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location: Frist page Promotion Hand Forms and Techniques Commonly Used in Health Qigong (I)
2016-09-20
Hand Forms and Techniques Commonly Used in Health Qigong (I)
The Fundamentals on Health Qigong (Hand Form) excerpted from the Vocabulary of Health Qigonghas been published on our journal and arouses great interest in many a reader and inspires them to further learn the knowledge on this aspect. In this very occasion, Professor Gong Lihui sent us the article of Hand Forms and Techniques Commonly Used in Health Qigong. Though Professor Gong is already 70 years old, he still get preoccupied with writing diligently without interruption and compiled and sorted out this long article after several months’ hard work. We published this article to share it with all readers.
Hand forms and techniques run through the whole process of Health Qigong exercise. They reflect the fitness concept of “conducting the channels and collaterals, moving their tips and working hard at the wrists and ankles”. Among these movements of Health Qigong, hand movements are the most diverse. This article aims at differentiating different hand forms and techniques, the relationship between them and the meridians, acupuncture points, and the “combination of body adjustment, breath adjustment and mind adjustment”, and brings them into full play in Health Qigong exercise.
I. Types of Hand Forms and Techniques
Hand form involves fingers, palm and wrist. It refers to making different hand shapes according to exercise method and movement requirements of Health Qigong. Hand technique refers to the movement method and route of different hand forms in the exercise.
1. Types of Hand Forms
Hand form is divided into two categories: hand form involving single hand, and hand form involving two hands.
The hand form involving single hand includes seven types, namely: palm, fist, hook hand, claw, antler, wing and hand.
Of them, palm can be further divided into five types, namely: natural palm, willow leaf palm, lotus leaf palm, tile palm and Hukou (the place between the thumb and the index finger) palm. Natural palm refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch naturally and slightly apart, with palm face slightly closed. Willow leaf palm refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch straightly and then are held together. Lotus leaf palm refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch straightly and open. Tile palm refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch straightly naturally and slightly apart, and the thumb and the little finger are slightly held together. Hukou (the place between the thumb and the index finger) palm refers to the posture that the five finger stretch straightly, the four fingers (excluding the thumb) are held together and the Hukou (the place between the thumb and the index finger) is open. Palm is the most common hand form in Health Qigong exercise and natural palm is also the most basic hand form.
Fist can be divided into three types: hollow fist, solid fist and grasping fist. Hollow fist refers to the posture that the thumb presses against the tip of the index finger, the rest three fingers are held together and bend, the Hukou (the place between the thumb and the index finger) is round. Bear palm is rightfully a kind of hollow fist. Solid palm is also called “fist with all fingers bent and held together” or “square form”, that is, the four fingers are held together and bend, the thumb are held tight against the index finger and the second knuckle of the middle finger, and the fist shall be flat. Grasping fist refers to the posture that the thumb pinches the inner side of the joint of the index finger and the rest four fingers bend and gather together in palm center, with the Laogong point relaxed. Grasping fist is further divided into two forms according to the grasping method, namely: littler finger and the other fingers grasp sequentially, or the four fingers grasp at the same time. The grasping in Yi Jin Jin and Da Wu belongs to the former and the grasping in Wu Qin Xi, Ba Duan Jin and Shi Er Duan Jin belong to the latter.
Hook hand, can be divided into three forms, namely: “Liu Jing Xiang Hui Gou”, “Liang Shang Xiang Jie Gou” and “Straight Finger Hook”. “Liu Jing Xiang Hui Gou” refers to the posture that the finger pulps of the five fingers pinch together and the wrist is bent”. The “Golden Rooster Crowing at Dawn” in Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong and “Ape Exercise” in Wu Qin Xi both apply “Liu Jing Xiang Hui Gou”. “Liang Shang Xiang Jie Gou” (“the hook formed when Shaoshang acupuncture point of the thumb meets with the Shangyang acupuncture point of the index finger”) refers to the posture that the thumb meets with the index finger, the rest three finger bend and the wrist is bent. “Liang Shang Xiang Jie Gou” is adopted in both the “Able Men Bending Down to a Routine Post” and “The Advent of the Phoenix” in Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong. “Straight Finger Hook” refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch straight and apart and the littler finger leads the wrist to bend. The “Back Channeling” and “Owl Looking” in Mawangdui Daoyin Shu both apply “Straight Finger Hook”.
Claw can be divided into two hand forms, dragon claw and tiger claw. Dragon claw refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch straight and apart, the thumb, the index finger, the ring finger and little finger are drawn in. The movement of “ten fingers clutching on the ground” in the posture of “Black Dragon Displaying Its Claws” and “Tiger Springing on Its Prey” of Yi Jin Jing is a typical representative of dragon claw. Tiger claw refers to the posture that the five fingers stretch open, the Hukou (the place between the thumb and the index finger) is held round and the first and second finger joints buckle inward. “Springing forward” in both “Tiger Exercise” of Wu Qin Xi and “Tiger Springing on Its Prey” of Yi Jin Jing is “Tiger Claw”. Therein, “Tiger Claw” is divided into “tiger claw with fingers apart” and “tiger claw with fingers held together”. The “String-Drawing Hand” in “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left-and-Right-Handed” in Ba Duan Jin applies the hand form of “tiger claw with fingers held together”.
Antler, wring and “hand” are three types of special hand forms. Antler refers to deer antler. As is the unique hand form of “Deer Exercise” in Wu Qin Xi., it refers to the posture that the thumb stretch straight and outwards, the index finger and the little finger stretch straight, the middle finger and the ring finger are held together, bent and buckled inwards. Wing refers to Bird’s wings. It is the unique hand form of Bird Exercise in Wu Qin Xi, i.e., the five fingers stretch straight, the thumb, the index finger and the little finger cock up, the ring finger and the middle finger are held together downward. The “posture with all fingers gathering together and the middle finger pointing upward” in Shi Er Duan Jin is similar to bird’s wing. The difference only lies in that the bottom part of the middle finger bends inwards slightly, it can be classified into “bird’s wing”. “Hand” refers to “handlebar-shaped hands”. It is the unique hand form of the “Bow-Drawing Hand” in Ba Duan Jin, i.e., the thumb and the index finger stand upright, apart and form the shape of a “handlebar”, the first and the second knuckles of the rest three fingers bends and are held together and the palm face closes slightly.
The “hand form that involves two hands” includes nine types, namely: Holding the palms and fingers of both hands together, folding palms with fingers of one hand opposite to that of the other hand, lotus palm, hand back folding palm, finger thrusting palm, overlapping palm, lapping the wrists, feeling the pulse by holding the finger pulp of the index finger against the place of Taiyuan acupuncture point around the wrist and opposite fists.
Folding the palms by holding the palms and fingers of both hands together, refers to the hand form that the ten fingers are held together and the palm faces meet with each other. It can be divided into “folding the palms with the angle between the back of the palm and the lower arm and wrist joint ranges between 150° and 180°” and “folding the palms with the angle between the back of the palm and the lower arm and wrist joint ranges smaller than 150°”. The “Wei Tuo Presenting the Pestle 1” in Yi Jin Jing, “Massaging Essencegate on the Back” in Shi Er Duan Jin, and “Swinging Butt” in Da Wu, all apply “folding the palms with the angle between the back of the palm and the lower arm and wrist joint ranges between 150° and 180°”. The sitting backwards in “Stretching Waist” in Da Wu applies “folding the palms with the angle between the back of the palm and the lower arm and wrist joint ranges between 150° and 180°” and the “lifting” applies “folding the palms with the angle between the back of the palm and the lower arm and wrist joint ranges smaller than 150°”.
“Folding palms with fingers of one hand opposite to that of the other hand”, is the hand form that the palm face of one hand meets with that of the other hand and the five fingers of one hand are opposite to those of the other hand. It can be divided into two types, namely: the palms are held together with the palm face of one hand vertically opposite to that of the other hand, and palms are held together with the palm face transversely opposite to that of the other hand. “Massaging Essencegate on the Back” in Shi Er Duan Jin applies the form of vertically opposite and the “Two Fishes Hanging in the Cabinet” in Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong applies the form of transversely opposite.
Lotus palm refers to the hand form that the two wrists are opposite to each other, the ten fingers stretch straight forming a lotus flower. This hand form include “lotus palm by bending the body” in “Dragon Climbing” in Mawangdui Daoyin Shu and “lotus palm by straightening the back” in “Hibiscus Rising out of Water” of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong.
Hand back folding palm refers to the hand form of rotating both hands inwards, holding the hand backs together with finger tips downward. This hand form is applied in Liu Zi Jue, Da Wu, Mawangdui Daoyin Shu and Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong.
Finger thrusting palm includes two hand forms, namely: crossing the ten fingers, crossing Hukou (the places between the thumb and the index finger) of two hands. The “Holding the Hands High with Palms up to Regulate the Internal Organs” in Ba Duan Jin, the “Swinging the Tail” in Yi Jin Jing and “holding up the heave and push down the vertex” in Shi Er Duan Jin, all apply the hand form of “crossing ten fingers”. The starting posture and closing posture of Liu Zi Jue and the closing postures of Wu Qin Xi, Mawangdui Daoyin Shu, all apply the hand form of “crossing Hukou (the places between the thumb and the index finger) of both hands”.
Overlapping palms refers to the hand form that the hand face of one hand meets with hand back of the other hand and the two palms are folded. This hand form includes three types, namely: overlapping palm with fingers of one hand parallel to that of the other hand, overlapping palm with all fingers parallel to the horizontal line, overlapping palm with fingers of one hand crossing with that of the other hand. The “Bird Stretching” in Wu Qin Xi applies the “overlapping palm with fingers of one hand parallel to that of the other hand”. The closing posture of Ba Duan Jin, the preparation posture, “Qi Returning to the Origin” and closing posture of Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong, all apply the “overlapping palm with fingers of one hand crossing with that of the other hand”.
Lapping wrists refers to the hand form that the two wrists are held in the shape of a cross. This hand form include two types, namely: lapping wrists with two palms, lapping wrists with two fists. The “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left-and-Right-Handed” in Ba Duan Jin applies the “lapping wrists with two palms”, and the closing posture of Shi Er Duan Jin applies the “lapping wrists with two fists”.
Feeling the pulse refers to the hand form that the pulp of the index finger of one hand is held against the place of Taiyuan acupuncture point of the other hand. It is the unique hand form in “Two Fishes Hanging in the Cabinet” of Shi Er Fa in Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong.
Opposite fists refers to the hand form that two fists are opposite to each other. It is the unique hand form in the “Vibrating Body” of Da Wu.
2. Types of hand technique
Hand technique is the movement method and route of different hand forms. It can be divided into fifteen types, namely: Supporting, holding in both hands, stretching, pressing, pushing, raising, rotating, pulling, drawing, hugging, swinging, rubbing, striking, lifting, pulling and gripping.
Supporting refers to the movement that the arms move upwards from the front or both sides of the body with palm face upward. It is often called supporting upwards. For example: the “Holding the Hands High with Palms up to Regulate the Internal Organs” in Da Duan Jin and the “Hold the hands high and press the vertex” in Shi Er Duan Jin, both applies the manipulation of holding two hands upwards from the front of the body. The Routine “Three Points on the Ground” of Yi Jin Jing also applies the manipulation of holding the hands upwards from both sides of the body.
Holding in both hands refers to the movement of bending the elbow and lifting it up from the front of the body, with the little fingers of both palms held together, the palm center upward, or the fingers of one hand opposite to those of the other hand, the palm center upward. It is often called “Holding forwards”. For example: the movement of “holding two palms together before the abdomen, bending the elbow and lifting it upwards from the front” in “He” word secret in Liu Zi Jue, the transition movements after “Posing as an Archer Shooting Both Left-and-Right-Handed”, “Holding One Arm Aloft to Regulate the Functions of the Spleen and Stomach” and “Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain” in Ba Duan Jin, all are the movement that the palms are held before the abdomen with the finger tips of one hand opposite to that of the other hand and the palm face upward.
Stretching refers to the movement that or the arm stretch outwards with the palm faces of both hands downward and the wrist serving as the pivot; or the palm faces of both hands opposite to each other. It is often called “stretching outwards”. For example: the movement of “two fists changing into palms, pressing downwards and then stretching outwards” in “Rhinoceros Looking upon the Moon” of Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong; the movement of “the palms stretch outwards from the forehead with palm face of one hand opposite to that of the other hand” in “Opening Hip’s Rotators/Crotch” of Da Wu; and the movement of “stretching and pressing with one palm above the other palm” in “Abdomen Stretching” of Mawangdui Daoyin Shu.
Pressing refers to the movement of moving the arms downwards from the front or two sides of the body with both palm faces downward. It is often called “pressing downwards”. For example: the movement of “holding both palms together before the chest and then pressing them downwards” in breath adjustment of Wu Qin Xi; the movement of “moving the two palms downwards from two sides of the body” in “Three Plates Falling on the Floor” of Yi Jin Jing; the movement of “pressing single palm downwards form one side of the body” in “Black Dragon Displaying Its Claws”; and the movement of “raising one hand upwards and pressing the other hand downwards” in “Holding One Arm Aloft to Regulate the Functions of the Spleen and Stomach” of Ba Duan Jin.
Pushing refers to the horizontal movement of stretching two palms forwards or towards one side of the body, with the wrist as the pivot. It is often called “pushing horizontally”. For example: the movement of “pushing two palms forwards horizontally with the wrist as the pivot in “Showing Claws and Wings” of Yi Jin Jing and “Si (like a snake) word secret” in Liu Zi Jue; the movement of “resting two palms around the waist and pushing them forwards with force” in “Waist Stretching” of Mawangdui Daoyin Shu; and the movement of “pushing two palms horizontally towards two sides, with the wrist as the pivot” in “Wild Geese on the Sandbank” of Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong.
Raising refers to the movement of lifting two palms or two fists up from the front or two sides of the body. It is often called “lifting upwards”. For example: The movement of “opening the ten fingers and lifting them high above the head” in “Tiger’s plunging” of Wu Qin Xi;  the movement of “lifting the palms upwards from the front to the vertex with the palm face of one hand opposite to that of the other hand” in “cry out with face upward” of Mawangdui Daoyin Shu; the movement of “lifting two palms upwards from the shoulders” in “Dragon Climbing”; and the movement of “lifting single arm upwards from the front” in “Zhe Yin”.
Rotating refers to the movement of leading two arms to rotate inwards or outwards with two palms around the middle finger. It is often called internal rotation or external rotation. For example: the movement of “stretching two arms and rotating outwards” in “Looking Backwards to Prevent Sickness and Strain” of Ba Duan Jin; the movement of “rotating the two arms inwards and outwards alternatively” in “Abdomen Stretching” of Mawangdui Daoyin Shu; and the movement of “turning around the body, rotating the arms and the palms after one foot joins with the other one” in “the Flying Way” of Da Wu.
Drawing refers to the movement of extending the arms horizontally outwards with palm face outward. It is often called “drawing outwards”. The movement of “drawing two palms outwards before the chest and making the two arms form a circle” in the “Starting Posture” of Liu Zi Jue; and the movement of “rotating the two palms inwards from the navel, turning them outwards and then drawing them forwards after exhaling the sound of He in “He word secret” of Liu Zi Jue.
Hugging refers to the movement of wrapping arms inwards before the front or over the head with palm face of one hand opposite to that of the other hand. It is often called “wrapping around”. For example: the movement of “sliding two palms downwards and swinging them forwards, bending the elbow and lifting the arms and then wrapping the arms before the abdomen” in “Chui (pronunciation like true) word secret” of Liu Zi Jue; the all the transition movements involve the movement in Da Wu (excluding “Stretching Waist”) such as “wrapping two arms high over the head”; and the movement of “holding a ball in two palms before the abdomen with one palm above the other palm” in “Slightly Shaking the Heavenly Column” of Shi Er Duan Jin.
Swinging refers to the movement of “the arms moves horizontally following an arch-shaped route”. It is often called “horizontally swing”. For example: the movement of “the swinging the body, swinging two hands back and fro with both hands in the shape of Bear Palm” in “Bear Exercise” of Wu Qin Xi; and the movement of “swinging of two palms from left, right, side and back” in “Bird Bathing” of Mawangdui Daoyin Shu.
Rubbing refers to the movement of rubbing or kneading by the palm face or palm back along the meridians and acupuncture points of the body. It is often called massage. For example: the movement of rubbing with two palms to stimulate the meridians of “Chui (pronunciation like true) word secret” in Liu Zi Jue and “Waist Stretching” in Mawangdui Daoyin Shu, the movement of rubbing the ribs in “Back Channeling” and “Owl Looking” of Mawangdui Daoyin Shu; and the movement of “rubbing the abdomen” in “Warm the Navel” of Shi Er Duan Jin.
Striking refers to the movement of striking the meridians and collaterals of the body with fingers, palms and fists. It is often called “snapping the fingernails” and “patting”. For example: the “Able Men Bending down to a Routine Post” and “Hibiscus Rising out of Water” in Shi Er Fa of Dao Yin Health Preservation Qigong, both involve the movement of wrapping the palm and snapping the fingernails. The “Vibrating Body” of Da Wu adopts the striking technique of palm (Hegu) and fist. The “Knocking Teeth and Sounding the Eardrums” in Shi Er Duan Jin and the “plug the ears to knock eardrum” in “Bowing Down in Salutation” in Yi Jin Jing, both apply snapping the hindbrain occipital with the index finger.
Lifting refers to the movement of lifting the hand from the front of the body with the hand backs upward. It is often called “lifting upwards”. For example: the movement of changing the hands into a hook and lifting them to the chest in “Ape Lifting” of Wu Qin Xi; the movement of “lifting two hands to the abdomen with the hand back of one hand opposite to that of the other hand” in Xi (she) word secret of Liu Zi Jue; and the movement of “lifting single hand high from one side of the hip” in “Plucking a Star and Exchanging a Star Cluster” of Yi Jin Jing.
Pulling refers to the movement of swiftly moving away the finger and palm that plugs the ear. It is often called “pulling the ear”. For example: the movement of moving the first two palm postures violently away from the ears in “Swinging the Tail” of Yi Jin Jing; the movement of moving the middle fingers and the palm faces of both hands away from the ears in “Knocking Teeth and Sounding the Eardrums” of Shi Er Duan Jin.
Gripping is the special hand form and technique typical of Tai Chi Yang Sheng Zhang. Its hand forms also include: holding, gripping, clamping and supporting. Its hand techniques include rolling, spinning, sliding, twisting and rubbing. No more unnecessary details will be provided here.
(To be continued)
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