Jade Body Gong
Dr. Liu Dong (Translated by Yanling Johnson, polished by Dawnlee)
The spine is the support of the human body, and where the Du Channel goes through. According to the Chinese medical theory of Collateral and Channels, Du channel is in charge of the yang qi. The five solid organs, the Six hollow fu-organs*, and the twelve jing channels all depend on the Du channel relaxed gently to nourish. Thus, when treating all kinds of diseases, the Chinese medical doctors will focus on treating the back. In Nei Jing (The Internal Classic), it says, "To treat one hundred kinds of illnesses, start with treating the back."
Chart of the Du channels function:
The secret of Taoist longevity is to exercise the Small Heavenly Circle, unlock the four acupoints on the back: Wei lu, Jia ji, Yu zhen, and Bai hui (Ni wan).
Wei lu is the beginning of the Du channel, and it is called the "Rising yang point." When this point is opened, the yang qi will rise, nourish and warm up the whole body.
Jia ji (T5) is the middle point of the 24 joints of the spine. Its function connects the upper spine and the lower spine. When this point in opened, the person can enjoy longevity and enter into the immortal state. So it is also called "Shen dao" - the "Spiritual path."
Yu zhen are the points connecting the spinal cord and the brains. After these two points open, the persons body and the Shen will be unified.
"Ni wan" is also called Tian men -The Gate of Heaven. When this point is open, the person will be able to communicate with the outside world. It is said the purpose of the Taoist types of meditation is to open this point so that the Shen can travel in the space, and human beings then can live as long as the stars, the moon and the sun. From the anatomy point of view, this point is where the lower thalamus (pl thalami) is, and it is called the "biological clock." There are changes in the human body between daytime and nighttime. The body temperature, blood pressure, breathing, the pulse beats, blood sugar, internal secretion, etc., all change precisely according to the natural changing of the day and night, increasing and reducing. This, is called the adjusting function of the hypothaiamus . Thus, the regular adjustment of the biological clock the hypothaiamus, plays a very important role in preserving health.
The spine relates to health and healing. Modern science has proven that to exercise the spine can improve metabolism and induce the immune system.
I have closely observed for a long time the longevity animals such as turtles, cranes and the dragon (family), their habitat and characteristics, movements, breathing and the way they look for food, etc. I found that they have one thing in common: they all move their spine frequently. Obviously, this is their longevity secret. So, I imitate the way they move their spine and the way they breathe, designed the Jade Body Gong. For many years, I have been cooperating with scientists, doctors in China, Japan, France, Italy and Holland, etc. to do experiments. I gave off qi to the mice, at the same time, I stretched, paused and then relaxed their bodies with tui na method to treat their spines. These experiments have proven that all the mices immune system was induced, effectively especially in treating and anti cancer. The Jade Body Form is to exercise the spine by stretching, still, and relaxing to promote the blood-qi circulation to increase the immune system.
I wish my friends who practice the Jade Body Form will gain vigor and strength as the dragon, be graceful and lithe like the crane, and enjoy longevity as the turtle.
The special part of this form
To exercise and cultivate the heart and nature: The practitioner should feel free and easy besides practicing, the mind work, the breathing method, the sitting meditation, and the guiding qi. They should transcend and be free from all the obsessed ways or rigid forms, but directly work on the deepest part in the heart. They should be "graceful, beautiful in manner and have a dignified, mighty force inside, retain peace in turmoil, and to experience and have a good understanding about the precious life" (- exact from the ancient poem).
To regulate the breathing: This form has three steps, they are: no breathing, following the breathing, and forgetting the breathing.
The "no breathing" does not mean to stop breathing but pay no attention to it. Only when paying no attention, the breathing will become natural, and will get into a long, soft, gentle and continuos qigong way of breathing.
Following the breathing: think of the breathing way of the turtle, crane and dragon often.
Forgetting the breathing: as if you are breathing as if not, like the way that a baby breathes in the mothers womb.
To stretch each movement of this form has the movement of stretching. Its purpose is to pull and open the spine joints.
To pause and be still this is following the stretching and is based on the stretching. The purpose is to retain the joints loosened.
To relax This is a sudden movement after the stretching and staying still. This sudden loosening up can make the body rebound and stimulate each cell, so the cells can effectively increase the ability of transforming the qi.
To exercise the spine like pulling a bow, first, you need to pull the "bow" to its utmost length, and pause for a second, then suddenly let it go as if the arrow is shot.
A poem for this:
The foundation of longevity,
Is oriented to the spine,
When exercising to stretch the spine,
It should be like pulling a bow and shooting the arrow.
Steps of the form
Preparation: Jade standing mediation
Close the eyes and relax the xin (mind/heart), and the tongue touches the roof. Lay the hands on the sides under the lower abdomen, the middle fingers and the thumbs touch, the rest of the fingers are naturally and slightly curly. The feet are parallel as wide as the shoulders, the knees are slightly bent, relax the waist and hips. Breathe in the natural way, your xin (mind/heart) is as peaceful and clean as the jade that has no flaws. Wait for saliva. When there is saliva, swallow down to the lower dan tian. (Figure 1).
Lift the two arms slowly as high as the shoulders to the sides, the middle fingers and the thumbs are still touch. Gathering qi, the hands are carrying the qi, the arms bring the hands back, sending qi to the chest (- to Shan zhong - the middle point between the breasts). Turn the palms facing upward and stretch the arms forward and let go the middle fingers and the thumbs, stretch forward as far as you can as if offering a gesture of unlimited offering (Figures 2, 3 and 4).
Bring back the arms and hands beginning with bending the small fingers first, then the ring fingers and the middle fingers, and form empty fists in front of the chest at the Shan zhong point. The two fists face each other. Then you parallel stretch the arms to the sides, apart as shoulder high, let go the fingers starting from the small fingers first, one by one the fists become hands. Stretch out as far as you can - a gesture of infinitive offering widely (Figures 5, 6, 7 and 8).
Loosen up the two arms, bring the hands back to chest (Shan zhong point), turn the fingers facing downward. Your arms stretch downward as deeply as you can a gesture of offering infinitively deeply. Your whole body is straightened.
Bring back the hands again to the chest (Shan zhong), the fingers facing each other. Slowly crossing the fingers, move the arms above the head and turn the palms facing upward. Stretch the arms upward as far as you can, - a gesture of infinite offering high (Figures 9, 10 and 11).
The key points of the movements of a, b, c, and d.
To do the four types of offerings, your arms should be straight, your head is as if holding something on the top and you stretch the neck, at the same time, your feet should step hard to stretch the whole body. In this way, the spine and whole body will be straightened to its utmost. Pause for a while, then, suddenly you loosen up the whole body with the knees bent slightly, then back to the regular standing posture.
The breathing should be natural. When stetching, inhale; when loosening up, exhale.
e. To cleanse the body as clean as jade
Loosen up the fingers with the two arms still above your head, turn your palms facing the head. Move the hands to the back of the head, the back of the neck, then move from the shoulders through the armpits to the chest, and then back through under the armpits, to face the back. Continuously you move the hands to cleanse downward. When you move the hands, you think the qi from your palms are cleansing your body.
The Cleaning steps are: the back, the waist, the legs, and the feet, then up. Both the hands move from the upper back all way down to the heels -> to the outsides of the feet -> to the toes -> up along the front sides of the legs -> to the middle of the chest (Shan zhong point). Cross the arms in front of the chest with the palms facing the shoulders, and both the hands guide qi to clean the sides of each arm, keep moving to clean the wrists and fingers, then, move the arms upward and straight above the head. Then you clean from the beginning step again, move your hands to clean the back of the head and so on. Repeat the whole Cleansing step, 3 times. (Figures 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19).
Natural breathing and think to cleanse the whole body.
The key points
The whole body is relaxed, the hands that are carrying qi should move on the surface of the body without touching.
The practitioner can repeat "1" three times. After this exercise, the practitioner will feel the mind/heart peaceful and the body will feel light and relaxed.
The natural curl of the neck is protruding forward. When the turtle stretches forward to exhale, his head will pull the neck. He inhales to bring back the neck, a counter movement of the cervical vertebra.
a. Separate the hands from above the head, form the "Join Heaven with the Earth" gesture. The two hands are as if holding a qi ball, move slowly toward each other, until the thumbs touch. Lay the left hand on the right, the thumbs touch, cover the palms on the Yu zhen points (the lower back of the head, right at the bottom of the bone). The body is like a turtle carrying his shell on the back (Figures 20, 21 and 22).
Breathe in the natural way.
The key points of the movements
When forming the "Join Heaven with the Earth," your eyes should be closed and not "look" up, let the thumbs move close to touch by themselves. When the thumbs touch, the left palm is facing forward, the right palm facing backward. When the left hand is on the right hand, this is the Joint of Heaven and the Earth.
b. Bend the upper body forward at a straight line, stretch the neck and bend the knees. When feeling the neck has been stretched, straighten the knees with the neck continually stretching forward. Then bend the knees and waggling slightly to straighten the body and stand up, at the same time, bring the neck to move backward and then straight.
Repeat 7 times. You will feel the back getting hot (Figures 23, 24, 25 and 26).
Breathing: when stretching forward, inhale; when waggling to bring back, exhale two times. This is: when bringing back the neck, exhale half, when straightening the body, exhale the rest, in the way of turtle breathing.
The key points of movements:
When you stretch the neck forward and bend the upper body, the movement should be done slowly, to fully feel the pulling to open each of the vertebra (spine joint). When you waggle slightly to bring your neck backward, you should not do it in a violent way (this depends on the individual health condition).
B. The crane way of breathing to stretch the back
The curl of the thoracic vertebra is backward concave shape. When the crane exercises her wings, she is expanding the chest, which is pulling the thoracic vertebra forward and also upward and downward.
(Chart on p. 56) (the words are) The thoracic vertebra is pulled forward, upward and downward.
a. To continue with the above movement, straighten your body, take both the hands off the back of the head and bring them from above the head to the front. Move the hands to the front of the head to guide qi downward to the chest (at Shan zhong), and form the Join Heaven with the Earth gesture (the same as in the Turtle section). The left hand is facing outward and the right palm is facing the Shan zhong point, the thumbs touch.
Breathing: in a natural way, the mind is at three levels: the left hand feels the back of the right hand, the right palm feels inside the chest. This is Heaven giving off heat to the earth, and the earth giving off qi to the human being.
Move the left hand to the shoulder side, stretch out, level, and gradually the left arm is pulling into a "soaring wing." At the same time, you pull the right hand to the right shoulder. This is to "soar the right wing," (Figures 37, 38, 39 and 40).
At this moment, you should feel fully the (upper back spine) and the thoracic vertebra are totally open at the joints. Stay in this posture for a minute (Figure 41), then loosen up the whole body. Bring both the hands back to the chest to form the Heaven and earth Gesture again, then move the right "wing" to the right side of the shoulder to "soar." The movement is the same as the left. Each side "soaring the wing," you repeat 3 times. (Figures 42, 43 and 44)
Breathing: when stretching out, inhale, when bringing back the hands, exhale.
The key points
When soaring the left and the right wing, your head is stretching upward and your knees are straightened, your feet are stepping on the earth hard. When loosening up, the movements of bringing back the arms, slightly bend the knees at the same time.
The hands form the Heaven-earth Gesture, and cover the chest. Then both your hands move from the chest to go under the armpits to the back and stretch the arms like a crane flying. Your head should be straight and your knees become straight, and pull your thoracic vertebra to its utmost. Pause for a while, then move the arms back to the front, at the same time, shiver the body to gradually move back to straight. Your two arms also continuously move and bring your hands back to the chest and the whole body stands up.
Repeat the stretching arms through under the armpits and shiver the back 7 times, your back will feel hot (Figures 27, 28, 29 and 30).
Breathing: when stretching the arms back, inhale; when bringing the arms to the front, exhale through the mouth, the way that a bird breathes.
The key points of the movement
The posture of the body acts the opposite to the arms. When the arms stretch backward, the body is pulling forward to stretch the thoracic vertebra; when the arms move back, the back is leaning backward to shiver the thoracic vertebra.
C. The dragon breathes to waggle his tail
The physiological character of the lumber vertebra is protruding forward and the sacrum is concave backward.
(chart on p. 61, the circle, the word above means "waist", the down bellow means sacrum). To waggle the tail into vertical circles and at the same time moving upward is quite helpful in stretching the lumber vertebra.
a. Continue with the above movement, bring your two hands back to the chest, and guide the qi into the lower dan tian. Form the Heaven-earth Gesture as before, you feel the sensation between the palms and in the dan tian. When you feel some sensation, cover your palms on the abdomen where the lower dan tian is (Figure 31).
Breathing: natural, the mind is at the lower dan tian.
The key points
When the palms are at dan tian area, press and push slightly, massage and push to the lumber vertebra.
b. When you are pressing the two hands at the lower dan tian, you lift up your hip, straighten the knees and pull to open your lumber vertebra. Move the hipbone to pull the lumber vertebra forward, at the same time, bend the knees. Continuously lifting the hip to make vertical circles and move the lumber vertebra 7 times, until the whole body feels hot (Figures 32, 33 and 34).
Breathing: When lifting the hip backward, inhale, when moving forward, exhale. Exhaling in the "xu" sound like the dragon exhaling to play with his pearl*, which comes from the bottom of his lower abdomen. This movement can move the lower abdomen //in rhythm.
Peal*: in Chinese fairy tale, a dragon has cultivated his own "pearl" which is as important as his life stored in his abdomen. - Yanling
The key points
The whole body is relaxed, the body is straight, using the bending knees, straightening knees movements to lead the hipbone to move in horizontal circles.
c. The dragon dance
When your body feels hot, lift up your left arm to move backward. The whole body moves backward and your waist is the spindle. The whole body is moving to its utmost limit. While your left arm is moving backward to draw a big circle, at the same time, your right arm starts lifting in the same way as the left, to the backward and leads the whole body moving, also the waist is the spindle. Your right arm is moving into the utmost circles as the left one. Your whole body is moving like a great dragon, left and right dancing. Repeat as many as you wish. (Figures 35 and 36).
Breathing in the natural way. It is like a dragon dancing freely through the white clouds in the blue sky.
The key points
When lifting up the left arm to move left and right, the elbows should be the center, which pull the whole spine to move and turn. The movements should be slow, continuous, and the two arms move cooperatively.
When the Step "2" is finished, your back will feel hot, because the blood and qi are circulating well in the whole body.
Continue with the above movement, after doing the Dragon dance for a while, then you bend at the waist and shiver the whole body. This movement should be fast, repeated several times, then slowly you stand up and straighten your body.
Breathing: you should inhale first and then bend down. When shivering, you exhale thoroughly through the mouth, thinking to send all the sick, dirty qi into the earth.
The key points
When the whole body is shivering, the two arms are the axle, move up and down in a fast way.
After standing up straight, you bring both the hands up to the cheeks, then you use the index, and the middle fingers and the thumbs to smooth out the "whiskers." The fingers move downward slowly and you try to feel the pleasure of enjoying longevity (Figure 37).
Breathing naturally, your eyes are closed with a smile, your mind is feeling the fingers smoothing your "whiskers" as if they felt so fine, long and endless, as if you are getting into the Immortal state.
Fu organ: viscera, the six hollow organs and extraordinary fu-organs
Last changed 11/28/06
Copyright © 2006 Qigong Association of America