Before we speculate into an explanation, serious internal martial artists may have the experience of standing on zhan zhuang for over an hour. If not probably "managed", the pain will be unbearable. Yet, after a period of guided practice, the experience can become "enjoyable", the practitioner will be sweating, and standing truly looks like a regular jogging work-out, minus the difficulties, and no negative effect even for the middle aged. An onlooker may say, "How come you guys enjoy pain?" The answer is "They have successfully avoided pain".
The joints of a practitioner will initially be blocked, standing or seating with folded legs for a short period of time will create pain right at the points that hold up the body weight in position. What to do about such pain? A practitioner should mindfully adjust his weight, shift his ball and socket joints of his hips and shoulders slightly, find another point to hold his weight, minding all the time to make sure that the joints are fitted roundly onto the sockets rather than moving towards a dislocating direction. The guiding power will primarily be his pelvic floor muscles and secondarily his back muscles that act on the joints' muscles. The guiding energy is his breathing energy which activates everything. His stretched fingers will be used as fine-tuning tool. And his focused mind create a workable environment making everything possible.
The result? The practitioner will feel more comfortable, not until he needs to find the next points to carry his weight! Ultimately there will be no prominent point to attack. But like any metal polisher, a practitioner can continue to progress in "fine-polishing" his joints. With opened-joints, he will be like floating or moving sluggishly on dense fluid. His body weight will be evenly distributed, his breathing energy will be transformed efficiently into chi, he will get "holistically" tired as practice time prolongs, but he will be getting more and more comfortable instead of pain. Like he is in Tao, like he is in Zen, like he is at one with the Universe. And it ain't no fantasy.
|Ball and socket joints|