Thursday, May 22, 2014

Touch Toes to Reinforce Kidneys - Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung

The Eight Pieces of Beautiful Silk Brocade Chi Kung is one of the most widely practiced conditioning exercise sets in China. The movements provide a comprehensive system of excise for people of all ages, toning up muscles and stimulating the flow of qi throughout the body. People are advised to perform it vigorously when in good health, to help build up the strength and suppleness. 

It is widely regarded as the initial form set for any qigong or martial arts new practitioners. Every movement is designed to regulate or strengthen organs or bowels.

"Touch Toes to Reinforce Kidneys" or "Touching the Toes then Bending Backwards" movement will open governing vessel, stretch tendons in legs, compresses and releases kidneys, the front compression balances out several of the frontal stretches earlier in the set.

It strengthens lower back and leg muscles, benefits abdominal organs, strengthens kidneys and adrenal glands.

This post is Part 7, please follow link below for parts 1 - 6

Part 5
Part 6

According to TCM, this movement stimulates various meridians in the body.

Warning: If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, don't put your head below your heart. Also, people with lower back stiffness or pain should not bend deeply.
  1. Start in a Wuji stance.
  2. Step out with your left foot about 6" to 12 ".
    Your stance should be comfortable. Your feet should point straight ahead.  Bend the knees slightly.  Relax the shoulders. Breathe easily and deeply. Inhale through the nose and out through the nose.  Take a long, deep, slow inhale and relax and extend your abdomen as you inhale.
  3. Exhale as you lean forward, with your arms at your side. Your hands move slowly down the outside of your legs.  Both hands should remain touching your body during this entire exercise movement.  Feel your body with your hands, and feel your hands with your body.  Slowly exhale as you bend forward, and draw the abdomen inward. Lower your head, relax your shoulders and back.  Move both hands down until you reach your ankles.  Hold for a few seconds in this low position.  

  1. Inhale as you slowly roll up, vertebrae by vertebrae.
  2. Exhale as you put hands on your back at the kidneys and slowly and gently bend back, looking upwards and backwards. Keep the knees bent.  Slowly trace the hands up the hamstrings and up over the glutes.  Slowly inhale as you bring your hands from your ankles to your lower back. Place the hands on the lower back.
    The back of the hands should touch the area in the lower back about where the kidneys are located.
    Massage the lower back by moving the back of the hands in semi-circles.  Gently massage the area behind the kidneys.  Bend your back and neck only to the degree that you feel safe and comfortable.  
  3. Inhale as you stand up. Relax your shoulders.  
    Smile.  Enjoy a long, deep, and slow inhale.  
  4. Repeat steps 3-6. Work up to being able to do eight repetitions.
  5. To end, step with your left foot back to the Wuji stance.
You can view it Here

- Alternative: Perform the exercise sitting on the floor with the hands gently reaching toward the toes. The same sequencing of the spine is used. A more challenging variation holds the sole of the foot and stretches out the leg. This could be performed standing or sitting.

Ancient Way to Keep Fit, complied by Zong Wu and Li Mao, 1992, pp.110-127. 
The Way of Energy, Lam Kam Chuen, 1991, pp. 63-81.
The Eight Pieces of Brocade, Yang Jwing-ming, 1988, 70 pages.
Ch'i - the Power Within, Geoff and Phyllis Pike, 1996, pp. 122-146.
Knocking at the Gate of Life, People's Republic of China, 1985, pp. 24-33.
The Way of Qigong, Kenneth Cohen, 1997, pp. 186-194.
The Eight Section Brocade Qigong, Michael P. Garofalo, 2002-2012, 410Kb
 Qi Gong For Beginners: Eight Easy Movements for Vibrant Health, Stanley Wilson, 1997, 148 pages.
The Complete Guide to Chi-gung.  Daniel Reid, 1998.  
Qigong Essentials for Health Promotion.  Jiao Guorui, 1988.  pp. 151-162.    
Chi Kung: The Eighteen Lohan Hands.  By Wong Kiew Kit, 50KB+, 2003.
The Eight Treasures Energy Enhancement Exercise, Maoshing Ni, 1996.
Ba Duan Jin, Chinese Health Qigong Association, 2007.

Instant Health: The Shaolin Qigong Workout For Longevity, Shifu Yan Lei, 2009.


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