Study Guide for Unit 4 - The History & Origins of Shibashi 

 

Professor Lin, a renowned Qigong Master, scientist and Master Healer created the eighteen exercises that we know and practice as Shibashi, in 1979.

These were taken from movements of the Yang style Tai Chi Chuan and based on the philosophy of Tai Chi & Qigong.

Professor Lin Hou Sheng 1

Professor Lin Hou Sheng 2

 

Master Wing Cheung

Master Wing Cheung has generously provided, via emails, some of the essential information below.

There are 2 main sets of Shibashi. The 2nd set is more physically demanding than the 1st .

For this course we practice Level 1 of the Shibashi movements.

 

 

The Purpose of Shibashi

The main focus of most moving Qigong (Dong Gong) is for transporting the Qi  around the body in order to clear the blockages on the meridians. Examples of Dong Gong are Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi and Eight Strands of Brocade.

The teaching of the Shibashi exercises requires understanding of both the external movements and internal theories. Without an understanding of the real purpose of the 18 exercises, Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi would be merely another exercise routine.

In order to understand the following, it is stongly recommended that you complete, or at least study, the handouts and information in Study guide unit 5 - Traditional Chinese Medicine, before attempting this assignment.

The most obvious purpose of Shibashi is to provide us with benefits to our health. This can be viewed as both an external and internal benefit.

With Shibashi practice, according to ancient theories, the goal is to retain our Jing and strengthen and regulate our Qi. These are two of the three treasures in TCM, the third is known as Shen (mind). When Jing and Qi are balanced and in harmony the Shen will be strong and the emotions under control.

We do need to remember though that the main aim of our practise is to achieve relaxation through performing this gentle exercise.

The Aims

By looking at the attached handouts you will see reference to the 3 Stages of Shibashi.

The first aim is to CALM DOWN. This is done whilst standing in your wuji stance.

Wuji is not merely a body position or external requirement. It is about calming the mind and being about to enter the 'qigong mode' - a state which will affect the brain patterns (meditation). Calming down is often easier said than done, but with regular practise both you and your learners will be able to achieve this.

This calm state necessitates total focus of the mind. If you concentrate on your abdominal breathing and 'visualise' the breath going in and out in a slow regular flow, this will help with your focus.

It is at this point that you should reject thoughts of shopping lists or mowing the lawn!

One should stand in this position for as long as it takes to calm down.

The second aim is to totally relax. Again, another difficult thing whilst you are learning the movements! With time, once you are familiar with the movements, you will find this easier.

Focus on your abdominal breathing, relax the shoulders, and go through the whole body, checking that there is no tension whilst you stand in the wuji stance. Repeat the process as you step out into the Tai Chi stance. Stand for as long as is necessary in this position, to achieve focus and relaxation.

With the third aim we look at the consequence of achieving focus and relaxation.

Once relaxation of both the mind and body have been achieved, the qi will begin to flow .

Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi is a Qigong that is practiced to generate Qi in the limbs. When Qi in the limbs reaches a high level, it pushes through the channels, clearing blockages to eventually nourish your internal organs. Shibashi helps to keep the flow of Qi strong and smooth within your Primary and Connecting Channels, so that it nourishes the internal organs and functions. Any surplus Qi accumulates in the reservoirs of Qi known as the Governing and Conception Vessels.

One could also argue that the practise of Shibashi is to help move blood and lymph around the body, whilst performing this gentle exercise that provides other health benefits obtained from abdominal breathing. Just something to think about!

 

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