Baduanjin, which literally translates as eight pieces of silken brocade, has always been a very popular exercise in China. Its unusual name derives from the fact that the Chinese character for silken brocade jin also has the archaic meaning of that of a set of exercises composed of different movements. Hence the title eight pieces of silken brocade can be interpreted more accurately as an exercise composed of eight sets of movements.
Baduanjin has a written history of over 800 years. During this period of time, many modifications and innovations have been added to the original form. Although the variations are numerous, they can be broadly categorised into themes related to the seated and to the standing postures, with the latter further sub-divided into the ¡Northern and the Southern styles. The Northern style claims its legendary founder to be Yue Fei, who was a famous general in the Sung Dynasty (960-1279AD). It is considered to be more difficult to perform than the Southern style. This article illustrates one such Northern version, which was first published in China in 1917 by Lian Pu and Jiang Tie Ya, who were both students of the Quing Hua University at the time. Their booklet stated that this particular version of Baduanjin was popular in a certain part of Henan Province and that an old man from the town of Zheng-Zhou (in Henan) taught these exercises to Lian who in turn passed it on to Jiang.
Life depends on physical motion
Exercises are necessity for life. Exercises for Health and Longevity have absorbed the guiding theory of ancient Chinese medicine and the experience of doctors and health experts trough centuries. These exercises can
stimulate the sexual function
spur the circulation of the main and collateral channels
balance YIN (earthly energy) and YANG (heavenly energy) to obtain the goals of reducing weight
preserving the gracefulness of the body
retaining the moisture and softness of the skin
keeping fit and living long.
Section 1. Both Hands Stretching Upward Regulating the San Jiao. This exercise promotes the dispersing function of the lung, normalizes the function of the stomach and spleen; sliming, preventing kyphosis. Also has effect of improving the function of the spine and preventing and treating cervical spondylartritis periarthritis of shoulder and scoliosis.
Section 2. Bending a Bow with Alternate Hands to Shoot Vulture. This section can expand the chest, relieve functional disturbances of the lung-qi, and limber up arms and shoulders; prevent and treat diseases in the neck and shoulder, pain in lower back and leg.
Section 3. Stretching One Hand Upward
This regulate the function of the stomach and spleen, promoting digestion and removing food stagnancy.
Section 4. Looking Round Removing Five Kinds of Consumptive Diseases and Seven Kinds of Impairment. This section can enrich the essence and blood, tranquilize the mind and replenish plentiful essence to the zang-fu organs so that five kinds of consumptive diseases and seven kinds of impairment are removed.
Section 5. Shaking the Head and Wagging the Tail To Eliminate the Heart-Fire.
This section has tranquillising effect and is chiefly used for neurasthenia and irritability. It can also improve the motor function of the waist and knees.
Touching the Feet With Hands to Strengthen the Waist.
It is indicated in the treatment of lumbago. Promoting a smooth flow of the qi of the urinary bladder channel and strengthen the defensive energy to protect the integument and musculature against external pathogens, thus no disease can occur.
Section 7. Clenching the Fists with Eves Open for Increasing Strength. It's used for prevention and treatment of diseases in the neck, shoulder and lumbar region, also for increasing physical strength. Improves the power of muscles in the chest, the shoulders, the arms, the waist, the back, the legs, etc., and enhances their strength.
Section 8. Lifting the Soles Seven Times It's chiefly used for regulating the meridians all over the body and improving their functions. When directing qi downward by the will, the blood pressure can also be reduced