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Silk reeling energy (chan ssu jing) is essential to its practice within
tai chi for health and for it’s efficient use as a martial art.
The function of silk reeling energy is to unify the body and connect
the energy throughout the body with the datian so that it can reinforce movements of all parts of the body.
Training in Tai Chi Chuan, regardless of style, has as its function the
connection of reeling energy throughout the body which makes it
strong, fluid and accessible.
It takes its name from the movement of the silk worm itself and the external movements of the form looks like the external work of the silkworm as it making silk.
The physical process involves the dantian, mingmen point in the small of the back behind the navel, the waist, back and shoulder right through the arms to the hands, and down through the hips to the knees and feet. The movement of everything goes together.
The spiraling of the waist, creates spiraling of the shoulder, elbow and wrist as well as the hips, knees and ankles. The whole thing is called reeling silk.
Chen Xiaowang, 19th generation successor to the Chen Style,
compared the actual physical activity of the reeling technique
of the human body to the action of a towel that is wrung to
squeeze out water.
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