Openings and Closings Month 1 Q’s

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    Hello all, Vanderslice here. I guess I will introduce myself as preamble. First of all, thanks to Bruce Frantzis and people at Energy Arts, this is a great forum. Myself, I have an eclectic background. Taekwondo red belt, aikido student, and recent heart attack patient. I come to the arts of neigung from a mix of grimoire sorcery, weight lifting, and general good living. Since my heart attack, I have practiced zhan zhuang standing, yang and chen style tai chi, yoga, kettlebell programs, and gym ring workouts. I have run a 2 month sequence of Opening the gates and practiced several walks, including the Bagua straight line walk and Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming’s Tai Chi walk. I am currently working on San Ti and Pi Quan. I intend to really dig into San Ti and Pi Quan in the Morning and work on Chen style in the evening. I intend to incorporate ideas from this course in my practices.

    I am interested in this course because when I did the Opening of the gates, I knew I was just reaching the surface of the practice, and I hope to really get it. I hope to hear from other practitioners and figure out what an ideal opening and closing system feels like. Honestly, I suspect it is something that we do naturally, but that we dont realize we are doing.

    Now, on to the question:

    When I open the joints of my knuckles or wrist, there is always a sense that I am tensing my tendons/muscles in the hand. I might be focusing n increasing the “opening”, but it results in a sense that I am tensing my muscles. I do, however, find that concentrating on opening the laogong creates a sense of openness in the whole hand, and the attendant feeling of pulsing and tingling in the fingertips and the palm by the wrist.

    I am thinking I should start with an opening of the laogong and then try the “pulling exercises” of the digits and wrist. What have you been able to sense and what have you been able to work out as far as a practice sequence? Is there a way you have found to help with the opening of the digits?




    Hi Vanderslice,

    Just from my own experience of trying and learning with the videos. I often find in the first few days of practice when I am ‘thinking’ my way through the new sequences or postures, I may initially get similar muscular tension, but as I progress the next day and after, I think less and feel more and the tension seems to subside and more often than not I begin to get it to whatever degree I am able.

    It may be that because at Laogong there is no obvious joint articulation like wrist or digits, it is easier not to ‘think’ about it as movement and experience the sense of opening and closing- where as at the joints we have more expectation of actual movement (as demonstrated in partner excersises). If you are practicing alone (as I am) without the benefit of partner to explore as in month 1 vids, then I think, it just takes more repetitions of circling and I found useful repeated periodic changing direction of circling to begin to feel the opening and closing without forced muscular tension.

    Don’t know if that helps, just my experience (having don the standing training last year and now starting the opening/closing

    Good luck




    Thats a good idea, to figure out when you are “thinking” about opening the digit. I think the benefit of the partner exercises are to remove the intentional thinking aspects of creating the openings in the fingers and wrists, and allow the feeling neural pathways to develop the flow of chi.



    It’s great to hear from other student and so to be able to confirm that we are understanding the video. I am in the same position as Nick and also learning solo. I think the explaination for the practice is correct.I will add what comes to my mind while learning this lesson.

    I think the purpose of two person practice is so that the person trying to feel opening and closing between the bones can then have the relaxation and concentration in order to feel the open and close movement and sensation.If we do the exercise by our selves, we will be concious of our muscles pulling and that divert our attention from feeling for the qi activities which we are unaware of so far. Moving muscles also tend to block the feeling and movement of qi.
    The whole course is about opening and closing all the joints and cavities in the body and the first thing to learn is to know what is opening and closing clearly..So pulling and pushing the joint is just a mean to get to know what is meant by the term opening and closing.
    Opening joint is important,because if a major joint or cavities is blocked then the qi in the body do not flow or disfunction. I suspect the hand is a very important part of the body because the hand is the catalyst for the whole body. Bruce Francis teach how the hand can help to release other part of the body.

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