Thursday, February 11, 2010

Relaxation of waist or loosening of lower back

Recently there was a question asked about "What's so special about completely relaxing the waist?" in Yahoo Zhineng Qigong Group. I post the answer verbatim below:

What's so special about completely relaxing the waist?
Completely relaxing the waist (song yao) does not only refer to relaxing the lumbar region but the whole spine. There are many levels. At the highest level (so-called mystical state) each and every section of the backbone could be rotate/ move at will (hard to believe until you feel/ see it). It is a sign of free flow of qi through out the whole body. The automatical transformation of bodily essence to move upwards, the sign of reversing the intrinsic downward flow of qi (to procreate), a sign of complete command of the bodily essence.

In my own experience loosening the waist (song yao) brings about a good grounding of our body to the earth (feeling of being deeply rooted to the ground). With this we can achieve a good stability of our body. When you can perform 'Tan Tui Zhiao Zhu Miao Tai Ji' (posture no. 9 of xing shen zhuang) with eyes closed you are likely to have a good loosened waist. In my experience, to have a loosened lower back, (let alone a completely loosened waist) can be a very,very challenging effort and one needs perseverance in order to achieve it. I had mentioned in an earlier posting that it has taken me more than a year of hard work and I have yet to achieve it. ;)

Two days ago I was working on 'zhi tui zuo' method of lower back loosening and I experienced a dull ache on both sides of my pelvis. To me this is yet another discovery of where more work needs to be done in my effort to achieve a loosened lower back which is:

I have to work on (loosen) my sacroiliac joint (or SI joint).

The SI joint is the two joints between the sacrum bone and the left and right pelvis. Fortunately our dear teacher Dr. Pang Heming has already got a gong worked out for us which is: 'Ping zhu kai kua fen qian hou' (posture no. 7 of xing shen zhuang). In fact Dr. Pang has given us a whole range of gongs to loosen our entire spine:

1) 'He shou long tou qi chong tian' - posture no. 1, crane neck dragon horn. for the cervical bones of the spine (C1 to C7)
2) 'Fu shen gong yao song du mai' - posture no. 5 for stretching and even rotating the entire spinal column (cervical bones:C1 to C7, Thoracic bones: T1 to T12, Lumbar: L1 to L5)
3) 'Zhuan yao shuan kua qi kui tian' - posture no. 6 rotating and stretching lumbar bones & coccyx or tail bones and..
4) 'Ping zhu kai kua fen qian hou' - posture no. 7 to loosen the sacroiliac joints between the pelvis and sacrum.

So for those of you who aspire have a flexible spine, religiously work on the above postures!

Now back to why it is so important to have a loosened and flexible spine. Think about our spine... it carries our spinal cord from the brain right down to the sacral channel in the sacrum bone ( the tail end of our spine). Nerves branch out from the spinal cord through side openings in the spinal bones to various parts of our body:
  1. cervical bones nerves go to our arms and upper chest,
  2. thoracic bones nerves go to our upper chest and abdomen, and
  3. lumbar bones nerves go to our legs, pelvis, bowel, and bladder.
These nerves carry sense signals to our brain via the spinal cord embedded in the entire spinal column.

Using our zhineng qigong language:
Our brain is the highest hunyuan qi - 'yi yuan ti'. And looking at how sense signals are collected by nerves and brought to the brain by the spinal cord, I reason that for the unity of body and mind to be achieved, we must have 'A Completely Relaxed Waist!' In other words, Qi must flow unimpeded to our 'yi yuan ti' in order for us to experience complete body and mind unity! Makes sense?