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#87278 - 08/11/04 09:13 AM Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment

<This follows the results of the anatomy thread. Basically I want to test the a theory about breathing methods, by having any volunteers post their findings in this thread. This should be fun and logical at the same time.>

Those taoists were pretty tricky in the way they worded things (or at least from the translations i've read).

Now, in light of my latest discussions with scott, fisherman, bossman, nenipp and others, it seems the diaphram is the energy pump which creates the potential difference that changes the electrical conductivity of the body. Here's what i think i figured out regarding how this relates to the classics.

The translated works refer to the following breathing methods as such:

taoist breathing = prenatal/prebirth

buddhist breathing = postnatal/postbirth

In taoist breathing, you draw up your diaphgram and hui yin cavity first and this action sucks the air in.

In buddhist breathing, you expand the air in your belly first and expanding the abdomen to full capacity pushes the diaphram up after

In other words, the pre/post birth were analogies for the order in which you use your diaphgram...

now since every good revelation should be grounded in reality, i did an experiement and here's what i found......

i practiced both buddhist breathing and taoist breathing in the method described above for sitting medidtation, and found the tendons/facia in my abdomen are rather reluctant to comply, but that i could draw in a small amount of air using only the diaphram in each case (with the buddhist breathing this was like an extra puff after fully inhaling). Now since it was clear that this area wasn't yet conditioned to accomplish these movements to the degree i wanted, i decided to try it lying down, where the tension and resistance are significantly less. It worked like a charm, and after a few minutes my whole body was sort of pulsing. This made me more aware, and energetic. (shouldn't have tried this before bed..haha). The catch? Lying down you can't store the qi in the dan tien so that you can direct or circulate it, it goes everwhere on its own because none of the circuits are closed off to trap it.

I believe this is why it has been said that you can not expect to have above average qi without an above average abdomen.

Now for my 2 questions:

1) How do you get the timing down with these movements?

2) Is there a difference in effect based on how rapidly you move the diaphgram? I know the breath needs to be slow, but what about the diaphgram's movements? This is related to question number 1, but a little different.

Now, for the fun part. A SCIENCE experiment.

1) Pick a breathing method.
2) Try it both lying down and sitting up
3) Observe and record the effects of both lying down and sitting
4) Try it with different timings
5) Post your results on this thread.

Remember to let the diaphgram do the work, so that you can barely feel the air stream by your nose. If you feel short of breath, then its ok to use your nose for a stronger inhale, just include what happened on your post. [IMG][/IMG])

1) Buddhist breathing
Lying Down Slow Diaphgram .... I felt 'X'
Lying Down Fast Diaphgram .... I felt 'Y'
Sitting Up Slow Diaphgram .... I felt 'A'
Sitting Up Fast Diaphgram .... I felt 'B'

I will then take all results grounded in reality (hopefully we get alot of good posts) and compile them and summarize the findings. Qualitative studies don't give absolute results, but if we get enough data and variety of people testing, it can perhaps point in the right direction.

Thanks in advance, Look forward to replies


DISCLAIMER: All movements should be relaxed and gentle. They shouldn't be forced past your body's current capacity. Neither breathing method works properly or generates energy when you are straining. I can't accept responsibility for injury. If you happen to experience pain or discomfort as a result of attempting one of these methods, simply stop and report that as your finding. There is nothing wrong with that, you are contributing to what i hope to be a valuable study. It will only be valuable if we dont fudge anything. If you are worried about injury, there is no obligation to try the exercises. Sorry to be all legal, but i really dont want to see anyone get hurt. Moderators, if you feel this is not in the spirit of this form, you can remove this thread and i wont be offended.

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 08-11-2004).]

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 08-11-2004).]

#87279 - 08/11/04 09:39 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Kempoman Offline

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
Actually Ed this is perfect and what is needed more in the IMA's IMO.


#87280 - 08/11/04 10:00 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
nenipp Offline

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
Hi MrEd,

would you like to clarify a little?
First I'll give a brief explanation on the anathomy and function (regarding breathing) of the diaphragm, which hopefully will shed some light on my inquiry:

The diaphragm ("D") is a dome-shaped muscle that separates the abdominal from the thoracic cavities, basically it's the floor for heart and lungs and roof (celing?) for stomach intestines (probably not correct terms, but you know what I mean?).
When the D is relaxed the pressure from the abdomen causes it to bulge upward, squeezing the lungs and compressing the air in them. The airpressure in the lungs thus becoming higher than that outside the body, causes the exhalation to take place.

Next the contraction of the diaphragm brings it DOWNward, forcing the intestines to give way, hence belly out in diaphragm/abdominal/buddhist breathing.
This makes the lungs expand (volume grows), and lowers the airpressure inside them.
And of course when the pressure outside of the body becomes greater than that inside the lungs (provided there is no obstacles, naturalment!) air will flow in to the lungs. As you might have guessed, this is called inhalation.

You wrote:
"In taoist breathing, you draw up your diaphgram and hui yin cavity first and this action sucks the air in."

My comment: you can't **** in air by drawing UP your D!

"In buddhist breathing, you expand the air in your belly first and expanding the abdomen to full capacity pushes the diaphram up after"

This also doesn't make sense, for the same reason plus, the air stays in your lungs, it doesn't go into your belly.

Please note that I'm not saying your research is a bad idea, it's just that the description strikes me as a bit confusing, which means I strongly doubt that everyone reading it is going to understand it the same way...
...and if they do, it probably won't be what you meant by it )

#87281 - 08/11/04 10:04 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Kempoman Offline

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
Actually I understand what he is saying just fine.


#87282 - 08/11/04 10:31 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
nenipp Offline

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
I believe you kempoman, I also believe you're slightly above average on this forum, when it comes to the understanding how to use the body in moving and breathing!

I honestly am not sure what it is we're supposed to do, and what it all means.

You can always delete my drivel, if you find it useless, but I'm sure MrEd won't mind clarifying just a little bit (or you can do it for him?)!

#87283 - 08/11/04 11:13 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment

Scott and nenipp,

I will clarify after in a few hours. Nenipp you have a valid point. I was explaining it more on how it feels internally and apparently without proper consideration of how the diaphgram actually moves. I'm guessing Kempoman can relate to how i said it feels based on his yrs of experience. I recognize that different people will interpret these sensations differntly, but if we capture as much of those differences as possible, we might hit on some good common ground.

That said, and because i certainly dont want to mislead anyone, I want to be as correct as possible both with the anatomy and description of feeling. I will go back and study the anatomy based on what you have written and try to coordinate what i feel inside to what is going on physically.....

Back later,

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 08-11-2004).]

#87284 - 08/11/04 11:46 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
nenipp Offline

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
Thank you MrEd, that's exactly what I thought and asked for, great!
BTW, I've played around with it a bit already to see if that would help me "get the point", I think it made things a little clearer, but I certainly look forward to your clarification.
I promise I'll give my comments afterward!

#87285 - 08/11/04 01:54 PM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment

nenipp, kempoman,

I'm not done researching this yet....but i've included some links where i'm basing the following opinion on.

Scott you mentioned keeping the yin/yang principle in mind and i think that is what is working here. When you breathe in, the (interior and exterior) intercostal muscles pull the contents of the abdominal cavity up and back out of the way, which makes the intercostal space larger. The yang is the active movement of clearing the way via using (contracting) the intercostals, the yin is that when you do this, the diaphram moves down (contracts) but as it is attached to the lungs, pulls them down further, making a temporary vaccuum that causes air to rush in. The better you can clear the abdominals out of the way, the bigger the hole and presumeably, the stronger the vaccuum.

But the story doesnt stop there because, there are other forces at work, namely friction and resistance which counteract the strength of the vaccuum. The stronger the flow, the stronger the resistance to that flow. If you have a slower, but longer flow, the reistance is less and proportionaly speaking, less oxygen gets wasted in the conversion process. Thus, exercising the methods of breathing we were talking about
previously are designed to optomize performance of this mechanism.

This can be done by strengthening the vacuum with fascia/tendon work (intercostals pull abdominals furhter out of the way, diaphragm pulls lungs down better). If you've ever had to replace a pain in the butt sweeper bag, you know that they blow up much better and can store more dirt, if you first fully unravel it.

The other way to do this is by lowering the resistance, using slow, sustained, light breathing.

There is probably a way to increase the diameter of the air pathways in the lungs which will lower the resistance by a greater then proportional amount. Very external work such as running, sparring etc... seems to do this naturally although i'm not sure of the mechanism behind it. Maybe there is an internal counterpart exercise?

ahh, as always, answering questions makes more questions.....


**** GOOD LINK *****


#87286 - 08/11/04 01:59 PM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment

Two more quick things....

1) Still not sure exactly what muscles when i'm sitting and breathing are creating this resistance and pressure that prevents my light breathing from succeeding to its utmost. nenipp, your anatomy expertise would be helpful here.

2) Even if you can use this vacuum pump method to create more oxygen, it takes time to work. Your body's chemical makeup must first adapt to the extra oxygen it is now being graced with. So, it seems just like with running or riding a bike, continued practice (i.e. repeated stimulus) is necessary to make the transformation (response) valid.

#87287 - 08/12/04 09:41 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
nenipp Offline

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
Hi MrEd,

I can give you a generic answer and you can try to figure out if it's applicable in your case.

It's quite normal that relaxed abdominal breathing is easier in supine position than sitting, in fact, when somebody's breathing get's more "restricted" when he/she is supine, it may even indicate neurosis or risk for psychosis

But that doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve full freedom of breath in standing and sitting as well, it just takes (for most of us A LOT) of time and effort.

Reasons can be:
-you need a little (or a lot of) tension in your abdominal muscles because of some misalignment in your posture
-feelings that we don't have the time or strenght to work with properly/conflicts within ourselves or between us and our familymembers or colleges etc tend to manifest themselves as muscular tension, typically in the diaphragm and abdominal region

Time and practice will eventually mend this, the fact that your breathing is more free when you're lying down, indicates that it's safe for you to work with it (=if it's psychological "stuff" that hinders you, it's probably not that heavy)

ps: it doesn't mean there's something wrong with you if this is the case, it's healthy reactions to protect one's sense in crises or situations of emotional overload and it happens to practically all of us

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