Hunchback

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Hunchback

Postby johnwang on Mon May 06, 2019 12:49 pm

What's the Taiji solution for the hunchback problem?

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Re: Hunchback

Postby Steve James on Mon May 06, 2019 3:03 pm

Is there a solution? I don't know. I think sometimes it's genetic. Other times, it's a matter of poor habits.
I also think there's a difference between having a truly hunched back and "hunching" over habitually. For example, elderly people who use "walkers" have to hunch over to walk. Some people call it shopping cart syndrome. However, they might need the walker because of an injury or ailment.

Now, whether practicing can help prevent someone from getting a hunched back is up for questions. I think the traditional way to combat it is to do exercises that close the scapulae. For ex., 1/2 hangs on pull up bars. Or, just plain pull ups if one can do 'em. If it's a medical issue, though, that might not be possible.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby johnwang on Mon May 06, 2019 4:36 pm

Steve James wrote:Is there a solution?

The reason one got hunchback because his back muscle is not strong enough to pull his back straight. The solution is to make the back muscle strong.

- The long fist solution is to hold a pencil with the back muscle.
- The SC solution is the backward bending 羅漢观天 (Luo Han Guan Tian) - Lou Han looks at sky.

The following are western solution.



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Re: Hunchback

Postby Steve James on Mon May 06, 2019 5:20 pm

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Re: Hunchback

Postby Appledog on Mon May 06, 2019 9:07 pm

johnwang wrote:What's the Taiji solution for the hunchback problem?

.img]https://i.postimg.cc/bv4yTxLQ/hump-back.jpg[/img]


People who do Taiji don't have this problem. There are many postures in taiji which would correct this problem; such as raise hands and single whip. Just by doing the postures mindfully they will correct your posture over time.

If someone comes into a Taiji class new, not having done Taiji before and they have this problem, I would probably teach them some light corrective qigong-style postures first such as a modified version of the Taiji 18 with a reduced range of motion and then have them slowly expand out.

if someone came to me having done Taiji and had this problem I would flat out tell them they were being cheated and advise them to leave their school immediately (i.e. leave on the spot, just don't go back) and try to help them find a better school.
Last edited by Appledog on Mon May 06, 2019 9:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Trick on Mon May 06, 2019 11:49 pm

with the resent passing of Gin Soon Chu(spelling?) i looked up some video clip online and found his son(?) performing and saw a (almost) distinct hunchbacking or maybe it was more a neck forward craneing. however it looked as ill posturing
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Bao on Tue May 07, 2019 12:09 am

People who do Taiji don't have this problem.


Think you need to look more at “masters” and teachers on YouTube. Just reading this quote made come to think about at least a handful of famous people with this characteristic. :P
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Trick on Tue May 07, 2019 2:39 am

is the "hunching" more or less depending of taiji(family)style. for example is it more in Yang and less in Chen ? i get the feeling its less in chen style practitioners..
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Steve James on Tue May 07, 2019 5:02 am

Trick wrote:is the "hunching" more or less depending of taiji(family)style. for example is it more in Yang and less in Chen ? i get the feeling its less in chen style practitioners..


No. If anything, Yang styles are criticized for being too upright. The more disrespected a Yang style variant is, the more upright the style tends to be. In fact, the complaint is that they don't "lean" or have a curve in the back.

That said, tcc has no more to do with kyphosis than any other cma. Sun Lu Tang's daughter had a severe case; his son didn't.
Last edited by Steve James on Tue May 07, 2019 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Trick on Tue May 07, 2019 6:26 am

taijiquan practice have a deeper sense of streching the body and the limbs, and a correct way of relaxing is important for this exercise. but maybe some linages overemphasize or maybe misinterpretate the sung concept to the point bad posture is developed over time ?
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Appledog on Tue May 07, 2019 6:36 am

Bao wrote:
People who do Taiji don't have this problem.


Think you need to look more at “masters” and teachers on YouTube. Just reading this quote made come to think about at least a handful of famous people with this characteristic. :P


No, what I said is correct, and you should probably feel sorry for those people. Sometimes when you get old certain things break deeply and you may not be able to stand up straight. For example some hunchback may be caused by osteoporosis and general malnutrition. However without question it is better not to lean. If you look at these 'hunchbacks' I would bet they were a lot straighter when they were younger.

Some lean is acceptable from a martial standpoint because it's a minor offence, in that you can be "internally straight". However, you must understand that strictly speaking this is a wasteful expenditure of energy. Some small or minor lean is therefore acceptable, but if you were to quantify things and say that a lean will lower your life expectancy by 1 month, would you still do it? Perhaps you don't care :)

It is also more difficult to learn Taiji if you have a slight lean. It's not impossible. But it is undesirable.

Also to Steve; I have never heard such a theory... Great masters who lean are the exception to the rule.. I would say no one is perfect, but if you understand the theory and what 'internally straight means' and how it is supported in the body you would probably agree with me a little more. For now I would point out that if your going to justify a lean by saying that one is 'internally straight' then obviously the goal is to be straight and one should train that way to internalize the motion before going off on a tangent and allowing oneself to lean.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Bao on Tue May 07, 2019 7:38 am

John Wang wrote:What's the Taiji solution for the hunchback problem?


The problem IMO is a too fixated idea about that the shoulder area should stay sunk all of the time and not move, as well as overemphasising "ba be han xiong" as a stationary posture.

In my Tai Chi we have neigong sets designed especially for scapula movement and scapula coordination. My teachers who taught those exercises are very straight and movable in their backs. But I am afraid that not many Tai chi practitioners have this kind of exercise. However, there are quite a few qigong exercises (as a couple of the Baduanjin) as well as warm up stretching exercises that many Tai Chi practitioners share that should be very good for the upper back movability.

- The long fist solution is to hold a pencil with the back muscle.


Love this exercise. Learning to become flexible and movable in the scapula/shoulder blades is very important, IMO. Seems like a good standard test. 8-)

Trick wrote:is the "hunching" more or less depending of taiji(family)style. for example is it more in Yang and less in Chen ? i get the feeling its less in chen style practitioners..


Appledog wrote:
Bao wrote:
People who do Taiji don't have this problem.


Think you need to look more at “masters” and teachers on YouTube. Just reading this quote made come to think about at least a handful of famous people with this characteristic. :P


No, what I said is correct, and you should probably feel sorry for those people. Sometimes when you get old certain things break deeply and you may not be able to stand up straight. For example some hunchback may be caused by osteoporosis and general malnutrition.


There are acknowledged "masters" from various styles who has it.

There are genetic reasons, diseases, loss of bone mass for women, etc. It's not reasonable to say that every old Tai Chi practitioner with hunchback is a bad practitioner.


However without question it is better not to lean.
...
Some lean is acceptable from a martial standpoint because it's a minor offence, in that you can be "internally straight".


Now you confuse the subjects. Leaning is not the same as hollowing the chest or "hunching". Leaning can be done with a perfectly straight back. "Hunchback" has absolutely nothing to do with leaning or not.
Last edited by Bao on Tue May 07, 2019 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Steve James on Tue May 07, 2019 7:52 am

Also to Steve; I have never heard such a theory... Great masters who lean are the exception to the rule.. I would say no one is perfect, but if you understand the theory and what 'internally straight means' and how it is supported in the body you would probably agree with me a little more.


I'm not interested in the lean debate. It has nothing to do with developing a hunched back or tcc. As I said, Sun style is quite upright. SLT didn't have kyphosis; his son didn't have it; his daughter, Sun Jian Yun had it. The story was that it developed because she had been imprisoned by the communists and suffered from malnutrition. I don't know.

Where I disagree with you is that I don't believe that doing tcc "correctly" will prevent or cure the condition. Everyone is so clear about what "correct" tcc is. But, I really don't many people with this condition. Even today when more people than ever spend their time hunched over their computers or their cellphones, the typical result is neck or back pain, not true kyphosis.

Maybe Dr. Ken could comment. I agree with John that certain types of lifts will help, but we're talking about the elderly. Flexibility exercises, imo, will probably do more to ease pain. Weight-lifters flexibility exercises are also good. Jmo. Tcc, as a form of relaxation, may help in that regard. I don't think John Wang has to worry, though.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby windwalker on Tue May 07, 2019 8:15 am

johnwang wrote:What's the Taiji solution for the hunchback problem?

Image



There are many things that can cause what is shown in the photo.

Whether a certain exercise or discipline can help or mitigate it depends on the cause. a medical doctor would be able to diagnose, and recommend a protocol to help correct it.

S-mantis also tends to develop a curvature of the back due to the way the style is practiced. Many disciplines practiced to a high level tend to change the body as it adapts to the demands of the practice.

In many cases health is not the overriding factor. The overriding factor is ability gained or the skill in order to meet the requirements.

Fighters, tend to suffer long range injuries either from their practice or from fighting.

It is said from outside to inside from inside to outside.

The lean that some have noted in some taiji styles is due to a particular way that the style emphasizes and uses inner alignments.
Last edited by windwalker on Tue May 07, 2019 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hunchback

Postby Appledog on Tue May 07, 2019 8:19 am

Steve James wrote:
Also to Steve; I have never heard such a theory... Great masters who lean are the exception to the rule.. I would say no one is perfect, but if you understand the theory and what 'internally straight means' and how it is supported in the body you would probably agree with me a little more.


I'm not interested in the lean debate. It has nothing to do with developing a hunched back or tcc. As I said, Sun style is quite upright. SLT didn't have kyphosis; his son didn't have it; his daughter, Sun Jian Yun had it. The story was that it developed because she had been imprisoned by the communists and suffered from malnutrition. I don't know.

Where I disagree with you is that I don't believe that doing tcc "correctly" will prevent or cure the condition. Everyone is so clear about what "correct" tcc is. But, I really don't many people with this condition. Even today when more people than ever spend their time hunched over their computers or their cellphones, the typical result is neck or back pain, not true kyphosis.

Maybe Dr. Ken could comment. I agree with John that certain types of lifts will help, but we're talking about the elderly. Flexibility exercises, imo, will probably do more to ease pain. Weight-lifters flexibility exercises are also good. Jmo. Tcc, as a form of relaxation, may help in that regard. I don't think John Wang has to worry, though.


Actually I don't think we disagree at all. I basically said the same thing you just said in my post. Disclaimer, I'm not a doctor :) Re: lean I was responding to "In fact, the complaint is that they don't "lean" or have a curve in the back." which I think was pretty clear, but I guess I may have misunderstood what you really meant. I too didn't mean to confuse the hunchback issue with lean; although I would point out that it is difficult to do proper taiji in the situations you and I both described -- so I think there is more evidence for it that way than the other...
Last edited by Appledog on Tue May 07, 2019 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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