Each of the exercises that comprise the Stick Qigong set work the whole body internally and externally giving tremendous benefits to the mind and energy/blood channels therein.
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The Stick, the dimensions are 105 to 125 cm long and 2.3 to 2.8 cm in diameter (a broom handle from any hardware store is sufficient).
Taiji Yang Sheng Zhang Tai Chi Stick
Taiji Yang Sheng Zhang Tai Chi Stick Health Preservation Routine 太極養生杖
Sticks are among the tools first used by human beings. In China’s traditional health culture, it has long been a practice to exercise with an instrument like a stick. This routine excavated from the Mawanfdui Tomb of the Han Dynastry (206 BC-AD 220 ) in Changsha of Hunan Province, there are two illustrations of figures in different postures wielding sticks, created by Chinese Health Qigong Association in 2007.
The Taiji Stick Health Preservation Exercises reflects the concept of harmony between yin and yang, man and nature. All movements involved are soft and slow and easy to practice.
In practice with Rod we should twist, turn, bend and stretch around the waist as a center and move our spine accordingly.
The stick should also help stretch muscles and strengthen bones, massage acupoints, clear meridian channels and activate internal organs. If we move the stick and massage our abdomen in exercise, we can further stimulate the internal organs, thus strengthening the stick’s body-building effects.
The set of exercises is both suitable for use as a whole regimen and on an individual or selective basis. With our body motion guided by the stick and particularly through rotating our wrists ans spinal column and stretching the upper back and shoulders, we can stimulate the circulation of qi and blood and relax muscles and bones to balance yin and yang, keeping fir and healthy.
Chinese Names for `Wand’ and `Stick’
For their Tai Chi Stick Health Preservation Routine the CHQA used the character “杖” (zhang) for the wand, which means `cane’, `stick’ or `rod’. They placed the characters `太极’ (Taiji) before it and added the Chinese characters “养生” (Yang, to preserve and sheng, health) to create the phrase `Tai Chi Stick Health Preservation’.
The Stick, Rod
The Stick, or `Zhang’ used by the CHQA is usually 105 to 125 cm long (depend how you are tall) and 2.3 to 2.8 cm in diameter.
Benefits of Stick Practice
|Names of Movement||Health Benefits|
|Initial Stance||1. Guiding the movements with your stick will calm your mind, relax your body and keep your in concentrated.|
2. Coordination of breathing and movements helps you to get rid of stale qi and take in fresh air.
|Step1||Boatman Rows with an Oar|
(Shao Gong Yao Lu)
|1. Regular movements of the wrists can stimulate the acupuncture points on the wrists, clear the Hand-Shaoyin heart meridian, Hand-Jueyin pericardium meridian and the Hand-Taiyin lung meridian, nurturing the heart and calming the nerves.|
2. Regular movements of the wrists help ease and reduce the excessive stress of your muscles and tendons from work and daily life.
|Step2||Boat Rows Slowly|
(Qing Zhou Huan Xing)
|1. The motion of rowing an oar helps wrists and shoulders rotate to stimulate the Hand-Sanyin and Hand-Sanyang meridians, i.e. the coordination of the lung meridian with the large intestine meridian, the heart meridian with the small intestine meridian, the pericardium meridian with the Sanjiao meridian. This set of movements promotes digestion and intestinal health.|
2. Ankle movements stimulate Foot-Sanyin meridian and Foot-Sanyang meridian, and also regulate the functions of the liver, gall bladder and urine bladder.
3. Shoulder rotation helps prevent and cure shoulder arthritis and lessen shoulder pain.
|Step3||Wind Kisses Lotus Leaves|
(Fend Bai He Ye)
|1. Bending the body helps stimulate the gall bladder meridian, Chong meridian channel and Ren and Du meridian channels, regulates your liver and gall bladder, suppresses liver yang hyperactivity, and promotes unblocked circulation of blood and Qi.|
2. According to chiropractic theory, bending the spinal column can also help prevent or adjust spinal asymmetry, effectively preventing deformity.
|Step4||Boatman Tows a Boat|
(Chuan Fu Bei Qian)
|1. Turning your head can effectively stimulate the Dazhui Acupoint, invigorate the qi and strengthen yang; pressing the Jianjing acupoint helps promote the circulation of blood and qi and strengthen the body; it also relieves rheumatism, drives off coldness, and reduces pain in your neck, shoulders and back.|
2. Turning your waist, straightening your legs and stretching your feet
can further stimulate the Ren and Du meridian channels, the Dai meridian channel, and Foot-Sanyin and Foot-Sanyang meridians, promote circulation of blood and Qi, invigorate your kidneys and strengthen yang.
These movements also help increase the flexibility of your lumbar vertebrae and hip joints and stretch the muscle groups of the waist and legs, thereby improving their flexibility and ability.
|Step5||Iron Stick Calms the Sea|
(Shen Zhen Ding Hai)
|1. Wrist rotation makes up for the lack of such movements in daily life and helps effectively to prevent wrist injury.|
2. Guiding the movement of qi with the stick and imagining the absorption of nature’s essence into your Dantian from the Baihui acupoint to nurture the soul, hep maintain your vitality and improve the effect of the exercise.
|Step6||Golden Dragon Wags its Tail|
(Jin Long Jiao Wei)
|1. When bending the knees with one knee pressed against the Chengshan meridian effectively. This regulates the flow of urine, as the bladder meridian channel with the kidney channel.|
2. Rotating your body from the waist helps stimulate the Dai meridian channel, which is responsible for thorough circulation in the meridians and is good for the smooth flow of qi throughout the body.
3. Squatting demands flexibility and the ability to balance and control the strength in your legs. Squatting helps strengthen older people’s leg muscles, improve their balancing ability and reduce muscle spasm and cramping.
|Step7||Search for Treasure in the Sea|
(Tan Hai Xun Bao)
|1. Turning your body and head and raising your head and bending your back effectively stimulate the Dai meridian channel, and the Ren and Du meridian channels. This helps promote the circulation of blood and qi, invigorate the kidneys and strengthen the abdomen to improve your health.|
2. Bending your knees and back helps stretch the muscle groups of your legs, improving flexibility and lessening the fatigue and tension of the muscles in your back.
|Step8||Qi Returns to Dantian|
(Qi Gui Dan Taian)
|Guiding the flow of qi with imagination helps enhance vitality.|
|Ending Stance||Shifting groom dynamic flow to the static conclusion consolidates your vitality ad regulates body and mind to the most relaxed and balanced state to improve your health.|