Health Qigong – The Eight Silken Movements (II): fix your posture, calm your mind, and adjust your San Jiao

Written by Gioia Zhang

Translated by Yuqing Yang

 

Qigong is one part of Chinese culture; Health Qigong is a traditional national sport that regulates one’s mind, body movements, and breathing. The Eight Silken movements are the most popular form of Health Qigong.

Based largely on posture, there are Eight SilkenMovements which fall into two distinct categories – standing and sitting. The standing style involves being widely spread, which supposedly originated during the Qing Guangxu period. It can summarized in the following short verse:

  1. Hold up your hands and adjust your three Jiao1 双手托天理三焦
  2. Stretch out on both sides as if shooting a bow and arrow 左右开弓似射雕
  3. Lift up your arms to heal your spleen and stomach 调理脾胃须单举
  4. Stretchbackwards for physical weakness and sickness 五劳七伤向后瞧
  5. Move your head and legs to reduce heart fire (a special term used in Chinese medicine) 摇头摆尾去心火
  6. Reach down and touch your feet to stabilize your waist  两手攀足固肾腰
  7. Clench your fists and open your eyes wide in order to boost your Qi 攥拳怒目增气力
  8. Stand on your toes and stretch seven times to get rid of an illness 背后七颠百病消

 

The Eight SilkenMovements appear at first to be a simple set of eight movements, but you have to pay attention to every detail to gain the benefits of this type of health Qigong. So let’s start with the warm-up!

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The warm-up can be divided into the following detailed steps:

  1. Stand upright, relax your arms and look straight in front of you.
  2. Step to the left with your left foot so that your feet are shoulder width apart; rotate your arms inwards and then raise them, so they are straight in front of you in line with your hips; your palms should be facing down and away from your body.
  3. Bend your knees slightly and rotate your elbows and the back of your arm outwards; hold your arms in front your stomach; palms facing towards you, keep 10-centimeters distance between the fingertips of both hands, your eyes should look straight ahead.

Tips:  lift up your head, pull in your chin, touch your palate with the tip of your tongue, slightly close your lips, sink your shoulders, leave more space underneath your armpits, relax your chest and stomach, drop your tailbone and straighten your upper body.


Please be aware of the following mistakes:

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  •  When you hold your arms in front of your stomach, your thumbs should not point upwards; and the rest of your fingers should not point to the ground.

 

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  • Do not lean your upper body forwards and do not tilt your tailbone up.

 

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  • Don’t push your knees too forward.

 

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  • Your feet should be parallel.

 

This warm-up helps you to relax, regulate your breathing, appease your internal organs, and straighten your body. It prepares you mentally and physically for the following exercises.

 

Hold up your hands and adjust your three Jiao

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“Hold up your hands and adjust your three Jiao” is the first section of the Eight Silken  Movements. The three Jiao refer to the upper, middle and lower Jiao.  The Upper Jiao refers to the body part above the thoracic diaphragm which includes the lungs and the heart;the Middle Jiao refers to the area that lies below the thoracic diaphragm and above the belly button, including the spleen and the stomach; The Lower Jiao refers to the area found below the belly button including the liver, kidneys, intestines and bladder.

Cross your arms in front of your lower body and lift them upwards so they are crossed in front of your upper body keep extending your arms to relax the three Jiao and your internal systems which will help to harmonize your Qi and blood.It accelerates the metabolic rates of your organs and prevents them from sinking. Through stretching, your body and joints will increase inflexibility and shoulder pain and cervical spondylosis will be prevented.

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The first movement can be divided into the following steps:

  1. Move your hands downwards in front of your body with your palms facing upwards,joining your hands together, fingers crossed with each other. Look straight ahead.
  2. Straighten your knees, raise your hands to chest-level, raise your arms over your head while keeping your palms facing upwards, lift your head and look towards your palms.
  3. Raise your palms until your arms are straight, tuck in your chin, look straight ahead, hold this position.
  4. Bend your knees slightly, lower your arms, hold your hands in front of your stomach with your palms facing upwards
  • One repetition includes one complete movement upwards and downwards. Repeat the complete movement 6 times.

Tips:  While you raise your arms upwards, you have to stretch your body and pause for a short period. When lowering your arms, relax your waist and drop your hips. When sinking your shoulders, relax your wrists and fingers and straighten your body.


Please be aware of the following mistakes:

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  • When you look towards your palms, make sure you lift your head completely.

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  •  Do not relax your arms when you raise them.

This movement is similar to stretching in general, so when you take a break from work, you can stand up and complete this exercise in a short space of time.

In the next blog, I will introduce you to the second and third stages of the Eight Silken Movements – “Stretch out on both sides as if shooting a bow and arrow” and “Life up your arms to heal your spleen and stomach.” For all health lovers, please follow my blog posts for more information.

 

[1]The Upper Jiao refers to the body part above the thoracic diaphragm which includes the lungs and the heart;the Middle Jiao refers to the area that lies below the thoracic diaphragm and above the belly button, including the spleen and the stomach; The Lower Jiao refers to the area found below the belly button including the liver, kidneys, intestines, and bladder.

 

 

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So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


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The Eight Silken Movements – An Ancient Guide

Written by Gioia Zhang

Translated by Yuqing Yang

 


Around two years ago, probably due to how unlucky my animal year is (just kidding haha) 1, the state of my mental and physical health started to go downhill. I therefore started paying more attention to self-care and gradually developed a great interest in traditional Chinese medicine. Every time I go to my doctor for further advice, she always mentions the Eight Silken Movements, which are easy for both the elderly and children. They have slowly become part of my morning routine and are now the first thing I do after waking up. I would now like to introduce the sequence to you. I hope that more people can benefit from these movements! 


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The Eight Silken Movements or the Eight-Section Brocade, like the Five Animal exercises and Taichi Chuan, is a popular kind of physical exercise in China. It has a long history and is widely known throughout China. The first records of the movements date back to the Northern Song dynasty and are now more than 800 years old.  A “Jin” (Brocade) (锦jin3) is a high-quality silk product which is woven using multi-colored silk. For the ancient people, brocades represented the colors of the rainbow, beauty and elegance. These symbolic meanings perfectly embody the characteristics of the set of movements which contains delicate arrangements, smooth motions, help to prevent illness and strengthen the body.

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Compared with other types of exercise, the Eight Silken Movements have the following advantages:

  • As a callisthenic exercise, you do not need any equipment or have to be in any specific location in order to do the workout.
  • Efficiency; the entire sequence of movements lasts about 10 minutes and is only practiced once every morning and night.
  • Flexibility; it consists of 8 sections which are easy to learn. You can choose one or multiple sections for each workout according to your personal needs
  • The postures help to improve flexibility and are simple, making them suitable for people of all ages.

Full-body workout; the movements in combination with the regulated breathing exercises take care of the body, both inside and out.

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The Eight Silken Movements provide a full-body workout for both muscles and bones. The movements stretch the muscles and increase your internal strength, namely increasing flexibility and suppleness.

What is internal strength? It is a kind of force that can be easily directed and controlled. It is stored within and does not manifest itself externally. Internal strength is holistic, flows through the body, and is found throughout the body in equal measures, as is fully described by the saying, “iron covered by cotton, hardness hidden in softness”. There is a fundamental difference between internal strength and physical strength. Physical strength comes from our muscles and is gained through the kinds of exercises you would normally do while working out at the gym.  This kind of muscular strength easily deteriorates once you reach the age of 60. But if you have strong bones and muscles, you can live well into your 80s or 90s and still have an outstanding physique and good posture.

One’s temperament decides the quality of one’s internal strength.  Having a good temperament leads to the development of an easy-going, generous, joyful and peaceful internal force. Exercising internal strength requires us to put muscular force to the back of our minds, clear our minds of all distractions and to concentrate on our inner-most feelings. Long-term benefits of practicing the Eight Silken Movements include improving your skin, building your ligament strength, and increasing joint flexibility. Over time, the entire body becomes supple, and Qi cleanses the mind, body and soul.

Excluding the aforementioned advantages, the Eight Silken Movements also improve the nervous system and circulation, as well as your immune system.  During the exercise the internal organs are gently massaged which can help to improve vascular congestion and reduce blood pressure. The Eight Silken Movements rely on deep breathing, which can slow down your heart rate and improve blood circulation. In the long run, it can help to reduce cardiac output and increase lung capacity.

In the next few blog posts, I will introduce to you some practice tips for each movement, but you can also get a better understanding of the sequence of movements from the following video:

Usually, one is supposed to have much luck in his animal year, but the opposite is sometimes true. Animal year refers to the recurrent year of one’s animal sign in the twelve-year cycle.

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


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The Common Heritage Between the 5 Major Tai Chi Styles

Written by Joshua Joshua@InteractChina.com

Chen

The originator of Tai Chi (Pinyin Taijiquan), according to legend, is Zhang Sanfeng of the Wudang mountains. When witnessing the fight between a snake and a crane, he is said to have found the inspiration to create what has come to be called Tai Chi. Historically, however, the origin of Tai Chi can only be traced back to the Chen-Family about 300 years ago. The Chen Style was founded about 300 years ago by Cheng Wangting in Chenjiagou. The other four major styles of Tai Chi are Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, and Sun. They are all related and often influenced by each other.

Zhang Sanfeng witnesses the fight between a snake and a crane

Yang

For a long time, Tai Chi was rarely taught outside the Chen family. Yang Luchan, the founder of Yang Style Tai Chi, was one of the early exceptions. He learned from Chen Changxing, of the 6th generation in his family, the Chen Style. Yang achieved great skills and came to develop his own style. Whereas Chen Style combines fast and slow movements and incorporates jumping and stomping techniques to a greater extent, Yang Luchan’s style was slower, more even and flowing.

Wu/Hao

The Wu/Hao Style, also called the first Wu Style, has been shaped by both Yang as well as Chen Style. The founder Wu Yuxiang learned from Yang Banhou (the 2nd generation Yang) and Yang Luchan, and then he learned from Chen Qingping (the 7th generation Chen). It is said, Yang Luchan introduced Wu Yuxiang to the Chen family. The movements of the Wu/Hao style may be characterized as slow, flowing, and small, with a narrow stance and tall body posture.

Wu

The second Wu Style, which is simply called Wu Style, was jointly founded by Wu Quanyou and his son Wu Jianquan. Wu Quanyou learned from Yang Banhou. Wu Jianquan, in turn, learned from his own father. A striking feature of this style is the sideward-leaning body posture. While raising the upper body is considered crucial in Tai Chi, the Wu Style internalizes this principle. In practice, this means they are still raising upwards, even though their body is leaning to the side.

Sun

The Sun Style connects Wu/Hao Style Tai Chi, Xingyiquan, and Baguazhang. Tai Chi, Xingyiquan, and Baguazhang are known to be the three most influential internal martial arts. The founder of Sun Style is Sun Lutang. He first learned Xingyiquan and Baguazhang and then moved on to study Wu/Hao Style Tai Chi under Hao Weijian (3rd generation of Wu/Hao). The Sun Style is similar to the Wu/Hao Style, employing a narrower stance and a taller body posture. It prioritizes gentleness and steadiness, consciously avoiding any surplus muscular tension.


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters, and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speaks English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


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Sparring in Tai Chi – Tuishou and Sanshou

By Joshua Joshua@InteractChina.com

Is Tai Chi really a martial art? Does what you learn really enable you to defend yourself? The short answer is yes, Tai Chi is a martial art. Progress in Tai Chi brings you crucial skills for self-defense.

While Yang Chengfu more than a hundred years ago was teaching this martial art to selected soldiers of the imperial palace in Beijing, Tai Chi nowadays has been opened to the masses. As Tai Chi was introduced to a society that has little need for martial skills, it’s immensely positive influence on physical and mental health has certainly become a compelling factor leading to its popularization. But health is not the only reason to be fascinated with Tai Chi.

One Turns into Two

When practicing Tai Chi, fighting is often the last thing we draw into consideration. However, one who truly wants to explore the deeper sides of Tai Chi will need to develop an understanding of its martial meaning and capacities, for which one will need a partner to practice with. Training alone and with a partner are two complementary units like Yin and Yang.

Establishing a strong basis is the first thing to do: the body needs to get used to ideas like opening the joints and the Tai Chi specific term relaxation. Having completed this initial stage, you are ready to start learning Tuishou.

Tuishou

Tuishou means pushing hands and upon learning it, it might very well be the first time a student is challenged to accommodate not just him or herself, but also a partner, to find a harmonious and meaningful exchange. As Tuishou is only one method of practice, with its own set of rules, one of the prerequisites is to not punch or kick. Its physical aspect is limited to pushing and yielding. For Tuishou, you first learn the upper body and then the lower body. For training the arms, each partner raises one arm, using the wrist as a contact point. The arms start circling: first simple circles, then more complicated circles. Each partner will add in his or her second hand and start adding more different contact points. Contact at first is only the wrist-palm area and then later moves towards the elbows, shoulders and even the entire upper body. First without any footwork, then in a fixed stance moving the weight forward and backward. Only after becoming comfortable with the preceding stages may one move on to moving steps. The practice of circles is eventually extended into the practice of applications: such as pushing, rolling back, warding off, etc.

Preceding in this order, with relentless practice you will slowly develop your skills. Alongside Tuishou you will also start learning Fajin-exercises, which cover striking, pushing, and kicking techniques. When the body and mind can transition smoothly to meet all situations, without being hindered by the necessity to think, then once again the challenge can become more complicated. This is when you start learning Sanshou, which means free hands, a term for free fighting and sparring.

Sanshou

If the student is not advanced enough to learn Sanshou, then he or she will not be able to profit much from the practice. He will become tense, his Qi moving upwards and his body becoming unrooted. He will try to use muscular force to overcome his partner and defend himself. This wrong use of force needs to be avoided, as within the Tai Chi philosophy it is seen as something weak, that can easily be abused by one’s opponent.

At its pinnacle, Sanshou may include every little thing one has learned throughout his/her entire practice. The amount of discipline required to study Tai Chi to such completion is immense and that is exactly why in the hands of most people, Tai Chi will be a health program, rather than a martial art. However, if practiced as a martial art, there are no limitations. One can grow beyond his or her own style, and even grow to be able to meet, study, and spar with masters from other martial arts like Shaolin or Karate. What one intends to do with such a skill, in the end, is up to the individual.

Check out this video to see Sanshou choreography from a competition in 1980:


About Interact China

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Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters, and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speaks English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


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What is Qigong

Highlight: Qi represents the “vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.” and Gong refers to any kind of physical or mental practice. 

 

What is Qigong?

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According to the National Qigong Association, “Qigong is an ancient Chinese healthcare system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention”.  Qi, which is pronounced as “chee” in mandarin, represents the “vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.” and Gong refers to any kind of physical or mental practice. From a traditional Chinese medicine point of view, Qigong is a way of healing the human body through self-training and adjustment. As Qigong became mainstream, a lot of medical research was carried out to study its benefits, and it has been proven that practicing Qigong can be beneficial to both mental and physical health.

 

History of Qigong

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Qigong is a type of traditional exercise in China for keeping health and fitness. It was first recognized as “Tu Na” around 3000 years ago in ancient China. Tu Na means breathing and the famous philosopher Zhuang  Zi explained in his book Nan Hua Jing that breathing until it reaches down to your heel is the secret of being immortal. Later, the Six Healing Sounds of Qigong was invented by Taoism, an ancient religious belief in China.  It is a breathing technique that can improve healing and longevity. Another important practice in Qigong is meditation. Meditation was brought to China by Da Mo, the first Buddhist Patriarch Bodhidharma, during the Liang dynasty and it aims to balance the Qi that flows through our body. Meditation can be beneficial to both our minds and bodies. On top of breathing exercises, martial Qigong was created based on the theories and principles of both Taoist and Buddhist. Today, Qigong has developed into a range of exercises that help to heal and energize people and create balance in our body.

 

Types of Qigong and Benefits

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Qigong can be divided into four categories, namely health, medical, spiritual and martial. Health Qigong, which normally involves supine or seated meditation, breathing exercises and gentle movements, can help to ease stress and raise confidence. Medical Qigong refers to the way to treat patients by using energy manipulation, herbal remedies and Chinese massage techniques. It needs to be done by a qualified Qigong practitioner and is proven to strengthen the immune system, nervous system and internal organs. Other benefits of medical Qigong are regulating hormones, reducing pain and relieving stress. Spiritual Qigong is religion-based and combines seated or moving meditation and prayer. The purpose of Spiritual Qigong differs in religions but it is often to achieve harmony and self-awareness. The last type is martial qigong, which is practiced to strengthen skills in martial arts such as speed, power, flexibility, balance and coordination. It can also help to improve performance in other sports like football or swimming.

 

 

Written by Bota @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


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The Five Elements of Taijiquan

Highlight: Taijiquan practice has gained worldwide popularity and has been compared to the “yoga of China”, in that many health benefits for both the mind and body are gained through the practice. 

Taijiquan is commonly referred to in the Western world as the practice of “tai chi”, which translates into “supreme ultimate boxing” in the martial arts realm. It is seen as an art for defence training, and holds many health benefits for those who practice it. The conceptual practice links to both Taoist and Confucian backgrounds, and the popular taijitu symbol of the fusion of the yin and yang.

 

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The 5 elements of Taijiquan

Though it is characterized for its slow movements, there are several traditions of Taijiquan that involve faster and medium paces, and all involve a total of five elements: taolu, neigong, qigong, tuishou, and sanshou. Taolu refers to hand and weapon routines, neigong to breathing and movement, qigong to awareness and meditation, tuishou to response and reactions, and sanshou to self-defence. The practice has gained worldwide popularity and has been compared to the “yoga of China”, in that many health benefits for both the mind and body are gained through the practice.

 

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Derived movement from Taijiquan

Various martial arts styles are derived from the original Taijiquan (born in Chen Village of China), including the slow-movement version coined “needle in cotton” that has been adopted by a branch of Lama Pai. Taijiquan popularity trends have led to thecreation of books, movies, and pamphlets that disseminate knowledge and expertise on the practice, even when several of the techniques or adaptations deviate from original historic routes. One thing is for sure, though: Taijiquan is one of China’s biggest cultural exports to the Western world, and it is continuously propagated both as a martial art and as a vehicle for mental and physical health alike.

 

 

 

Written by Monica @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


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Tai Chi

Tai Chi Chuan (literally “Supreme Ultimate Fist”), often shortened to Taichi or Tai Chi in the West, is a type of internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. It is also believed that focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity.

 
 Chinese Kungfu

Style

There are five major styles of tai chi chuan, each named after the Chinese family from which it originated. Most modern styles of Tai chi chuan trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu, and Sun. Later dozens of new styles, hybrid styles, and offshoots of the main styles appear, but the five family schools are the groups recognized by the international community as being the orthodox styles.

Chen-style tai chi
 Chinese Kungfu
Yang-style tai chi
 Chinese Kungfu

Training and Techniques

The core training involves two primary features: the first being the solo form, a slow sequence of movements which emphasize a straight spine, abdominal breathing and a natural range of motion; the second being different styles of pushing hands with a partner and in a more practical manner.

 
 Chinese Kungfu

Study of Tai Chi Chuan

The study of tai chi chuan primarily involves three aspects:

Health: Tai chi’s health training concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on tai chi’s martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.

Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of tai chi is seen as necessary in relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis.

Martial art: The ability to use tai chi as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student’s understanding of the art. Tai chi chuan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and “sticking” to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force. The use of tai chi as a martial art is quite challenging and requires a great deal of training.

Modern Tai chi

Outdoor practice in Beijing
 Chinese Kungfu

With purely a health emphasis, tai chi classes have become popular in hospitals, clinics, and community and senior centers in the last twenty years and the art’s reputation as a low-stress training for seniors became better known.

Tai chi chuan in popular culture

 
 Chinese Culture

Tai chi chuan plays an important role in many martial arts and fighting action films and series, novels, as well as video games, trading cards games, etc. For example, Tai chi chuan have been featured in popular movies starring or choreographed by well-known martial arts competitors, such as Jet Li and Donnie Yen. Fictional portrayals often refer to Zhang San Feng, who is believed by these schools that Tai chi’s theories and practice was formulated by the Taoist monk in the 12th century.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

We co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Qigong

Qigong or chi kung is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to balance qi (chi) or intrinsic life energy.

 

Etymology

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Qi (or chi) is usually translated as life energy, life force, or energy flow. It is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts. In Chinese philosophy, a person is believed to become ill or die when qi becomes diminished or unbalanced. Health is believed to be returned by rebuilding qi, eliminating qi blockages, and correcting qi imbalances.

Gong (or kung) is often translated as work or practice. The two words are combined to describe systems to cultivate and balance life energy, especially for health.

 

Training

 

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Qigong is not just a set of breathing exercises, but rather comprises a large variety of physical and mental training methods based on Chinese philosophy.

Typically a qigong practice involves rhythmic breathing, coordinated with slow stylized repetition of fluid movement, and a calm mindful state.

 

Application

 

With roots in ancient Chinese culture dating back more than 5,000 years, a wide variety of qigong forms have developed within different segments of Chinese society: in traditional Chinese medicine for preventive and curative functions, in Confucianism to promote longevity and improve moral character, in Taoism and Buddhism as part of meditative practice, and in Chinese martial arts to enhance fighting abilities.

Chinese Kungfu

Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide. People practice qigong for many different reasons, including for exercise and recreation, prevention and self-healing, meditation and self-cultivation, and training for martial arts.

 

Health Benefits

 

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As a form of gentle exercise, qigong is composed of movements that are typically repeated, strengthening and stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial, and lymph), enhancing balance and proprioception, and building awareness of how the body moves through space. In recent years a large number of books and videos have been published that focus primarily on qigong as exercise and associated health benefits.

As a healing art, qigong practitioners focus on prevention and self-healing traditionally viewed as balancing the body’s energy meridians and enhancing the intrinsic capacity of the body to heal. Qigong has been used extensively in China as part of traditional Chinese medicine, and is included in the curriculum of Chinese Universities. Throughout the world qigong is now recognized as a form of complementary and alternative medicine, with positive effects on diverse ailments.

Chinese Kungfu

Qigong is practiced for meditation and self-cultivation as part of various philosophical and spiritual traditions. As meditation, qigong is a means to still the mind and enter a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity, and bliss. Many practitioners find qigong, with its gentle focused movement, to be more accessible than seated meditation.

 

Martial arts training

 

The practice of qigong is an important component in Chinese martial arts. Focus on qi is considered to be a source of power as well as the foundation of the internal style of martial arts. Tai chi chuan, Xing yi, and Baguazhang are representative of the types of Chinese martial arts that rely on the concept of qi as the foundation. Extraordinary feats of martial arts prowess, such as the ability to withstand heavy strikes (Iron Shirt) and the ability to break hard objects (Iron Palm) are abilities attributed to qigong training.

by Xiao Xiao @ InteractChina.com

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