Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

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Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby caesar » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:10 am

Hi everybody.

Just a short question that has been roaming my mind. Do you know how different ZZ-exercises developed? I've only heard that it might have something to do with shamanism in early taoism. And I've heard it might come from the shepherds observing their herd.

Anyway...I find it very peculiar that someone has decided that raising the hands to the embracing the tree position is healthy, when at start it might feel very uncomfortable and painful.
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Re: Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby Dvivid » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:42 am

I find it very peculiar that someone has decided that raising the hands to the embracing the tree position is healthy, when at start it might feel very uncomfortable and painful.


No one knows the origin, but the Daoists have practiced it as far back as their history is recorded.

Zhan Zhuang, or "Embrace the Tree/Moon", is based on qigong/acupuncture theory. It is not a random choice, but based on the energetic structure of the body.

The acupuncture point GV14 (dazhui) is one of the most effective for strengthening the body's yang if it is deficient, or decreasing yang if it is excessive. It is located at the base of the neck, at the junction between the spine and the arms. This is the meeting point of all yang channels in the body. When you hold your arms in the posture correctly, you are routing energy through this point, into the arms. (Make sure you slightly tuck the tailbone, sink your chest and round the back, draw your chin back, and stand up straight to elongate the torso gently.) You should feel very soft in this posture, not tight. Let go of all unnecessary tension.

Image

Muscular tension stagnates, or traps, energy circulation. By holding the arms parallel to the ground, you build an energy field in the arms, and stimulate the governing vessel.

When you relax the limbs (and the rest of the body), Qi flows back toward the center of the body. This is Wai Dan (external elixir) qigong.

In addition, holding the arms out adds weight to the lower back, which energizes this big area between the kidneys and the sacrum.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Re: Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby buddhafist » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:35 pm

Thanks Dvivid, that was a very good explanation!

So we can assume that (maybe) the Daoists / Shamans that were aware of the energy body designed these exercises on purpose, not just trial and error...thats cool!
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Re: Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby caesar » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:17 pm

Thank you indeed Dvivid! This certainly clarified.
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Re: Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby Josh Young » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:14 pm

The origins of this practice are obscure, but it my own studies it seems quite possible that it is very very old.

Standing meditation practices yeilding spiritual energetic results are widespread in old religious tales of several cultures. The art of all of them seems to conserve several postures...

One legend is that such practices were given to humans by the gods or spirits or a specific one... whatever the case it appears ancient and may predate recorded history.
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Re: Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby vaultkeeper7 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:04 am

These ZZ exercises are actually meant to stop and muscular stress stagnation. If it starts stagnating then blood flow will be minimal. It won’t stop but become very less. It will result in a tired feeling and often tends put us in bed for a long time.







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Re: Origins of Zhan Zhuang?

Postby yeniseri » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:28 pm

The shamanistic origins of neigong/neiyanggong/yangshenggong were meant to alleviate what may be termed "wind' conditions but they evolved/separated and changed to match today's impetus and orientation. It was also part of jibengong (physical conditioning pre heaven and post heaven type) training!
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