Chinese baguazhang

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Posted by Peter Ho on August 09, 1999 at 00:58:28:

BAGUAZHANG, Ancient Chinese martial Art Natural Healing Method
edited by Professor Lian-sheng Xu
Human beings are visitors of the universe and those elements supporting a healthy life
are people's close friends. Although those health elements are hidden inside the
body, their movements are not governed and controlled by people. If you wish to
maintain and obtain benefits from these elements throughout your lifetime, you ought
to have a plan in saving them. These methods are "Toning up your tendons, bones
and skin by external exercise" in order to increase your body energy and "Saving
your chi (energy) by internal exercise" so as to provide more supportive functions to
the internal organs. "Action Practice Method" specializes in the training of
strengthening the rib and tendons and "Stillness Practice Method" emphasizes the
nourishment of chi inside the body. As the saying goes "Qigong is the body of Wushu
and Wushu uses Qigong in its application", these two things rely on each other.
Taichi Quan, Baguazhang and Xingyi Quan are Chinese martial arts for strengthening
physique, nourishment of mind and prolonging life which can be practised by people
regardless of age and sex. They are highly regarded as a treasurable and effective
form of health promotion and training exercise.
The main form of exercise in Baguazhang is walking slowly on the circle. The
movements in this exercise are very simple. It requires practitioners relaxing their
bodies, thinking of Diantien (abdomen), slightly bending both legs and combining
with several standard postures to proceed with changing the hand posture while
walking on the circle. Whether you are male or female, young or old, you can
practise on your own. If you continue the practice for 5 to 15 minutes, you can
achieve the effect of "Toning up your tendons, bones and skin by external exercise".
Thereafter, according to your health condition, adopts either a sleeping, sitting or
standing posture and slowly relax your body through three stages. Hold your will and
store it inside the abdomen, then the breathing, relax for 15 minutes. This can achieve
the effect of "Saving your chi (energy) by internal exercise". Nowadays, living in this
ever-changing scientific world, people recognize that the universe is a huge magnetic
field which governs the movement of all the planets of the solar system. The earth we
live on is also a magnetic celestial body. Besides sun, light and water, electric
magnetic field is also one of the surviving elements people have to rely on. The
earth's magnetic field is being absorbed by human beings and diversified into a
bioelectric current, an important element in regulating the physiological functions of
the body.
In this modern scientific and technical world, everything has close relations with
electricity or magnetic field. "Walk- ing the circle" exercise in Baguazhang uses the
magnetic field in the north and south poles to further magnetize the physiological
functions of the body. This will enable the bioelectricity in the body to slowly
increase functioning of the circulation system. This will also enable the organic cells to
expand to their utmost to transfer the blood stored inside the body to carry out a
redistribution process. This process will enable clogged blood vessels in the body to
gradually expand and for those already expanded to become thicker, thereby
enhancing the amount of blood flow.
"Walking the circle" exercise in Baguazhang is like a cup of turbid water; when the
cup turns, the water inside the cup will gradually turn with the cup. When the cup
turns in other direction, the water inside will eventually react in the opposite direction,
brushing the inner surface of the cup. If the cup stops turning, the water inside being
affected by its consecutive turning motion cannot stop immediately. When this
consecutive motion stops, the water will gradually stay down. At this time, the water
will have a clear surface, leaving the bottom full of residue and minerals. This turning
phenomenon clearly shows that the residue and minerals in water sink to the bottom
of the cup is being affected by the theory of centrifugal force and magnetism.
A person living on earth is like a burning lamp. "Toning up your tendons, bones and
skin by external exercise" means not to solidify the oil in the lamp, oxygenize and
exhaustly burn it out. "Saving your chi (energy) by internal exercise" is to use your
best effort to save the energy and slow down the burning process of the oil. This will
prolong the lighting period of the lamp inside the body.
Exercise plays an important role in one's lifetime. It is especially effective for those
who are sedentary and office workers. The underlying principal is that due to lack of
exercise, the lung cannot function to its utmost ability and atrophy of the discarded
alveoli will disappear. At the same time, a large amount of the capillaries will
gradually close as most of them are becoming bloodless. This will place the muscle
into a hungry state thereby leading to early declination of the functions of various
internal organs. The above may not be applicable to physical labours as they are
already very tired after a day's work and if they are asked to exercise further, this
will cause the oil inside their body to burn out more quickly. At this time, if they are
trained through "Baguazhang Life Enlightenment Program" which includes food
nutrition, acupoint massage of the different channels, then the lamps inside the body
can burn even longer.
Baguazhang exercise uses mind control to proceed with "Reverse Breathing Method"
which will spur the covibration of the Navel Acupoint and Ming Men Acupoint to
generate a better circulation of the "true air (post-heaven air)" to different parts of the
body organs through the passage of the other seven acupoint vessels. This process
will affect and reinforce the functions of the heart, liver, bladder, stomach, spleen,
lung, large and small intestines, kidney, three visceral cavities and urinary bladder.
When walking the Bagua circle, you should raise/land your feet flatly from/on the
ground with the outside foot on the circumference of the circle and the inside foot
arced in so as to strengthen the supportive and absorbsive power of the hip, legs,
ligaments, muscles and tendons. Under the rhythmic turning and spinning motions, the
joints at the legs will strengthen the muscular contraction which will then improve the
function of the respiratory system, secretion of the spleen, the kidney and especially
the blood circulatory system. Most of the clogged blood vessels inside the body will
gradually expand and for those already expanded will become thicker, thereby
increasing the amount of blood circulation. The expansion of the capillaries will
produce a swollen feeling in your palms, dorsum, waist and legs. Furthermore, the
surface of your body and limbs will turn red and have a warm and slightly burning
feeling. Besides, the expansion of the capillaries will ameliorate many leg problems
such as arthritis, expansion of veins and inflammation of the shoulder. During
practice, you should erect your head, keep your neck straight, twist your waist and
sink your hip. Your waist should be the axis in order to keep your torso in a straight
line, thereby speeding up the coordination, interaction and intercommunication of the
various marrows in the body. As the styles in Baguazhang's hands, eyes, body, steps
and legs methods vary a lot, each action needs the twisting power of the waist to
finish, which will increase the speed of the joining, separating, pulling and twisting
powers between the spaces of the dorsal vertebrae. Further, it will enhance the
expansion of the capillaries in the dorsal vertebrae and give rise to a closed harmony
with the afferent neuron, efferent neuron and relay neuron. It further reinforces the
nerves governing the movement of the bones and muscles.
Moreover, it governs the autonomic nervous system of the internal organs, physical
functions thereby regulating and strengthening the ability of muscles, digestive system
and the secretion system. It is especially good for those having pre-heaven
(pre-natal) loss, sore in the limbs, frequent peeing problem, isomnia and brain-fatigue
(neurasthenia). Moreover, it will also eliminate and harmonize some of the illnesses
caused by the nervous system.
The various changes in movements in Baguazhang assembling a walking dragon and
a flying phoenix can effect changes to the respiratory system. The underlying
principle is that when your body is in motion, the muscles require a lot of oxygen and
at the same time produce carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide is in excess, the
respiratory nervous system will become excited and lead to rough and rapid
breathing. As Baguazhang adopts "Ying Yang Exchange Method", it will gradually
activate the air in the Dai Mai. In conjunction with the movements, two steps one
inhale and two steps one exhale breathing method, it can release the excitement in
the respiratory central nervous system. By this mean, the relaxed blood vessels will
be able to supply sufficient blood to the heart, increase the contraction of the heart
muscle and its metabolism. It is especially effective for preventing various kind of
heart diseases such as cerebral haemorrhage, stroke, blockage of the arteries and
veins. The continuous contractions and expansions of the muscles in the diaphragm,
ribs and abdomen create a massage effect to the liver, stomach and intestines and
indirectly stimulate the secretion of saliva, a desire for food, speed up the intestines
and bowel movements. Besides, it also accelerates metabolism, the absorbtive
function of the digestive system and has a preventive and remedial effect on the
various stomach diseases and inflammation of duodenum.

For more information, contact INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF XINGYI
255 Shawmeadows Rd. SW, Calgary, Alta., Canada T2Y 1B6
Tel: (403) 254-4609 Fax: (403) 254-0648
Web site: E-mail:;

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