Reactions to Zhanzhuang Exercise
When learning Zhanzhuang, practitioners usually go through four stages. Their body usually have some notable reactions during the beginning stages.
1. Soreness and Pain
In the first few weeks or even months, shoulders, arms, legs, knees feel more or less sore and painful. If someone had a surgery before, the scar area may feel stinging pain. Those are biological reactions which prove that the exercise is increasing the work capacity of muscles.
2. Numbness and Distension
When standing, fingers or palms most likely feel numb and distending. Some people have those feelings on their arms, legs and feet. A few people feel that all over the body. The skins may feel ants-walking or even ants-biting. The biological causes are as follows: the exercise is opening the blood capillaries, accelerating the blood flow, enhancing the blood circulation.
3. Warmth and Heat
The most obvious parts are palms and feet. If continuing to stand for 30mins, you feel warm and hot and might sweat comfortably. The causes are similar—the blood circulation is accelerated slowly all over!
4. Shaking and Trembling
The posture of Zhanzhuang requires all your muscles to coordinate and collaborate in balance and harmony. The muscles are in a state of “tight but not stiff; loose but not slack – 松而不懈, 紧而不僵”. After standing for a while, you may shake and tremble. Don’t be scared; you are on the right track.
Some people’s arms might be one higher than the other but they still feel that the arms are at the same height. Some people’s heads are tilted, but they don’t feel that way. Those are all normal at the beginning; however, those imbalances will be removed eventually if you practice more with supervision.
When you become an experienced Zhanzhuanger, you will feel mostly comfortable during and after the exercise. The Zhanzhuang training is considered to be one type of advanced aerobics. More than that, it trains every single part of your internal organs and external muscles and especially your brain as well. It doesn’t press on your heart so you won’t lose breath. It enhances the blood circulation evenly so even your fingers tips and toes and head skins are working out, too.
All added up, you will sweat actively and peacefully and when the sweat takes out all your tiredness and stiffness and of course, the poisonous chemicals inside your body, you just feel awesome! (There are two types of sweating, passive and active — the active one is much better!)
7. Health Benefits
Zhanzhuang exercise is best at curing chronic diseases such as insomnia, anxiety, back/neck/leg pain, arthritis, hypertension, hyperlipemia, diabetes, to name a few. Zhanzhuang trains your mind which healthily stimulates and calms the brain. If your brain is becoming healthier (the central nervous system is improved), you sleep better and anxiety improves. Zhanzhuang improves your blood circulation. When you have better blood circulation, you have better metabolism (digestion and absorption system), and better micro-cycle system, nervous system, immune system, etc.
Training the blood circulation leads to blood vessels and veins getting wider and the blood flow being less obstructed. That lowers the blood pressure, so hypertension can be controlled and cured. This applies to other sicknesses and illnesses. Note that Zhanzhuang is not a simple meditation. It requires a lot more. The original purpose of the mind training was for combat, so when applied to health, the efficiency and effectiveness are incredible.
We just listed a couple of the reasons why Zhanzhuang can cure diseases, there are a lot more to discuss, so stay tuned!
is a special exercise. It’s aerobic, very gentle, and doesn’t require much movement. No warm-ups before the exercise or ending routines are required. What you need is just a place (either indoor or outdoor) with good air circulation. has a large number of postures (stances are the technical term), but there is only one basic posture which can be transformed into all other postures. So, when you master the one posture, it’s only a matter of time to master all of them. From this perspective, is not a complex skill to learn.
The training time of can be adjusted by oneself. In general, practitioners start from 5 minutes and increase progressively up to one hour. However, a 5-min has health benefits, too. So is quite accessible since no minimum “dose” of time is required. In fact, men, women, seniors, juniors, the weak or strong, all can practice according to their own situation at their preferred time and place.
There are usually four stages of the learning process and there are various reactions during beginning stages of .
Healing aspect of
In general, can correct and build a stronger body. With postures, young men with hunchbacks can be corrected. Dysfunctional feet, knees, or legs can be fixed to a great extent. The middle-aged suffering from back/shoulder/neck/muscle pain, hemorrhoids, insomnia, bad digestion, etc., can expect to get rid of those with consistent practice of over time.
is the best option for the weak or elderly as can gradually and constantly enhance their immune system – the human body’s own defense mechanisms. According to Dr. Yu’s clinical experimentation and tests, many kinds of chronic diseases such as chronic tracheitis, chronic gastroenteritis, chronic hepatitis, cardiopathy, high blood pressure(hypertension), neurasthenic, chronic rheumatoid arthritis and similar rheumatoid arthritis, adipoma, goiter, etc., may obtain unbelievable beneficial effects after practice.
We only listed some of the health applications of . There are more. Every day practitioners are discovering new benefits of this amazing exercise.
Why can cure diseases?
is not only standing still. It is not only meditation, either. The system of training is a combination of physical and mental aspects. The physical and mental activities are not separate from each other in this exercise. Hence, both the physiological and psychological functions of the body are cumulatively strengthened. Why heals is a huge topic. Dr. Yu had written many books about it. In this article, we are going to focus on how is able to nourish the blood. We will talk more in our blog posts.
During , the body is held relatively unchanged in correct structures and there is constant contraction and loosening between muscles and bones. This will mobilize blood vessels, which promotes blood circulation. Dr. Yu listed the following figures in the book of “ and Search of Wu” (Yu Yongnian, 2005, Shanxi Science and Technology Press).
After one hour of the composition of the blood may sensibly change:
- up to 1520 000 additional erythrocytes (red blood cells) per cm3 of blood,
- up to 3650 additional hem leukocytes (white blood cells) per cm3 of blood,
- up to 3.2 gram of additional hemoglobin per cm3 of blood.
Red blood cells are able to carry oxygen so efficiently because of the hemoglobin they contain. Increase of hemoglobin can directly impact the quantity of oxygen. With this additional amount of oxygen brought to the organ systems, one will be in a special state of relaxation and wellbeing. This is why has particularly good results in treating neurasthenia, arthritis, angina, cirrhosis, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
Recommended for special people
The most important characteristic of as a healing method is that there is no side-effect. From the medicine point of view, there are not so many optional exercises for people who are too weak to sit or stand and people with special diseases i.e., cardiovascular diseases. is the best option for those people. There are lying-down postures, supported postures, sitting postures, standing postures, practitioners can choose appropriate postures and control the physical effort precisely by the time of practicing.
To conclude, with thousands of years of development and the support of Yiquan martial artists and medical professionals in the last 100 years, has brought together the essence of Chinese well-being philosophies and western sciences as a mature, thorough and complete method of health maintenance and improvement. If you want to know more about as a healing method, reading Dr. Yu’s books is a good start. Here are three recommendations:
< Zhan Zhuang and The Search of Wu > (Chinese, English versions)
<Zhan Zhuang: The Art of Nourishing Life> (Chinese, English, French versions)
< Zhan Zhuang and Dao De Jing> (Chinese version)
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