Raleigh Chinese Martial Arts

Opening the Joints and Meridians with Ba Gua

Ba Gua (Paqua) opens the joints and circulation

by Sifu TW Smith

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Ba Gua Stretching and Opening Joints

Ba Gua opens the pathways for the chi to flow, along with significant metabolic circulation increases. The joints, connective tissue of tendons and ligaments are stretched and toned in a progressive pattern during the practice of Ba Gua. The deep dan tien breathing stimulates lymph circulation 20-100 times the normal flow, cleansing the cells and strengtheing our immune systems.

Physiologically the body gets one of the best stretching and joint opening one could imagine with Ba Gua Practice. In most instances the body is not only stretched during and through movement, but is also coiled and uncoiled. This third dimenision is rarely found in most strengthening and conditioning programs, even for college and pro athletes. Most conditioning programs will have movement or stretching that does one or the other; few command both in a synchronized and graceful flow.

As most students will attest when one is finished even with a short set of Ba Gua practice (about 30 minutes) your body is refreshed, energized and strengthened. From the tips of fingers to toes, each joint will have been opened. During Ba Gua practice the breath and blood circulation gently increases improving upon the circulatory, pulmonary, and metabolic systems.

Ba Gua Students come in a variety of physical conditions and clinical histories. Whether it is 50-60 year old person or a 27 year, they all benefit from the practice, and usually practice together. The intensity and demands are commanded by the Ba Gua student. As they condition, they naturally strive to stretch just a touch further, or coil just a degree tighter.

While seeing my regular Oriental Medical Doctor (she was from Beijing) in Houston several years ago, she was telling me that Chinese physicians are required to learn Ba Gua in Beijing as part of their training. Primarily to further the philosophical understanding of which their medical practice is based, but to also assist the physicians to improve and understand their own chi and health. She along with her medical partner said they were not required to be very good, but they always felt good with the Ba Gua practice.

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