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Old 01-16-2013, 06:46 AM   #1
chillzATL
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Misogi, fascia and stuff

Have any of you Japanese language enabled folks ever read anything in depth in regards to cold water misogi practices and anything related to IP? I have no interest in doing this btw, but once I started feeling some of this stuff a light bulb went off and it made me curious about whether or not there might be more there than just the spiritual aspects that tend to get attached to it via aikido.

If we suppose that the relaxed structure we're training is based around some sort of expansion/contraction of the fascia network through the body, then on the surface it would seem that anything that activates or works against either of those aspects could have physical benefits. Vasoconstriction and vasodilation are real and it appears that there is at least some level of scientific discussion of controlled usage of these things, however small it may be. We have the monks that cover themselves in ice soaked sheets and meditate to warm their bodies and dry the sheets, etc. So I've thought this could go two ways.

1. You warm the body up first, then douse it in cold water, causing everything to contract / tighten up. It would seem that if you can keep your body relaxed and not tense up/shiver, that tightening of the skin would cover the entire body. On the surface it would seem to be a skin/fascia way of flexing the entire body without actually flexing the your muscles.

2. you warm up the body and using intent you activate that relaxed structure and then douse your body in cold water. The goal being to keep your focus/intent active against the distraction of the cold water and the bodies natural desire to tense and shiver, like some sort of fascia isometrics.

Anyway, this isn't something I'm interested in doing or going off into the weeds with my own training on, but once I started feeling some of this stuff and looking back at what some of these people were doing, I found it interesting. Thoughts?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Have any of you Japanese language enabled folks ever read anything in depth in regards to cold water misogi practices and anything related to IP? I have no interest in doing this btw, but once I started feeling some of this stuff a light bulb went off and it made me curious about whether or not there might be more there than just the spiritual aspects that tend to get attached to it via aikido.

If we suppose that the relaxed structure we're training is based around some sort of expansion/contraction of the fascia network through the body, then on the surface it would seem that anything that activates or works against either of those aspects could have physical benefits. Vasoconstriction and vasodilation are real and it appears that there is at least some level of scientific discussion of controlled usage of these things, however small it may be. We have the monks that cover themselves in ice soaked sheets and meditate to warm their bodies and dry the sheets, etc. So I've thought this could go two ways.

1. You warm the body up first, then douse it in cold water, causing everything to contract / tighten up. It would seem that if you can keep your body relaxed and not tense up/shiver, that tightening of the skin would cover the entire body. On the surface it would seem to be a skin/fascia way of flexing the entire body without actually flexing the your muscles.

2. you warm up the body and using intent you activate that relaxed structure and then douse your body in cold water. The goal being to keep your focus/intent active against the distraction of the cold water and the bodies natural desire to tense and shiver, like some sort of fascia isometrics.

Anyway, this isn't something I'm interested in doing or going off into the weeds with my own training on, but once I started feeling some of this stuff and looking back at what some of these people were doing, I found it interesting. Thoughts?
Hi Jason,

I douse everyday (initially not for IS purposes, but for health purposes--yes..I got it from those crazy Russians while I was doing Systema lol) and I found that after every douse I had a greater awareness of the "skin" under the skin.

In Systema, the focus is always on breath because it is pretty much the gateway to relaxation (at least psychological relaxation..but I'm thinking it has physical effect as well--I know for sure that if you douse properly, you will heat up your body like a mini-fever so that the heating of this body will try to kill the sick cells in your body) so when we pour very cold water on ourselves, we "resist" the inclination to tense up by breathing (albeit, not by reverse breathing or by any other form of "yogic" breathing..just a simple exhale through the mouth).

Perhaps we relax the outer layer of the body (i.e., the muscles) so that we engage the fascia which might have ...uhmm...heating properties or contains a system that increases blood flow and heat in the body (all you rolfers and myofascial release and acupuncture peeps help me out here!) to warm the body to counterbalance the cold. Kinda like the IS teacher telling you to relax your muscles against incoming force so that you can contract the fascia to let that manage the incoming forces.

Since I do this everyday, Ill explore it tonight when I take a shower. And the dynamics you are laying out here for cold water dousing is giving me ideas on how breath (and not even necessarily reverse breathing) affects the contraction of fascia and perhaps how Systema's insistence on relaxation through breath could be tapping into aspects of IS training.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
Michael Varin
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Hi Jason,

I douse everyday (initially not for IS purposes, but for health purposes--yes..I got it from those crazy Russians while I was doing Systema lol) and I found that after every douse I had a greater awareness of the "skin" under the skin.

In Systema, the focus is always on breath because it is pretty much the gateway to relaxation (at least psychological relaxation..but I'm thinking it has physical effect as well--I know for sure that if you douse properly, you will heat up your body like a mini-fever so that the heating of this body will try to kill the sick cells in your body) so when we pour very cold water on ourselves, we "resist" the inclination to tense up by breathing (albeit, not by reverse breathing or by any other form of "yogic" breathing..just a simple exhale through the mouth).

Perhaps we relax the outer layer of the body (i.e., the muscles) so that we engage the fascia which might have ...uhmm...heating properties or contains a system that increases blood flow and heat in the body (all you rolfers and myofascial release and acupuncture peeps help me out here!) to warm the body to counterbalance the cold. Kinda like the IS teacher telling you to relax your muscles against incoming force so that you can contract the fascia to let that manage the incoming forces.

Since I do this everyday, Ill explore it tonight when I take a shower. And the dynamics you are laying out here for cold water dousing is giving me ideas on how breath (and not even necessarily reverse breathing) affects the contraction of fascia and perhaps how Systema's insistence on relaxation through breath could be tapping into aspects of IS training.
Lorel,

I have no problem with breath training, IS training, or cold water misogi, but. . .

I find this post so full of assumption that I would recommend long and intense periods of contemplation before you comment any further on this subject.

First off, I'm not at all sure that breath is the "gateway" to psychological relaxation. And it is quite clear that we are psycho-physical beings, so anything psychological will necessarily have a physical effect.

Last edited by akiy : 01-18-2013 at 01:43 PM.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:24 AM   #4
phitruong
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
I douse everyday (initially not for IS purposes, but for health purposes--yes..I got it from those crazy Russians while I was doing Systema lol) and I found that after every douse I had a greater awareness of the "skin" under the skin.
yup, do the same thing. most of the time for me is the psychological of "crap! it's cold. do i really want to do this? why am i doing this again?" sort of thing. i remembered when i live in Minnesota, folks would go into the sauna for awhile, then got out and jumped directly into a pile of snow in the winter. i wasn't that crazy so i never did. i went to an aikido seminar one time and we stayed at a hotel that has the jacuzzi next to the pool. so i alternated between the jacuzzi and the pool, and my body didn't ache as much during the whole seminar. methink, going from hot to cold sort of trigger the anti-inflamatory process inside the body similar to ice your joins or injury to keep the swelling down. don't know how much of the icing the body, misogi, stand in the cold fall water, wading in to cold river, and so on would contribute to internal training. it could very well be external training like the muay thai fighters who pounded their legs and body on regular basis to toughen their body. or misogi through heavy consumption of spirits.

i stopped doing this sort of thing for awhile now, because i found out that cold water and my manhood just didn't get along. i had problem finding it afterward, even with a GPS, flood light, and a magnifying glass. i felt less manly and self-conscious. bad enough that i wear a skirt in front of folks. this cold water thing just not cool!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:45 AM   #5
Malicat
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
yup, do the same thing. most of the time for me is the psychological of "crap! it's cold. do i really want to do this? why am i doing this again?" sort of thing. i remembered when i live in Minnesota, folks would go into the sauna for awhile, then got out and jumped directly into a pile of snow in the winter. i wasn't that crazy so i never did. i went to an aikido seminar one time and we stayed at a hotel that has the jacuzzi next to the pool. so i alternated between the jacuzzi and the pool, and my body didn't ache as much during the whole seminar. methink, going from hot to cold sort of trigger the anti-inflamatory process inside the body similar to ice your joins or injury to keep the swelling down. don't know how much of the icing the body, misogi, stand in the cold fall water, wading in to cold river, and so on would contribute to internal training. it could very well be external training like the muay thai fighters who pounded their legs and body on regular basis to toughen their body. or misogi through heavy consumption of spirits.
Phi,

I spend a lot of time in Finland, where we go from boiling hot sauna to jumping in the snow (Or breaking the ice and jumping into the nearest lake!) I would say that if you find the cold part worrisome, your sauna isn't hot enough. We usually have it cranked up to around 100C, the first round is a bit shocking, but after that it really feels amazing. But I have noticed people doing the sauna at a much lower temperature and keeping the cold part the same, which isn't going to be nearly as pleasant. If you get a chance try it with a properly hot sauna, and when you get to the cold part, it is going to feel so wonderful you won't think about it being too cold.

--Ashley
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:11 AM   #6
phitruong
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
I spend a lot of time in Finland, where we go from boiling hot sauna to jumping in the snow (Or breaking the ice and jumping into the nearest lake!) I would say that if you find the cold part worrisome, your sauna isn't hot enough. We usually have it cranked up to around 100C, the first round is a bit shocking, but after that it really feels amazing. But I have noticed people doing the sauna at a much lower temperature and keeping the cold part the same, which isn't going to be nearly as pleasant. If you get a chance try it with a properly hot sauna, and when you get to the cold part, it is going to feel so wonderful you won't think about it being too cold.

--Ashley
100C and you still live? hmmm haven't thought about effects of the temperature gradient. i wonder if such high temperature gradient would trigger some sort of internal defensive mechanism inside the body. anyway, lots of Finn and Norwegian in Minnesota. damn viking! what with plunder and pillage and partying and carousing! i missed home!

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:33 AM   #7
hughrbeyer
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

I've done the sauna and snow thing. It's hard to find a sauna in the states that's really hot enough. And snow is actually kind of prickly and doesn't coat you like water... water's actually more bracing.

I don't see any reason why it shouldn't have an effect on the fascia, though it's totally speculative. I think Michael should take a chill pill.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
Malicat
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I've done the sauna and snow thing. It's hard to find a sauna in the states that's really hot enough. And snow is actually kind of prickly and doesn't coat you like water... water's actually more bracing.

I don't see any reason why it shouldn't have an effect on the fascia, though it's totally speculative. I think Michael should take a chill pill.
Agreed on the snow Hugh.You go with what you can get though. I actually prefer an immediate cold shower, but it's not as nice to get an electric sauna up to 100C, at that temperature I prefer a wood fired one. And the super high initial temperature is critical, otherwise it's just miserable. On the upside, there is no sensation on the planet like sitting outside in 0C wearing nothing but a towel with your skin steaming. That may actually fix Phi's problem, but lacking that bit of anatomy, I don't know for sure.

--Ashley
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
Cliff Judge
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

All I have access to is a tepid American sauna and then hitting the shower with the faucet on cold. Can I do anything with this?

Is there something you do in the sauna besides sit there and sweat? Any kind of breathing or exercises?

Question open to anybody who has any thoughts at all on the subject.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:08 AM   #10
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

In a sauna heated to 100C you mainly try to avoid breathing too deeply or moving too much... :P

I'm Finnish but I really prefer 50C for a couple of hours. Never jumped into a lake in winter either. Shocking, I know.

kvaak
Pauliina
guess this didn't really contribute much to the original question, sorry!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #11
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Ok seriously though: if you want to try the really hot-extremely cold thing, a couple of things to keep in mind:

If you have cardio-vascular problems, don't do it! It would put too much strain on your heart.

Make sure to drink plenty in advance and afterwards. Water, not alcohol.

Pauliina
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

I couldn't say with any certainty, but I bet you're on to something...would seem to make sense, at any rate. I would guess the cold helps take out some of the slack within the structure, which when coupled with tension balancing efforts I'm guessing could help with the intentional use of the fascia.

I don't know squat about the language, but for the practice I enjoy what I perceive as an increase in sensation over the surface of my skin (never mind the general "WAKE UP!" my body screams at me), like wearing a cold suit. The cold stands out to my attention giving me a better general sense of my whole body as well as specfic points on it (increased proprioceptive awareness?). The most obvious benefit I noticed when I did river misogi regularly was the effect on my nervous system, which I atttribute to constantly trying to calm myself (stop shaking; breathe slowly and deeply) while my body is trying to do the opposite. I became a lot better at becoming very still...relating to the natural sway we all have when trying to stand perfectly still.
My two bits! Cheers y'all!

...I know sensei Barrish describes Misogi no Gyo as a way of yang-izing the body, increasing "density" to our actions.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-17-2013 at 11:23 AM.

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Old 01-17-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
hughrbeyer
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Pauliina, I have a wood-fired sauna that I can crank up to 100c up in the Vermont woods with snowbanks and running water all winter. That makes me best. :-)

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:27 PM   #14
Malicat
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Pauliina, I have a wood-fired sauna that I can crank up to 100c up in the Vermont woods with snowbanks and running water all winter. That makes me best. :-)
When can I come visit!?!??!?!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #15
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
If we suppose that the relaxed structure we're training is based around some sort of expansion/contraction of the fascia network through the body, then on the surface it would seem that anything that activates or works against either of those aspects could have physical benefits.
Cold water misogi causes the body to shudder reflexively -- which is a continuing cycle of expansion and contraction. Furitama. Lets you feel what that exercise is really aiming at.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:41 PM   #16
Krystal Locke
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
Phi,

I spend a lot of time in Finland, where we go from boiling hot sauna to jumping in the snow (Or breaking the ice and jumping into the nearest lake!) I would say that if you find the cold part worrisome, your sauna isn't hot enough. We usually have it cranked up to around 100C, the first round is a bit shocking, but after that it really feels amazing. But I have noticed people doing the sauna at a much lower temperature and keeping the cold part the same, which isn't going to be nearly as pleasant. If you get a chance try it with a properly hot sauna, and when you get to the cold part, it is going to feel so wonderful you won't think about it being too cold.

--Ashley
Really, 100C? Your proteins start to disassociate at around 45, 46C. That means you start making soup out of yourself at half the temperature you are claiming. Now, I like a HOT shower, so my water heater is set to right around 49C, and the water that gets to the shower head is right around 43C. And that can be really uncomfortable enough. I dont think I want to boil myself alive, though.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:18 AM   #17
grondahl
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Really, 100C? Your proteins start to disassociate at around 45, 46C. That means you start making soup out of yourself at half the temperature you are claiming. Now, I like a HOT shower, so my water heater is set to right around 49C, and the water that gets to the shower head is right around 43C. And that can be really uncomfortable enough. I dont think I want to boil myself alive, though.
You are not soaked in water in a sauna. Itīs the mix between heat and humidity that determines how uncomfortable it gets. 70C with lots of steam is worse than 100C and low humidity,
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:00 AM   #18
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Yes, sauna is basically hot air. Submersion in hot or cold water has a lot more impact than submersion in hot or cold air, though high humidity adds to the impact of air temperature, like Peter said. For example, a turkish bath is also hot air, but it has higher humidity and lower temperature than a sauna.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:00 AM   #19
Malicat
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Re: Misogi, fascia and stuff

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote: View Post
Ok seriously though: if you want to try the really hot-extremely cold thing, a couple of things to keep in mind:

If you have cardio-vascular problems, don't do it! It would put too much strain on your heart.

Make sure to drink plenty in advance and afterwards. Water, not alcohol.

Pauliina
Agreed on the cardiovascular issues, your heart really begins to race. I personally love the sensation, but if you are prone to heart disease or have other issues, you will probably want to avoid that. And Pauliina, if you are going to advocate no beer in the sauna, I am seriously going to start questioning your claims of being Finnish.

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Really, 100C? Your proteins start to disassociate at around 45, 46C. That means you start making soup out of yourself at half the temperature you are claiming. Now, I like a HOT shower, so my water heater is set to right around 49C, and the water that gets to the shower head is right around 43C. And that can be really uncomfortable enough. I dont think I want to boil myself alive, though.
Krystal, it's a very different sensation when it is a sauna, rather than a shower. There is no way I would consider jumping into boiling water. Also, I think Americans have the idea of sitting in a sauna for an hour or something. This is a quick back and forth, so for the first few rounds, you're in the sauna for about 10 minutes (or just long enough to stay longer than the first person to leave so no one calls you a saunawussy!), then you're in the freezing cold for generally as long as it takes to soak your body, I'd say no longer that 5 minutes in my experience, then back to the sauna to start the process over again.

This is something that I do because I love the sensation and I feel amazing at the end of it. There are plenty of misogi descriptions that make me shudder. I personally don't understand of putting your body through something that makes you miserable, even under the guise of toughening up. Kneeling in the snow to meditate, then running to jump into freezing cold water, then back to meditation, for example, is not something I would be willing to try.

--Ashley
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