Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby ELDER » Sun Feb 10, 2002 1:03 am

I have noticed that some times you get the head face red and hot, when you practice TC for a long time without pausing (1 hour or more).
It was explained as a breathing fault, as a necessity to bring down Qi to the lower tan-tien, which can be done enhancing breathing to be more deeper and lower, this is not so easy to do all times.

Does anyone knows if practicing Iron Shirt Qi Gong can enhance and control Qi driving to the lower tan tien and so on.



[This message has been edited by ELDER (edited 03-29-2002).]
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Postby ELDER » Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:31 pm

Hi,

There is somebody there to help me with this issue ?

Regards
Elder
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby ChiDragon » Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:34 am

ELDER wrote:I have noticed that some times you get the head face red and hot, when you practice TC for a long time without pausing (1 hour or more).
It was explained as a breathing fault, as a necessity to bring down Qi to the lower tan-tien, which can be done enhancing breathing to be more deeper and lower, this is not so easy to do all times.

Does anyone knows if practicing Iron Shirt Qi Gong can enhance and control Qi driving to the lower tan tien and so on.


氣沈丹田(Chi sinks to the Dan Tien)
The direct translation of the term is Chi sinks to the Dan Tien. It was understood that Dan Tien is referred to as the lower Dan Tien. In plain English, it means "take a deep breath down to the bottom of the abdomen". It is simply a description of one's feeling when taking a deep breath. We all knew that the breath does not go into the abdomen but the lung.

Anyway, 氣沈丹田(Chi sinks to the Dan Tien) is the highest goal in the breathing exercise for all Kung Fu practitioners. It is not just in Tai Chi. To understand the term, one must know the Ultimate Breathing Method(UMB). The UMB applies for all Kung Fu, martial arts and Qigong practices.

What is the UMB?
Let me define it here. The UMB is to breathe deep, slow and long and the following conditions for the action of the abdomen.
1. Expand the abdomen completely outward during inhalation.
2. Contract the abdomen completely inward during exhalation.

When one breathes, a maximum amount of air should be allowed to enter the lung and have the air stays in the lung as long as possible. In condition 1, breathing deeply is to control the volume of air intake for the lung. While breathing slowly and long is to prolong the time for the air to retain in the lung. Why does one wants to have more air and stay longer in the lung? It is because to allow the red blood cells to have ample of time to collect more oxygen and distribute them to the body cells throughout the body.

The body energy is generated from the glucose which decomposed by oxygen. Thus the more oxygen will produce more energy. To answer the above question. If one just practice Tai Chi by just going through the movements without the breathing part will not have any health or physical benefits. In order to practice Tai Chi correctly, one must inhale deeply and slowly in the first move. Then exhale slowly in the next move. The duration of the breathing should be as long as the hand is in motion. In other words, begin to inhale at the initial move of the hand and ends when the hand stops. Start to exhale while the next hand begins to move and so on.

FYI I knew it works for me because I have done the UMB while practicing the 32 and 42 forms of the Yang style for more than forty years. Presently I am practicing the 32 and 42 Yang style Tai Chi sword. I am practicing with a sword which is little bit less than 1.5 pounds. I am very proud that my arms are strong enough to handle the sword with no problem. Fortunately, it was achieved from practicing Tai Chi with the aid of the UMB.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby ChiDragon » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:32 pm

ELDER wrote:I have noticed ..... you get the head face red and hot, when you practice TC for a long time without pausing (1 hour or more).
It was explained as a breathing fault, as a necessity to bring down Qi to the lower tan-tien,............ this is not so easy to do all times.]


It is correct that it's not easy to lower chi to the Dan Tien at one's own will. Especially people with a breathing problem. However, it takes lots of practice to do it without getting the face red or light headed. The breathing problem can be corrected by finding the baseline of the breathing level. The baseline is where one can breathe down to a certain point, before the Dan Tien, without any uncomfortable feelings like short of breath, red face or light headed. As soon the baseline had been established, then one should breathe in and stop at this point and exhale during the Tai Chi exercise. The practice should be continued until the breath can be reach down to the Dan Tien. So to speak.

The highest realm has been reached as soon there is no more breathing problem in sinking Chi to the Dan Tien, then the practitioner should breathe deep down to the Dan Tien during normal breathing at all times. As a result, oxygen was provided to the body more than it can be consumed. In other words, the body always have enough oxygen for the body cells to function without going into the state of hypoxia, the lack of oxygen.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:44 pm

Greetings ChiDragon,

While I agree with some of your thinking here, I also think it's important that taijiquan practitioners understand that qi 氣 does not necessarily always mean "breath," and should be careful not to view it exclusively as breath or breathing. In a thread in the forum back in 2003, I wrote:

One of the more conspicuous references to qi in taijiquan theory is the advice to “sink the qi to the dantian.” Some folks say that qi here means “breath,” but I don’t think so. I think breathing is one of the constituents in the process, but more is involved. Based on my own practice history, “sink the qi to the dantian” is best understood as an experiential prescription. One can only know what it means through practice.

If you're interested, here's a link to the thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=650&p=7684&hilit=sink#p7684

Take care,
Louis
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby ChiDragon » Fri Oct 30, 2015 6:25 pm

Greeting Louis
I do agree the character 氣(chi) has many meanings. However, each field has applied each own definition. It's not possible to use all the universal meanings of the character in one area. One can only apply the actual meaning where it fits. It was to the best of my knowledge to define the term as such for Tai Chi and how I understand it scientifically.


Best regards.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:05 pm

Hi ChiDragon,

I'm in part influenced by Yang Chengfu's words in understanding the taijiquan context for "sinking qi to the dantian." In another old thread I observed:

I’m fairly certain, though, that qi does not mean breath here. The sinking of the qi to the dantian definitely affects the manner in which you breathe, and vis-versa, but the sinking of the qi is a more inclusive prescription, having to do with more than breath itself. Most taiji writings use other terminology when the object is breath or breathing. For example, in Yang Chengfu’s tenth essential, he states, “When practicing slowly, the breathing (huxi 呼吸) deepens and lengthens; the qi sinks to the dantian.” He pointedly refers to breathing (huxi) and the sinking of the qi as distinct but related actions.

Why would Yang Chengfu use different words for breathing in the same passage in which he mentions sinking qi to the dantian?

Take care,
Louis
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby ChiDragon » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:19 am

Louis Swaim wrote:Hi ChiDragon,

.... For example, in Yang Chengfu’s tenth essential, he states, “When practicing slowly, the breathing (huxi 呼吸) deepens and lengthens; the qi sinks to the dantian.” He pointedly refers to breathing (huxi) and the sinking of the qi as distinct but related actions.

Why would Yang Chengfu use different words for breathing in the same passage in which he mentions sinking qi to the dantian?

Take care,
Louis


This is where the confusion is in BOLD and underscore. The character 氣 (chi), literally, can be meant "air" or "breathing". What you have quoted here about breathing (huxi 呼吸) and Qi are really meaning the same. If I read it carefully, Qi is an imaginary thing that was added to the statement which causing a confusion. Most Chinese were using the character very loosely. They would like to call anything as Chi and people took it for granted because it was not defined clearly.

I only see the part about "the breathing (huxi 呼吸) deepens and lengthens" which fits the definition of "the qi sinks to the dantian". Unfortunately, I cannot find a clearly definition of Chi in the statement. However, it is very clearly to me that "breathing deepens" fits the notion that "the breath sinks to the dantian(abdomen)." I don't see where the Qi stated here came from.

Would you buy this statement in using the character in two places?
The oxygen in the Chi(氣, air) that we have breathed will produce the Chi(氣, body energy) by the body cells. The former means air and the latter means energy. In TCM, Chi could have the meaning as the function of the internal organs.

I don't mean to be disrespect to the honorable great masters. However, I have to say that most of them do not have the knowledge about physiology and how the human body functions. It was very common to make assumptions about the human body by the ancients. I had read lots of the modern interpretations about the Chi character in the Chinese language. I am glad to discuss it further would you for our amusements if you like.

Best regards.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby fchai » Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:21 am

Greetings,
I find this discourse most interesting. 'Qi' is something I can relate to what the learned Louis Swaim has commented on in a different thread of discussion. To whit, the bamboo. To try to dissect 'qi' is to miss its entirety. From my humble practice I have begun to sense a 'reservoir of life energy (?)' just below the navel. Interestingly, it seems to connect and support the energy that expresses through the legs, waist and the fingers. If you then wish to overtly express 'fa jin', this reservoir seems to surge and support your expression. Breath appears to intertwine with this and feels integral to the 'expression'. I cannot explain this 'oneness' particularly well and can only say that it is a feeling and awareness that is experienced, and quite possibly not able to be demonstrated or even adequately described. Taiji, how it expands one's awareness of self!
Yours in Taiji,
Frank
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Not breath.

Postby Jaxi » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:30 am

If you have any familiarity with energy meditations like building energy in the dan tien until it 'spills' down to the perineum, then allowing it it 'bubble' up the spine like water in the earth raising to flow from a spring atop a mountain... following down the front crossing from the yang channel across the top of the tongue (magpie bridge) and finally completing the cycle of the 'microcosmic orbit' back at the 'lower' dan tien a.k.a. 'navel chakra'. True chi arts involve true chi, and if you can't tell the difference from breath and chi - you're lost. And if you speak of using it, but can't feel it with crystal clear obviousness - you are lost. I'm disappointed in American or any low level so called chi/energy arts that don't employ chi. I recommend reading some Bruce Frantzis books to understand what is possible. Thanks.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby Jaxi » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:32 am

Also, heat in the head was a common yogic problem by raising prana/chi up the spine without the cooling cyclic completion of dropping it down the front via tongue bridge. Thanks.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby Jaxi » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:57 am

Chi is to breath as Tao is to road. It's meaning is much deeper. If you act like you're leaning forward on a giant ball with your arms out 'hugging' it, slowly relax, relax, lean in against a pressure. Don't imagine a pressure... actually feel a pressure. Eventually you will be seemingly defying gravity with practice (chi will support you more than is your own body). You MUST gain the ability to clearly feel and move at will real chi obviously, or you will never gain nearly the benefits for both health and martial uses as you should/could. Masters who can use chi well are few and far between, and I can say I luckily fell into the path of experiencing and working with it. Time and I may reach a high level, but for now I just dig deeper and deeper. Good luck, and if you don't feel chi specifically as you do the movements: practice more. I will post some tips on working with chi to heal at a later time. I can activate it fairly rapidly for healing, but the spontaneous chi projection during high-stress combat scenarios is still a bit difficult for me. It's rare that I practice sparring with direct focus on manipulation of energy... true energy, not intentions of force like is usually spoken of (semi-correctly) by people while discussing the 8 energies within the '13 postures'.
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Re: Lowering the Chi to Tan Tien

Postby ChiDragon » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:49 am

Some people may interpret 氣沈丹田(sink chi to the Tan Tien) as
1. Lowering the breath to Tan Tian.
One has won half the battle, already, in any practice.

2. Lowering the energy to Tan Tian.
One may take longer to or never accomplish the intended goal depends on what the breathing level was.

I had gone to a local Tai Ji group which have practiced more then ten years. One day they went hiking and come back to tell me that they cannot catch the breath. In addition, they also told me that they don't know when to breathe during practice. Immediately, I knew where the problem was.
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