shaq420

Zhan Zhuang Healing

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I'm starting zhan zhuang. I hear its a powerful system but any interesting healing stories that you know of with the practice from personal experience or what you heard.

 

Lets discuss it.

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Don't you think that it's somewhat non-natural to stand still in standing postures?

 

Shouldn't ZZ be considered against the principles of daoism?

 

I'm pondering those questions because I found out that  ZZ is detrimental to my health.

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You can do both natural and unnatural things while standing. 

 

Some versions of standing are demanding on your system, in which case an improved diet, lifestyle changes, and moving qigong might be a better way to start. 

 

In my experience, standing rocks. 

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Great opportunity for me to put up a link to my own Zhan Zhuang practice log. For the first 4 months of my practice I only stood for 5 minutes a day and now 2 years on I'm now up to 25.

 

 

But Cheshire Cat, I'd be really interested to know how it was detrimental to your health. I'm always slightly worried about my knees, is this where your problems were? Also, your avatar is the ZZ cat and I'm very jealous :) if you're not standing anymore, I might just steal it from you ... :)

 

 

 

Edited by Miffymog

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Zhan Zhuang is unfortunately one of the most misunderstood of the Taoist practices and one where you undoubtedly need personal, hands on instruction from a knowledgeable teacher.

 

First and foremost correct stance, posture and bodily alignment is paramount. With the joints correctly aligned we can then assume a state of ‚Äúsung‚ÄĚ energised relaxation.

 

Again this is a most misunderstood term but is basically a cat like quality where there is only as much tension in the muscles as is needed to perform a given task ‚Äď in this case standing in an assumed posture. Again complications arise as the state of sung is not simply involving the muscles but also involves an opening of the joints to place the body in an expansive state.

 

This standing practice whilst being an exercise in stillness is in reality training the body for movement. But movement in the state of ‚Äúsung.‚ÄĚ

 

It is part and parcel of a process of development it being easier to train the body to assume a state of ‚Äúsung‚ÄĚ whilst motionless but practice allows us to develop that state whilst involved in movement.

 

The benefits are that the state of ‚Äúsung‚ÄĚ relieves the body of tension, takes stress from the joints and allows for improved circulation of blood, lymph and chi, thereby bringing about a greater state of homeostasis.

 

From a martial perspective our standing practice will eventually lead to a more relaxed movement where greater fluidity and speed can develop.

 

Again I cannot stress enough the need for a competent teacher who can lead us towards correct bodily alignment so that we reap the rewards of our efforts and do ourselves no harm.

 

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Damn, I wish there was an instructor near me. Unfortunately there's not so I'm trying to practice it as simply as possible and progress as slowly as possible. So Chang, I was wondering what else I might need to consider if I practice in the following way;

 

My feet are hip width, rather than shoulder width.

I've tried out various positions of the feet, my favourite is parallel, maybe very slightly outwards.

My knees are bent as little as possible to just activate the muscles needed to stand.

My arms are down the side of my body, with a very mild curve so they are not completely straight and not touching my chest, and my hands gently open.

My head is held up, maybe with a very slight tilt down to expand the gap between the base of my skull and the top of my spine.

 

Now, here is my location of uncertainty - I do have to think about the tilt of my pelvis and this is a concern for me. I can either hold it at a naturally curved position, or as a straight spine as if it were up against a wall, (or somewhere in the middle of these two). I tend to opt for the one which is somewhere between these two, but here it would help to have some help.

 

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Unfortunately it is well nigh impossible to set someone up in the correct posture without being with them.

 

As regards the spine and its alignment we are working towards what is natural and expansive. The chin draws back slightly without dipping down or tilting up, the sacrum tucks under causing the hips to roll slightly backwards but having done this roll the hips forward again and feel the lumbar region of the spine adjust. Both of thise movement will make you feel taller.

 

With the spine we should not think about making it straight as this simply does not occur. We should think instead of working towards creating a natural alignment of the spine. Not for nothing is it called the celestial pillar.

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2 hours ago, Chang said:

.... not simply involving the muscles but also involves an opening of the joints to place the body in an expansive state.

Edited by Mudfoot
Tried to write my comment...

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Ive been practicing zhan zhuang for a few years. Im not sure why the one poster says a teacher is essential, I think sometimes people want to overcomplicate these things and in in doing so scare people off or make the practices seem inaccessible.

Anyways I learned from "the way of energy" by Master Lam.. Its an amazing book that makes things very simple and if you follow the directions I really think can take one a long way in standing.

 

Im not implying a teacher cant be helpful. But in my experience you can learn this practice by yourself and go very far if you have the discipline. Just my 2 cents.

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9 hours ago, Miffymog said:

Damn, I wish there was an instructor near me. Unfortunately there's not so I'm trying to practice it as simply as possible and progress as slowly as possible. So Chang, I was wondering what else I might need to consider if I practice in the following way;

 

My feet are hip width, rather than shoulder width.

I've tried out various positions of the feet, my favourite is parallel, maybe very slightly outwards.

My knees are bent as little as possible to just activate the muscles needed to stand.

My arms are down the side of my body, with a very mild curve so they are not completely straight and not touching my chest, and my hands gently open.

My head is held up, maybe with a very slight tilt down to expand the gap between the base of my skull and the top of my spine.

 

Now, here is my location of uncertainty - I do have to think about the tilt of my pelvis and this is a concern for me. I can either hold it at a naturally curved position, or as a straight spine as if it were up against a wall, (or somewhere in the middle of these two). I tend to opt for the one which is somewhere between these two, but here it would help to have some help.

 

 

In my experience the pelvis at a certain point sort of readjusts itself and "locks" into  place where things feel more in alignment. I usually notice this happening after standing for about 15 minutes. Its not something for me that I can force or think about too much because it just doesnt seem to happen  until the body has reached a certain state of relaxation and the alignment happens on its own.

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22 hours ago, Miffymog said:

Damn, I wish there was an instructor near me. Unfortunately there's not so I'm trying to practice it as simply as possible and progress as slowly as possible. So Chang, I was wondering what else I might need to consider if I practice in the following way;

 

My feet are hip width, rather than shoulder width.

I've tried out various positions of the feet, my favourite is parallel, maybe very slightly outwards.

My knees are bent as little as possible to just activate the muscles needed to stand.

My arms are down the side of my body, with a very mild curve so they are not completely straight and not touching my chest, and my hands gently open.

My head is held up, maybe with a very slight tilt down to expand the gap between the base of my skull and the top of my spine.

 

Now, here is my location of uncertainty - I do have to think about the tilt of my pelvis and this is a concern for me. I can either hold it at a naturally curved position, or as a straight spine as if it were up against a wall, (or somewhere in the middle of these two). I tend to opt for the one which is somewhere between these two, but here it would help to have some help.

 

 

Hello miffymog, in my experience the pelvic tilts alone when you relax your lower back, and have the feeling of "sitting in your knees" for the knees its also more like relaxing the back part of them.You can also see time and gravity as teachers.

Edited by NATURE BEEING
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On Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 5:30 AM, shaq420 said:

I'm starting zhan zhuang. I hear its a powerful system but any interesting healing stories that you know of with the practice from personal experience or what you heard.

 

Lets discuss it.

 

I have a personal healing story...

 

I started zhang zhuang because i had a really big depression and social anxiety and a drug addiction ( cannabis ), it took some years do really get rid of it but i remember how a blockage in my throat was healed while doing zhang zhuang, suddenly i felt big pressure there and just tried to feel it and let go , after 3 days it became really hard and a bit painful but i kept on and ot just dissolved, and i immediately felt a big emotional change and my voice became clearer(confirmed by others).

I also lost my anxiety and also a few others went also away like anxiety of water and height :) . What i also remember from the beginning is how after 7 or 8 weeks of daily zhang zhuang (20 minutes on ball on chest level ) i suddenly felt i was needing only the half amount of force to walk, run etc. There was and is much more going on but i think enough is said for the beginning. :) have a nice journey while standing! :)

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My experience after a year of standing(arms always droped like a rag doll) is that now I can stand easily for 10 minutes, and before I couldn't. LOL

And let's just say I'm more aware of how my weight is distributed on my feet. So as long as I keep my inner arcs of the feet from collapsing I get to perform other activities without that much stress to the knees. Which I guess was my goal(?). I regard it primerly as a posture developing exercise. Healing? Well it calmed my mind enough to be able to find healing elsewere.

BTW at the end of his I chuan DVD series, BK Frantzis says(with a grain of salt) you CAN learn this stuff, if you are diligant and take it slowly.

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I think what is often not talked about is how you meditate while doing zhang zhuang.It xan be done in so many different ways and so the outcomes will also differ a lot.

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