Silk reeling (pinyin chánsīgōng, Wade-Giles ch'an² ssu1 kung1 纏絲功), also called winding silk energy refers to a set of neigong (internal) movement principles expressed in traditional styles of t'ai chi ch'uan, but especially emphasised by the Chen and Wu styles of t'ai chi ch'uan. The name derives from the metaphorical principle of "reeling the silk from a silk worm's cocoon". In order to draw out the silk successfully the action must be smooth and consistent without jerking or changing direction sharply. Too fast, the silk breaks, too slow, it sticks to itself and becomes tangled. Hence, the silk reeling movements are continuous, cyclic patterns performed at constant speed with the "light touch" of drawing silk. Silk reeling is trained in solo forms and stances as well as in pushing hands with a partner.
As described by Wu Kung-tsao:
This resembles the strands of spun silk. Winding silk energy is applied in pushing hands when opponents probe, use locking maneuvers, neutralize, vie for control, and practice tactical movements around each other's space.There are six methods of winding silk energy: inner, outer, upper, lower, forward and backward. They are applied from anywhere on the body: the arms, legs, hips and waist, with the body moving continuously, with endless circularity, wrapped together like intertwined filaments of silk.
One who is skilled at winding silk energy is keenly sensitive and can accurately probe and stay with the opponent as he extends and contracts.
Chen-style silk reeling movements originate from the dantian and trace a taijitu pattern. Starting first with the outside circle and then adding the "tear shapes" (to quickly change direction while maintaining a smooth motion) while shifting the thrust from leg to leg; this motion in turn drives the rest of the joints of the body in a fluid, spiraling motion.
Some of the most common silk reeling exercises are:
- Single Arm - Front Circle (zhengmian) (Left and Right Side)
- Double Arm - Front Circle
- Single Arm - Side Circle (cemian) (Left and Right Side)
- Double Arm - Side Circle
- Peng-Lu (Left and Right Side)
- Peng-Lu-Ji-An Reeling Silk (Left and Right Side)
Once these are learnt and understood footwork (Bu fa) is added including: side stepping, diagonal stepping, forwards and backwards stepping:
- Single arm side stepping - Front Circle (zhengmian) (Left and Right Side)
- Diagonal stepping (Shaung – Lu) (Left and Right Side)
- Alternating leg diagonal stepping
- Forward stepping (Shaung Bu)
- Backwards stepping (Tui Bu)
- Double Arm side stepping - Front Circle (Cloud Hands – Yun Shao)
See also 
- Wu, Kung-tsao (1980, 2006). Wu Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan (吳家太極拳). Chien-ch’uan T’ai-chi Ch’uan Association. ISBN 0-9780499-0-X.
- Grudge, Nick (1995). "Whole Body Coiling / Reeling Silk Exercises (Chan Si Gong)".
- Training in Chenstyle Taijiquan at the Wayback Machine (archived December 18, 2007). Chenstyle Taijiquan Web Resource - Chenstyle.com. Archive 2007-12-18.
- Chen "Silk Reeling" (ChanSiGong/ChanSiJing): Chen style Taichi Centre. Double Hand Silk Reeling article & video (by Malisa Ng, disciple Grandmaster Zhu Tian Cai) Retrieved 2009-08-30
- Photo Gallery at the Wayback Machine (archived August 23, 2007). Sydney Tai Chi and Qigong Centre. Pictures - Double Hand Silk Reeling (by Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang). Archive 2007-08-23.
- Silk Reeling. Michael Garofalo. Cloud Hands: Taijiquan and Qigong, March 8, 2008. Various Resources. Retrieved 2009-08-30.