- Movement and Energy Training
for Tai Chi, Sports, Chronic Pain and Rehabilitation Susan A. Matthews,
MS, ND © 2002-2022
Get the Ultimate Training in Mind-Body Integration.
Learn how to integrate physical biomechanical movement, visualization of
movement of internal energy, and mental or spiritual intent to create
effective, relaxed, whole-body movement. Learn how to create power and stamina that strengthens bones and joints, rather than producing
wear and tear. Learn how to heal the body and
promote spiritual development. This program is designed to accelerate the development of martial artists and movement teachers who are looking for high-level training theories. (Click Image to Enlarge)
MODULE 1 Spiral Anatomy™ Training Course:
Cultivating an Energy Body
Module 1 contains an extremely robust visualization, meditation and self massage program that can bring a high level
of awareness of the energy in your body. The goal is to experience yourself as an energy being. The materials presented explain the physiology of practicing qigong. In practice, this program can relieve stress, anxiety and chronic pain by
promoting relaxation, sleep and healing blood circulation to the brain and internal organs. The visualizations and simple exercises, performed both sitting and standing, are used to refine mind intention and build qi. Self massage and meridian massage enhances qi flow, blood circulation, lymphatic circulation, and immune system function.
Module 1 - Building an Energy Body Collection: Best videos in one package, $100 value. Order/Download only $39.95
Module 1 Contents:
1. Introduction to Spiral Anatomy™ Visualizations for Energy and Blood Circulation (7:40) (preview page)
Energy-Filling Stress-Reduction Meditation and Brain Circulation Visualization (19:14)
3. Brain and Eye Visualization Aids PDF
4. Introduction to Qigong with Susan Matthews (3:47)
5. Qigong Practice 1 Gathering Energy (1:46)
6. Qigong Practice 2 Qi Circles (15:05)
7. Qigong Practice 3 Head Neck Meridian Self Massage (19:15)
8. Qigong Practice 4 Hand Massage (4:01)
9. Abdominal Breathing Demonstration (2:01)
10. Daily Breast Massage (34:09)
11. Bamen Wu Bu Lecture WANG ZHI XIANG (46.35)
12. WANG HAO DA Neijing Training
MODULE 2 Spiral Anatomy™ Training Course:
Module 2 contains videos and supplemental materials to help you understand the physical and energetic principles of central equilibrium, one of the most important fundamental principles in tai chi. Central equilibrium training is essential for understanding how to create balance, strength and
flexibility in the movements of daily life. With practice you can repair posture to alleviate chronic health issues including chronic pain, and to activate neurorehabilitation and repair. Brain Workshop™ specifically addresses additional movement principles for brain health, especially important for persons with stress, brain injury, Parkinson's, stroke.
Module 2 - Balance plus Brain Workshop™ Collection: Best videos in one package. Order/Download only $39.95
Module 2 Contents:
1. Zhong Ding Energy and Balance Introduction (2:47)
2. Zhong Ding Lecture (6:05)
3. Skeletal Alignment Anterior.jpg
4. Skeletal Alignment Posterior.jpg
5. Skeletal Alignment Lateral.jpg
6. Sacrum and Center of Gravity.jpg
7. Get Balance™ Training and Exercises (37:37)
8. Zhong Ding Central Equlibrium Line Article (PDF)
9. Walking Visualization and Training (23:08)
10. Review of Visualizations (3:42)
11. Brain Workshop I: Integrating Neuroscientific Principles in Movement (46:41) (preview page)
12. Brain Workshop II: Twelve Exercises to Activate the Brain (1:05:50)
13. Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong (27:31)
MODULE 3 Spiral Anatomy™ Training Course:
Connect the Body Physically as One Unit with Power Stretching
Module 3 contains videos to help you understand the physical and energetic principles of power stretching. Power stretching is essential for whole-body or one-unit, connected, loose, relaxed, spiraling power in all styles of martial arts. Power stretching is the next step essential for understanding how to repair posture to alleviate chronic health issues including chronic musculoskeletal pain, and to activate neurorehabilitation and repair.
Module 3 - Power Stretching Collection: Best videos in one package. Order/Download only $39.95
Module 3 Contents:
1. Susan Matthews Lan Shou Power Stretching Introduction to Module 3 (PDF) (preview page)
2. Master YE XIAO LONG Power Stretch 1 (3:37)
3. Master WU JI Power Stretching First Section (3:10)
4. Susan Matthews Opening the Low Back (4:50)
5. 'Dont Let Me Lift Your Arm' Test (0:56)
6. Susan Matthews Power Stretch Exercise(8:13)
Master YE XIAO LONG Power Stretch 2 (10.53)
8. Master GEORGE XU Spiraling Power Stretching (21:22)
9. Master WU JI Lan Shou Muscle-Tendon Stretching Exercises (35:27)
10. Double Dragon VOL 3 Master SHOU GUAN SHUN Jin Shin Ba Gu (1:16:30)
11. Master WANG MING BO Jin Shin Ba Gu (1:12:47)
MODULE 4 Spiral Anatomy™ Training Course:
Spiral Anatomy Biomechanics Matthews' Method
Module 4 contains videos and supplemental materials ranging from detailed techniques to overarching concepts on the biomechanics of key movement principles of taijiquan. This Module introduces the Matthews' Method, the biomechanics of silk reeling and spiraling and is the next step essential for understanding how generate superior power in martial arts, and how to repair posture to alleviate chronic health issues including chronic musculoskeletal pain, and to activate neurorehabilitation and repair.
Module 4 - Spiral Anatomy Biomechanics Matthews' Method: Best videos in one package available soon.
Module 4 Contents:
Lower Extremity Spiraling Biomechanics (3:29) and Root
Silk Reeling Spiral Training
Sinking the Qi/Emptying
MATTHEWS' METHOD: Backwards Bicycle/Reverse Cycling Biomechanic
Lymphatic and Meridian Massage
Shoulder and Arm Biomechanics
Internal Structure Testing with George Xu (52:12)
Mind and Energy Movement in Taijiquan with Susan Matthews (1:27:34)
includes mind training for moving energy. Training the mind to build and direct energy to move to accomplish any action, added to the mechanical spiral, enhances strength even more. Intent, energy and physical can be integrated to release maximum power. Mental practice and visualization (for example, straight central equilibrium line, dantien rotation, spiraling kinetics, perfect yin yang, expanded energy awareness into the space) allows the brain to control the whole body in integrated spirals.
skiing had plateaued for about three years, and after only 7 weeks
of taijiquan, I rip. The change is awesome, like night and day.
Now I move with more relaxation and efficiency—it’s effortless,
like water." —Extreme skier, Todd Swanson
Susan, I was one of the fortunate
people to have participated in your Spiral Energy class in Mission
Viejo, CA...Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.
I regard this as a turning point in my life. I feel that
my eyes have been opened to a new way of living and getting more
out of life. Thank you again."
Kathleen Black 11/20/01
approach in teaching these principles is unique because it has has
provided a model and a language for understanding this universal
mechanical and energetic movement: a pattern, which generates efficient,
relaxed, effortless movement, using less muscle and more spiraling
bone strength. By universal I mean it is based on spirals (and later
waves) which are found in all living, growing things in nature including
the way fish swim, snakes slither, birds fly, and even inherent
in why trees and seashells grow in spirals.
Susan. I just went skiing for the first time today since taking
your class. I mean I figured it would help my skiing, but I can’t
even believe how much this has helped my skiing. It’s another
world. The whole time I was skiing I was just imagining the line
of qi all the way from the central sun (all the way down) into
the earth, through the middle of the earth, and it’s all I had
to think about. I didn’t have to think about anything else. It
was just perfect, it was just perfect. I can’t believe it. My
friend that I ski with is blown away. He can’t even believe it
either. It was just amazing. I was going faster than him for the
first time ever. He didn’t know where I was because I was always
in front. So thank you, thank you, thank you. And I’ll see you
soon. And I think I’ve talked him to taking your class too."
universal movement, I mean it is based on spirals found in all living,
growing things in nature. If you twist or rotate, need balance,
strength, endurance, focus or speed, then you can improve that motion
through spiral training and the other elements in internal martial
the Four Corners Region, where the mountains and canyons meet, Colorado,
New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, we love outdoor recreation. I have
taught and tested the following elements of Tai Chi training with
skiers, mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers, rock climbers, golfers,
tennis players, kayakers, runners, a ski jumper/aerialist, and skate
boarders. These students report getting better, having more fun,
and having fewer injuries. Training for superior strength and power
in Tai Chi does not include training for the biggest muscles but
of Rooting: Strength and balance, a strong root, is obtained
with understanding postural alignment in gravity, lowering the center
of balance, and the mechanics of transferring weightedness and other
forces to the feet.
Lecture! I enjoyed your lecture on the Energetics
of Rooting that you gave at
Nov. 18. I am a beginning
Tai Chi student and found your talk very helpful and interesting."
Willa Valdez 11/23/01
of Spiraling Bones: "Chan SSu Chin" practice strengthens
and connects all the joints and tendons into one continuous "snake."
When one part moves, all parts move. Physical strength with plasticity, fluidity, and relaxation can
be increased through the use of integrated "bone" power
rather than through reliance on muscular strength. Later, spiraling
contains and generates a "jin/chin/jing" or force which
can be used. Spiral training is commonly taught in Chen Style tai chi basic exercises. The exact Spiral Anatomy™ biomechanics can be trained as a backwards bicycling motion that starts in the sacrum and moves through every vertebra, joint, and muscle. Susan Matthews considers this her signature contribution to the body of tai chi knowledge. This motion allows beautiful integration around the zhong ding (central equilibrium line) and energetically around a complex and sophisticated dantien. Physical stress, muscle tension, pain, compression in the joints, compression of internal organs, reduced blood and lymph circulation can all be alleviated by understanding how the physical structure can spiral out of shape from tension. With education, time and practice the structure can be spiraled open and into balance. This open, relaxed structure is required for maximum relaxation and qi flow.
I have been fortunate to train with Master George Xu for the last 20 years. George gives us most of this internal information that I have blended with Western biomedical sciences.
of True Grounding:
Energetically grounding/filling/connecting the physical body and
energy body with the energy outside the body helps establish a relationship
with earth and sky energy in order to flow with it naturally. Later,
this becomes an infinite source of power which can be borrowed. Advanced mind-energy-physical integration in tai chi and qigong allow one to develop the Subtle Energy Body. Visualizations and mind focus practices are described on this page.
Mechanics: Stable, rotational hip mechanics and using sacrum
and tailbone function in transmitting movement through the spine.
Energy Power: Dantien (abdominal region) energy rotation creates
fluidity in movement, and movement in which the body or torso moving
at the center generates all movement of the extremities. Dantien training can be found on Blood Circulation and Energy Gathering Qigong dvd by Susan Matthews. A higher level of dantien training can be experienced with Grand Master Wang Hao Da Neijing Training dvds.
6. Yin Yang: Spiral Anatomy™ physical and energetic movement allows for perfect yin yang physical and energetic balance in all directions across the body: left/right, front/ back, up/down, in/out, empty full, expand/contract. This is a requirement for fluidity and softness in push hands practice. Separation of Yin-Yang along the centerline into right-left, front-back, in-out, and up-down has several benefits that combine to create a fluid center and release a stiff core.
Up-down separation of yin-yang along the centerline loosens and stretches the spine. Energetic fire rises up, is light, empty, loose and alive. Energetic water sinks down, maintains a dynamic root, and generates the fire up.
Left-right yin-yang is required for a flexible spine and loose-open shoulders. Left-right also is required for perfect balance. Yielding, or yin action, must create the corresponding yang force in order to remain light, to be comfortable, to remain undisturbed and in control of your center.
Front-back balance keeps the spine vertical and upright. Front-back separates the energy so that in partnership a common center is experienced as a heart-mind connection.
In-out separation focuses on awareness of the space and also allows a beautiful heart-mind connection. Expansion and contraction adds a communication with one's own heart and the heartbeat of the earth/universe.
Power: Back power is generated out of the waist and includes
connecting the dantien in front to the ming men in the low back.
Sinking the shoulders into the low back and opening (flattening)
the low back transfers shoulder power to the more powerful hips
and legs. Power stretch, a form of isometric stretching, connects
the upper and lower spine.
shou: Push hands sensitivity
exercises train the practitioner to yield to the forces directed
at them, gathering, redirecting and releasing power. Thinking about
dealing with the complex forces at play in skiing and other sports
deal in a similar way is useful. The advantages of "flowing
with" rather than "fighting against" are obvious.
and Biomechanics of the Spine: The position of the hips and
sacrum, dictated by specific muscle tension in the pelvis, dramatically
effects the position, function and tension of the neck and every
other piece the body. Getting better means changing structure and
teaching each part of the body how to perform unified and energetically
integrated movement directed by singular focus on the core.
in the Spine: Zhong Ding Jin, central equilibrium force or line,
suspends the spine between Heaven and Earth, unifies yin and yang
and allows cultivation of spiritual intent. Wang Hao Da was a master of zhong ding.
transmission from heaven and earth through the heart is an expression
of the creative spirit of the individual, beautiful, wise and full
body mechanics, along with postural corrections which improved
my hip joint mobility, have had a phenomenal impact on my skiing
and other sports. The most direct application, however, has been
in skiing. I have skied since I was a kid. My dad was a ski instructor.
I skied most every weekend in high school then took a good many
years off while living in Austin, TX . I got back on skis and
started tai chi with Susan Matthews last year. After one season
I have reached a whole new level by incorporating the ‘backwards
bicycle’ and ‘spiraling’ throughout the entire body. Instead of
using a great deal of energy and strength, I can easily relax
into my skiing groove with solid carving turns." Tracy
is 36 years old, has 25 years experience as a skier, eight years
as a martial artist, and is a mountain bike enthusiast. Tai Chi,
like all-internal martial arts, can be described in terms of physical
biomechanical movement, visualization of movement of internal energy,
and mental or spiritual intent. All of these components, must be
integrated with each other to create effective, relaxed, whole-body
movement. Done properly, this movement is full of power, which can
be gathered and released, and also contain the potential for healing
the body and for promoting spiritual development.
Matthews is a scientist who teaches taiji. She approaches the
study and practice of this ancient Chinese martial art form as a
scholar who has trained extensively in neuroscience, biomechanics
and anatomy. She does taiji for her own health, self-defense, and
strength training and teaches what she knows to students who approach
their own professional and personal lives with equal vigor.
Susan Matthews is available
for seminars to private groups and businesses. Design your own or
choose from the following programs: Cultivating a Daily Practice
Qigong for Blood Circulation, Women’s Health, Rejuvenation and Longevity,
Arthritis and Chronic Illnesses, Tai Chi in the Workplace, Advanced
Biomechanics and Mind Control for Superior Athleticism, Advanced
Biomechanics and Orthopedic Integration for Medical Professionals.
and qigong strengthen and tune the body so that it becomes like
a violin string.
When plucked by the mind, it is able to transmit energy with vigor:
for health, for healing, for spiritual wisdom.