Ba Duan Jin Movement 1
双手托天理三焦 Shuāng Shǒu Tuō Tiān Lǐ Sān Jiāo
Two hands holding up the heavens to regulate the three burners
Start with a standing pose (站桩 Zhàn Zhuāng) with feet shoulder width apart and arms hanging loosely on your side. Breathe in, lift your arms up, as they come above the head turn the palms out so the fingers are facing inwards, with the back of the hands just above the crown of your head. As you breathe our straighten the arms, pushing up with the hands as if pushing against a ceiling, at the same time press your feet firmly to the ground. Breathe in and lower the arms by bending the elbows and bringing the back of your hands just above the crown. repeat the whole cycle for a minute.
This regulates the internal organs. It also relieves fatigue and increases inhalation. as well as invigorating the muscles and bones of your back and waist, it has also been found to help correct poor posture of the back and shoulders.
Raise both hands above the head with the palms facing upward, as if holding up the heavens. The eyes should follow the hands over the head. Stretch up on the toes and hold the posture for a few seconds before gently returning to the starting position. Inhale through the nose while bringing the arms up, and exhale through the mouth when bringing the arms down. Repeat the procedure six times.
This exercise is said to benefit the triple burner, which is the passage for water, nutrients and fluid throughout the body. This exercise activates the fluid flowing in it and ensures proper nourishment throughout the body.
The triple burner (三焦 Sān Jiāo) is a concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM 中国传统医药 Zhōng Guó Chuán Tǒng Yī Yào) and there is no corresponding organ in Western Medicine (西药 Xī Yào). The triple burner's function may be related to the pancreas and metabolism in the body. The triple burner is actually a collective term for the upper, middle and lower burner. The Chinese word "triple burner" actually means "three parts which burn". This description of location is used for the functional classification of the TCM triple burner:
- The upper burner (上焦) is located above the diaphragm and includes the heart and lungs.
- The middle burner (中焦) is located in the region above the belly button and below the diaphragm and includes the spleen and stomach.
- The lower burner (下焦) is located below the belly button, and it includes the liver, kidneys, large intestine, small intestine and bladder.
The above locations do not refer to the anatomical location of organs. The triple burner's functions relate to the activities of Qi and the movement of water. The upper burner acts like a mist. The middle burner acts like foam. The lower burner acts like a swamp.
"Mist" refers to the disseminating functions of the upper burner. With this function, qi, blood and body fluids are distributed throughout the body just as mist disperses in the environment.
"Foam" means the digestive churning of the middle burner. When the spleen and stomach transform and ripen food, the food decomposes in a similar way to foaming.
"Swamp" relates to the excretion of impure substances. The lower burner separates the "clear" from the "turbid" substances and excretes these impurities as wastes- like a swamp breaks down certain vegetation.
The triple burner is the passage through which water, food and fluid are transported.
Teacher: Master Jiao Hong Min, from Shaolin Temple Wushu Training Center, Dengfeng (Map), China.
Updated On: 15.12.02