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Ba duan jin literally means the eight pieces of silk brocade.  These are attributed in Daoist tradition to one of the Eight Immortals, Chong Li-quan and were first described in the 8th century in the text Xiu Zhen Shi Shu (The Ten Treatises on Restoring the Original Vitality).  Nowadays, there are many variations of this set.  The Eight Brocades are designed to stretch the muscles and tendons and to stimulate the meridians and internal organs.


There is a standing set of  eight brocades and a sitting set.  This is an External Elixir form which uses both tensing and relaxing the muscles of the limbs and stretching the tissues around the internal organs to produce its effects.


The eight brocades are a good way to start a qigong session because they stretch the muscles and warm up the body.


You can see an excerpt from the Chinese Health Qigong Associations book and DVD on ba duan jin below. It’s a great buy - you can see the forms clearly in the DVD and use the book as a reference as well. You can read my complete review of this Ba Duan Jin book/DVD here.

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Ba Duan Jin - The Eight Brocades