Incredible Stress Release: The Ice, Water, Gas Method

[Experience Exchange]

The Incredible Stress Release: The Ice, Water, Gas Method

by R. Melvin McKenzie


The rejuvenation experienced by your body is accomplished by a daily (or minimum three times a week) commitment to a routine that practically anyone—despite their handicap—can do. The Incredible Stress Relief method comes from Chinese neigong (nay-gung), an exercise system that has been practiced for more than 1,000 years, and is practiced daily, with superb positive mental and physical results, by millions of individuals across the globe. The beginning basic posture of Incredible Stress Relief is known by many poetic name variants: Standing Meditation, Stand Like A Tree, Universal Post, Quiet Standing,

Incredible Stress Relief: The Ice, Water, Gas Method

Begin this exercise by standing straight (not stiff with locked knees), in a relaxed manner, softly looking straight ahead, arms hanging loosely at your sides and your feet together. Do not lift your chest or suck in the abdomen like a soldier standing at attention in a military formation; simply allow your chest and abdomen to relax.

Next, bend the knees very slightly while opening the legs (left foot steps toward the left), with the feet a comfortable distance (approximately shoulder-width) apart and your weight evenly distributed on both feet. As you go to this position, do not lean or bend forward at the waist. After stepping to this position, the feeling you should have is a little buoyancy, the weight of the body going straight down through the thighs (with the knees acting as the hinges) and through the legs to the center of the feet.

Turn your palms rearward and gently tuck your hips under. Gently close your eyes and touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, where you will keep it throughout the duration of this exercise. Your tongue position is as though you are about to say “leaf.” While you are in this position, breathe as an infant does, with a relaxed chest and soft belly. No infant in the world has a big chest and tight abdominal muscles. Look at the body of an infant while he or she is breathing. From the moment of birth infants have proper breathing patterns.

Likewise, naturally breathe in, imagining the air sinking down into your abdomen. Again, do not lift the chest as you breathe. You are not really breathing into the belly. Since you are completely filling your lungs with air, the downward pressure causes your diaphragm to contract. The increased pressure on the diaphragm pushes the abdomen downward, spreading it out. Thus, your abdomen moves similarly to the rise and fall of a sleeping infant’s belly.

Now, with the eyes closed, your hands loosely at your sides and your weight centered, gently tuck in your hips and breathe in slowly and deeply (not forcefully). Begin to relax every part of your body, starting from the top of your head. Put your awareness there. Now, centimeter by centimeter, let your awareness slowly flow down to your feet as your body relaxes each part. You relax in this gradual way, in the same manner as water falling down your body in the shower. When you stand directly under the shower head, the water first lands on the top of your head. It flows down on all sides of your body while pushing the sweat, dirt, and shed skin on your body downward to your feet, and then the water falls further downward into the drain. This is an example of what your mind, your awareness, does as you relax. Think of all the mental stress, which leads to physical tension, draining downward from the top of your head slowly until it reaches the bottom of your feet and then flows down into the ground.

In this order of progression, take your time and go very slowly as you release any strength or tension in your head, eyes, temples, mouth, and jaw. Continue downward to the neck, shoulders, chest, upper back, arms, hands, and fingers. Relax all of the abdominal midsection, lower abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, and feet. When done properly this process should take a minimum of fifteen minutes. Again, with your mind (awareness), think of the sensation of water in slow motion, flowing downward. Afterward, you should notice that your entire body, both inside and outside, has become completely relaxed. Simon Howden

If you do this exercise on a daily basis or at least several days in a week, you will notice immediate results for release of tension, and you will experience rejuvenation throughout your body. Let it be understood, however, that to produce continued benefits and to enable a person to heal various symptoms of illness, this practice must continue. To continue living, you must continue eating; once you stop eating, you will expire. Likewise, if you stop this practice of conscious relaxation, you will not experience its health benefits.

So that you will not become alarmed, there are some strange things that will happen to you subsequent to beginning the practice of this exercise. After the first five or move minutes, you may feel your body becoming very warm or feel a tingling sensation. You may experience coldness, or your legs will begin to vibrate or shake uncontrollably. You may perspire very heavily, and the sensation of beads of sweat rolling down a portion of your body can practically drive you crazy. You may find that as you relax one particular area and move on to the next to begin relaxing it, the area you previously relaxed has tensed up again. These are normal manifestations as your mind becomes increasingly aware of what the energy is doing within your body. Like infants expressing themselves by flailing their arms and legs around without thoughtful control, your body expresses your attempt to become aware of energy by the above manifestations. These strange feelings will come to an end as your awareness of the energy within your body increases. 

After you have finished the Quiet Standing exercise, slowly open your eyes. Do not open them quickly, as the light entering in will shock your system. While your eyes are opening, look downward through your eyelashes for several seconds. Continue slowly opening your eyelids, and gently look straight ahead. Take inventory of your whole body for a few seconds and consider how refreshed it feels.





R. Melvin McKenzie

Coach Melvin, founder and chief instructor of Heaven’s Palm Boxing Association, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, teaches Opening the Energy Gates to Your Body Qigong. He is an international instructor of Taijiquan and Baguazhang. His ebook can be downloaded at, Coach Melvin is one of the very few masters who teach the rare techniques of defending against an unprovoked, hostile dog attack. His “Defend Yourself: Secrets to Protect Yourself From a Hostile Dog Attack” may be purchased at, His next hard cover publication, Profiles of African-American Tai Chi Masters, will be published in the last quarter of the year. Visit his Blog at



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