Embracing the ribs and the liver… A further explanation


When training XingYiQuan it is necessary to understand Five Element Theory in the style that I practice. Spring time is the best season to train the wood element which would be the liver and gallbladder. These are best practiced facing east because the external of the liver on the body is the eyes. When someone’s liver becomes diseased it is often apparent from looking at the whites of their eyes as they turn yellow. Beng Quan / Crushing Fist is trained in the spring time as it is the best season for training the wood element. It is best to face east, where the sun rises , allowing the Sun’s energy to enter into the eyes and into the liver and gallbladder. The color green is also associated with the wood element. The color green is a very small frequency range within the visible light spectrum. The reason that you are seeing green is because the other colors are being absorbed into the object that you are looking at , whether it’s trees or grass etc. The green that is being reflected is a very specific frequency range that relates to the wood element. It has a calming quality because when we see green , our primitive mind knows that there is food ,water , and shelter. This is one of the reasons that there is a “green room ” that artists relax in prior to performing on stage. All exercises can be looked at mechanically as well as internally. Embracing the ribs is not so much about massaging the liver side of the body with the forearm as it is about stimulating the flow of the Yin energy down the inside of the arm , towards the fist. To follow the proper principles, you must understand that you rub the arm when you were withdrawing it causing the energy to flow towards the fist. If you rub it in the opposite direction , especially if you train often , you can cause yourself problems because you retard or slow the flow or worse reverse the flow of the energy in the arm and the three yin meridians. When you push off your rear foot to advance forward to perform Beng Quan or crushing fist , your big toe flexes. Your big toe is the source of the liver meridian and that energy flows upward from the big toe. This is part of how Beng Quan affects the wood element in the body. The gallbladder meridian ( wood element) runs down the sides of the body. Rubbing it with the forearm perpendicular to its energy flow only loosens and opens the meridians more versus affecting it’s directional flow. These things are important to help you understand some of the deeper elements of these actions and why they are important and why they do what they do to the organ system in the human body relative to traditional Chinese medicine and Five element theory. I hope this is helpful to anyone whose interests and training extend to this level.

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