LFIAA Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage “How To Use Various Massage Techniques To Move The Jing, Qi, Shen To Maintain Health & Wellbeing”.

Within the many Massage techniques that are practiced by a practitioner of the Li Style (Lishi) Energy Bodywork Massage (Tui Na Qigong). They can be broken down into techniques that are used to move the patients blood, essences (Jing) around their body, or techniques that can be used to manipulate the patients Qi (Energy) and Spirit (Shen). Master Chee Soo taught ten methods of massage techniques within the Li Style Energy Bodywork Massage System (Tui Na Qigong) not all of these techniques can be used to directly manipulate the patients Qi Or Shen, some are simply used to work on moving the blood, essences.

Techniques like the Kneading, Grasping, Pinching, Pulling, Pushing, Wiping, Scraping, Rolling, Rubbing, Patting are used to move the patients blood (Xue) and essences (Jing) through the muscles and soft tissue to wash and lubricate the tendons to help maintain their strength, to improve the circulation of the blood into the upper and lower extremities to remove any blood stagnation that could cause blockages that could lead to atrophy of the muscles, which are starved from fresh blood and nutrients entering into them.

Techniques like Pressing, Shaking, Vibrating, Holding can be used to manipulate the patients Qi or Spirit (Shen) by either gathering, rising, lowering, entering, closing, opening, exiting or dispersing the Qi anywhere in the patients body to help remove blocked energy that may have accumulated due to illness, such as within any of the internal organs (Zangfu), or within the limbs and head. When the practitioner decides to use either a Pressing or Vibrating technique to manipulate the patients Qi, once they place their hands onto the patients body, they will remain in the same location for some time, gradually developing the strength of their connection to the patients Qi for which the patients will feel as warmth or heat building in the area of were the practitioner has placed his or her hands.

Alongside developing the understanding of how to use certain massage techniques to effect the patients Blood, Qi or Shen. The practitioner must also learn how to use certain massage techniques like Grasping, Pulling and Vibrating to cause traction (Zhua) on the patients joints, muscles and tendons, allowing for fresh blood and Qi to enter in between the spaces of the joints that have been tractioned removing any blocked, stagnant blood and Qi that may have accumulated. So that health and life are restored into the joints, tendons and muscles.

Likewise, the practitioner of the Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage must also know how to use certain massage techniques and methods that can be used to effect a greater range of joint mobilisation by gently opening, closing the joints, stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments that surround the joints to increase flexibility, allowing for blood and Qi to enter and sickly, turbid blood and Qi to be removed.

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LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu “Basic Hand & Foot Methods” (Jiben Shoujiaofa)

As in most Chinese Internal Martial Arts there are several layers to each particular training exercise, that every student and practitioner has to learn before they can progress onto the next level. So it is with the Feng Shou-Kung Fu’s kicking methods, or as my teacher Master Chee Soo used to call the “Foot Flow Patterns” (Jiao Lian Xing), for example, a very basic level of learning the vast amount of Kicking methods that are taught and practiced within the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu, is simply to concentrate on the lower extremities stances, stepping methods and the angle, type of kick being performed. Usually the arms are not included and are held in a relaxed manner by the sides of the body and the student casually walks through the kicking method to get a feel for it. Sadly there are many students who still to this day practice their kicking methods in this particular basic manner?

The second layer for the students and practitioners of the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu to reach within their kicking methods. To add defensive & offensive hand work (Shou Fa) alongside their kicking methods, as there are plethora of defensive & offensive hand methods in Feng Shou-Kung Fu that each student and practitioner could use with their kicking methods. It is best to practice firstly some defensive hand methods for a while with their kicks, and then after a few months or so, switch to using some offensive hand methods or after another couple of months combine both defensive & offensive hand methods together. Learning to combine hand work alongside the kicking methods, teaches each student to develop a “Sense of Enemy” in front of themselves and stops them from becoming to relaxed and treating the Foot Flow pattern training as a fitness exercise.

The third layer, to the practice of the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu Foot Flow Pattern (Jiao Lian Xing) Training. Is simple to start adding more speed to your stepping, defensive & offensive hand methods and the kicks themselves. Learning how to issue strength (Fa Jing), by using good body alignment and correct body mechanics is vitally important to every internal martial artist if they what to develop effective, powerful and practical fighting methods to protect themselves against any situation.

Irrespective of what Chinese Internal Martial Art you are studying and practicing. Every student and practitioner should want to develop their own level of proficiency within their chosen internal martial art, such as the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu. It is important that each student understands that if they are still practicing their Foot Flow Patterns, with their arms hanging down in an over relaxed manner and the kicks performed slowly after a few years of training. That they are not developing their ability to defend themselves, but more towards getting fitter. Confidence, strength, speed and power should be achieved through correct understanding of progressing through each of the different training layers to make your Feng Shou-Kung Fu become an effective Chinese Internal Martial Art that suits both genders.

LFIAA Swimming Dragon Qigong’s “Small Heavenly Circle Guiding & Leading Exercise” (Xiao Zhoutian Daoyin)

When I teach any individual the Swimming Dragon Qigong thirty-two Posture form (You Long Gong). Many within my classes will at some time mention that they do not have enough room in their house to practice the whole form. Especially during the winter period, when it is obviously to cold and wet to venture outdoors to practice and receive some fresh Qi and maybe a bit of sunlight. This is were I then show them that each of the Swimming Dragon Qigong thirty-two postures can also be performed separately from each other, or they can be strung together using two or three of their favourite postures together in a sequence and simply practice them repeatedly to generate good Qi and blood circulation throughout the whole body to strengthen their health & wellbeing.

So above in the accompanying photo and attached video is of myself demonstrating the Swimming Dragon Qigong’s “Small Heavenly Circle Daoyin” exercise to show how each of the thirty-two postures can be practiced separately. As you can see in the video the “Small Heavenly Circle” Daoyin exercise involves dynamic stretching of the arms, legs and torso, especially the spinal column and muscles of the whole back. Which can help to relax the entire body by releasing muscle tension and joint stiffness, increasing blood & Qi circulation throughout the whole body. The breathing (Xi) should be performed in and out through the nose and inhaling as you raise and exhaling as you lower co-ordinating the breathing and movements together to fit your own ability to perform this exercise.

When leaning forwards, make sure to point your fingers towards each other and push your both palms forwards, to not just only stretch the muscles, tendons & joints. But to also stretch both the Yin & Yang channels of the both arms. As you bend forwards the Yang channels of the back and legs are gently stretched open to increase Qi flow and remove any blockages. On raising the body upwards, as the both hands arrive at the feet the both palms turn to face upwards, still with the fingers pointing towards each other. They then begin to rise upwards connecting the Qi-point on the little finger edge of each hand, the “Back Stream Point 3 ” (Houxi) located on the Small Intestine Channel to the Stomach Channel. As the both hands arrive at the chest with the both palms facing upwards, they then slowly turn inwards connecting the Pericardium Channel Point 8 (Laogong) located in the centre of each palm to the Stomach Channels Point 13 (Qihu) located beneath each collar bones, then the both palms face forwards and the exercise can be repeated.

Within Traditional Chinese Medicine it is said that “working the tendons strengthen the Qi, the Qi then nourishes the blood and the blood then strengthens the tendons”. So to help maintain health and wellbeing one does not need to lift heavy weights or run many miles. You simply need to dynamically invigorate your tendons by stretching and relaxing them, which will In-turn increase your Qi strength, which can only be done through passive & vigorous actions that connect mind, body & breath together through Qigong practice. As your Qi becomes stronger it helps the blood to circulate throughout the entire body, filling the blood with nutrients that then wash and lubricate the tendons, Internal organs and tissue to promote health & long life.

LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) TAI CHI “Circular footwork methods” (Quan Bu Fa)

Everyone knows that within the practice of Tai Chi the movements should involve circular actions of various sizes. There should be no linear, straight line movements. But it is surprising how many individuals who study and practice the Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi Square Yard Form do not fully apply the circular actions to their stepping Methods (Bu Fa) as they do to their handwork (Shou Fa). To many individuals who practice the Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi Form seem to contradict their actions, by performing circular actions with their hands & arms, while using linear or straight line stepping with their feet & legs.

When stepping is applied in the practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi Form, whether the individual steps forwards, backwards, sidewards or turning it should involve two types of circular stepping actions. Either an horizontal or vertical stepping action should be drawn with the legs and feet in conjunction with the circular actions of the arms, so that there are circles being drawn above and below throughout the entirety of the Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi Square Yard Form.

When the Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi individual decides to step in any direction, the action of the three main joints within the lower extremities the hip (Kua), knee (Xi) and ankle (Huai) should open (Kai) and close (He). Meaning that they should not be kept straight or locked when attempting to step in any of the Four directions, the action of opening and closing of the joints of the lower extremities will increase the circulation of both the blood (Xue) and Qi (Energy) to flow into the feet bringing fresh, positive nutrients into the joints and tissue to maintain their health.

Sadly Over my many years of studying and practicing the Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi Square Yard Form. I have seen many different versions of the style being performed by groups and individuals and they all seem to place great emphasis on their Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi Circular handwork. But not on their circular stepping methods, to many simply rely on just using straight line stepping actions which as I have already mentioned contradicts their own upper and lower body actions, according to the Tai Chi guidelines.

LFIAA Acupuncture (Zhen Bian) “The Needle is just a bridge”

In the practice of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (Zhen Bian), the use of inserting a needle into a patients body is simply a bridge connecting not only the practitioner and patient, but also to allow the practitioners Qi to connect to the patients own Qi, so that the practitioner can then skilfully guide & lead (Daoyin) the patients Qi to help treat their ailment. As the needle is inserted into the particular energy cavity (Qi Xue) along a specific channel or meridian (Jingluo), the practitioner through their own tactile ability to listen and feel for the connection of the patients Qi with their own Qi through the tip of the needle. This connection could be that the patient begins to feel a warming, tingling sensation in the area of were the needle was inserted or a build up of pressure.

As the practitioner inserts the needle (Zhen) they are feeling for a slight resistance on the tip of the needle, once they feel this pressure they can then begin to connect, guide & lead the patients Qi. Some times, when the practitioner inserts a needle into a particular channel or meridian the needle just slides in and out smoothly with no feeling of resistance in both directions. He or she will then have two choices, they can either try again to get a better connection on the same energy cavity, usually paying more attention to their own body posture, correcting any slight angles or mis-alignment. Changing the angle that the needle is inserted until they can get a better or stronger connection. The second option is to simply try another energy cavity along the same channel or meridian.

Once the practitioner has developed a good connection of the patients Qi with their own through the insertion of the needle. They can then begin to guide & lead the patients Qi by either gathering the Qi if the patients Qi is in a state of deficiency, were their own energy levels are low and weak due to coldness entering deeply into the body. The practitioner can gather the patients Qi and begin to bring warmth and heat into the area, allowing gradually for the patients own Qi to begin to grow in strength and have a feeling of fullness. Obviously, if there is an over excess of Qi build up in an area causing the patient to feel pain, dizziness,anger like excessive Qi raising upwards to the head then the practitioner through the skilful manipulation of the needle and connection to the patients Qi can then guide & lead (Daoyin) the patients Qi and begin to lower the excessive Qi, helping the patient to feel no or less pain, the dizziness and anger to gradually dissipate.

It is the practitioners skill in the manipulation of the needle and their ability to connect to the patients Qi to be able to guide & lead the patients Qi by gathering, opening, closing, rising, lowering, entering, exiting and dispersing the Qi. It is not the needle that does the work, but the practitioner, the needle is just a bridge.

LFIAA Taiji Self Defence “Moving Slowly To Move Fast”

When you begin to learn taijiquan be it for health or self defence the guiding principles that are taught to you are exactly the same. For example you are told to remain relaxed, develop correct body alignment, sink your bodyweight and off cause “Move Slowly to Move Fast”. There are many more guiding principles, these mentioned above are just a few examples, that the principles one follows when practicing taijiquan for health and wellbeing are exactly the same for taiji self defence methods (Taiji Zi Wei Fa). So let us just look at the principles already mention above and connect to the practice of taiji self defence.

Remain relaxed. This is very important, but can be the most difficult for some individuals to achieve, especially when being under assault from an assailant. But the more you practice your taijiquan forms and taiji qigong exercises you will naturally develop a more relaxed, loose (Song) body and a calm, focused mind. Which through regular practice and training of the self defence methods of taijiquan you can use to your benefit. Relaxation (Song), is so important as it stops you from panicking and stiffening your body, which can immediately affect your own balance, issuing your power into your self defence techniques etc.

Correct body alignments. Through the practice of the taijiquan form you are told to keep an upright body shape, allowing for your shoulders, elbows and knees to remain slightly bent, to move from your centre the (Dantian) “elixir field” located behind your navel. You must not lean your body in any direction or lock your joints as this can greatly effect your ability to defend yourself.

Sinking your bodyweight. Combines both the ability to develop a relaxed body and correct body alignments together. Relaxation allows the individual to not tense or become still which can force them to raise they centre of gravity. Correct body alignment develops the individuals awareness to sink their shoulders, elbows and knees to lower their centre of gravity into their legs and feet and then into the ground, developing a better sense of stability and connection to the ground, making the bottom half of their body develop a feeling of heaviness that is rooted (Gen) into the ground to allow the taiji individual to also issue great power and strength into their taiji self defence techniques.

Moving slowly to move fast. Everyone whether they practice taijiquan for health or self defence or maybe both. Must start their learning of taijiquan slowly at first to develop their accuracy, timing, precision, reactions, concentration, co-ordination, agility. But to also learn how to relax, maintain correct body alignment, move the whole body as one complete unit, learning to sink their bodyweight to develop power and strength. Once the taiji individual begins to understand these guiding principles and can put them into practical application, then in the case of using taijiquan for self defence they must then simply add speed to issue power (Fa Jin) into their self defence methods connecting both the internal & external aspects of taijiquan practice.

LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) Energy Bodywork Massage System “Skilful Use Of The Supporting Hand” (Fu Shou Fa)

Anyone who has practiced massage, irrespective of what particular style of massage therapy one has studied will understand the importance of the “Supporting Hand” known in Chinese as (Fu Shou). The amount of times that I have seen beginner students and I must say some more experienced individuals, simply place one hand on the patient to work with, while their supposedly Fu Shou “Supporting Hand” was hanging by the sides of their body doing nothing, is really a lazy and very poor way to massage and treat a patient.

The Fu Shou “Supporting Hand” is used in the Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage System to help reassure, anchor, connect and work in unison with the primary hand (Jue Shou) to give the patient a quality based holistic treatment towards preventing or managing their particular ailment. Firstly the Fu Shou when it is placed anywhere on the patients body helps to reassure the patient by remaining in contact with them all of the time, helping the patient to relax and trust the practitioner while they are working using the primary hand. The Fu Shou should not become static by being held in one place on the patients body, it should be allowed to move around the whole of the body, remaining in contact and working in unison with the primary hand. Some times the Fu Shou “Supporting Hand” can suddenly change into the primary hand and vice-versa so it is important that it stays in contact.

Secondly the Fu Shou can be used to Anchor a limb to give the practitioner a better sense of control, while working on the joints & muscles of the same limb with the primary hand. It can also be used to cover a particular energy cavity (Qi Xue) to Anchor, ground, close or gather the patients energy (Qi) to the same energy cavity, while the primary hand is used to move and direct the patients Qi in the opposite direction, raising, lowering the Qi. The Fu Shou can also be used as an Anchor to traction the muscles, tendons, soft tissue and joints, while the primary hand is used to stretch in the opposite direction to help release tension and stiffness. It can be used to open the joints by using traction to allow fresh Qi and nutrients in the blood to enter into the spaces between the joints to nourish and strengthen, and to also exit and disperse stagnant sickly blood and blocked energy out.

Thirdly, the Fu Shou can also be used to connect to a particular Qi cavity (Qi Xue) along the same energy pathway, channel or meridian (Jingluo) on the patients body that the primary hand (Jue Shou) is also located on, but on another energy cavity along the same channel. Then using both the “Supporting Hand” (Fu Shou) and the “Primary Hand” (Jue Shou) to work in harmony in allowing the patient own Qi to travel the length of the energy pathway rising, lowering, entering or exiting the Qi to treat many types of ailments.

To use the “Supporting Hand” (Fu Shou) in a skilful manipulative way takes a lot of time and practice, especially in working in harmony with the “Primary Hand” switching and alternating from one hand to the other from supporting to being the primary hand without losing contact or control takes plenty of practice to develop.