Bamai Qigong i.e. eight channels Qigong refers to the combination of the Eight Trigrams, Eight Brocades Qigong, and the eight extraordinary channels in Chinese Medicine. The idea of writing the book came to me after I just finished an advanced course on Ba Duan Jin (Eight Brocades) Qigong. In this course, I tried to combine the eight extraordinary channels in Chinese Medicine and the Eight Trigrams to clarify the definition, dynamic/movement of Qi, and use of Qi. The participants gave me lots of positive feedback, which inspired me to write down my understanding of Qigong from the perspective of Chinese Medicine.
Detailed philosophic background of Bamai Qigong including the Yin Yang theory and Eight Trigrams;
Chinese Medicine basis on the eight extraordinary channels and important acupoints used in Qigong;
Step by step instruction to practice Ba Duan Jin (八段錦) and demonstrated by Dr. Hui Zhang;
The first reveal of the 8 levels of practicing medical Qigong
Qi, usually translated as energy or energy flow. But in my opinion, I think the translation has limited the deep understanding of the word. In Chinese Medicine, Qi is defined as the smallest fundamental substances/particles which are called Yin Qi and their functions which are called Yang Qi. Qigong refers to a certain set of breathing, meditation, and body movement, which aims to make a better movement of Qi. Qigong has been used as health promotion for over 2000 years. The earliest practice can date back to primitive dance. In Chinese Medicine classics, Qigong was called Daoyin or guiding, meaning that people use meditation and body movements to guide the dynamic of Qi.
Qi Dynamic in Bagua
According to archaeological research, Xing Qi Ming or Inscription on Guiding Qi is the ornament dating back to the Warring States (475-221 B.C.). It’s also the earliest archaeological subject with the record of Qigong practice. The inscription on the jade ware has been deciphered as follows:
In order to guide Qi, the body need to take in (Qi), store (Qi), stretch(Qi), sink(Qi), stabilize(Qi), consolidate(Qi), understand(Qi), growth(Qi), return(Qi), lift(Qi), and connect heaven (Qi) with the upper (Baihui-DU20) and connect earth (Qi) with the lower (Yongquan-KI1). If the sequence is followed, the body is healthy, or if the sequence is not followed or reversed, the body is unhealthy.
In 1973, the silk piece of Daoyin Figures, the earliest silk painting on Qigong, was found in Mawangdui Tomb, Hunan Province, China. Archaeological study has confirmed that the tomb can date back to the period from 186 B.C. to 168 A.D.
There are four main schools of Qigong in China i.e. medical Qigong, Taoist Qigong, Confucianist Qigong, and Buddhist Qigong. In Chinese Medicine, Qigong has been basically applied to improve health by supplementing the amount of Qi, reinforcing the quality of Qi and restoring the imbalance of Qi. The Taoist practices Qigong to improve health, delay aging and become immortal. The Buddhist practices Qigong to reach the realm of Zen or emptiness. The Confucianist employs Qigong practice to seek inner peace and become the perfect person.
The doctrine of Ba Gua in Yi Jing (I Ching, Book of Change) is widely used in Chinese Medicine, Taoism, Feng Shui, Qigong, kungfu (e.g. Baguazhang and Taichi), arts, and so on. The theory in Ba Gua is the best model to explain the origin and transformation and transportation of Qi. Especially, in Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi, the most important Qigong classic in Taoist written by Wei Boyang in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), Ba Gua is firstly applied to explain the process of practicing Qigong.
Ba Mai originates from the eight extraordinary meridians i.e. Du, Ren, Chong Dai, Yangwei, Yinwei, Yangqiao, and Yinqiao. These eight meridians are widely used in Qigong, while the 12 ordinary meridians are mainly used in acupuncture treatment. Ba Mai can be considered as the eight main “highway” in the body, which regulates the movement and functions of Qi.
In my Qigong seminars, the question on the progress of practicing Qigong was frequently proposed. Therefore, I explained the eight levels of practicing medical Qigong based on my own practice and study of Qigong classics in the last part of the book.
Table of Content
Part I – 1 –
1. What is Qi? – 2 –
1.1 Substantial Form: Yin Qi – 3 –
1.2 Functional Form: Yang Qi – 3 –
1.3 Relationships between Yin Qi and Yang Qi – 4 –
2. Where does Qi come from? – 5 –
3. How does Qi control the body? – 6 –
3.1 Wei-defense Qi and Ying-construction Qi – 7 –
3.2 Organs’ Qi – 7 –
3.3 Channel Qi – 7 –
4. Dan Tian and Internal Alchemy – 8 –
4.1 What is Dan Tian – 8 –
4.2 What is Internal Alchemy – 10 –
5. What is Qigong? – 10 –
7. Why does Qigong benefits health? – 12 –
8. What are they benefits of practicing Qigong – 13 –
8.1 For improving health – 14 –
8.2 For Better understanding of human body – 14 –
8.3 For Improving Diagnostic Skills – 15 –
8.4 For Improving Treatment Effect – 16 –
Part II – 17 –
1. What are Eight Trigrams and Yi Jing – 20 –
2. Array of Ba Gua – 21 –
2.1 Prenatal Ba Gua – 21 –
2.2 Postnatal Ba Gua – 22 –
3. Bamai – 26 –
Part III – 33 –
1. What is Ba Duan Jin Qigong? – 34 –
2. Why Ba Duan Jin? – 34 –
3. How to practice Ba Duan Jin – 35 –
3.1 Preparation with Hun Yuan Zhuang (Primary Standing) – 35 –
3.2 Two Hands Lift to the Heaven (☳), Yangwei Mai – 38 –
3.3 Push Tiger Claw and Stare Angrily (☴), Yinwei Mai – 43 –
3.4 Sway the Head and Shake the Tail (☲), Chong Mai – 47 –
3.5 Lift and Press Hands (☷), Ren Mai – 51 –
3.6 Two Hands Hold the Feet (☱), Yangqiao Mai – 54 –
3.7 Lift the Heel (☰), Du Mai – 57 –
3.8 Look Backwards (☵), Dai Mai – 60 –
3.9 Draw A Bow and Shoot Eagles (☶), Yinqiao – 64 –
These are exactly the concepts that Zhang Hui, a young and very talented TCM-doctor, integrates into his Bamai Qigong in the present book. On the one hand he combines the eight parts of the Eight Brocades with the Eight and on the other hand he combines them with the theory of the eight extraordinary channels, that play an important role in acupuncture and theory of Chinese medicine as well as in the Inner Alchemy. For this reason, he changed the common sequence of the Eight Brocades and also modified the movements partly. It is a very interesting attempt to alter and reinvent an established and popular Qigong method in the light of Daoism and Chinese Medicine. Moreover, it serves as a practical handbook for learning Qigong.
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