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About PPagan

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  1. About Me!

    Hi Alchemist, of course you are right that Taijiquan has no corner on Zhan Zhuang! As you no doubt know, Zhan Zhuang is divided into two principal forms: wuji, where the legs are pretty much straight and the arms at the sides; and taiji, in which the legs are bent to various extents and the arms are up in some form of "embrace the ball" positions. Best wishes PPagan
  2. yet another new member - AlchemistGeorge

    Echo PPagan
  3. hello, my name is...

    Welcom Simon. Do you live in French-speaking or Dutch-speaking part of Belgium? I grew up most;y in French-speaking Swittzerland. Do you currently practice any form of spiritual or mind-body discipline? Best PPagan
  4. About Me!

    Hi Swampland, Personal guidance is always especially useful at the beginning, especially if you run into blocks like you seem to be describing. Do you live in an area where you can find a Teacher? I mean someone who seems to have some degree of wisdom, and is willing to give personal individual attention--maybe even who offers private consultation? IMO, as a general rule, you are more likely to find this in Taoist or Buddhist practices--most Hatha Yoga is pretty superficially taught. I would also say--which you seem to have already discovered--DON'T PUSH YOURSELF!! This can be very dangerous, except under specific wise guidance. Find a simple basic practice which you feel some resonance with--like maybe Taiji Standing (Zhan Zhuang) or sitting meditation; set yourself a goal of doing this 5 minutes a day (set an alarm). When you can do this regularly, move up to 10 minutes. Don't try to do too much; don't be seduced by the appeal of advanced or complex techniques. This will only slow you down! Ultimately there is nowhere to go anyway. Best wishes PPagan
  5. Introduction, and Research Question

    Thank you ChiDragon, I like your ideas. You are right that many of them will be failrly weak. I too was thinking of emphasizing sitting and breathing. By "isometric qigong", do you mean breathing slowly while creating a bit of tension on the tan t'ien, pitting the diaphragm and tranverse abdominals against each other? Or perhaps some "moving without moving", like in Yiquan? I would appreciate hearing more about your ideas. Thanks PPagan
  6. Introduction, and Research Question

    Thanks for the replies. I am actually looking for suggestions of Qigong practices for subjects to do. I have no skills in external qigong. And I am not expecting to be able to dissolve tumors; just improved quality of life and possibly increased survival. I think the video you posted is amazing, and I would love someday to be able to be involved in a study of this kind of method. PPagan
  7. Hi folks, My handle is PPagan. I just chanced upon this forum and am glad to discover it. I am male, currently using a 67-yr-old male body, a long-time although poorly disciplined meditator and practitioner; Dzogchen, Taiji, Qigong; also Alexander Technique and Western bodymind therapies. I look forward to learning from you all. I do have one specific question right now and would appreciate any suggestions: I recently had the good luck to be asked to help set up a research project at a major University (in the States) to investigate the effectiveness of Qigong for cancer patients. We are limited to blood-related cancers: leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma (these affect respectively the red blood cells, lymph cells, and bone marrow). Symptom picture includes fatigue, fever, weakness, flu-like sypmtoms. We will look at quality of life and survival rates. A big limitation is that subjects will only have 13 weeks training, one lesson of 1 1/2 hours per week; they will also have a 45 minute practice DVD to follow, hopefully twice a day. I am well aware this is pretty inadequate, but it's all we can do. Although I am an adequate Qigong teacher, I am by no means a Master; my question is, what kind of Qigong would be most appropriate for these conditions? The two forms I am aware of that make specific anti-cancer claims are Guo Lin's Walking Qigong, which I think would be too vigorous for most participants; and Master He's version of 5-Element Taiji Qigong, which I only have a general sense of; I understand it emphasizes heat in the tan t'ien, deep breathing, intense internal visualization, meditative quietness, as well as some supplementary standing with spontaneous movement. It seems to me this is on the right track; I think emotional calm and warmth in the tan tien are key. Though I question how much of the latter people will get in 12 weeks. I will need to keep the exercises failrly simple, concentrate on repetitions of the basics--tan t'ien breathiing, sensing the body, visualizing light at the center, maybe some rubbing the belly, pressure on some of the abdominal points. Any suggestions would be gratefully received! Thanks alot PPagan