Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Immortal's Wand

One of the things I am enjoying immensely about taijiquan is how much there is to learn! It is a whole new vista of interesting things. I keep finding new stuff!
I stumbled upon the taiji ruler. It is sometime's called "The Immortal's Wand." This is much more romantic, and being a bit of an old romantic I like this! The "wand" is about twelve inches long, nearly two inches diameter, with shaped ends that fit comfortably into the palms of the hand. I found a great maker of taiji ruler's on ebay. This is mine, made of cocobolo wood. Very pretty indeed. As you work with a wand it begins to retain your energy and becomes distinctly yours. I am looking forward to this as I continue to practice.

So what do you do with a twelve inch stick? Information on the Immortal's Wand is a bit scarce, compared to other stuff on taiji, but here goes.
The wand is held between the palms and taiji forms are practiced with the wand between the palms in circular movements. (Everything in taiji is circular and spiral.) According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the pericardium meridian moves from one palm to another around the heart making a kind of energy circuit. Forms where the palms are joined by the wand are especially powerful in the movement of qi. As with most taiji forms, wand practice is very gentle, very relaxing and very energizing. Here's what I have discovered from personal practice so far:
  1. Ten-fifteen minutes practice with the wand before other taiji really helps. 
  2. Using the wand helps establish deep patterns of breathing (as with other qigong exercises before taiji).
  3. There seems to be a much greater flow of chi after wand practice than before.
  4. Having the wand between the palms greatly helps in symmetrical movement of the body

Here's a pic of the pericardium meridian to help you visualize it:

This from the web site
Great resource on TCM
Happy taiji!


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