- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Self-Healing : Lajin Stretch And Exercise By Xiao Hongchi
Self-healing : Introduction
Self-healing is natural healing. This article should rightly be called “How to self-heal naturally”. There is nothing more precise than self-healing to ascribe to any other methods in natural healing. Usually natural healing takes the form of prescribing herbs and other natural concomitants. Self-healing is quite different in that one undertakes to heal oneself by natural means without any herbal medication.
Sounds like a big order. Yes it is. Not only is it possible to heal oneself by self-healing, it is also surprisingly the easiest method I have ever come across. You can learn this self-healing posture in just one minute. And it is FREE! It is almost a dream come true to find something easy that works for one’s health and at the same time, FREE!
This is not a sales gimmick. I don’t sell you anything here. All my articles on wellness are FREE! They are also very practical and easy to follow. What I ask from you is to read this self-healing posture article with an open-mind, and then try this self-healing posture for FREE without any side effect. Sorry, correction; there are definitely two “side effects”; you will feel healthier and therefore happier in the process! To put you in a more comfortable frame of mind, this self-healing posture is not mine. You can find this self-healing posture in Youtube. I am only sharing with you what I found from my full-time search for wellness in the internet. My philosophy is that “All good things should be shared for FREE!”. At the end of this article I shall give you the links to read in more detail, this wonderful and fantastic self-healing system, together with demonstration videos.
Self-healing : The man behind this wellness system
At the end of this article, you will be shown 3 Youtube presentation. They are taken in three parts of about 10 minutes each, for easy viewing. Before you proceed to view them, please let me introduce the man behind this self-healing posture.
The person responsible for this set of self-healing techniques is a Chinese from China by the name of Hongchi Xiao. In fact the correct placement of his name should be Xiao Hongchi. You see, Chinese names have the surname in front. So he is Mr. Xiao, or more rightly Master Xiao.
Master Xiao is a very versatile and brilliant person. He also speaks flawless English. That makes him more universal. With the two widely-spoken languages, Mandarin Chinese and English, one can consider oneself a universal person as one can travel the world without much communication problem.
Master Xiao has written several best-selling books in Taiwan. The latest book is about this subject of wellness incorporating topics on Chinese medicine, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He has been repeatedly invited to demonstrate his wellness techniques on Chinese television in both China and Taiwan.
Master Xiao’s philosophy is that we don’t have to wait for someone to heal us. We must take full control of our health and live in harmonious relationship with nature. The Tao way. The natural way in which one adjusts one’s body to match with nature’s way. In this manner, each of us will be our own doctor.
Master Xiao was once a successful financier in Wall Street and Hong Kong for more than a decade. Following the advice of a Buddhist monk , he embarked on an adventurous journey across China to learn ancient techniques of healing. Master Xiao has mastered the art of self-healing and other ancient Chinese healing systems which include acupuncture, acupressure, point therapy, orthopaedics and moxibustion.
Self-healing : The Tao of life
“Tao” can be loosely translated as “The Way”. The WAY of nature. Our physical bodies are made from nature. When we die we go back to nature as bones and dust. If we don’t follow nature’s way, our physical bodies are going against nature which they depend on to survive. The ultimate result is having health problems. Tao’s principle of Yin and Yang is based on this nature’s way. Yin is the “softer” side of nature, or we can refer it as having “female” attributes. Yang is the “harder” side of nature, or we can refer it as having “male” attributes. At first glance, they seem to be opposing attributes. But if you consider further, when both are in harmony or are balanced, the condition is perfect. Take for example, cold and hot water. Cold water is Yin, and hot water is Yang. Too much cold Yin will freeze us to death. Too much hot Yang will scald us to death too. But if we balance the two, then we feel comfortable and live on. The principle of Yin Yang is like this. “Tao”, is the principle of “The Harmony Of The Opposites”.
A very good example is the tree. The tree takes nourishment both from the ground (Yin) and from the atmosphere (Yang). Too much water or too much sunlight will eventually kill the tree. With proper balance of Yin and Yang, the tree grows and bears fruits.
We humans are just like any other thing that comes from nature. You go against nature’s way, you suffer. So we need to live a balanced life-style in accordance with nature’s way…The Tao. Take a look at the life-style of birds, for example. When dawn breaks, they wake up and start flying off to begin their activities. When dusk approaches, they return to their roosting place and rest for the night. This is the life-style set by nature for them. They live in accordance with nature’s principles.
We, foolish humans are the only species that goes against Nature! We should also follow the rules set for us by nature in order to live a long and healthy life.
Self-healing : La-jin Therapy
Master Xiao asserted that in order for a technique to be useful, it must have five criteria:
1. Must be effective.
2. Must be simple and easy to learn.
3. Must be safe.
4. Must be able to cure many ailments.
5. DIY : Must be able to do it yourself.
And may I add a sixth criterion : Better still if it is FREE!
The first technique is called the “La-jin” posture. In Chinese, “La” means “stretch” and “jin” means ligaments and tendons. So La-jin means stretching the ligaments and tendons.
In Chinese medical text, there is a main strip of “jin” running from the top of the neck down from the back to the waist, the thighs, the calves, the heels and ends at the center of the soles. When the ligaments or tendons are not functioning properly, they will affect many parts of the body, creating pain and inhibiting movements. This ailment is called “Jin suo” in Chinese, meaning, contraction, atrophy, or degeneration of the functions of “Jin” or the ligaments and tendons.
The symptoms of Jin Suo are as follows:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Lumbar stiffness and pain
- Inability to bend down
- Back stiffness and pain
- Leg pain and paralysis
- Inability to squat down
- Uneven length of the legs
- Radiating pain in the heels
- Short walking steps
- Stressed ligament at the hip joint
- Inability to raise the thighs forward or sideways
- Difficulty in turning around
- Contraction or atrophy of La-Jins
- Inability to extend or bend the elbow
- Distention, numbness, pain or inflexibility in the arm, leg, elbow and knee
Self-healing : How La-jin works
La-jin relieves body pain, expels toxin, and even enhances sexual ability. Amongst other benefits, la-jin therapy may relieve or even cure problems in the urinary system and reproductive system; stomach problem; gastroenteritis; numbness, pain and swelling in the hands and feet; cardiovascular and cerebrovascular problems; liver and gal bladder problems; dermatitis; and diabetes.
In simple language, there are meridians along the Jin route. Any dysfunction of the meridians will also affect the functioning of the Jin and will cause body pain. La-jin will restore the tenderness of Jin and reposition the affected spots so that the framework of the body is corrected and the vitality flows smoothly and healthily. Pain and discomfort in the body will gradually diminish. La-jin will also strengthen the kidneys and the bladder. A strong pair of kidneys will enhance human energy and sexual ability.
Imagine that this body is connected throughout by a flexible hose enabling circulation of chi or inner energy. If you have difficulty understanding this “Chi”, then imagine blood circulating through the veins and arteries. This flexible hose may be blocked for two reasons; one, the hose is twisted or bent; and two, sediments have accumulated in the passage. What will happen? There is restriction to the flow of Chi, and every part of the body is affected, and in time the system gets stuck. This is what happened to most people who suffer body and joint pains. The remedy is to straighten the hose, and also to clear the sediments stuck inside the hose. La-jin is to straighten the hose, and Pai-da (patting and slapping, as will be explained below) is to clear the sediments.
Once the Jin is straightened and unblocked, the flow of Chi runs smoothly, and the whole body system will be in harmony with Yin and Yang. The body will be rejunivated and the immune system strengthened. Any virus or negative impediments will immediately be flushed out, just like a very swift stream flowing through where all impurities and debris will be flushed out through the river-mouth into the vast ocean. The body will be maintained in perfect health.
La-jin posture #1 : Lying down
Self-healing : Learning La-jin posture #1 in 1 minute
One Taoist axiom assures : “the extension of one inch in Jin results in the extension of ten years in life”. In fact it is observed that a person who live a long life always displays a flexible body. It is therefore pertinent that one must practice la-jin posture at least once a day to maintain one’s healthy posture. La-jin posture is so easy that it only takes 1 minute to learn. It is that simple that I need not have to describe in words, the La-jin posture. Just take a look at the pictures on the right and the one at the top right. See it’s so easy that you don’t need any description! You can do it lying down, literally!
There is a special La-jin bench but I don’t think you can get it in the West. You can improvise by placing 2 or 3 chairs together as you can see from the third Youtube video (@ 0:15) at the end of this article and also the two photos below on the right, showing me doing lajin.
Just to assure you on two points. Most people will not be able to raise the leg to a 90 -degree angle initially, without assistance. So for a start, just lift you leg to the best possible angle; even 45 degrees will do. In due course with constant practice you will be able to do so in “perfection”! Also your arms may not be able to fully stretch to the back. It’s ok. Just stretch the best you can. In time, you will be an expert as you regain your perfect health which you are entitled to, in the first place.
The second point is that different people will experience different levels of pain depending on the conditions of the ligaments and tendons. The advice is to start off gradually. Stretch to the limit that you can persevere and for the duration that you feel comfortable with. For a start, 5 minutes will be an achievement. Ideally, it should be at least 10 minutes for each leg.
Me doing posture #1
After a few practices, better posture!
Me doing posture #2
My personal testimony : La-jin posture #1
This is my personal testimony. Of late, my health has not been up to mark. I felt lethargic and was always sleepy, despite following my daily wellness regime. Then I tried the La-jin posture #1 for 5 minutes each leg. After only two sessions, I could feel the vast difference in my physical condition. No more tiredness and sleepiness! I used to have black-out spell when I got up after bending down. Now it's gone. This is fantastic! In my years of practising the various types of qigong, never had I experienced such immediate and effective results. This is great!
I strongly recommend that you try this fantastic self-healing La-jin posture. Remember, it's free. You only need two chairs for support. Initially, I used three chairs, which was more comfortable for my arms. Now I only use two chairs as suggested; and this way I could feel the stretch on my diaphragm, chest and shoulder joints as well. You may also feel "pins and needles" or tingling sensation on both your palms and the fingers during the stretch, which should subside after a few practice sessions. This sensation is an indication that the qi (chi) is moving and circulating.
When I first started, I could only raise my leg to about 45 degrees; but after a few days I was able to touch my calf against the wall. Now my whole leg and buttock are able to rest against the wall. Believe me, when you can rest at least your calf against the wall, you will feel more relaxed and more comfortable. From then on, it's smooth ride all the way, and you can easily extend the duration while you close your eyes and relax! Now I stay for 10 minutes each side. Don't worry about the position of the other leg. Just let it dangle down naturally. If you have flexible joints then the foot will touch the floor. If you are like me, the joints are not that flexible, and the leg just dangles in the air. Take a look at the first photo of me on the top right, doing the Lajin. Quite comical, isn't it? My right thigh was not able to bend lower. Please remember, the mission is to do the exercise for improvement of our health, within our own levels and abilities. We are not competing in the Olympics! However, after a few practices, the legs can become more flexible. Take a look at my second photo on the right.
When you are able to relax while doing the Lajin stretch, you can try some deep breathing at the same time. Take a deep full breath, breathing in slowly from your nostrils. Let the air intake fill the whole lungs and feel the stomach extending. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then breathe out slowly through your mouth. This is to exercise your lungs and stomach and at the same time you will feel your Lajin position improving as the pressure from your extended lungs and stomach push your buttocks forward.
This breathing method is also a type of qigong breathing technique. The in-breath is supposed to draw in positive qi (or positive fresh air) into the base of the body which is the center of gravity of the body. The exact location is 2 inches below the navel (or 3 finger-widths below the navel) and in Chinese this location is called the lower "Dantian" or simply "Dantian". This location is supposed to be the storehouse of "qi" or life energy. It is so vital that lower Dantian is considered to be "like the root of the tree of life". When you breathe out through your mouth, imagine that you are expelling negative or "used" qi, or toxic air from your body. With a complete cycle of breathing in and breathing out, you are replenishing positive life energy to your body, and expelling negative toxic air (negative qi) out from the body.
Before I forget, I do this lajin stretch with my eyes closed, which enables me to really feel completely relaxed. While doing the breathing exercise, I also practise visualization. Visualizing the in-breath slowly filling up my lungs and strengthening my stomach and abdomen. Then I visualize the breath staying put for a few seconds, and slowly empties through the mouth.
I also do two extended exercises after the 10-minute stretch. With both hands pressed on the thigh of the raised leg, I do the "cycling" exercise on the other leg. After that, another exercise, with both hands holding the thigh of the "free" leg, I stretch it sideways.
This is an update: From my consistent Lajin practice, I found that one of the most effective results is the strengthening and maintaining the straight posture of my spine.
La-jin posture #2 : Standing
Self-healing : La-Jin posture #2 - standing posture
This is also very easy. Take a look at the picture on the right and follow the instruction below:
- Stand in a doorframe, raise both arms touching both sides of the doorframe; stretch your arms as much as you can.
- Stretch one leg forward slightly bent; and stretch the other leg behind as straight as possible.
- Keep your upper body upright; eyes looking straight ahead.
- Stay in this position for three minutes and then switch the legs and repeat the exercise for another three minutes.
Self-healing : Caution
People with hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis, or are physically weak for a long time, or pregnant must consult their doctors on whether they can do La-Jin. My personal opinion is that pregnant ladies should avoid practising La-Jin.
Self-healing : Pai-da therapy
Now we come to the second part of self-healing therapy. You can watch the demonstration at the end of the third Youtube video. In Chinese it is called “Pai-da” therapy. “Pai” means patting, and “Da” means “slapping”. For those not used to Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation “Da” should be pronounced as “Ta” (without aspiration). Just like “Dao” is pronounced as “Tao”.
This system of patting and slapping is quite common in qigong practice. It is done usually after the end of the qigong session. You can see this practice in the last video of my other article titled “Relaxing-qigong”.
It is believed that patting and slapping the skin and the joints will activate the flow of “Chi” or “inner energy” that gives life and vitality to the body. This technique draws out the bad “chi” (Yin Chi) and invigorates the body with the positive “chi” (Yang chi), and stimulates the meridians with the powerful flow of positive Chi, thereby energizing the body with vitality.
The sequence of Pai-da is from top down. Generally starting from the top and back of the head, down the chest, shoulders, arms, waist, thighs and the legs. Along the way, all the joints are slapped as hard as possible. Although it is patting and slapping, I also do circular rubbing massage especially on the knees and around the stomach and lower abdomen.
Another complementary massage is doing light rubbing by sliding the palms down the body following the same sequence as Pai-da, from the top of the head (including the face and ears) down to the ankles.
This concludes the self-healing system as taught by Master Xiao.
If you are interested, i also have my own version of simple massages :
Frequency of practice
As for how often we need to practise this therapy, Master Xiao has this to say,
"If you want more health benefits, practise more often,
If you want less health benefits, practise less often,
If you don't want any health benefit, then don't do it."
Paida & Lajin Facebook
You can join "Paida & Lajin" Facebook here.
Self-healing : Now the video presentation
You would have to spend some time to finish watching the 5 videos presented below. Perhaps you need to visit this site a few times to be able to finish watching these 5 videos. However, you can even skip the videos and be able to practice Lajin. By just reading my article and following the instructions given, you will not have any problem practising Lajin straight away! But I would strongly recommend that you spend some time watching all the 5 videos in due course.
Below are the five videos. Three videos from Youtube. It was an interview with Master Xiao by Anne Margrethe of the Home Planet Network at the “Beyond 2012” conference in the Newton Hotel, Nairn, Inverness, Scotland. The first two parts are introduction of Master Xiao’s journey of discovery and his philosophy of Chinese self-healing. The third Youtube video shows the La-jin and Pai-da demonstration.
The next two Vimeo videos are on the USA Lajin workshop in 2011 by Master Xiao himself.
Have fun and hope you will keep healthy for the rest of your life.
Part 1 of 3 : Introduction
Part 2 of 3 : Introduction
Part 3 of 3 : La-jin demonstration
Master Xiao in Penang, Malaysia
Below are six photos of Master Xiao in person, giving the "Paida Lajin Self-Healing DIY Presentation" in my hometown Penang, Malaysia on June 6, 2011.
The last two photos from the local "Star" newspapers.
Full House Attendance in Penang
The Lajin Stretch Demonstration
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