Something I posted recently to the CyberDojo:
"Rusty McMains" (rmcmains@) writes:
> Muscle "tension" or dynamic tension as most people understand it should
> never been applied. This is not healthy and does not promote proper qigong.
I know very little about qi gong, but I've had the good fortune to have been exposed to a few very different styles.
There definitely is a style of qi gong exercise that uses a dynamic tension very similar to what I was taught for sanchin and tensho kata. Exercises like "Pulling Nine Oxen Backward" and "Pushing Eight Horses Forward" were taught to us by a tuina instructor, and had a very similar feel to our sanchin and tensho.
However, the question of whether it should be "muscle tension" is interesting. I had a conversation last year with a fellow who does a lot of internal MA work, and we discussed the idea that the tension is less in the belly of the muscle than out towards the ends, that it's more about the tendons and sinews and fascia. I think there's an important idea there, though I'm not sure it's being expressed correctly anatomically.