八段錦 Ba Duan Jin (Baduanjin)
Ba Duan Jin is an easy set of moving Qigong (life energy cultivation) exercises for beginners. Baduanjin means eight pieces of brocade or eight strands of brocade. This ancient Chinese set of exercises consists of eight simple stretches that may be practiced by those of all ages. When practiced regularly baduanjin is said to invigorate all the internal organs and systems of the body. It helps stretch and open the meridians to allow Qi or Chi (life energy) to more easily flow throughout the entire body.
Each stretch is synchronized with your breath. Breathe out while extending the stretch and breathe in while releasing the stretch. Start with your normal breathing and over time work up to deeper abdominal breathing. I typically take about three seconds for each breath in and out. Each stretch is repeated eight times. At this rate completing the whole set only takes about eight minutes.
I recorded a video while practicing the full set of eight Baduanjin stretches outside set to relaxing meditative music. I also broke the full set up into eight separate videos of each individual move for easier learning. The videos below include the full set as well as each of the individual moves.
There are many different versions of Ba Duan Jin being practiced all over the world. This version of Ba Duan Jin is based on the version described in the book The Way of Energy by Master Lam Kam Chuen.
Medical Studies of Baduanjin for Health Improvement
- A Review Study on the Beneficial Effects of Baduanjin
- Ba-Duan-Jin Alleviates Pain and Fibromyalgia-Related Symptoms in Patients With Fibromyalgia: Results of a Randomised Controlled Trial
- Baduanjin Exerts Anti-Diabetic and Anti-Depression Effects by Regulating the Expression of mRNA, lncRNA, and circRNA
- The Effects of Baduanjin Exercise on Fatigue and Quality of Life in Patients With Heart Failure: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- The Effect of Baduanjin Qigong Combined With CBT on Physical Fitness and Psychological Health of Elderly Housebound
- The Health Effects of Baduanjin Exercise (A Type of Qigong Exercise) in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized, Controlled, Single-Blinded Trial
- Effect of Baduanjin Qigong Exercise on Cancer-Related Fatigue in Patients With Colorectal Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Tai Chi Chuan and Baduanjin Mind-Body Training Changes Resting-State Low-Frequency Fluctuations in the Frontal Lobe of Older Adults: A Resting-State fMRI Study
- Effect of Health Baduanjin Qigong for Mild to Moderate Parkinson’s Disease
- Baduanjin Alleviates the Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis
- Efficacy of Ba Duan Jin in Improving Balance: A Study in Chinese Community-Dwelling Older Adults
- Qigong for the Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation of COVID-19 Infection in Older Adults
- And many more…
These videos are based on the version of Ba Duan Jin described in the book – The Way of Energy