One of the most productive means of building energy and healing from disorders is to practice standing qigong. Standing qigong meditation (also known as Zhan Zhuang) is a static, isometric exercise that puts the tendons and bone structure into a prolonged state of extension in relation to gravity. Sequential relaxation of muscles occurs, starting from the upper part of the body downward. There should be an extension (that is within 75% of your limits and is aided by muscular tension release) of vertebrae along your spine, along your arms to your fingers, and in your legs.
Some say that, although your muscles are relaxed, your structure in the bones and tendons is energized by the extension. Energy moves through a relaxed muscle more than in a tensed muscle. When you first begin standing qigong meditation your muscles do strain to maintain the posture; however, as your practice continues you will notice that force is not necessary and it may seem that something outside of your form is helping you keep the stance. Some do visualizations of resting the arms on an energy ball, if you are doing that stance, and sitting upon another energy ball to aid in the relaxation.
You may notice an opening of your structure as your breath in and and relaxing downward as you breath out as your training progresses. Getting to this point requires discipline and good posture maintenance. Because many do not regularly practice this type of qigong, it is common to hear that it doesn’t do what is promised. I recommend that you practice some everyday. Starting off with only 5 minutes and working up to at least a 15 minute practice per day. On days when you are really busy, back off and do 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes or so before you go to bed. It will be worth the effort. After practicing standing qigong meditation regularly, you will notice that you have more power and grace in your movement practices of qigong or tai chi.
1. Lam Kam Chuen. The Way of Energy.
2. Bruce Frantzis. Opening the Energy Gates of the Body.