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Meridian stretches – from Shizuto Masunaga
I would like to introduce you to the meridian stretches from the book by Shizuto Masunaga. The exercises are meant for opening your meridians and therefore for improving and balancing your health. For me, they are exercises that directly affect my energy management. By doing these meridian stretches on a daily basis, my energy keeps on flowing. I notice the difference every time. The meridians are, as it were, the rivers, through which my life energy flows. The exercises help me to remove the blockages in it.
It is of great importance to learn to release tension so that your life energy (called Ki in the Shiatsu) circulates better and your body processes are balanced. One of the best ways to relax is to loosely move your body and breathe freely and easily. I also find it wonderful to feel that relaxation during the movements / to let it occur on the exhalation. The entire focus is therefore on relaxation, on utilizing the space within it. The exercises have nothing to do with active stretching it’s more of a let go. On your exhalation, you relax even more and use your space … Eventually, you will become more agile, but this is only an additional advantage.
Demo Meridian stretches
The (Dutch) demo starts fairly quickly with the stretches. Therefore, first, read the explanation below.
8 meridian stretches
We start – as a warm-up – with the stretch of two main energy vessels: The Governor’s Vessel (Yang) and the Conception Vessel (Yin). This is followed by 6 stretches of 2 meridian pairs (Yin and Yang). The stretches are listed below:
- The Governor’s Vessel (Yang)
- Conception Vessel (Yin)
- Lungs (Yin) and large Bowel (Yang)
- Stomach (Yin) and Spleen (Yang)
- Kidneys (Yin) and Bladder (Yang)
- Heart (Yin) and Thin Bowel (Yang)
- Heart protector (Yin) and Triple Heater (Yang)
- Liver (Yin) and Gallbladder (Yang)
- 7 inhalations and exhalations per meridian stretch
In the demo, I breathe in and out three times per meridian couple. However, I advise you to breathe in and out 7 times during your movements. In this way, every stretch becomes a bit quieter and you have more time to feel and use the space in the stretch. Our (western) bodies need a little time to relax and release space. You will notice that with each subsequent breath you can move deeper into that relaxing (muscle) space.
Pause between all stretches
There is a pause between every stretch in which you consciously breathe and relax. You can do so while standing or lying down. Pay attention to your energy, the energy flow in your body, which can certainly be quite strong after the stretching of the Governor’s Vessel and Conception Vessel. It might be even so intense that you get a little shaky. Don’t be surprised if the energy spouts up to / in your head! Therefore, take sufficient breaks between the stretches, relax, restore your balance, observe your energy. Also breathe in and out at least 7 times during breaks. You then continue with the next stretch.
When you are ready, start the video. Look first and then try it yourself. Good luck.