Blood Circulation

The maintenance of a certain posture during practice means that the muscles must preserve a constant degree of contraction, bringing an increase in pulse rate. However, the posture is also a “relaxed” one with all joints slightly bent, preventing the obstruction of blood flow due to excess tension or locked joints, and greatly reducing energy expenditure and strain. This creates the best conditions for the promotion of blood circulation, and hence the mobilization of blood in the internal organs, oxygen exchange, and other associated metabolic processes. Under such conditions, the small blood capillaries in the muscles expand, reflected by buzzing/numbing in the feet and hands, crawling sensations on the skin, and the whole body becoming warm or sweating. Investigations by the Beijing Railway Hospital and No.1 Auxiliary Hospital showed that after forty minutes’ practice of the standing “A-llround Stance” red blood corpuscles increased by anything from 21.000 to 5.900.000 per sq. ml.; white blood corpuscles by 400~.000 per sq. ml., and hemoglobin content by 1.5-2.3 gms. per sq. ml. The importance of this in increasing oxygen supply to tissues and improving the body’s immune system is obvious. During simple lying and sitting postures the pulse rate and metabolic rate all tend to drop, creating maximum conditions for entering a quiet state, also reducing oxygen consumption and the deep relaxation allowing unrestricted blood circulation. During standing exercises the pulse rate increases at a steady rate, eventually reaching a stable level. Metabolic rate and oxygen consumption also show a gradual rise, then stabilize. Immediately after practice the pulse rate does not drop suddenly, there being little change between the first ten seconds and last ten seconds of the first minute after practice. This means that neither during practice nor immediately afterwards does excessive expansion of the right atrium occur as in most energetic sports. (This expansion occurs in any exercise where oxygen intake cannot keep up with consumption, or the breathing is restricted. Immediately after stopping, the obstructed blood in the veins of the outer thorax rushes in under pressure).

Shaolin Qigong