Monday, January 21, 2008

Pulsing the Joints Exercise

Once we have mastered opening and closing the joints individually, in combination and finally in whole body movement we move on to the stage known as Pulsing the Joints. This method has many health and martial arts benefits having to do with the increase and freer movement of the synovial fluid.

Go to the end of any posture, say Double-hand Wardoff, Press, Push, Lift Hands, Crane Spreads Wings or Single Whip for example.

(Closing/Compressing) While maintaining the basic frame or posture inhale and sequentially or simultaneously close/compress the joints (and spine) and stretch everything inward to the center. The body slightly contracts from all directions.

(Opening/Expanding) Exhale and open/expand the joints (and spine) while stretching everything from the center out to the extremities, allowing the entire body to slightly expand in all directions.

This practice then becomes a reflection of, “…if one part moves, all parts move…”

Although this practice is physical at the beginning and at first you usually feel stiff, gradually your perception will hone in on just which tissues to use and you will leave more and more muscles relaxed.

Note – This is like learning any new physical task. At first we use many more muscles than necessary to perform the movement. But gradually over many, many repetitions we learn to use only the specific muscles required and leave the rest relaxed.

In other words the action becomes reflexive and subconscious, allowing you to proceed to future levels of refinement – Eventually being able to use the center point Chi energy of the Dan Tien to motivate, impel and direct the body’s movements without thought of muscular strength. “…mind leads the Chi, Chi leads the body…”

More Later.

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