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Million Dollar Health Secrets - Standing Meditation

by Allan Rudolf(more info)

listed in chi energy martial arts, originally published in issue 24 - January 1998

In my twenty-five years as a body therapist I have come across the words "million dollar health secret" three times. The term denotes a simple technique or practice which can easily make a major difference in a person's health.

I used to practise in New York City and over the years I had a number of chiropractors as clients and they told me about their million dollar health secret – the lumbar roll. This is a technique chiropractors and osteopaths often use on patients with lower back pain. It is a thrusting technique which takes about two to five minutes to do and often provides almost instant relief for lower back pain. As an aside, one chiropractor told me the reason the lumbar roll was called the million dollar roll was not because it was so quick and effective for patients in pain but because chiropractors made millions of dollars just from this technique alone.

I also heard the term "million dollar health secret" with regard to the daily intake of Vitamin C. The person behind this idea was one of the fathers of orthomolecular medicine, Dr Linus Pauling. Dr Pauling was a Nobel Prize biochemist who many fellow biochemists regard as the greatest biochemist of the 20th century. He advocated that everyone's overall health would benefit from a daily dosage of Vitamin C.

His million dollar idea has been met with opposition from orthodox medicine even though there is much compelling evidence to back his concept. It is my belief that his work has met with rejection because Linus Pauling was not part of the medical establishment (he was not a medical doctor) and cheap Vitamin C (it cannot be patented) is a monetary threat to major drug companies.

The third million dollar health secret is Standing Meditation and I want to discuss it in some detail. I first became aware of Standing Meditation as part of Qigong (pronounced Chee Gung), the Chinese system of working with the life energy (qi, pronounced chee) to improve health. A few years later I travelled to China to study Tai Chi and the cornerstone of the Tai Chi system was Standing Meditation.

The major benefits of Standing Meditation are an increase of the life force, a very deep level of relaxation and a release of deeply-rooted stress. To derive these benefits one has to practise regularly for at least one half-hour per day.

How does one practise Standing Meditation? Stand in a relaxed fashion with the feet absolutely parallel, shoulder-width apart. Every part of the foot should equally contact the ground. The knees should be slightly bent; imagine a string lightly pulling the knees at a 45-degree angle (see diagram). the back of the pelvis should sink down so that the sacrum is almost plumb erect and the lumbar curve is minimally concave – ie there is very little curvature (see diagram). Let the arms hang down naturally along the body's sides. The upper chest is slightly concave from the front so that the shoulder blades relax apart and are flat and rounded against the back and the ribs.

The armpits are open as if an egg could fit in them. The chin is tucked in very slightly and the top of the head is ever so gently being pulled skyward (see diagram). This expands the distance between the cervical vertebrae and raises the skull so it does not bear down on the spine. Gently smile and place the tip of the tongue softly on the roof of the mouth at the edge of the teeth. This completes the positioning of the body for Standing Meditation. Next let the eyes be open and relaxed, looking straight ahead with a soft focus. Slowly close the eyes and focus the mind's eye on the lower abdomen (the area between the navel and second-third lumbar vertebrae).

Breathe naturally and keep your mind's focus on this area. If you wander, just return your focus to this centre. You can stand for a half-hour or longer and then slowly open your eyes to complete this Standing Meditation. The Meditation is used not only to make healthy people more so, but in China it is used in some hospitals to help heal various illnesses.

A number of Chinese Masters who teach this type of meditation suggest you should do it for 100 consecutive days and then you will definitely become aware of the benefits. Personally after doing it for a few days I became addicted to it. Right now I'm going through a crisis in my personal life and I'm not able to concentrate enough to meditate properly; however, I feel all the meditation I have previously done is like money in the bank. I'm now withdrawing some of my "savings" to help keep me centred and relatively sane.

There are hundreds of different types of meditation and I believe most, if not all of them, can be beneficial. However, some of them are very complicated and some are expensive to learn (TM for example). Standing Meditation is simple, not expensive to learn and very powerful – a million dollar secret.(2)

For body therapists there is an added advantage to doing Standing Meditation. The standing position forces you to become aware of the places in your body where you hold your excess tension and the Standing Meditation will allow this tension to disappear. The more tension you hold in your body the less sensitive your touch is and the more difficult it is to be sensitive to what is going on with a client's body.


(1.) Linus Pauling. How to Live Longer and Feel Better. New York:WH Freeman & Co, 1986.

(2.) The best book I've come across which discusses Standing Meditation in detail is Warriors of Stillness by Jan Diepersloot (Walnut Creed, California: Center for Healing and the Arts, 1995). It is difficult, but not impossible, to obtain this book in the UK. Another very good book which is easier to obtain and has a different approach to Standing Meditation is Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by BK Frantzis Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1993.


  1. Robert Flatau said..

    Standing meditation is excellent, if very hard work - why people do not do it or stick to it. However, the times I have maintained a systematic practice have shown its benefits.

    I do not rate "Warriors of Stillness" - a much better book IMHO is "The Way of Energy" by Lam Kam Chuen.

  2. terefe feyssa said..

    Thank You for your explanation and about the Notes. I did no see the " Worriers of stillness" but I know the book by Lam Kam Chuen," the way of energy".

  3. terefe feyssa said..

    Alan Rudolf, thank You for Your article on standing meditation and other modalities.
    When the ancient masters formulated these techniques, it is for the purpose of wholeness. It is about physical, mental and pure love to help other fellow human beings.
    When any art is just taken by itself, it becomes abused as it is seen by many practitioners. If the technique does not change one's character, for a better and peaceful community and society, it is business as usual.
    The moral and ethical aspect of the practice is important whether a person is a religious person or none religious person.
    So, I think, We are overlooking the other major aspect of the practice.

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About Allan Rudolf

Allan is a Rolfer and Feldenkrais practitioner and trained with both Dr Rolf and Dr Feldenkrais. He now lives in China and is not contactable.

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