Cognition & Reality

Friday, 11 September 2009

Contact In Motion

Filed under: Uncategorized — drtone @ 8:34 am

A practice called pushing hands (tui shou), long used to develop the martial applications of Tai Chi Chuan, teaches how to flow with the inevitable changes life brings. Learning how to flow enhances the ability to relax while sensing another person’s energy or chi, with direct implications for human relationships of all kinds. Because the distinction between mind and body is illusory, training the body to feel another’s intentions and respond to them calmly trains the mind to do the same. Therefore, pushing hands develops and tunes sensitivity to one’s own emotional state and to the emotional states of others. The result is better physical and emotional balance, leading to an improved ability to maintain fluid contact in relationships at home, at work, and at school .

Pushing hands, at its most basic, is a non-violent physical activity in which two partners maintain a light touch on each other as they circulate slowly and continuously, moving chi in tandem. As they engage, they listen to each other’s bodies and help each other find places where they are tight or tense. When one partner gently pushes with active force, the other partner smoothly retreats with corresponding passive force. Then they reverse roles. Viewed from above, their movement traces a yin-yang pattern. The activity therefore literally embodies Yin and Yang.

When partners push hands they absorb into their bodies lessons about both yielding and being firm in a relationship. By showing concretely how interactions, including conflicts, are cooperative ventures, the flow of push hands dissolves the illusion of separateness, of “winner” and “loser,” “you” and “I.”

I’m giving a pushing hands workshop open to individuals and couples on Saturday, 3 October, 10-Noon, at 29377 Rancho California Road, Suite 201, in Temecula. You can call me at 951-275-4036, or email me at


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