Monday, December 13, 2010

Try This Drill to Prime Your Nervous System!

Do you ever just not feel like training?
I know I do. Usually, I know on a mental level that I should be training. However, it’s as though every fiber in my being resisting actually getting off my ass.
Luckily I know a technique that gives me both a mental and physical energy boost.  
Dubious Origins -
I originally learned this technique when I was 15 from the “Chi Power Plus” (SPC-USA) course that used to be sold out of the back of martial arts magazines.
Most of the course was filled with useless exercises and information about a bizarre “Space-Christianity” (I kid you not). However, I learned two very valuable techniques. The first was Zhan Zhuang, or standing meditation. The other is the subject of this post: Blood Washing.
Blood Washing –
I honestly don’t know how this exercise got its name or where it came from (though it is very similar to a Buddhist Qigong I was once taught). All I know is that it works.
A few of the benefits of Blood Washing are:
·         It stimulates your nervous system and gets you ready for action.
·         It improves blood flow.
·         Gives you a mental boost (better than a cup of coffee, I’d say)
·         Improves sensitivity and performance (for fighting or training)
So, now I’m sure you’re done with me going on and on about how awesome this drill is and you just want to know how to do it:
The Exercise -

You can do Blood Washing either sitting or standing. I prefer sitting. You will want to wear as little clothing as possible.

Start off by placing your right hand and placing it on your left shoulder. In one single stroke bring your hand down your left arm to the top of your left hand, continue the movement by going over the top of the left hand to the palm and back up the underside of the left arm towards the armpit.

Once at the armpit move your right hand down the left side of your torso, down the outside of your left, over the top of your left foot to the sole of your left foot, and finally up the inside of your left leg towards your groin.

Once at your groin switch hands. Your left hand should be placed at the top (inner side) of your right leg. Stroke down the inside of your right leg towards the sole of your right foot, over to the top of your right foot, up the outside of your right leg, continuing up the right side of your torso to your armpit, down the underside of right arm to your palm, around to the top of your right hand, and finally up the top of the right arm to the right shoulder.

That is one rep. Make sure you maintain contact with the skin at all times. During the first 3 reps you should lightly squeeze the tip of each finger and toe. Complete 50-200 reps a day (if you move quickly enough 200 can be done in 10-15 minutes, perhaps less).

Conclusion –

This is a great exercise that can be used when you wake up or alongside a good warm up routine prior to training.

I hope you enjoy the drill and I really encourage you to add it to your routine.

Train Hard,
Josh Skinner (donjitsu2)


  1. I remember this on one of your old sites. Many years back I was doing it daily or near-daily. I have no idea why I stopped, since it always gave me a cool buzz.

  2. Yo, SPC-USA still exists!
    Check it out:

    1. SPC-USA changed into velocity group, when Sifu Jones left SPC-USA Chi Power back in 2008. He started the School of Chi Energy when Chi Power decided not to include any of the new research information he uncovered. He includes it all in his new school at chienergyheal,com. Sifu Jones' father wrote the original Chi Power book and included this energy exercise, not in the Chi Power Booklet it self, but as stand alone sheets of paper. Since developing this blood washing exercise, they now call it nerve fiber building (it is more precise of what is happening to your body), they have developed even better & stronger energy exercises that they teach thru the School. If you like the Blood Washing Exercise and you think it gives you a boost, the ones they teach at the School go way up in power over this basic one. If you would like to be able to cultivate a large amount of energy, but in a safe way, you should check out the School. Ben

  3. Josh,

    Someone on "that site" (the one I mentioned in my email) is doing this "chi power plus" and uploaded the whole intro course in an archive as a submission. I looked through it and it advocates tensing muscles, that weird "space christianity", and generally has no good information. If you are interested the url he gave is this:
    If you lost your original version and want a digital one to rereview it.

  4. Koujiryuu,

    Yeah, most of the course is bizarre to say the least.

    The tension drills aren't that far off the mark. Sanchin kata, Hung Gar's Iron Wire form, and certain forms of Indonesian energy cultivation methods all utilize tension to develop "Qi" (I'm using my definition here).

    The Zhan Zhuang stuff is limited to a few paragraphs in a handout included in the original course. I'm not sure if the Blood Washing drill was in the main booklet.

    I may download it for the memories :)

    Thanks man.

  5. do you have the bone marrow washing exersice?

    1. I know you can get a free mp3 on the bone marrow energy packing at the website,, they put it there with free chi & acupressure charts you can download. I see where Chi Power still sells it for money, but the School puts it out to anyone for free.