Being into Holistic Practices like Ayurveda and Yoga from an early age, I grew to be interested in exploring various Complementary and Alternative Healing therapies and thus stumbled upon Medical Qigong.
In the past few years, I have been enabling several people with various health issues including chronic problems of the back, knees, and ankles. I have also enabled several people suffering from Arthritis and a few from Parkinson’s Disease.
One of the most effective and fascinating tools that I’ve used to enable their healing is the Eight Pieces of Brocade or Ba Duan Jin. (It is called so because,after practicing the sequence, it feels like one is wearing a dress made of a rich soft, silk fabric).
At first, I was fascinated by the very name of this form, as I could actually visualize the elegant, silken, flowing robes worn in ancient times for very special occasions.
The Eight Pieces of Brocade is an Ancient Chinese exercise & fitness Practice. It is a popular form of Qigong, also known as Ba Duan jin.
The Eight Pieces of Brocade is really a blessing to millions of people all over the world. Especially for people with problems related to the lower body.
Personal Experience with Students
I have introduced The Eight Pieces of Brocade to several of my students. Most often, I have seen amazing results in just 6- 8 months of practicing this form.
People who have had difficulty in climbing stairs or just walking even a few steps are now able to walk several flights of stairs with relative ease.
Even the ones with Parkinson’s disease have experienced stability in the body and the pain and rigidity in the body have eased by at least 40-50 %.
The Eight Pieces of Brocade follows the principles of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). It is one of the most gentle and effective ways of working with the body, calming the Nervous system, healing body, mind, and spirit.
The Eight Pieces of Brocade is for health betterment, calming and healing the body, mind, and spirit. The objective is to enable practitioners to correct physical and energetic imbalances, release emotions and stress.
It is a simple and effective way of directing Qi throughout the body and to remove blockages without the use of needles, herbs or massage.
Baduanjin Qigong is for Improved Wellness, Fitness, Vitality, Healing, and Longevity. It can be practiced by everyone- Young and Elderly, people who are fit and also for those looking to get fit!!
The standing sets of the Eight Pieces of Brocade can be learned by anyone who can walk.
Once one masters these forms, One could establish a simple medical qigong workout for 15 minutes a day.
The Standing Eight Brocades Qigong/ Ba Duan Jin:
Ba Duan Jin or popularly called as Eight Pieces of Brocade was developed 1000 years ago by Marshal Yueh Fei.
It is one of the best ways to strengthen the body. It also helps in balancing the vital functions and to drive stagnant energy and toxins out from the system.
This ancient practice was imparted to me by famed Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, California, USA.
It is more important to really understand and get to the root of the practice and to train patiently and perseveringly.
Every piece has its own poem or song to explain the exercise and its purpose.
The poems or songs have been passed down through generations, and form the root and foundation of each piece, so you should make a diligent effort to understand them.
Whereas the sitting set emphasizes the six Qi channels in the arms, the standing set works with all of the channels.
Here are sets from the Standing Eight Pieces of Brocade:
- Double Hands Hold up the Heavens
This form is done by standing naturally with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
Inhale and raise your arms above your head and turn your palms upward.
Stretch all the way up as if pushing the sky up.
Lower your hands down to your sides again.
Benefits: This form regulates the Triple Burner and balances the energy. 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.)
- Bend the Bow Like Shooting a Hawk
Widen your stance so that you are in a squat position and your feet are 3 feet apart.
Bring your hands up to your chest and then turn back to the center as if you were drawing a bow.
Return your hands up to your chest and turn to shoot the bow to the right.
Benefits: Works on Strengthening and realigning the lower back muscles and the spine. Also the hips, legs, knees, and ankles.
- Lift Singly
Stand with your feet about 2 feet apart.
Raise your hands up to the solar plexus and then raise your left palm, pushing above your head.
The hands should move up and down the center of the body.
Then flip hands so that right pushes up while left-hand presses down.
Benefits: Eases the Liver and the spleen and the chest for deeper breathing
- Turn Head to Look to Rear
Stand naturally with your feets parallel and shoulder width apart.
As you exhale, start turning your head to the left and look backward.
As you inhale, start turning your head back to right, and repeat the exercise 3-12 times.
Then raise your hands up to the chest level, with palms up, form a horizontal circle in front of you, and do the third set, looking left and then right.
Repeat in sets of 3-6-9-12 times.
Benefits: Eases tension at the neck and eyes. Works on healing internal injuries. Nourishes the internal organs.
- Sway Head and Swing Tail
Stand in a low Horse Stance while placing your hands on top of your knees.
Try shifting your weight to your left leg and pressing down with your hands.
Turn your head to the left side and look backward while extending to your right leg.
Repeat the same thing on the other side.
Benefits: Expels excess fire energy
- Two Hands Hold the Feet
Stand naturally with your feets shoulder width apart.
Exhale slowly and lean forward and bend down.
Inhale and rise slowly, raising your arms upward over your head, with the palms facing each other.
Exhale smoothly, relax the shoulders while bringing the arms down the sides with the palms down and turned outward.
Benefits: 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.
7.Screw Fist with Fiery Eyes
Widen your stance by stepping your right leg to the right.
Squat down with hips tucked forward so that you don’t strain your back.
Keep your feet more or less parallel.
Raise your fists to your sides so that your right fist remains at your hip.
Return to center and then continue to the right, extending your right arm, rotating 180º counterclockwise.
Your left fist remains at your hip.
Regulation Benefits: Helps release tension throughout the body.
Stand naturally with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart.
Let your arms hang loosely at your sides.
Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and empty your mind of all thoughts.
Lift the heels off the ground as you inhale.
Repeat the procedure breathing in when lifting the heels and breathing out when lowering them.
Benefits: Helps draws energy from the earth through the Bubbling wells on the soles of the feet. Enhances the body’s balance and stability.