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  • Current location: home>> Life Cultivation and Rehabilitation of TCM(PREVENTION) >> Natural Therapeutic Methods of Life Cultivation and Rehabilitation >> Therapies with sports
    2 Examples of life cultivation and rehabilitation with classical sports activities
    2.5.2.1 The five mimic-animal games
    It is a classical physical exercise which imitates the motions of the five animals of tigers, deer, bears, monkeys and birds. The exercise has been the method for Chinese people to build up health and to prolong life since the ancient times.
    The game of mimic-tiger It imitates the tiger's image, adopts the tiger's air and its perfect utilization of its paws as well as its motions of shaking the head and wagging the tail, bulging and vibrating the whole body. The game requires concentration of the mind on Mingmen (GV4). It has the functions of strengthening the kidney and waist, enhancing the bone and promoting the production of marrow. The exercise may remove obstruction of governor vessel and eliminate pathogenic wind.
    The game of mimic-deer It imitates the deer's image, adopts the animal's longevity and intelligence as well as its perfect use of the coccyx. The games requires concentration of the mind on the coccyx. It can remove obstruction of meridians and collaterals, promote blood circulation, limber up muscles and joints.
    The game of mimic-bear It imitates the bear's image of being clumsy in bodily movement and great in physical strength, static in exterior and dynamic in interior. The game requires concentration of the mind on Zhonggong (within the navel), and puts emphasis on being dynamic in the interior and static in exterior.
    The game of mimic-monkey It imitates the monkey's image Of being alert, dexterous and quick in action, and liable to movement. The game requires concentration of the mind on the navel to seek for physical movement and mental peace.
    The game of mimic-bird It is also called the game of mimic-crane which imitates the crane's image of being lithe in flying and unfolding in action. Practicing this games requires concentration of the mind on Qihai (CV6). It can regulate and promote qi flow and blood circulation, dredge meridians and collaterals, limber up the tendons, bones and joints.
    The five mimic-animal games not only include bodily movements, but also requires elimination of all stray thoughts, concentration of the mind on Dantian as well as the cooperation of respiration. The games can regulate yin and yang, promote qi flow and blood circulation, strengthen the body resistance to eliminate pathogenic factors. Therefore, it has better actions of nourishing the mind, regulating qi flow and blood circulation, strengthening viscera, dredging meridians and collaterals, limbering up muscles and joints, and facilitating flexible movement of joints. Clinically, the game is commonly applicable to patients with hemiplegia, paraplegia, arthralgia syndrome, flaccidity syndrome, osteoporosis, Parkinson's syndrome, etc. at the stage of recovery.
    2.5.2.2 Yijinjing (tendon-exercising technique)
    "Yi" means movement and change; "jin", in general sense, refers to the muscle, tendon and bone; "jing" denotes the general law and norm. "Yijinjing"means this technique exercises the muscle, tendon and bone, makes general meridians and collaterals, qi flow and blood circulation unobstructed. As a result, it strengthens health, eliminates diseases and prolongs life. The technique is a traditional method of enhancing health and rehabilitation.
    All the movements of Yinjinjing imitate the various ancient postures of physical labor and have evolved from them. For example, the actions of husking grain with a mortar and pestle, carrying grain, putting grain in storage, harvesting crops and storing grain, cherishing grain, etc. all of which are the basic forms based on various movements of physical labor. The specific content includes husking grain with a mortar and pestle, carrying grain on a carrying pole, winnowing impurities from grain, carrying grain on the alternate side of the shoulder, pushing a cart with sacks of grain and piling them up, leading an ox to carry grain, carrying grain on the back, unloading grain with the square-bottomed bamboo basket, enclosing grain for storage with the mat, bending over to protect grain and bending down to pick up grains and bending low to gather crops. The twelve movements are marked by bodily flexion and extension, bending and lifting as well as torsion to achieve the training effect of "limbering up joints". Therefore, this method can remedy the bad postures, promote the growth and development of muscles and skeleton for teenagers; as far as old and weak people are concerned, the method can prevent senile muscular atrophy, promote blood circulation, adjust and strengthen general nutrition and absorption; it is very beneficial to the rehabilitation of patients with chronic diseases as well as delaying ageing. Clinically, the method is commonly applied to patients with hemiplegia, flaccidity syndrome, paraplegia, disuse syndrome, etc. at the stage of recovery.
    2.5.2.3 Eight-section brocade
    Eight-section brocade consists of eight different movements, hence the name "eight-section". This gymnastic activity strengthens health, prolongs life and eliminates diseases. Its effect is very excellent, just as if a piece of bright and colorful brocade presents itself before people's eyes, hence the name "brocade". Practicing eight-section brocade is not limited by the surroundings and place. Thus, it can be performed at any time and in any place. Besides, the postures are easy to memorize and learn. Meanwhile, its amount of exercise is moderate. The exercise is suitable for both the old and the young. It is not only used for strengthening health, but also for the rehabilitation of many chronic diseases. Accordingly, eight-section brocade has been banded down from ancient times to the present and still has been the popular keep-fit method among the vast number of the Chinese masses.
    The content of eight-section brocade has been written in the form of seven-character verse, from which the different effects of different movements on life cultivation can be seen. The verse reads..
    Both hands stretch upwards to regulate triple energizer,
    bend a bow with alternate hands to shoot at a vulture
    stretch one hand upwards to regulate gastrosplenic functions,
    look round to remove seven types of impairment and five kinds of consumptive diseases;
    shake the head and move the low back to eliminate the heart fire,
    both hands reach for feet to reinforce the kidney and lumbus;
    clench fists with round eyes to enhance physical strength,
    hold the neck with interlocked hands and jolt to prevent all diseases.
    2.5.2.4 Taijiquan
    It is a method of life cultivation and rehabilitation conforming to nature. It requires the close integration of breathing, consciousness and movements to achieve the state of integrating the exterior with interior into one in perfect harmony. The present popular school of Taijiquan is the simplified Taijiquan (24-posture style). The movements vary from simple ones to complicated ones, from easy ones to difficult ones, proceeding in an orderly way and step by step. Accordingly, it is convenient to spread and master. In addition, there are 48-posture Taijiquan, 88-posture Taijiquan, etc., the amount of exercises of which increases in proper order, the movements of which are complicated correspondingly.
    The course of Taijiquan is under the guidance of the philosophical theory of Taiji (infinite void). Every stroke and every posture forms the Taiji diagram. The shape of Taijiquan is "Taiji" and the intention of Taijiquan also lies in "Taiji." The movement of Taiji generates yang, while the motionlessness of Taiji generates yin, with both of which stimulate qi and blood of the human body itself to reach the state of "yin is even and well while yang is firm" and to make life brimming with exuberant vigor.
    Persevering in practicing Taijiquan can coordinate viscera, promote qi activities, regulate yin and yang and strengthen health. Thus, it has better rehabilitation effect. Clinically, it is commonly applicable to patients with hypertension, hypotension, myocardiac infarction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gastroptosis, chronic hepatitis, etc. at the stage of recovery.
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