In ancient China, a unique set of exercises was developed for toning the internal organs and systems, and it is now practised by Chinese as well as non-Chinese people around the world. It is known as Ba Duan Jin, which tranlsates as "Eight Strands of Brocade"; also sometimes referred to as "Eight Fine Exercises". It is series of gentle movements designed to develop and condition the most important systems of the body, and can be done by anyone of any age.
1. Supporting The Sky With Both Hands Regulates All Internal Organs
The first of the series, this exercise regulates all internal organs, from the heart and lungsin the upper torso to the kidneys and intestines in the lower abdomen. It relieves fatigue and can help correct poor posture of the upper back and shoulders.
2. Drawing A Bow To Each Side Resembles Shooting An Eagle
This exercise focuses on the thorax, improving the blood and oxygen flow in the heart and lungs. It also stimulates the energy flow of the small intestine.
3. Holding Up One Hand Regulates The Spleen and Stomach
One of the most potent in the series, this exercise has a powerful effect on the central nervous system, stimulating the flow of blood and Chi to the head. It also stimulates the vital power of the kidneys.
4. Looking Back Like A Cow Gazing At The Moon
The movements of this exercise increases the flow of energy along both sides of the body, benefiting the liver, gall bladder, spleen, and stomach. It is said to help prevent disease of the gastro-intestinal tract.
5. Lowering the Head and Hips Reduces Excess Heat From The Heart
This exercise reduces tension in the sympathetic nervous system and helps prevent fever. It has a powerful relaxing effect and improves the energy flow through various of the body's energy meridians.
6. Touching The Feet With Both Hands Reinforces The Kidneys And Loins
This exercise increases the flow of energy in the abdomen and releases tension in the sympathetic nervous system. it reinforces the vital energy of the kidney.
7. Clenching The Fists Increases Strength
This exercise develops the flow of Chi from the feet through the entire body, extending to the hands and eyes. It stimulates the cerebral cortex and related nerves, improving the flow of blood and oxygen in the cardiovascular system.
8. Shaking The Body Wards Off All Illnesses
This exercise helps to strengthen the kidneys and stimulates all the organs and systems of the body. It invigorates the flow of energy and blood.