The Eight BrocadesPosted by Annamarie Pamphilis on Nov 12, 2022 in Health Blog | 0 comments
The Baduanjin qigong(八段錦) is one of the most common forms of Chinese qigong used as exercise. Variously translated as Eight Pieces of Brocade, Eight-Section Brocade, Eight Silken Movements or Eight Silk Weaving, the name of the form generally refers to how the eight individual movements of the form characterize and impart a silken quality (like that of a piece of brocade) to the body and its energy. The Baduanjin is primarily designated as a form of medical qigong, meant to improve health. This is in contrast to religious or martial forms of qigong. However, this categorization does not preclude the form’s use by martial artists as a supplementary exercise, and this practice is frequent. Wikipedia
1. Pressing Up to the Heavens with Two Hands
This form consists of an upward movement of the hands, which are loosely joined and travel up the center of the body. It regulates the Triple Burner/Warmer and balances the energy. An unhealthy triple heater can result in issues such as ADD, fatigue, anxiety and panic attacks as well as insomnia and tinnitus. So, practicing this qigong will benefit for all these conditions. The First burner includes organs from the neck to the Diaphragm. (heart, pericardium, lungs). The second burner includes organs from the Diaphragm to the navel( Liver, spleen, stomach, etc.) and the third burner includes all organs from the navel to the pubis ( Intestines and Reproductive organs etc.)
2. Drawing the Bow and Letting the Arrow Fly
While in a lower horse stance, the practitioner imitates the action of drawing a bow to either side. This form balances and replenishes the kidney meridian, strengthens your root through the low horse stance, strengthens lower body. It works on strengthening and realigning the lower back muscles and the spine. Also the hips, legs, knees, and ankles. It is said to exercise the waist area, focusing on the kidneys and spleen.
3. Separating Heaven and Earth
This resembles a version of the first piece with the hands pressing in opposite directions, one up and one down. A smooth motion in which the hands switch positions is the main action. It benefits to Spleen and stomach meridian. It is said to especially stimulate the stomach, ease the Liver and the spleen and the chest for deeper breathing.
4. Wise Owl Gazes Backwards
This form is a stretch of the neck to the left and the right in an alternating fashion. You turn your head to look to rear. It eases tension at the neck and eyes. Works on healing internal injuries. Nourishes the internal organs. This is a stretch of the neck to the left and the right in an alternating fashion.
It cures energy depletion and consumptive illnesses, as it works the entire spine much like a wringed out cloth, it gets rid of nagging stiff muscles and pinched nerves, this exercise really improves your vitality, focus and energy levels, it also wards off aging and is very beneficial for back pain all along the spine.
5. Big Bear Turns from Side to Side
In this form, you sway head and swing tail. It is said to regulate the function of the heart and lungs. Its primary aim is to remove excess heat (or fire) (xin huo) from the heart. Xin huo is also associated with heart fire in traditional Chinese medicine. In performing this piece, the practitioner squats in a low horse stance, places the hands on thighs with the elbows facing out and twists to glance backwards on each side.
This exercise directly increases your life force and energy, affecting longevity personal power and health.
6. Punching with an angry Gaze
This form strengthens and revitalizes the liver. Engenders courage and fortitude.
7. Touching toes and bending backwards / Two Hands Hold the Feet
It stimulates the yin meridians and the governing vessel so most of the lower meridians and all the solid organs of the body, check above for the illustration
It stretches and tones the spinal column. Works on strengthening the muscles and tissues around the spinal column. Enables circulation of oxygenated blood to the brain.
8. Shaking the body / Bouncing in the toes / Heels up
Helps draws energy from the earth through the Bubbling wells on the soles of the feet. Enhances the body’s balance and stability.