After a long Zhan Zhuang session such as holding one posture for more than an hour or going through a particularly grueling set of individual postures, once in a while it happens that there can be some sense of discomfort, pressure or pain that manifests somewhere in the body. There are two basic causes for this. One is external, relating to muscle pain and the like. The other is internal, having to do with the movement of Qi and blood or the lack thereof. These sensations may occur either during or after a session.
For the neck, first press the tongue to the roof of the mouth and close the jaws firmly. This is to protect the brain. Now, using the flat part of your right fist, pat down the left side of the neck from just below the skull through the Sternocleidomastoid muscle to the top of the shoulder. Do this 3 times then switch sides and repeat. Use moderate to light hits only. When in doubt, better to err on the side of caution and keep things rather light ‘till you know how you’ll react.
Pain or some other form of discomfort can often be experienced in these areas both during and/or after a Zhan Zhuang session. To help move out the lactic acid that can accumulate in the muscles and unblock the Qi, use the bottom of your right fist to pat your left side from the top of the shoulder, down along the upper arm, elbow area and forearm, down to the wrist. (Hold your forearm roughly parallel to the ground for these patterns.) Do this pattern 3 times, then switch sides and repeat. Note: If you like, you can change from the bottom of the fist to the knuckles of your fingers for the forearm area only. This will provide stronger stimulation.
For this area use the flat part of your right fist to pat down your left chest to the abdomen. Do this three times and then repeat on the other side. Sometimes you may which to use 2 lines on each side instead of just one. In that case, the first line starts just below the center of the clavicle (Stomach Meridian) and the second in the hollow of the shoulder’s nest. (Lung/Spleen Meridian) Next, using either one hand or both, pat down your centerline (Ren meridian) from just below the throat notch, down past the diaphragm and onto the abdomen. Note: You can also start with the centerline and then progress outward to the Stomach and Spleen meridians - and each of these three patterns may also be extended all the way down to the level of the low Dan Tien.
We can divide the abdominal region into 5 lines. Two on the left, two on the right and one in the center. The two sets of left and right lines fall (1) about 2 inches from the centerline and (2) about 3 1/2 inches from the centerline. (where the Rectus Abdominus meets the Obliques.) Start with the centerline - pat with the flat part of the fist from the Solar Plexus down to just above the pubic bone. Note: You may also choose to utilize both fists in an alternating manner. Next, use the line two inches from your centerline (Stomach Meridian) and repeat the same procedure. Lastly, use the outermost line (Spleen Meridian) and follow the same procedure.
The lower body procedure requires a fair degree of flexibility. (If you have issues with your lower back or lower extremities, it is best to skip this section.) The basic procedure is simple. Pat down from the side of the hips, down to the ankles. (Gall Bladder Meridian) Next, pat down from the top of the thighs (Biguan point St-31) to Jiexi point (St-41) at the front of the ankle. (Stomach Meridian) Next, hit down the inside line from just below the inguinal crease down to the ankle.(Spleen and Liver Meridians) A final option is to also hit down the back line, from the sitting bones, down through the hamstrings and calves. (Bladder Meridian)