Silk reeling or Chan Si (纏絲 chán sī) (Chan = pulling, Si = silk) is an important  component of Chen style Tai Chi training, aiming to develop strength, internal energy, co-ordination, body awareness, unity of movement, relaxation and grounding.  It is named after the action of slowly and smoothly drawing silk from a cocoon.


Silk reeling comprises a set of repetitive spiralling movements which include; whole body relaxation, "dantian" rotation, soft opening and closing of the "kua", expansion and compression, smooth weight shifting, body alignment, relaxed waist involvement with coiling limbs, a rooted lower body and diaphragm breath work.

The coiling action of silk reeling creates a spiralling internal force, used for power in Tai Chi Chuan. The heart of an effective coiling action is relaxation (fang song) of the upper and lower body; shoulders, elbows, chest, hips, sacrum, tail bone and knees, expansion and compression of the joints, with the perineum moving in a backward figure 8 movement. The whole body moves as one continual spiralling unit driven from the waist/dantian area.

Silk reeling can involve one or both hands which can move in opposition or together.

The videos below contain a tutorial and practice session of a Chen style silk reeling Qigong developed by Ric Bolzan. It is ideally practiced at the end of a class or Tai Chi session as a moving meditation to relax and calm the mind.


Silk Reeling Tutorial

Silk Reeling Practice


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