Baduanjin qigong

  1. What is Baduanjin?

If the meridian is not smooth, there are many diseases. How to open the meridians and full of energy? Traditional Chinese medicine takes qi and blood as its core and qi as its root, so Baduanjin Qigong came into being.

Baduanjin Qigong requires no equipment, is not limited by the venue and easy to learn. It saves time and has a very significant effect.

The Baduanjin qigong 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, Baduanjin exercise consists of eight separate, delicate, and smooth exercise movements, in which each section brings certain function-enhancing benefits to different physical parts of body or particular organs. The Baduanjin traditionally contains both a standing and seated set of eight postures each.


  1. Two Hands Hold up the Heavens (Shuang Shou Tuo Tian);It can vomit old and new, regulate visceral function, smooth joints, especially on upper limbs and lower back;
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2.Drawing the Bow to Shoot the Eagle/Hawk/Vulture; It can enhance breathing and blood circulation, condition liver and lungs, and correct pathological phenomena caused by incorrect posture;

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3.Separate Heaven and Earth;It can prevent gastrointestinal diseases and enhance digestive function;

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4.Wise Owl Gazes Backwards or Look Back;It can eliminate fatigue, strengthen the brain and soothe the nerves, and prevent shoulder aches;

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5.Sway the Head and Shake the Tail; It can relieve virtual fire, irritability, and strengthening kidneys;

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6.Two Hands Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Kidneys and Waist;It can cure low back disease, enhance kidney and waist function, and regulate body fluid balance;

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7.Clench the Fists and Glare Fiercely (or Angrily); It can stimulate the Qi, strengthen muscle strength, mainly to regulate the lungs;

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8.Bouncing on the Toes; It can dredge the spinal meridians of the back and enhance spinal nerve energy.

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In addition, persistent exercise can enhance lower limb stability, reduce stroke risk, and greatly improve patients with cognitive impairment. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, Baduanjin Qigong has the function that improves the respiratory system and strengthened immunity.

2.Development and history of Baduanjin

Baduanjin qigong is mentioned in several encyclopedias originating from the Song Dynasty. The Pivot of the Way describes an archaic form of this qigong. The Ten Compilations on Cultivating Perfection features illustrations of all eight movements. The exercise was later expanded from eight to twelve movements over the centuries and was described in the boxing manual Illustrated Exposition of Internal Techniques (1882) by Wang Zuyuan, a famed practitioner of the Sinew Changing Classic set

Nineteenth century sources attribute the birth of this exercise to semi-legendary Chinese folk hero General Yue Fei (Shahar), and describe it as being created as a form of exercise for his soldiers. The legend states he taught the exercise to his men to help keep their bodies strong and well-prepared for battle. By the late 1970s and early 1980s, Baduanjin, as a traditional Chinese sport, began to be introduced into the curriculum of Chinese colleges and universities.

3. How can it benefit the world during this special period?

As aforementioned, Baduanjin can benefit people in many aspects in terms of improving body flexibility, immunity and preventing disease. Though it was originated in China, the China General Administration of Sport is trying to promote it to the world. Currently, a number of people are in quarantine as a result of a pandemic of COVID-19. During this period, people’s physical activity level decreased remarkably because of the environment limitation and the impact of mental health on some people is also obvious.

However, Baduanjin can make a difference! It is easy and gentle, without a require of any equipment, and suitable for people of any age. It is beneficial for both physical and mental health. Let us get moving!



  1. Zheng, G., Li, M., Lan, X., Yan, X., Lin, Q., Chen, L., … & Fang, Q. (2013). The effect of Baduanjin exercise for physical and psychological wellbeing of college students: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials14(1), 422.
  • Li, M., Fang, Q., Li, J., Zheng, X., Tao, J., Yan, X., … & Chen, L. (2015). The effect of Chinese traditional exercise-Baduanjin on physical and psychological well-being of college students: a randomized controlled trial. PloS one10(7).
  • Shahar, Meir (2008), The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, p. 160, ISBN 978-0824831103.
  • Shahar, The Shaolin Monastery, p. 168
  • Bisio, Tom (2004), A Tooth from the Tiger’s Mouth: How to Treat Your Injuries with Powerful Healing Secrets of the Great Chinese Warrior, Fireside, ISBN 0-7432-4551-2
  • Yang, Jwing-Ming (2003), Qigong Meditation: Embryonic Breathing, YMAA Publication Center, ISBN 1-8869-6973-6
  • Guohua, Z., Chen, B., Qianying, F., Qiu, L., Tao, J., & Lidian, C. (2019). Baduanjin exercise intervention for community adults at risk of ischamic stroke: A randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group), 9(1).
  • Szu, L. Y., & Tsao, L. I. (2020). The Effects of Baduanjin Exercise on BMI, Waist-Hip Ratio and Lipids Among Perimenopausal Women. International Journal of Studies in Nursing, 5(1), 29.
  • Tao, J., Liu, J., Chen, X., Xia, R., Li, M., Huang, M., … & Xie, G. (2019). Mind-body exercise improves cognitive function and modulates the function and structure of the hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex in patients with mild cognitive impairment. NeuroImage: Clinical, 23, 101834.
  1. Ye, J., Simpson, M. W., Liu, Y., Lin, W., Zhong, W., Cai, S., & Zou, L. (2019). The Effects of Baduanjin Qigong on Postural Stability, Proprioception, and Symptoms of Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. stroke, 27, 31.
  1. 夏晓帆,张守琳.八段锦对人体功效的研究探讨[J].养生保健指南,2019,(31):244.
blog Exercise Inspiration

Training Motivation: How to Stay Focused in The Face of COVID-19

Article by Dr. Jane Walsh, Health Psychologist NUI Galway.

In the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed the temporary annihilation of the global sporting events calendar. Not only have many of our target races or competitions been cancelled, we have suffered the loss of most of our social training activities and a general disruption to our normal routines.

Along with the stress many face around their health and that of their loved ones, and the mastering of new health behaviours (e.g. social distancing, increased self-hygiene), many of us have been dealt a significant blow to our motivation to train. This is further compounded by the uncertainty of the timeline, due to the unpredictability of the course of the pandemic.

So, you had a goal, and now it’s either decimated, or uncertain. What is the best approach to deal with this curveball? Here are 5 top tips from the scientific study of psychology to help us to regain our motivation.

Embrace the challenge.

In the same way as you would grit your teeth having to cycle up a steep hill, or dig in for a long run, consider this a novel challenge to both mind and body. Analyse the complexities of what it entails and begin the process of adaptation to the new circumstances. Why should you do this? Take time to consider your underlying motivation.

Reflect on your motivation(s).

Many of us have journeyed into this life of training/preparing for races for reasons that are usually based on personal goals, e.g to lose weight, get fit, get a new PB. These are what drive the ‘initiation phase’ and require disciplined focus in order to successfully change our daily routines and develop new habits.

Over time, our goals and motivations change. This is natural, as we improve and settle into routines. Reflecting on these and setting new goals regularly is important to maintain motivation and interest. However, when a change in personal circumstances arise (e.g. travel or other life events) ‘self-regulation’ becomes key to maintaining our goal focus.


Self-regulation involves controlling one’s behavior and emotions in the pursuit of long-term goals. This is not just about self-control, it also involves setting goals, initiating and maintaining good habits, even in the face of a dynamic and changing environment. Key to success is the development of a flexible and adaptive mindset. This means developing an ability to adapt your goals, attitude and behavior in response to the challenges life throws at you.


So, your original goal is gone or uncertain, what’s next? Set a new one! Take some time to consider where you like to go next. View this as an excuse, an opportunity to go down a different path. With the uncertainty of the course of Covid 19, it would be particularly useful to set some shorter, medium, and longer-term goals that are flexible.

Some people will prefer to continue their normal training routine as much as possible, unperturbed by the uncertainty, viewing it as a lifestyle. For others, it may be a golden opportunity to relax a little, take the foot off the gas, and do something different for a while. This pandemic provides a unique chance to reflect, revisit and reboot. Use it!

Enjoy the process

The most important part of all of this is personal enjoyment. Whether it’s a love of the outdoors, the fun of social training (if allowed), the sense of accomplishment after a hard session, or the adrenaline rush of a race, it doesn’t matter. Let’s face it, our goals are a trick to help us drag ourselves out of bed when we would rather sleep in, to push ourselves outdoors when the weather is dreadful. At the very heart of what we do is an activity that contributes enormously to our quality of life. So, hold onto that thought during these difficult times, stay healthy and never forget how lucky we are to be able to do it!

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”   

Muhammed Ali
About the Author 

Dr. Jane Walsh a keen triathlete is a lecturer in Health Psychology in NUI Galway, her research is underpinned by the theme ‘Health Behaviour for Healthy Ageing’.  She is the Director of the mHealth Research Group and recently secured grants in excess of €8 million euro in EU funding to conduct research on how novel technologies can be harnessed to deliver personalised evidence-based interventions to promote healthy ageing. Jane is the Co-Leader of the Health and Wellbeing Cluster in the Whitaker Institute, a member of the Irish Cancer Society Research Advisory Board and an Associate Editor of the Journal Psychology and Health.

Jane has given several keynotes both nationally and internationally on related topics including The Physical and Psychological Benefits of Exercise and Mindset and Peak Performance in Sport. 

Exercise Inspiration

NHS Fitness Studio exercise videos

NHS has 24 instructor-led videos across aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories.

The workouts have been created by fitness experts InstructorLive and range from 10 to 45 minutes. All videos contribute to achieving the 150 minutes of exercise per week, as recommended.

Do you prefer an exercise schedule? Check their Strength and Flex exercise plan
Foto door Andrea Piacquadio op
Exercise Inspiration

MSK NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Every day MSK NHS Ayrshire & Arran uploads short exercise videos on Facebook. No dumbells, MSK HHS Ayrshire & Arran uses water bottles and they keep their exercises simple. Our QuaranTrainers are enthusiastic, will you join them next time?

And…Don’t forget to wash your hands before and afterwards!


Explained: The importance of social distancing


The best way to #flattenthecurve is social distancing. To slow down the spread of COVID-19, everyone needs to limit social contact as much as possible, immediately. It is only effective if enough people do it. But if we do, it could mean the difference between the life and death of someone you know.


Veilig bewegen tijdens COVID-19

Beweging houd je gezond, verbetert de conditie en verlaagt de kans op bijvoorbeeld diabetes en hart- en vaatziektes. Wat is het belang van blijven bewegen tijdens de coronacrisis? Nog belangrijker: hoe houd je het veilig?

Twee armlengtes

Momenteel is het in Nederland (nog) toegestaan om naar buiten te gaan, mits je geen klachten hebt. Buiten bewegen zorgt voor een frisse neus en de voorjaarszonnestralen doet de mens goed. Wandelen en fietsen zijn toegestaan. Wel geldt, houd 1,5 meter afstand van anderen.1 Het wordt afgeraden om natuurgebieden te bezoeken, wegens de drukte.2

Foto door Burst op

Wanneer het erg koud is, overweeg dan de warming-up binnenshuis te doen. De koude lucht kan vatbaarheid voor infecties verhogen. Daarnaast wordt extreme lichamelijke inspanning afgeraden (wedstrijdinspanning of langer dan 3 uur sporten), dit zorgt namelijk voor een tijdelijke verhoogde vatbaarheid voor infecties. 3 4

150 minuten

Volgens de Nederlandse beweegrichtlijnen volstaat bij volwassenen 150 minuten matig intensief bewegen. Verdeel dit het liefst over de week en doe daarnaast twee keer per week spier- en botversterkende oefeningen. Aan welke activiteiten je dan moet denken? Wandelen, fietsen, traplopen of bijvoorbeeld harken in de tuin en ramen wassen.5

Better in, better out

Er zijn aanwijzingen dat fitte mensen minder snel ziek worden en minder ernstig ziek worden wanneer ziekte hen te pakken krijgt. 4 6

Ik beweeg nauwelijks. Heeft het nog wel zin als ik nu pas begin met meer bewegen?

Daarvoor geldt simpelweg het motto; “Bewegen is goed, meer bewegen is beter”.5

“Relatief wordt de meeste gezondheidswinst geboekt door van lichamelijk inactief, actief te worden (ten minste matig intensief)”

Gezondheidsraad. Beweegrichtlijnen 2017. Den Haag: Gezondheidsraad, 2017;
publicatienr. 2017/08.

Was je handen

Ook voor en na het sporten is het belangrijk om je handen te wassen. Dit kan de verspreiding van het virus tegengaan. Zit in de tussentijd niet aan gezicht en/of haren.1


  1. Rijksoverheid. (z.d.). Veelgestelde vragen over het coronavirus en gezondheid | Coronavirus COVID-19 | Geraadpleegd 22 maart 2020, van
  2. Natuurmonumenten. (2020). Update coronavirus en de natuur | Natuurmonumenten. Geraadpleegd 22 maart 2020, van
  3. Rozenberg, R. Beelen, M. Papen-Botterhuis N. Backhuijs, T. (18 maart, 2020). Sport, bewegen en COVID-19: de belangrijkste vragen. Geraadpleegd 22 maart 2020, van
  4. Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. In Journal of Sport and Health Science (Vol. 8, Nummer 3, pp. 201–217). Elsevier B.V.
  5. Gezondheidsraad. Beweegrichtlijnen 2017. Den Haag: Gezondheidsraad, 2017; publicatienr. 2017/08.
  6. Campbell, J. P., & Turner, J. E. (2018). Debunking the myth of exercise-induced immune suppression: Redefining the impact of exercise on immunological health across the lifespan. In Frontiers in Immunology (Vol. 9, Nummer APR). Frontiers Media S.A.


How to workout from home

Katie Hesketh is a PhD Researcher at the Liverpool John Moores University. Her Phd was about exercising at home.

“As you will be aware in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 we have now been advised to social-isolate. One of the problems with this situation is a serious reduction in our physical activity and exercise levels. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but exercise keeps you fit and healthy, and can also help reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Something I think we all need at the moment!

Although, like many other mundane things, the way we exercise also now needs to change. Luckily I have been conducting research during my PhD on exercising at home, specifically using home-based high intensity interval training (HIIT). From completing this research, I have gathered a few tips and tricks that helped my participants complete their exercises 3 times a week for 12 weeks.

The key ones for me are make sure you have a work out space. All you need is to lay down a towel or a yoga mat and voilà: a workout space!

One of the biggest tricks that worked for my participants was exercising in the morning. And you now have a reason to get changed out of those PJs!

Finally, grab a buddy to workout with. This doesn’t need to be in person, you could set up an exercise What’s App group, or Skype while exercising to keep yourself motivated!
Happy exercising everyone!”

WHO advise

WHO: Stay physically active during self-quarantine

As WHO says, “staying at home for prolonged periods of time can pose a significant challenge for remaining physically active. Sedentary behaviour and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress and challenge the mental health of citizens Physical activity and relaxation techniques can be valuable tools to help you remain calm and continue to protect your health during this time”.

The WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. We hear you think “But how, now I am forced to stay in self-quarantine?”. Even with no special equipment and the limited space there is inside your house, it is possible. You can do the following activities to stay active and reduce sedentary behaviour while at home in self-quarantine:

Take short active breaks during the day

The minutes of physical activity during the day can add up to the recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity. Playing with children, dancing, and performing domestic chores such as cleaning and gardening are easy ways to stay active at home.

Follow an online exercise class

Take advantage of living in the 21st century. There are plenty of exercise classes on the internet. Many of these can be found on YouTube. Disclaimer: be cautious and aware of your own limitations.

Stand up and walk

Walking around the house or even walking on the spot can help you to remain active. Or, if someone calls you, get up, pick up the phone and walk around the house while speaking.

 If you decide to go outside to walk or exercise, be sure to maintain at least a 1-meter distance from other people.



Taking deep breaths slows your breathing. Meditation and breathing techniques can help you remain calm.

Source: WHO Europe

For more detailed examples of home-based exercises, you can click here


Introduction video

The movement for movement in quarantine during pandemic COVID-19. Within a few days we will upload the first videos, stay tuned!

WHO advise

Wash your hands frequently

The Safe Hands challenge

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands (WHO, 2020).