It’s hard to think that it’s 2 years already since I released the Chi Gung standing practice videos.
I made them and set them as a few of my regular guys were getting interested in learning to relax under pressure during their Kettlebell Sport training and competition.
In Kettlebell Sport you must try to remain as relaxed as possible under the load of the kettlebells so as to be as energy efficient as possible.
This meditative practice that is commonly practised in the Chinese Martial arts ticks the boxes they needed to a tee. And since I made the video and sent it to them as it’s best done outside of the gym due to time constraints, I also released it for rent/sale on Vimeo On Demand.
Now, today I opened my email and got a lovely message from one of my subscribers sending me this article from the Z-Health guys
The key part of the article is here:
What would happen is when the warning came, the Navy Seals and the triathletes, that part of their brain, the insular cortex would get a big burst of blood. Basically, it said hey, what does the body feel like right now. Then as their restricted breathing occurred the blood supply decreased in that area. In essence, what they were learning is that their brain was saying hey, I know something tough is coming so I’m going to make sure that I don’t over-think this. I’m not going to get overly emotionally involved in it. Then they compared that to office workers, and their brains actually worked completely the opposite way, which basically showed that when they were under stress, their brain paid even greater attention to what they were feeling rather than less attention. The other part of the brain that got involved in this is called the ACC. Basically, that deals with emotion regulation. What they figured out was that the Seals and triathletes were able to stay more relaxed and less emotionally involved in the stress process.
They then went onto take another group and trained them to stand for 10 minutes paying attention to the sensation of the ground in contact with their feet. They also, as time passed, started to pay attention to tight areas they felt in the body, the exact points that weight was held in the feet and so on.
All done observationally, dispassionately. Learning to take an internal look at the body, a skill know known as interoception.
Interoception is contemporarily defined as the sense of the internal state of the body. This can be both conscious and non-conscious (source: Wikipedia)
Interoception has been discussed a fair bit of late in the pain science community as they struggle to explain what pain really is. If you’re a dancer, internal martial artist, and maybe even an old school pyjama martial artist, I bet you intuitively know more than the researchers do.
For the those that are interested in learning how to distance yourself from your visceral emotional reactions, to be able to maintain a calm and relaxed mind under discomfort and to learn about how this actually helps you become MORE connected to your body and therefore a better Human Animal, can I tempt you to check out these video?
Stand and relax.
Stand, relax and pay attention.
It really is that simple.
Simple, not easy.
Oh! And before I forget, have you been listening to my waffles from the car? It’s a podcast of sorts. It’s on soundcloud and Patreon. I’d obviously like to steer you towards patreon…… More on that in an upcoming blog. www.patreon.com/davehedges