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#87288 - 08/12/04 10:55 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Anonymous
Unregistered


Being on of the less experienced members on this board, I'm not sure if any of my imput will help. But in my short experience with breathing exercises, I have noticed a whole lot of heat generated when pulling the diaphragm DOWN to create a vaccume effect for breathing. In the method I used, the pelvic floor diaphragm (?hu yin?) is pulled up during exhalation. Also, you keep the regular diaphragm as far down as possible upon exhalation so when the air is fully out of his lungs your organs are compressed between the two diaphragm like this-
)organs( - with the parenthesis being the diaphragms flipped sideways.

As far as storing oxygen in the belly goes, I was under the impression that you are supposed to VISUALIZE breathing into the belly so that your attention would be focused there instead of the lungs so your abdomen is where the energy would go, not the chest.

There are two main exercises I have done to gain diaphragm strength and flexibility in the lungs and abdomen.

One is to simply lie on your back with knees bent so that the lower back is flat on the ground. Then use a weight, (I started with 2.5lb disc and then moved up from there.)
Place the weight on your abdomen and commence breathing with your "vaccume."

The second exercise is potentially dangerous, and can be erased by a moderator without insult to me.
While sitting, I would vaccume inhale as much air as possible. Then with the diaphragm down, SWALLOW more air with the throat into the lungs until the pressure is great. Now seal the air at the throat, mouth and nose so none excapes. Lastly, press the diaphragm down as hard as possible into the abdomen area. As you push the diaphragm from above as far into the abdomen as possible, you should allow the abdominal region expand from all sides outward- not just the stomach. All sides, front, sides and the back around the spine must expand. Hold breath as long as possible, WITHOUT PASSING OUT! USE EXTREME CAUTION!!

The last exercise may have been used by others before, but to the best of my knowledge, this is my own exercise that I have adapted from other exercises and I don't want any one to get hurt from it. -So I am attaching the same disclaimer to this post that MrEd used.

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 don't fudge anything. If you are worried about injury, there is no obligation to try the exercises. Sorry to be all legal, but I really don't 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.

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#87289 - 08/12/04 02:59 PM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
I feel we might be kidnapping MrEd's thread here, maybe you should start it all over when you're ready to, Ed?

Lucid,
in taoist breathing we're trying to accomplish something similar to what you described: )organs( ,only it's done on inhalation (yang) then on exhalation we relax (jin)

I think streching and exercising the diaphragm is healthy and rids us of unnecessary tension, but I agree that the more extreme stuff should be done with caution.

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#87290 - 08/12/04 03:24 PM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Anonymous
Unregistered


neinipp,
Maybe the "block" i mentioned previously is actually pointing to a need to further train the diaphgram. i think it can be trained externally, because when sprinting or swimming, the air intake is more forceful and this naturally stretches the diaphgram. I think its harder to train internally, but there is probably also great value in this. I dont have any posture problems, or mental imbalances that i'm aware of. This may be presumptious on my part, but i think its just a matter of putting the time into conditioning this area.

Lucid, i agree visualization is key. When breathing, I concentrate, on the shen center in the head and the dan tien at the same time. i read somewhere that if your mind is concentrating on two separate points at the same time, this blocks incoming thoughts. I've tried it, it seems to help with concentration.

Do you guys, actively contract your diaphgrams down? Maybe this what i'm missing. I had tried this previously but it started trembling, so i figured that it wasn't the right way. I've been using the intercostals, relaxing the abdominal area, and letting the pulling of the intercostals up to cause the diphgram to go down....

Maybe, qigong practice is similar to its external counterparts, like lifting weights or sprinting where there is training discomfort (like muscle burn, not muscle strain/pull!!). but then once your muscles are stronger, you can lift more without as much effort. Although, it is dangerous because if you over train your diaphgram, there can be much worse consequences then a strained bicep or quad.

That said, it would seem some of practice should be dedicated to training these muscles, and other practice towards relaxing and feeling the qi more. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

I dont feel hijacked, this is all good info, keep on posting!

~ED

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 08-12-2004).]

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#87291 - 08/12/04 11:19 PM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
nenipp Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
Hey now MrEd, just when I thought maybe you're serious, you go and write something like this...
"there can be much worse consequences then a strained bicep"
...what on earth could be worse than a strained bicep??

But seriously, I suppose your D could be just in need of some more conditioning. In that case you're lucky, took me more than ten yrs to "feel free" in that area / but well worth it!

When I do reverse breathing or relaxed abdominal breathing I don't actively work with the D, but when i use more deliberate abdominal breathing i find that actively pulling the diaphragm down helps coordinating breath and abdominal movement (if that makes any sense at all)


[This message has been edited by nenipp (edited 08-12-2004).]

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#87292 - 08/13/04 07:36 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Great thread thus far everybody!

A question regarding the breath...
I am curious as to what the functional differences are between Taoist and Buhddist breathing. What are the benefits of one versus the other?

About the experiment...
I have noticed that when I exhale using the Taoist method that there feels like a dropping quality in my body. Could this be one of the components of Fajing?

I feel the D move more if I am lying on my back. We played with this before in class. The teacher said that the only place that the D physically move is in the back, just above the kidneys. I feel this movement more with the Buhddist breath.

About bringing the breath into the belly ...
Durring a Qigong seminar with Luo Dexiu last year he talked a bit about 'breathing to the tan tien'. In this he said that it is not the breath that is drawn to the abdomen, but the mind. He said "you have no lungs in your belly". [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]
The idea is this; the mind guides the yi, and the chi follows the yi. Bringing the mind to an area - placing your will and attention there alone raises the energy level of that area.

Once again - cool thread...
Keep er' rollin..

Chris

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#87293 - 08/13/04 08:37 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Anonymous
Unregistered


As someone who has injured both his bicep and diaphgram, i can attest to the fact that pulling internal muslces used in breathing hurts much worse. To rehab the bicep i just had to not use it for awhile and slowly bring it back into action, but i couldnt stop breathing while my abs were healing.

Fisherman is right, you guide your mind down to the dan tien, the air doesnt reach there. Apparently i generated some unintended confusion with my post about this.

[QUOTE]Fisherman: "Bringing the mind to an area - placing your will and attention there alone raises the energy level of that area.
"[/QUOTE]

I've noticed based on how one chooses to concentrate (awareness vs. focusing on dan tien), you can actually either feel the air reach the bottom of your lungs (awareness), or if you use the visualization sometimes it feels as if there is a a seemless flow of energy down to the dan tien (focusing there), regardless of the fact the air is still in the lungs. Have you guys felt these sensations separately?

Now to answer fisherman's question regarding the functional differences between taoist and buddhist methods. I'm paraphrasing Dr. Jwing-Ming Yang's book, "the Root of Chinese Qigong" which lists these as the main differences:

BUDDHIST METHOD
Organ Massage
More active abdominals (a better energy pump)
better qi flow from kidneys to lower dan tien
Increase Water qi (this is analogous to original qi, i think it refers to the quality of the qi that gets ciruclated)

TAOIST METHOD
Easier to lead qi to extremities
Applications to martial arts by leading qi
Good for marrow washing
(I think that because there is a more active pumping on the part of the individual it is easier to overcome resistance and gravity when guiding qi using this method)

If anyone wants to comment on Fire / Water Qi and their expereinces with it, feel free to do so. I understand the concept but havent progressed enough to sense it in my body yet.

~ED

[This message has been edited by MrEd (edited 08-13-2004).]

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#87294 - 08/13/04 09:21 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Kempoman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
You guys... [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

I want to interject a training method for the dan tien that I was taught by the most powerful IMA teachers I have ever felt, as it seems to have bearing on this thread and this accomplishment.

He showed us to take air into the dan tien area using abdominal breathing and the use the intercostals to direct it down and out (around) then twist the torso to the side and hold this position.

Repeated on the other side and then also actual back and forth body twisting. I did it for a bit and then quit because of the pain I was feeling in strange places in my midsection (deep). Looks like this could be something that would casue the areas that we are discussing to be made stronger just like the holding of zhuan zhuang does for the legs.


What do you think?

Scott

P.S.

I am guilty of not reading all the posts yet so bear with me. MrEd I am going to post some results on your experiment.

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#87295 - 08/13/04 10:41 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Anonymous
Unregistered


Scott,

Thanks for the exercise!!

When i tried it standing, i felt a stitch on either side. When i tried it sitting, it felt like there was a lot of pressure inside me as well as some of the stiches...

Do you try and pull down the diaphgram as you are moving the intercostals?

I only tried it briefly as i'm at work, but im sure i will realize new levels of pain once i have more time to set down and practice it. It seems to be addressing the same area that i feel tense up and block my progress when trying to breathe lightly to minimize resistance, which is a good thing.

Regards,
~ED

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#87296 - 08/13/04 11:05 AM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm still confused about the role of the intercostal muscles in all of these exercises. Mainly, how to control the intercostals in conjunction with the diaphragm is my problem. I guess I still don't understand their function fully...
Shoot, now I don't want to do the experiment until I know more about what I am doing...

Oh, and before I forget, thanks to all who helped me with my alignment issues with my freaky feet.

[This message has been edited by Lucid Warrior (edited 08-13-2004).]

[This message has been edited by Lucid Warrior (edited 08-13-2004).]

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#87297 - 08/13/04 12:11 PM Re: Ed's Qualitative Science Experiment
Anonymous
Unregistered


I think its safe if you pracitce properly. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

The pain kempoman and i were talking about comes from stretching/strengthing internal tendons and fascia. The key is not to overdo it in any practice session. You can gradually strengthen them safely i think.

To use a weight lifting analogy again, you don't train the same muscle group on consecutive days. This leads to a well-documented condition called "overtraining" with lots of info on the web about it.

Your muscles make great gains but need proper time to recover. Weightlifting or any activity creates tiny tears in existing muscle which stimulates them to overheal, building additional muscle tissue. Thus when lifting to build muscle you give your body this healing time before attempting the adaption process to build more muscle again.

I think the same overtraining philosophy applies to internals. But since they have different demands placed on them then muscle groups, I dont know what the recovery time for tendons and fascia are. I am not well versed enough in anatomy, but maybe nenipp can help us with that one [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]


As long as you are cautious and aware of your body, you should be fine.

Respectfully,
~ed

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