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.

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