So a few months ago searched through my material to try and learn about breathing in Xing Yi chuan. I could not find anything.
I found deep in one book about it, by Dr. Yang Jwing Ming who is also an author with daoist chi gong. He says that there is no Xing Yi documents that say weather you should do reverse or normal abdominal breathing but he said that because it is Daoist it should use Daoist breathing (aka reverse breathing). He also said that this makes sense because Reverse breathing is YANG like Xing Yi and should be used. He also writes, that because we naturally do reverse breathing when lifting things or exerting our body or laughing that in especially XIng Yi you SHOULD use reverse breathing. Also Daoist theory (for those of you who don't know much about it) doing reverse breathing leads the Chi away from the primary Chi channels into the secondary Chi channels near the skin and into the bone marrow making it ultimately more "powerful and healthful." Ultimately I agreed very strongly with Dr. Yang.
So I began doing this because my instructor never taught me about breathing and Xing yi and I told my senior training brother about it and he agreed that it made sense to do it that way. So we started doing it that way. But today I asked my Shir fu weather I should or should not. He said I should NOT. Oi no!
He said never do reverse breathing. He said that as you get older you will see how it damages the body. He knows of several people who have hurt themselves with reverse breathing and said that I should just not do it.
I was a bit disappointed to hear this because I agree with Dr. Yang Jwing Ming intellectually.
But I said, "Yes Shir Fu." Even though I don't fully understand why. And I won't do it. I am a good student. Unfortunately normal abdominal breathing for me now on.
I wanted to hear about other people who do or do not do reverse breathing in Xing Yi. To give me a better understanding of why one would use normal abdominal breathing vs. reverse abdominal breathing.
If any one knows why specifically from the stand point of Chi Gong theory that would be -very- insightful and useful.
I made this post in a Xing Yi board but no one understood Chi Gong to the scope that people do here. Hopefully some one can help me carve out an answer. Below is a link to why reverse breathing is bad so we can include it in our discussion.
Reverse breathing is very dangerous and has lots of health risks.
One Chen teacher I learned it from had me use force to push the dantien down on exhale. He said that doing this would greatly increase my power. I practiced the method with him for a half hour or so and then left class. I felt a little uncomffortable but I thought I was just hungry. I ate a little something but felt worse. An hour later I vomited for the first time. I then vomited everything that I tried to eat or even drink for the next two days. I also had diarhea constantly.
BTW, I knew exactly what the problem was since I knew that this stuff was dangerous before I did it. BUt I was doing as I was told.
I was about to go to the hospital when I remembered that in my BaDuanJin (8 pieces of brocade) practice I had been taught by another teacher, he had me lift UP on the dantien when breathing, the exact opposite of the reverse breathing. That practice was excellent for my health, so I immediately got up and slowly did about a hundred reps of the first brocade exercise. I felt immediate relief and I was able to eat an hour or so later.
Reverse breathing, especially with dantien rotations, can be VERY bad for your health for a number of reasons.
1. it can create acid reflux disease. In my case, my stomach acid was getting kicked up into my esophagus every time I pushed down and out. Thatís what made me so sick. I also know that a big name in the states that used to do Chen style and who talks about dantien rotations and reverse breathing a lot also said last year that he is on medication for acid reflux disease as a consequence of this training.
2. it can create hemorrhoids and hernias fairly easily. You create a lot of downward pressure on the lower abdomen, which can cause the above problems. Gogen Yamaguchi of Goju karate fame was said to have terrible hemorrhoids because of too much reverse breathing. Iíve also heard of one bagua group that was bringing their teahcer over from China every year. He taught them reverse breathing, they practiced it religiously, and many of the core group wound up with blood in their urine because of it. Not good.
3. it can lead to high-blood pressure. Again, youíre purposely creating pressure in the abdomen. That pressure has to go somewhere. When reverse breathing is combined with relaxation in the body, the pressure created naturally rises. Your just asking to have high blood pressure.
I see so many people chasing reverse breathing, dantien rotations, and fajing training like they are some sort of martial arts Holy Grail or something. Usually because of something theyíve heard or read in a book somewhere.
In their quest for martial arts power, most people donít realize how very dangerous some this stuff is and how totally unnecessary it is as well.
Sacrificing your health is not worth it IMO.