Having completed the previous movement, paint the rainbow commences with the knees bent and the hands above the front of the thighs. The knees remain bent (always ensuring the knees are lined up with the feet and that you can still see your toes to avoid knee injury) the arms are lifted above the head. This movement should be done within the context of your shoulder mobility. If you have shoulder issues the arms should only be taken as high as your mobility allows. The palms of the hands are then turned to face each other, from here; the right arm is dropped to shoulder height; the right leg straightens without rising up and without locking the knee; the left hip rotated forward; the left hand floats above the head, all this being done at the same time. Coordinating all of this can be a little tricky at first.

Most importantly, the spine should be kept vertical and upright through the movement of painting the rainbow. This means not leaning to the side that the arm is extended and the leg straightened. For beginners the tendency is to lean into this side. It can be helpful to watch yourself in a mirror when practicing this movement to observe correct alignment.

The benefits of this movement

This movement will help relieve back pain, balance blood pressure, reduces stress, strengthen and aid the Stomach/digestive system. It can also help relieve
stomach ache and decreases fat around the waist (no guarantees on that last one).

From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective it strengthens the Heart and triple heater meridians, thus reducing stress and improving Qi flow to all the organs. In TCM the heart is seen as the commander of the organs and Qi flow to them. From a western medical perspective, a healthy heart means better blood flow through the body and the health benefits associated with it. The rocking and turning motion from leg to leg creates a strong connection with Earth Qi through the weight bearing foot and an acupuncture point on the soul of the foot called yongquan. Because the arms are held in a raised position this encourages Earth Qi to be absorbed upwards and into the Stomach

For those who aren’t very familiar with the concept of Qi please refer to an earlier blog post: https://sifupetereves.online/2021/02/17/what-is-this-thing-called-qi/

I trust this post helps you further along your journey with ShiBaShi Qigong

Yours in Qigong and Taijiquan

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