The fingers (and corresponding toes) of the hand are associated with the various organs and meridian systems of the body. Bending the finger of each hand down at the knuckle where it meets the top of the hand during the Fundamental Arhat posture causes chi to flow through different pathways inside the body. The method of bending is illustrated below. It is important to keep the other fingers in their proper position, while bending or pushing down the selected finger. Also, do not bend down more than 30 to 45 degrees as over bending cuts off the flow of chi.
The middle finger is associated with the Heart, but it will effect the entire circulatory system as well as the central nervous system. The ring finger is associated with the Liver, but will also effect the eyes and gallbladder. The index finger is associated with the Stomach, but will effect the entire digestive system including the spleen. The pinky finger is associated with the Kidneys, but will effect the Urinary system, bones, ears and sex organs as well. The Thumbs are associated with the Lungs, and will effect the entire respiratory system including the skin, nails and hair.
A note on the “organs”. When we discuss the concept of organ (say, the “kidneys”) as is referred to in “Traditional Chinese Medicine”, this is most often not a reference to just that one specific organ, but a reference to the whole element (in the kidney’s case, “Water”) – to the entire energetic stratum of the body (including specific organs, tissue, dynamic) to which that element refers – according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. For instance, “kidneys” could be used to refer to all of following: the kidneys, urinary bladder, constitutional & sexual energy, bones, marrow, and the dynamic of that whole layer of the human body. All of those, as one thing: the water element, which is simplified by just saying “Kidneys”. In other words, we are working not only the specific organ, but also everything else in the body that is associated with the same “element”.
- While bending the middle finger, Chi goes to the Heart system
- While bending the ring finger, Chi goes to the Liver system
- While bending the index finger, Chi goes to the Stomach system
- While bending the pinky finger, Chi goes to the Kidney system
- While bending the thumbs, Chi goes to the Lung system. Chi will also rise to the head from this practice.
Bending the thumb, ring & index fingers together causes chi to flow through the Triple Burner and will effect the entire torso.
Zhang Zhuang Qigong Standing Exercise Helpful Tips
- Feel your body weight throughout the entire foot, but especially in the center area. A great exercise to practice is to stand with a fairly heavy book on top of your head, like the old “charm school” posture & balance exercise. This will give you the correct feel in your feet and is very beneficial in learning how to stand correctly. You only need to practice for a minute or two each day to get the feel of it.
- If possible, stand where you can see your reflection in a mirror to visually help you with your alignment. Also, if there is some form of vertical straight edge that you can see and align with the center of your groin to the top of your head, this can be extremely helpful. In my home, this can easily be done with a door jam (vertical edge) and the bathroom mirror, by standing in the hallway.
- If your arms or shoulders get tired or sore during the exercise, place your hands on your back near the kidneys with palms facing out, resting them there until you feel ready to return back to the armchair posture.