chi kung

Chi Kung


I've been practicing Wahnam Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan for about a year and a half, and I've had amazing results. I'm currently recovering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a muscle disease which prevents my muscles from growing, in turn leaving my physical body very weak, especially my thighs and shoulders. Is there a specific exercise that promotes muscle growth that doesn't require something such as running/tough physical training?

-- Andrew, Ecuador


It is nice to hear from you. I am sorry it has taken me some time to reply.

I am very happy to read in our Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum that you have recovered from a disease which “doctors had so joyously explained that you would not get better, you could only try and keep the muscle you had or end up in a wheelchair”. It is indeed a wonderful achievement. Congratulations.

You have been doing very well in your practice. Just keep it up.

Nevertheless, I shall still answer your question above. As you have found out from your own experience, all chi kung exercises promote muscle growth and does not require something like running and tough physical training. Understandably, the result from low-level chi kung is little and it takes a long time to achieve, whereas high-level chi kung like what we practice produces a lot of good result in a short time.

Some exercises, however, are more cost-effective than others in promoting muscle growth. Two excellent exercises for this purpose are “Pushing Mountains” and “Nourishing Kidneys”. “Sinew Metamorphosis” is particularly powerful, but needs to be learnt from a master. The answer is only of academic interest. As you have been deriving wonderful results, all you need to do is to carry on as you have been doing.


Since I'm still recovering from a very weak state, I'm unable to do such physical movements, but I've found that Zhan Zhuang is quite helpful. If I were to practice Zhan Zhuang every night, what would be a suitable form to do in the morning to complement it? Thank you for the world of opportunity you have already shown me!


If you practice zhan zhuang, make sure you do not over-strain yourself. For the time being, avoid strenuous stances like Horse-Riding and Single-Leg, and attempt the less demanding ones like Three-Circle Stance. Indeed, Three-Circle Stance is good for your purpose.

This does not mean you cannot attempt Horse-Riding, Single-Leg and other strenous stances at all, but you should not focus on them. Remember to relax and enjoy your stance training.

A good exercise to complement your stance training at night is “Lifting the Sky”, followed by chi flow and Standing Meditation.

You are lucky that Sifu Jose Antonio is staying in the same city as you, and Sifu Rama visits Ecuador regularly. Sifu Rama and Sifu Jose Antonio are two of our best instructors.

Reproduced from July 2007 Part 3 in Selection of Question-Answer Series


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