Many Chinese medical practitioners recommend Chinese style stretching exercises which we refer to as Shenzhan Technique. Mustang Shenzhan Technique will not only shape the body, it will also regenerate the internal organs. Mustang Shenzhan Technique conforms to the principles of Chinese medicine. It will strengthen both the body shape and vital energy.
The basic course that we recommend for beginners of life cultivation is named Taiji Cloudhand and Catwalk. It is the beginning movement of the Taiji Modality of Mustang Shenzhan Technique.
We hereby offer some practical advice for some of the modalities included in Mustang Shenzhan Technique. You may want to revisit this Article once you run into difficulty when you actually practice some of the exercises to solve your problems.
Practice Advice General
More and more people realize the importance of exercise, but strenuous exercise may not be a good choice for some, especially seniors and weak people. Some people may not be in the condition for jogging when they just start exercising. Therefore, you should be careful in choosing the right kind of stretching exercise for your body condition.
A good way to exercise should consume the least amount of vital energy, which not only strengthens the body, but also nourishes the five vital internal organs. Baduanjin, Taiji Cloudhand and catwalk, Wuqinxi, and Bone Cultivation Modality are good choices.
Baduanjin focuses on exercising the viscera; Bone Cultivation focuses on exercising the ligaments and bones; Wuqinxi focuses on exercising the heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys, muscles and bones; Taiji Cloudhand and Catwalk focus on solidly practicing the basic skills of Taiji.
Beware that breathing is a very important part in Mustang Shenzhan Technique. Otherwise, our technique will be similar to the popular broadcasting exercises which do not yield much benefits.
As you practice our repertoire of stretching exercises, you will notice that the movement may be different, the benefits may be different, but there are also many similarities.
Practice Advice Environment
Ideally you should practice everyday, whether you do it indoors or outdoors. As you exercise, you will sweat more, so you should wear a towel around your neck and to clean your sweat while you are away from the wind to avoid getting a cold from the wind. If the weather is very windy and you sweat a lot, then you should not practice in the wind.
You may practice Mustang Shenzhan Technique anytime during the day. You may practice early in the morning before breakfast. However, if you feel dizzy or uneasy then you should have your food first before practicing. You should rest a while after a meal before you exercise.
If you are a beginner just starting on the Mustang Shenzhan Technique, you should breathe through your nose instead of your mouth so you act naturally with your movement. Once you are familiar with the movement, then you may consider modifying your breathing so that your breath and body will act as one.
Practice Advice Differences
When you are choosing which modality to learn within the Mustang Shenzhan Technique, you have to consider your own body condition together with what the modality requires.
Taiji, Baduanjin, and Wuqinxi, compared with Zhanzhuang (Stance), force you to stretch your body more. Taiji is more complex and is best learned with a personal trainer. Baduanjin and Wuqinxi both focus on stretching and are very good for your bones and muscle. You may choose either one. You will reap the benefits if you persist.
Practice Advice Knee Pain
When you practice the Baduanjin, Wuqinxi, or Taiji, you may feel knee pain because they involve prolonged squatting. There are several reasons for this pain:
- You may have overbent your knees.
- You may not have relaxed enough, that you try the movement while your joints are still rigid, leading to injury when you exercise.
- You have over exercised.
- You make mistakes when you turn. The angle of turning is too large, forcing your knee to turn off in the wrong direction.
- You may have an old injury from before.
- Growth. As you practice, your body issues are undergoing a change from old to new, very similar to your natural change of teeth.
It is recommended that you pay attention to the correct posture, keep your knees in the same direction as your toes as much as possible, and do not allow the center of gravity to be too low to cause the knees to overbend. Adjust the intensity and duration of the exercise according to your own situation, and be sure to warm up before the exercise.
If the knee pain is aggravated, it is recommended that you take a break and apply heat to the knees, soles, and waist to circulate yang energy to protect the knees. If the knee joint is critically injured or is hot and swollen, apply ice first and then heat, and then stop your practice for a while for it to recover.
Practice Advice Squatting
What’s the point of squatting? How do you complete the movement if the knee is painful or noisy?
First, you should stand upright and not lean forward or backward. You may face the mirror sideways to observe whether your movements are leaning forward or backward. You may also feel to see whether your center of gravity is slightly outside the center of the sole of the feet. If the center of gravity is on the forefeet or rear heel, then your body has forward and backward leaning.
Second, the center of gravity should be evenly distributed on both feet, not on one foot or the other.
Third, your knees should always be in the direction of the toes during the squatting and rising process. Do not throw the knees.
As a beginner in learning Mustang Shenzhan Technique, you should pay attention to the above three points. On this basis, you may adjust the distance between your feet and the movement speed according to the strength of your legs. If you feel it is very difficult, you may stand with your feet closer and adjust your speed to be slightly faster. After you have strengthened your legs, you may then gradually widen the distance between your feet and slow down the movement speed.
It is normal for beginners to have knee pain and noise. Once you pay attention to the points indicated above and proceed step by step then you should have reduced the pain. If you have severe knee pain, you should rest.
When squatting, it feels like the weight is on your knees, especially when you are getting up. You have done something wrong.
If you feel that the weight is on your knees when you squat, then you are leaning forward. One possibility is that your legs are not strong enough. You may adjust your feet to stand closer, or stop for a while at the critical point where you cannot squat further, and then slowly get up. Do not force yourself to squat to the end, beyond the bearing range of your legs.
Another possibility is that you have an incorrect posture. Then you will not find the feeling of squatting while standing upright. For correction, you may try to find a railing, hold the railing with both hands to assist your squat while keeping your body upright. Or you may ask someone to observe from the side to remind you whether you are standing upright while squatting. You may also practice squatting with your back against a wall to strengthen your legs.
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This is an extract of the full article published in Mustang BodyWorks Infoletter, a paid-subscription.
Stay tuned for the next episode: Mustang Shenzhan Technique Qiyang Modality to wake up the yang in your body.
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