The Fitness Mechanism of Making the Fist Yin Yuenan & Wang Zhen Shanghai University of Sport
In the practice of Health Qigong, buckle the thumb in the palm first, with the fingertip at the root of the ring finger (the fourth finger), and then bend the remaining four fingers slightly, which is called "making the fist". This action often appears in the practice, and its fitness effect is obvious. This paper intends to talk about its fitness mechanism through this movement. Everything has its own continuity and real content. Making the fist in Health Qigong also possesses its traditional culture connotations and specific continuations. In the fifty-five chapter of "Lao Zi", it said that "weaken the bone and soften the tendon to make the fist." And many health exercises books have documented the specific methods for making the fist. "Dao Shu · Zhong Miao Pian" said, "What is making the fist? Both thumbs touch the third fingers, or the remaining four fingers hold the thumbs, with the right and left hands near the waist. "Making the fist" refers both thumbs of the right and left hands touches the root of the fourth fingers or in the palm, with holding the remaining four fingers, then press the left and right hands near the waist. "Shou Shi Qing Bian · Shi Er Duan Dong Gong" recorded, "Bend the hands, two thumbs touches the roots of the forefingers, and then bend the remaining fingers slightly, which is called making the fists". "Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun" said, "Holding the thumbs of both hands respectively with the remaining four fingers." "Su Shen Liang Fang" said, "The thumbs touches the roots of the forefingers, or four fingers hold the thumbs". "Dao Men Tong Jiao Bi Yong Ji" said, "The thumbs touch the middle of the middle fingers, and the remaining four fingers close together on the palm.” The cognitions of the ancient sages on making the fist have offered the theoretical and practical conditions for the movements in Health Qigong. Therefore, the connotative definitions are formed now. Meanwhile, it is widely used among the nine sets of Health Qigong exercises, e.g. Black Dragon Display Its Claws and Tiger Spring on Its Pray in the Yi Jin Jing, the Ape Picking of the Ape Exercise in Health Qigong · Wu Qin Xi, Thrusting the Fists and Making the Eyes Glare to Enhance Strength in the Health Qigong · Ba Duan Jin, etc. In that way, what is the fitness mechanism in the movement of making the fist? First, we must understand that why the root of the ring finger is chosen? The ancients believed that it is precisely the key point of the liver meridians. Traditional Chinese Medicine theories held that "the liver governs the holding". Doing such movements will have reversed optimum stimulating effect on the liver. Making the fist mainly refers to the movements of the fingertips. Hands are the most comfortable and flexible organs in the surface of the body. There are very rich capillary network and nerve endings in the fingertips. Different fingers are governed by different nerves. The palm side of the little finger is controlled by the ulnar nerve, the palm sides of the thumb, forefinger and middle finger are controlled by the median nerve, the ulnar side of the ring finger is dominated by the ulnar nerve, and the radial side of the ring finger is dominated by the median nerve. The fingers can reflect the function of the peripheral nerve and stimulate the nervous system through the exercises, promote the reaction of the nervous system to restore the young state of the nervous system, enhance the coordination functions between the nervous system and muscular system, and prevent the presenility of the nervous reaction and derivative movements. Second, making the fist can keep mind and qi concentrated. Human fingers are the most sensitive areas of the essence, and making the fist can bring the essence back to the body. A scientist called Keer Lin in the former Soviet Union has invented photography with the technology of high voltage for the study of the essence of human body. With this technique, the photographs show that the fingers emit the long light. Researchers can determine the health situation of human body by the length, width and colors. Making the fist can bring the essence back to the body through the meridians in the arm, to strengthen the immune system. It is a convenient basic way of anti-aging. Especially after extreme fatigue, meditation and making the fist can recover the energy more significantly. Making the fist in the long-haul plane journey also has a significant effect of allaying tiredness. There are two movements in the Ape Exercise in Health Qigong · Wu Qin Xi, namely the hooks and making the fist. Because the apes are lively and clever, exercisers will imitate the movements of the apes, so the Ape Exercise is composed by the movements of Ape Lifting and Ape Picking. In the practice, on the basis of making the fist, exercisers should look around with the change of the upper limb movements, showing the sensitivity of the apes. Looking around is conducive to the neck movements and promote the blood circulation of the brain. Twisting waist in the movements of Ape Picking can exercise the psoas on both sides of the waist. It is scientifically proven that the practice of Ape Picking can effectively control the lumbar disease and cervical disease. Meanwhile, "making the fist" is flexibly used in the Ape Exercise, which has its cultural roots. The long term exercise also can reach the young and progressive beauty of life. Moreover, making the fist has good health effects. Fingers are the ends of the upper limbs of human body, and there are six meridians in the five fingers. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theories, the fingers and meridians are interlinked. The meridians of the heart, lung, large intestine, small intestine, pericardium and triple burner are connected at the fingertips. The lung meridians end in the Shaoshang acupoint in the thumb, the large intestine channel starts from the Shaoyang acupont in the forefinger, the pericardium channel ends at Zhongchong acupoint on the middle finger, the triple burner starts from Guanchong acupoint in the ring finger, the heart channel ends at Shaochong acupoint in the little finger, the small intestine channel starts from Shaoze acupoint in the little finger. It can be seen that fingers are the ending points of the three yin meridians of hand and the starting points of the three yang meridians of hand. In other words, the fingers are the starting and ending points of the three yin meridians of hand and three yang meridians of hand. Moreover, the fingers are the joint points of the three yin meridians of hand and three yang meridians of hand, I.e. the thumb and forefinger are joint points of the lung meridians and large intestine channel, the inside and outside of the fifth finger is the joint point of the heart channel and small intestine channel, the third finger and fourth finger are the joint points of the pericardium channel and the triple burner. Meanwhile, the joint points, the starting and ending points of the meridians are the core and key of the meridian, internal organs, fingers and toes, which are the decisive factors of the relationship of yin and yang of the meridians, organs, fingers and toes. And they are the foundation and key to treat the fingers and toes, as well as the switches, buttons and key to treat the diseases of the internal organs and meridians. Making the fist is a commonly used hand type in the traditional Chinese health practices, buckle the thumb in the palm first, with the fingertip at the root of the ring finger (the fourth finger), and then bend the remaining four fingers slightly, which can dredge the meridians. Meanwhile, "Huangdi Neijing (Inner Canon of Yellow Emperor Yellow Emperor)" believes that the liver corresponds to the soul. Making the fist is conductive to calm the mind and keep mind concentrated. Therefore, making the fist is effective to the liver system and kidney system. Traditional Chinese medicine theory believes that the liver and the kidney have a common source. The liver corresponds to the wood and governs the ascending and dispersing, and it can calm the emotions and regulate qi and blood, in which the liver system includes the liver, gall bladder, eyes, tendons, and other tissues and organs. The meridians of the liver system run through the side of the body. The kidney corresponds to the water and governs the storing, and it is the source of the growth and development. The liver system includes the kidney, bladder, ears, bones, hair and other tissues and organs. The meridians of the kidney system run through the inside of the body. The liver system and kidney system can coordinate with each other usually, which is conductive to promote the collection of essence and the spread of qi and blood. It can calm the mind and prevent the diseases. Adequate liver qi is conductive to the soul, which is like the fire in the stoves. The more firewood the more prosperous the fire is. The hands of baby are powerful and they can grasp others very tightly. Why they make the fist so madly? It is because that the liver qi of the baby is sufficient. The liver meridians run through the root of the ring finger, which is related to the soul. When the baby is just born, the door of the soul has not been closed, they have to protect themselves and keep his soul, so the baby will instinctively clench the fist. And making the fist in various occasions can make people go into a state of excitement, as if the heart is full of great heroic vitality, so as to resist the exogenous pathogenic factors and reach the state of "when there is sufficient healthy Qi inside, the pathogenic Qi have no way to invade the health body". First, close the eyes slightly, breathe naturally, make the fists for ten to thirty minutes before getting up, which can enhance the immune system and protect it from the external stimulation. Second, making the fist and meditation can help to drive away exogenous pathogenic factors and save the vitality of the body, when encountering sudden changes in the weather or in the season that people are easy to be infected. Third, when having a long walk in the cold or foggy night, people can put hands in the pocket and make the fists, to prevent exogenous pathogenic factors and avoid the infections. Fourth, when going to visit patients in the hospital, people may concern about the infections, then making the fist dozen times before entering the hospital, which can reduce the chance of infection. In addition, the modern study has found that making the fist can cultivate the kidney water and essence, as well as nourish the kidney yin and decrease internal heat. It is also helpful to treat the chronic pharyngitis, rhinitis, as well as people who are easy to get angry. And it is helpful for the white-collar workers who are often sedentary in front of the computers to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. In summary, making the fist is an ancient and proven technical movement with fitness values. This hand type has manifested repeatedly in the various routines of Health Qigong, which can explain its health effects and great value. I hope this article is helpful for the practitioners to understand and master this routine.