. Sometimes they would prop me in a corner and I swear they would forget I was there for hours. The back must be straight, head erect, and the neck in line with the spine. The tanden (lower part of the abdomen) is pushed slightly forward. Hands should rest lightly on the thighs. All breathing should be abdominal. There must be strength or slight tension in the tanden (lower abdomen) at all times during these forms. For those times I found sitting erect a physical problem then I would lay flat on the floor. The thoracic cage must be kept as still as possible. The thoracic cage refers to the portion of the body between the neck and the abdomen, also the cavity in which the heart and lungs lie. The chest wall contains the muscles used for normal respiration such as the diaphragm, intercostal muscles and the rib cage. During these exercises the diaphragm and abdominal muscles will control respiration.

Since these activities are intended to cleans and heal the inner body it was necessary for me to understand a little about the repertory system. I'm big on visualization because I feel it often helps in the healing process. Also I just like to know what's going on. I developed the following as a visualization tool and it's not a detailed discussion of the pulmonary process but served as a good visualization tool for me.

Knowing something about the functions of the repertory system helped me get rid of some of excess spiritual baggage attached to the exercise. I was still having a problem reconciling some of my Christian beliefs with some of this stuff. If I was having a problem you can imagine what some of my fundamental friends were going through. They probably thought I needed daily saving. I later understood that there was really no conflict to begin with. The function of the repertory system includes gas exchange, acid-based balance, phonation, pulmonary defense and metabolism, and the handling of bioactive materials.

Gas Exchange; the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen takes place in the lungs. Fresh air, containing oxygen, is inspired into the lungs through the conducting airways by forces generated by the respiratory muscles, acting on commands initiated by the central nervous system. At the same time mixed venous blood from the various body tissues, which has a high content of carbon dioxide and low content of oxygen, is pumped into the lungs by the right ventricle of the heart. In the pulmonary capillaries carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen and the blood leaving the lungs, which now has a high oxygen content and relatively low carbon dioxide content, is distributed to the tissues of the body by the left side of the heart. During expiration, gas with a high concentration of carbon dioxide is expelled from the body." (PULMONARY PHYSIOLOGY, Michael G. Levitzky)

Tanden No Kokyu is often referred to as deep breathing exercise, or meditation. For this reason it sometimes is misunderstood. Deep breathing does not mean filling the lungs to capacity and expelling as much air as possible. Deep breathing means breathing below the normal threshold, taking the breath deep within the body. The average adult has a lung capacity of about 5700 milliliters of air. With normal inspiration we inflate to about 2800 ml. With normal expiration we deflate to about 2300 ml. of air. So during a normal cycle of inspiration and expiration we exchange about 500 ml. of gas in the lungs and airway. During the first breath of most tanden kokyu forms the maximum amount of air is expelled from the lungs. This is done by pushing the diaphragm down then pulling the abdomen in and leaning forward. It is not necessary to actually measure the amount of air exchanged during inspiration and expiration. Using the following description as a visualization aid I was able to develop a correct pattern of breathing for these exercises. It is possible to expel as much as 4500 ml. of air, leaving 1200 ml. in the lungs. This gas can not be forced out voluntarily; it is the remnant gas that prevents the lungs from collapsing. If you have ever had the breath knocked of you it is because some of the 1200 ml. was expelled and the lung partially collapsed.

Mike Sigman 08-17-2006 06:04 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Thanks for sharing that, Dennis. Just for the fun of it, I'll throw in a couple of thoughts, make of them what you will:

"Tanden" is the Japanese pronunciation of "Dantien" in Chinese, meaning more or less the "area of change" (it's an obscure reference to "cinnabar", mercuric oxide, which changes from a red mineral into the silvery liquid mercury, upon heating). The term "Tanden-no Kokyu" is therefore not functionally quite the same as "Hara-no Kokyu" .. it has deeper implications. "Kokyu", as has been discussed, can mean "breath", but it also can imply a certain method of force which is essentially the "jin", the trained force skill, often referred to in China. So the meaning of "Tanden-no Kokyu" becomes moot if we look at all potential meanings; it can mean more than just "Deep Breathing".

"Tanden Breathing" (or "Dantien Breathing", your choice) means specifically a couple of things to me. First of all, it is the initial step in beginning to build the power that is so unusual that it has rated comment in Asia for many centuries. It is, as I pointed out in a quote from a website discussing Misogi-no Kyo, the "concentrating of the breath at the navel". This is the start of the 'great power' that develops from focused breathing exercises of a certain sort.

As part of these breathing exercises and great strength development, the fascia areas are developed. Interestingly enough, according to James L. Oschman and others, the strength of the fascia system(s) has a lot to do with the strength of the immune system and what it does. The constant references to the breathing exercises is not only that they produce strength, but that they also effect the "health" and immune-system functions of the body, when done correctly. Yes, it takes a while for the changes to take place, but anecdotally I have to say that (cynic and sceptic that I am), (1.) I would tend to agree that health functions are affected... (2.)personally, based on the amount of workouts per week, etc., that I do, I would definitively say that increased substantive strength increase is a shoo-in.

Insofar as sitting and doing Tanden breathing, I don't say anything against it, but I would recommend that people do it while standing. The fascia-related structures of the lower body can be trained better while standing... i.e., you can get a more complete positive effect by standing during deep-breathing than can be gained by sitting, IMO (and in the opinion of many others, as well).

To get a better feel for what the foscuses are in breathing exercises (other than the beneficial aspects mentioned in Dennis' post, of course), let me suggest a simple approach:

First stand with legs at shoulder width and arms extended out at 45-degrees between shoulder-height and the vertical. Think of your body as a sort of "balloon" with the skin of the balloon, the outer "suit" which you should feel for just under your skin, stretched out somewhat but not too tight. Inhale through the nose while pulling the stomach area in at the same time. Feel for the slight pull/tension under the skin in the fingertips, fingers, palms, maybe forearms, etc., every time you slowly inhale while pulling in the stomach-area. Hopefully you'll feel this "suit" tauten as you inhale and pull in the stomach area. The tautness happens because you're pulling this "suit" in with your stomach and also because pressure is building up inside the body, adding to the pressure within the "suit".

Two things are happening that are worth focusing your attention on: (1.) the "suit" gets a stretch during the inhale and it relaxes during the exhale. It is a slight "workout" for the myofascial area under the skin. (2.) pressure builds up within the abdominal areal... this is the "concentrating the breath in the navel area".

Anyway, it's a potential start to the "ki" side of things that can be, IMO, more helpful than just breathing deeply.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Dennis Hooker 08-18-2006 06:32 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Thanks Mike, this is just the kind of conversation I wanted to happen. Would you mind if I sent you the book as a PDF file? As I said these are my experiences and were developed because of my inability to stand or walk at times and to assist me when not on a respirator. Some of the time in the hospital the exercises were accompanied by very painful blood gas tests to evaluate the Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen levels of the blood. The terms were what I was given but frankly if I had the gift of gab or if I were a literate person I would used English and not Japanese at all. Again this worked for me and I will not say it would work for others.

Dennis Hooker 08-18-2006 06:51 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
________________________________________________________________________________ __
Scientists discover 'second brain' in the stomach
Scientists are claiming to have discovered a second brain - in the human stomach.
The breakthrough, involving experts in the US and Germany, is believed to play a major part in the way people behave.
This 'second brain' is made up of a knot of brain nerves in the digestive tract. It is thought to involve around 100 billion nerve cells - more than held in the spinal cord.
Researchers believe this belly brain may save information on physical reactions to mental processes and give out signals to influence later decisions. It may also be responsible in the creation of reactions such as joy or sadness.
The research is outlined in the latest issue of German science magazine, Geo, in which Professor Wolfgang Prinz, of the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich, says the discovery could give a new twist on the old phrase "gut reaction".

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_105441.html
________________________________________________________________________________ __

I have always believed the breath trains the belly and the belly trains the body and mind. I thought this as a child when I first experienced the effects of my Mother telling me to "take a few deeps breaths and calm down" it worked. It always worked. Not until much later in my life did I realize that some cultures have, for centuries, been systemically using belly control to train themselves in all manner of life from love to war. I look forward to more research on the belly brain. If true it begins to make more since from a physiological standpoint and takes a lot of the mysticism out of it.

dps 08-18-2006 07:39 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Dennis Hooker wrote:
________________________________________________________________________________ __
Scientists discover 'second brain' in the stomach
Scientists are claiming to have discovered a second brain - in the human stomach.
.

I knew my big belly wasn't all fat! Now I have proof. :)

Dennis Hooker 08-18-2006 07:47 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote:
I knew my big belly wasn't all fat! Now I have proof. :)

Have you ever seen O'Sensei's favorite portrait of himself? He has a sword strapped across his back and this huge Buda belly. He says it signifies power. If so I must be a powerful man too.

Mike Sigman 08-18-2006 07:48 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Dennis Hooker wrote:
Thanks Mike, this is just the kind of conversation I wanted to happen. Would you mind if I sent you the book as a PDF file?

Sure, I'd enjoy reading it, Dennis. Best of Luck.

Mike

tedehara 08-22-2006 09:06 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
One of the things this type of breathing does is oxygenate the blood to a high degree. This seems similar to hyperbaric therapy, where a patient is put in a hyperbaric (pressure) chamber and given pure oxygen. It's used for treating open wounds that do not normally heal. It's also used for patients who are facing surgery. Doctors have discovered the patients recover quicker from surgery if they have this treatment first. Traditionally hyperbaric chambers have been used for divers who are suffering from the "bends", caused by coming up too fast from the ocean.

From Ki A Practical Guide for Westerners by William Reed, pg.63

"The ancient Chinese assumed that Ki entered the body through the breath, and flowed in the blood. They called this energy Kiketsu, using the characters for Ki and blood. Oketsu, meaning dirty or polluted blood, was considered to be the source of all disease. Modern medicine uses a variety of blood tests to diagnose the health of the entire body, and the presence of many specific diseases. It is common knowledge that blood is the vehicle for oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies for every cell in the body.

Yet the average person is almost literally starving for Ki at the cellular level. The reason is very simple: inadequate and shallow breathing; caused by a lack of mind and body unification. The average person takes about 16 to 20 breaths per minute; filling the lungs to about 400 cubic centimeters capacity. Yet in Ki breathing only one breath is taken per minute; filling the lungs to between 5,000 and 8,000 cubic centimeters capacity. Breathing in this way, eighteen times slower and at twelve to twenty times the capacity, an ample supply of oxygen and subsequent release of carbon dioxide is almost guaranteed.

In a square millimeter of subcutaneous tissue there are nearly 2,000 capillaries, all of which are open and circulating blood during Ki breathing, hard labor, and active sports. Yet in a state of rest, typically only about 5 of these capillaries contain blood, far less than one percent of capacity. "State of rest" is really a misnomer, because for most people this involves a state of literal collapsation; where the larger muscles may be in a state of flaccidity, but the deeper tissues are riddled with tension, due to inadequate support and poor distribution of the weight of the body. The diameter of a red blood cell is about four times that of a capillary, so that it must be squeezed though the thousands of miles of these micro-passages. All of this is accomplished quite naturally under hydraulic pressure, making one complete cycle around the body in little more than 20 seconds. In order to full oxygenate and detoxify the blood, each inhalation should require at least 25 seconds, with the same amount of time for each exhalation, or about one breath per minute. Not only do most of us breathe at a fraction of the time and capacity ideally needed to clean the blood, but unclean air also contains pollutants which may hinder respiration even further.

In Japanese the word naga-iki can be used synonymously to mean long breath and long life. An ancient story admonishes us that the number of breaths we may draw in our lifetime is pre-established; and that we should not use them up so quickly. When the mind or body are disturbed by anxiety or 'disease,' it is always reflected in shallow, inadequate breathing.

But it is not enough to simply fill the lungs to capacity through deep abdominal breathing. If the capillaries are largely closed off due to excess tension, then deep breathing has little meaning. The very effort to gulp massive amounts of air can cause the entire body to become tense. Some Oriental disciplines describe elaborate ways of "circulating" the Ki, especially as you hold your breath. This is poor advice, because holding the breath restricts the flow of Ki and introduces excess tension into the body. Ki circulates naturally when the mind and body are unified. In that natural state deep breathing has profound effect, serving to both calm the mind and clean the blood."

Mike Sigman 08-22-2006 09:28 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara wrote:
From Ki A Practical Guide for Westerners by William Reed, pg.63

"The ancient Chinese assumed that Ki entered the body through the breath, and flowed in the blood. They called this energy Kiketsu, using the characters for Ki and blood. Oketsu, meaning dirty or polluted blood, was considered to be the source of all disease. Modern medicine uses a variety of blood tests to diagnose the health of the entire body, and the presence of many specific diseases. It is common knowledge that blood is the vehicle for oxygen, nutrients, and antibodies for every cell in the body.

Yet the average person is almost literally starving for Ki at the cellular level. "

Ted, that monograph by William Reed has got nothing to do with Ki. Notice in the sentences I selected above how he talks about what the "ancient Chinese" assumed about Ki and then notice how, without any explanation or rationale, he jumpshifts into assuming that Ki is one of the chemical components contained within blood. That is simply wrong.

I'm trying to think of a short way to show you an experiment where you can feel exactly what they mean by "ki", in this sense (yes, you can feel it and I've watched people as they suddenly focus in on what it is). Unfortunately, I'd almost need to lead you through it personally. I spent some time with George Ledyard and Richard Moore and showed them this part of my perspective. If I can get someone to feel what is meant by ki in the sense that they stood there willing force directions (without moving) in 4 directions while clasping their hands in front of them. It doesn't take long to lead someone to that point. From that point (and I didn't do it because it would have taken more time than we had) you can lead someone to the stage where they can affect the blood flow and vasodilation using the mind to move this "ki" phenomenon. That's why there is a traditional belief that the ki and blood are related. William Reed is simply positing something that I can't even grudgingly say is "close"... he missed it. And I would be happy to show him, also.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

tedehara 08-22-2006 09:48 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Mike Sigman wrote:
Ted, that monograph by William Reed has got nothing to do with Ki. Notice in the sentences I selected above how he talks about what the "ancient Chinese" assumed about Ki and then notice how, without any explanation or rationale, he jumpshifts into assuming that Ki is one of the chemical components contained within blood. That is simply wrong.

I'm trying to think of a short way to show you an experiment where you can feel exactly what they mean by "ki", in this sense (yes, you can feel it and I've watched people as they suddenly focus in on what it is). Unfortunately, I'd almost need to lead you through it personally. I spent some time with George Ledyard and Richard Moore and showed them this part of my perspective. If I can get someone to feel what is meant by ki in the sense that they stood there willing force directions (without moving) in 4 directions while clasping their hands in front of them. It doesn't take long to lead someone to that point. From that point (and I didn't do it because it would have taken more time than we had) you can lead someone to the stage where they can affect the blood flow and vasodilation using the mind to move this "ki" phenomenon. That's why there is a traditional belief that the ki and blood are related. William Reed is simply positing something that I can't even grudgingly say is "close"... he missed it. And I would be happy to show him, also.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I don't necessarily agree with everything he writes either. However he does point out the fact that the blood is oxygenated to an above average level. I believe it is this factor, rather than theories of Ki, which are causing quicker healings or initiating the healing process.

Some day, we should really get together. We may still end-up disagreeing with each other, but at least we'll know exactly what we're disagreeing about.
:D

Mike Sigman 08-22-2006 10:01 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara wrote:
I don't necessarily agree with everything he write either. However he does point out the fact that the blood is oxygenated to an above average level. I believe it is this factor, rather than theories of Ki, which are causing quicker healings or initiating the healing process.

Some day, we should really get together. We may still end-up disagreeing with each other, but at least we'll know exactly what we're disagreeing about.

Well, of course deep breathing is going to oxygenate and that is helpful. Aikido provides "exercise" and that is helpful, but that isn't "ki", either. Maybe a better example are some of the bogus studies about Taiji that say it is "good for the health" because it helps old-peoples' balance, yada, yada, yada. Of course Taiji or any other low-impact, low-aerobic exercise is good for the health, but that's not the "health" the Chinese were talking about.... the low-impact stuff is ridiculous, when applied to the "health" aspect. If it was that obvious, they wouldn't even discuss it. ;)

So yes, oxygenation is something that goes on and it is helpful, but that's not what they're talking about. And sure, love to meet up.

As an aside..... Rob, this is something you might consider in the "six directions" standing training. The six-directions that someone like Wang Shu Jin did was so relaxed that the jin/ki pull brought blood into his hands, making his hands red. You see the implications about how relaxed he had to be. It's a perspective to consider. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Upyu 08-22-2006 05:22 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Mike Sigman wrote:

As an aside..... Rob, this is something you might consider in the "six directions" standing training. The six-directions that someone like Wang Shu Jin did was so relaxed that the jin/ki pull brought blood into his hands, making his hands red. You see the implications about how relaxed he had to be. It's a perspective to consider. ;)

Regards,

Mike

I've noticed that the initial tension I used in the beginning stages has gone dramatically down. I'm at the point where I can keep most of the musculature relaxed and only induce slight tension at important points to keep the structure together. It's a nicer feel too in terms of feeling stuff "traveling" through the paths.
I do think the inital tension was necessary to build up my body in a certain manner. Without that foundation, I don't think I'd be able to feel the paths I feel now so concretely even when I'm relaxed.

Mike Sigman 08-22-2006 07:30 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Robert John wrote:
I've noticed that the initial tension I used in the beginning stages has gone dramatically down. I'm at the point where I can keep most of the musculature relaxed and only induce slight tension at important points to keep the structure together. It's a nicer feel too in terms of feeling stuff "traveling" through the paths.

But, just as a suggestion, if you just think the *start* of establishing the "tensions", that is the qi and you should easily be able to feel it now, without doubt. That is what I was getting at.
Quote:

I do think the inital tension was necessary to build up my body in a certain manner. Without that foundation, I don't think I'd be able to feel the paths I feel now so concretely even when I'm relaxed.
Absotively and Posilutely. Complete agreement.

Best.

Mike

Gernot Hassenpflug 08-22-2006 08:32 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
always nice to see the path mapped out by my seniors :-)

Upyu 08-22-2006 08:54 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Mike Sigman wrote:
But, just as a suggestion, if you just think the *start* of establishing the "tensions", that is the qi and you should easily be able to feel it now, without doubt.

Ahhh gotcha!...I think I know exactly what you're talking about.

"#$"" Wang was pulling circulation to his hands with just that? :freaky:

I hate fat dudes, its so not fair.

<looks at the long road ahead>

Mike Sigman 08-28-2006 08:20 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
BTW, I found this website with all of one of Tohei's earlier books that's pretty interesting:

http://www.aikido-duisburg.de/tohei/...concentrate%22

davidafindlay 08-29-2006 07:30 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Hi Mike,

I was just thinking today about the fascia-related structures you've mentioned, described as a "suit" over the body.

Are you familiar with bench-press-shirts or similar? Bascially very tight shirts / clothing used to support the body during exercise. The bench press shirts seem to let people push more weight, because (I believe) the muscles are better supported. Is this one of the results of training the fascia-related structures?

I don't bench press, or own said shirts, but have worn similar shorts for aikido practise over the last few years. I got them as I thought they'd help with groin strains that were quite common for me... Anyway, they always felt like they did add stability to the hip region. (And haven't had a groin strain since.)

Anyhow, it would be cool if this muscle-support kind of thing is one effect from improving the tone of the fascia.

Comments?

And by-the-by, the stuff collated in Oschman's books about connective tissue is fascinating. Thanks for the tip.

Cheers,
Dave Findlay.

Mike Sigman 08-29-2006 08:53 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Dave Findlay wrote:
I was just thinking today about the fascia-related structures you've mentioned, described as a "suit" over the body.

Are you familiar with bench-press-shirts or similar? Bascially very tight shirts / clothing used to support the body during exercise. The bench press shirts seem to let people push more weight, because (I believe) the muscles are better supported. Is this one of the results of training the fascia-related structures?

I don't bench press, or own said shirts, but have worn similar shorts for aikido practise over the last few years. I got them as I thought they'd help with groin strains that were quite common for me... Anyway, they always felt like they did add stability to the hip region. (And haven't had a groin strain since.)

Anyhow, it would be cool if this muscle-support kind of thing is one effect from improving the tone of the fascia.

You're on the right track, David. Think of it as such a suit that spreads over the whole body and permeates the organs. At long-term levels, the training, because of the constant extend/contract of the fascia, is also supposed to make the bones denser. The little thing I gave was my best shot at a simple "foot-in-the-door" and of course you can work various parts of the body by changing the postures to bring the tension and pressure in the optimal way to various parts of the body. But if you want suggestions for other postures to help spread this (and the other things that happen, because I'm being very simplistic in order to keep this as a "foot-in-the-door"), try looking at any good set of yoga postures or qigong postures... it's what they're for, at a basic level.
Quote:

And by-the-by, the stuff collated in Oschman's books about connective tissue is fascinating. Thanks for the tip.
My pleasure.

Regards,

Mike

Avery Jenkins 08-29-2006 10:33 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Mike Sigman wrote:
Ted, that monograph by William Reed has got nothing to do with Ki. Notice in the sentences I selected above how he talks about what the "ancient Chinese" assumed about Ki and then notice how, without any explanation or rationale, he jumpshifts into assuming that Ki is one of the chemical components contained within blood. That is simply wrong.

Actually, Reed is closer to correct than you think. In Chinese medicine, "Blood is tself a form of Qi, a very dense and material one, but Qi nevertheless." (Maciocia G. The foundations of Chinese Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 1989.)

Qi itself can be immaterial or material. The chinese character for qi is comprised of the characters for vapor or steam, as well as the character for uncooked rice; this suggests that qi can be either as evanescent as gas or vapor, or dense and material as rice.

regards,

Avery

Mike Sigman 08-29-2006 10:53 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Avery Jenkins wrote:
Actually, Reed is closer to correct than you think. In Chinese medicine, "Blood is tself a form of Qi, a very dense and material one, but Qi nevertheless." (Maciocia G. The foundations of Chinese Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 1989.)

Qi itself can be immaterial or material. The chinese character for qi is comprised of the characters for vapor or steam, as well as the character for uncooked rice; this suggests that qi can be either as evanescent as gas or vapor, or dense and material as rice

Hi Avery:

Well, I think we get into a fairly difficult realm when we slip over into the qi-paradigm itself, because it could be argued (in the qi-paradigm) that all things are qi. In the qi paradigm, all unknown forces become attributable to "qi" and I'm sort of sticking to a "what are the substantive, in the western-science-paradigm, explanations for the substantive phenomena called qi" argument (in the debate sense).

In the sense that I'm using it, I'm backed up by the common perception that the qi leads the blood.... i.e., they are separate things. I can show what this almost undoubtedly means, BTW, but it would take a while to lead someone there. However, it's pretty convincing and final.

In terms of diagnosing the Chinese character for "qi", different people have different interpretations. I think the simplest is best, personally and it fits the standard perception of qi in Chinese folk-understanding pretty clearly. One of the best translations (although of course it's not a complete one) for qi is "air pressure" or "pressure". If you notice my posts, I keep referring to "pressure" and tension (although the tension I mean is not something easy to describe, so that would have to wait). There is a more etheric qi (the one used in emitted qi and TCM), and I have some limited ability with that, but the useful and martially useable qi is more related to the "air pressure" concept. That's why I mention it on a martial forum. I'd suggest that the Chinese character you mention is pointing to the "pressure" aspect of qi, but I recognize that it would be a moot discussion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Moses 08-29-2006 09:21 PM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Dave Findlay wrote:
And by-the-by, the stuff collated in Oschman's books about connective tissue is fascinating. Thanks for the tip.

Could someone please list the title of Oschman's boook(s)?

Thank you, Moses

davidafindlay 08-30-2006 08:47 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Moses Jenkins wrote:
Could someone please list the title of Oschman's boook(s)?

Umm, that would be:

Energy Medicine - The Scientific Basis, and
Energy Medicine in Theraputics and Human Performance

Or maybe this link

Cheers,
dave.

Mike Sigman 08-30-2006 08:52 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Dave Findlay wrote:
Umm, that would be:

Energy Medicine - The Scientific Basis, and
Energy Medicine in Theraputics and Human Performance

Or maybe this link

My discussion points had only to do with "Energy Medicine - The Scientific Basis", FWIW.

Regards,

Mike

davidafindlay 08-30-2006 09:08 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Mike Sigman wrote:
But if you want suggestions for other postures to help spread this (and the other things that happen, because I'm being very simplistic in order to keep this as a "foot-in-the-door"), try looking at any good set of yoga postures or qigong postures... it's what they're for, at a basic level.

Thank you.

I'd also like to ask about the silk reeling exercises (Chen Tai Chi) and how they fit in. I was wondering, as somewhere along the line you mentioned the connective tissue was sometimes referred to as a "silk" running through the body. I was once given the explanation that "silk reeling" was called such because it should be performed with the smoothness of trying to reel a silk thread off a cocoon... ie, the aim was to cultivate smoothness itself. But now I'm thinking that maybe its more about the use of fascia-related-structures (TM) ;) / connective tissue, and learning how manipulation (???) ("reeling") of that is used to move the body through simple movements.

Like maybe first a qi gong set is used to build ki (pressure/suit), and then the silk reeling is used to manipulate it (manifesting koyku) [should this be in another thread ;) ].

Following that, form builds function ("appliction") of kokyu (silk reeling in more complex shapes).

And alongside, push hands adds the very necessary element of feeling how kokyu / ki interacts with another partner. eg, kokyu applied as kuzushi, grounding incoming, grounding outgoing (holds-osae waza) and some aspects of ki like "listening skill" maybe (not sure about this).

Hmmm... Comments much appreciated.

Regards,
Dave.

Mike Sigman 08-30-2006 09:29 AM

Re: Deep Breathing and its meaning
 
Quote:

Dave Findlay wrote:
I'd also like to ask about the silk reeling exercises (Chen Tai Chi) and how they fit in. I was wondering, as somewhere along the line you mentioned the connective tissue was sometimes referred to as a "silk" running through the body. I was once given the explanation that "silk reeling" was called such because it should be performed with the smoothness of trying to reel a silk thread off a cocoon... ie, the aim was to cultivate smoothness itself. But now I'm thinking that maybe its more about the use of fascia-related-structures (TM) ;) / connective tissue, and learning how manipulation (???) ("reeling") of that is used to move the body through simple movements.

Like maybe first a qi gong set is used to build ki (pressure/suit), and then the silk reeling is used to manipulate it (manifesting koyku) [should this be in another thread ;) ].

Excellent reasoning and extrapolation. You're right. "Silk", as in "Silk Reeling", "Pulling Silk", "Eight Pieces of Silk (brocade)", etc., refer to the fascia/connective-tissue/membranes. You work them with stretches, breathing, twisting (as in 'silk reeling'), but always in a way that does it from head to toe, fingertips and toes included. As I already mentioned, this general idea is the same in martial arts, yoga, qigongs, etc.
Quote:

And alongside, push hands adds the very necessary element of feeling how kokyu / ki interacts with another partner. eg, kokyu applied as kuzushi, grounding incoming, grounding outgoing (holds-osae waza) and some aspects of ki like "listening skill" maybe (not sure about this).
I'm impressed. However, a word of caution. Once you begin to grasp the interrelationships in the logic of these things, it's not that hard to extrapolate and figure out how some things work. Figuring them out and doing them are two different things. I've already had some disappointing experiences with some friends who grokked the logic and then whiled away their time extrapolating (correctly) to great lengths. Problem was, they forgot to practice, so in the end they didn't have much more right than the theory. ;)

Regards,

Mike


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