Swinging Arms


A Chinese Chi Kung Exercise Regimen
For Fitness, Fun, Increased Vitality, Calmness, Vigor, Good Health and Longevity

Swinging Arms Exercises, Bai Bi Yun Dong   运 动
Swinging Hands Qigong Exercises (Swai Shou 
甩手 Qigong)
Dynamic Stretching Exercises
Raising and Lowering the Arms - Swinging Chi Kung Exercises, Pendulum Swings 
The Black Dragon Creates a Whirlwind, Ringing the Temple Bell  


Qigong (Chi Kung) Internal Energy Cultivation Methods, Chinese Yoga
Ancient Chinese Healing Exercises: Daoyin (To Guide and Pull) and Yang Sheng Fa (Nourishing Life Methods)


Introduction     Lessons     Bibliography     Links

Quotations     Home     Cloud Hands Blog


Research and Lessons by 
Michael P. Garofalo

© Valley Spirit Qigong, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2012
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S., All Rights Reserved.



Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction
Swinging Arms Chinese Exercises

 

 

Swinging Arms Exercises are quite popular as a warming up exercise or cooling down exercise in martial arts (e.g., Aikido, Kung Fu, Karate, Tai Chi) and in general fitness classes (e.g., kickboxing, kettlebells, calisthenics, yoga).  Some people do this exercise exclusively as a Qigong (Chi Kung) Chinese energy arts practice to maintain their good health, increase vitality, and for enhancing well-being.  Swinging Arms Exercises, Bai Bi Yun Dong  运 动, are quite popular in China and with the elderly.  

The exercises are sometimes termed "swinging hands" (Shuai Shou, Swai Shou, 甩手), although it is really the arms that are swinging and the hands just "go along for the ride." 

There are numerous versions of these exercises depending upon how the arms move and how the feet move.  Swinging Arms is often done at a moderate speed or faster. 

"Qi" is the Chinese word for energy, life-force, vitality, and aliveness.  Qi (or Chi) is similar in meaning to the term Prana in Sanskrit (Hatha Yoga), Ki in Japanese, Pneuma (πνεύμα) in Greek, and Spiritus in Latin.  Qi is associated with breathing, the energetic aspects of respiration, blood flow, and the pathways for energy flow in the body.  In traditional Chinese medical theory (TCM) there are many channels that Qi travels through in the arms and down to the hands, and then back to specific bodily organs.  These channels are opened, cleared, and unblocked by Qigong (Chi Kung) practices.  "Gong" or "Kung" is the word for achievement through a disciplined practice, hard work towards mastery, and dedicated self-development.  Qigong (or Chi Kung) is a modern Chinese term for the ancient Chinese fitness exercises (Dao Yin), self-help health practices, longevity methods (Yangsheng Fa), meditation methods, and transformational body-mind practices.  

Best wishes for good health, happiness, and success in the Year of the Water Dragon in 2012.

Sincerely,

Mike Garofalo 
May 2012 

 

 

 

   

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Bibliography, Links and Resources
Swinging Arms Qigong Exercises

 

A Note to Readers:  The Cloud Hands webpages have been online continuously since 2001.  In 2009, over 1,350,000 webpages (excluding graphics) were served to readers around the world from the egreenway.com websites: Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Valley Spirit Chi Kung, Walking, Taoism, Yoga, etc.  Since 2005, I have also provided information about Taijiquan, Qigong, Walking, Gardening, Mysticism, and the Eight Ways at my Cloud Hands Blog.  Since the these mind-body arts websites are very well-established and stable websites, they provide readers with a good and secure starting point for their online research into Chi Kung, Taijiquan, Walking, Meditation, and the Daoist-Druid matrix.  The Cloud Hands websites are funded entirely by Green Way Research, with volunteer efforts by Michael P. Garofalo
     Unfortunately, as everyone knows, many other websites and webpages, documents, and videos appear and then disappear from the Internet scene.  Authors do not pay to keep up their web hosting services, loose a "free hosting" option, change filenames, recode away from HTML, or decide to remove the webpages for various reasons.  Consequently, links to some good webpages or videos become invalid and the files are no longer found on the Internet.  You may find a some of these "dead links" to nonexistent webpages or videos cited below; and, there is no way to avoid this troublesome situation.  For this reason, when you do find a good and useful webpage, be sure to save the webpage to a folder on your hard drive or server. 
     I welcome your suggestions for how to improve this webpage.  Your comments, ideas, contributions, and constructive criticism are encouraged.  Send your suggestions to my email box.

 

Alphabetical Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Website


Animal Frolics Qigong   


Arm Swing Exercises for Type 2 Diabetics 


Arm Swing in Human Locomotion


Arm Swing: Maximize Your Upper Body and Reduce Your Legwork


Arm Zwaii Qigong  UTube, 3:40 minutes.  1.  Both arms are swung forward and back.  Warm up: arms come up to shoulder height in front.  Erect posture.  Knees bend slightly.  2.  Alternating arms swing forward and back.  3.  Arms swing in circles. 

 

Bai Bi Yun Dong   运动 = Swinging Arms Exercises.  Bai  摆 = swing, sway, put, place.  Bi  臂 = arms.  Yùn dòng  运动 = movement, exercise, sports.  Baidong  动 = swing, sway, oscillation movement.  Dòng  动  = move, happen, movement, action.  A simple Qigong exercise popularly practiced in China.

 

Benefits of a Morning Walk 


Challenge of the Three Swings.  By Dan Kleiman. 


Chi Kung (Daoyin, Qigong): Bibliograpy, Resources, Links, Lessons  


Chinese Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin.  By Livia Kohn.  University of Hawaii Press, 2008.  268 pages.  ISBN: 0824832698.  History of Daoist health practices. 


The Chi Revolution: Harnessing the Healing Power of Your Life Force.  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Berkeley, California, Blue Snake Books, 2008.  248 pages.  ISBN: 978-1583941935.  VSCL. 


Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Websites 


Cloud Hands Blog  By Mike Garofalo.


Daoism: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Lessons 


Daoist Body Cultivation: Traditional Models and Contemporary Practices.  Edited by Livia Kohn.  University of Hawaii Press, 2006.  243 pages.  ISBN: 1931483051.  VSCL.   


Daoist Nei Gong: The Philosophical Art of Change   By Damo Mitchell.  Singing Dragon, 2011.  240 pages.  ISBN: 978-1848190658. 


The Dao of Taijiquan: Way to Rejuvenation.   By Tsung Hwa Jou.  Charles E. Tuttle, 1998.  3rd Edition.  233 pages.  ISBN: 0804813574.  An outstanding textbook on Tai Chi Chuan.  All styles are introduced and explained.  A very informative introduction to the philosophy and practices of Tai Chi Chuan.  VSCL. 


Daoist Studies and Practices: Ripening Peaches  


Dao-Yin is the term used to identify ancient Chinese healing exercises.  The word 'Dao' means to guide, to lead, to show the way, The Way.  The word 'Yin' means to pull, to stretch out, to lengthen.  Dao-Yin is an ancient term, with many similarities with the 20th century term 'Qigong." 


Deer Frolic Qigong  


Dragon Qigong, Eight Dragons Qigong, Ba Long Qigong, Presented by Mike Garofalo, M.S.  Instructions and descriptions of the eight movements.  PDF File. 


Dynamic Stretching 


Dynamic Stretching and Static Stretching


Dynamic Stretching Exercises: Arm Swings


Eight Section Brocade Qigong, Ba Duan Jin  


Five Animal Frolics Qigong 


Five Elements Chart  


Five Elements Qigong 


Fragrant Qigong (Xiang Gong)  The Wind Filling the Ears  [Swinging Form One] 


Frolics Qigong 


The Good Life


The Great Stillness: The Water Method of Taoist Meditation Series, Vol. 2  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Berkeley, North Atlantic Books, 2001.  272 pages.  ISBN: 978-1556434082. 


Harmonizing Yin and Yang  Translation and notes on the "Dragon-Tiger" Classic.   A Manual of Taoist Yoga: Internal, External, and Sexual.  Translated by Eva Wong.  Shambhala Publications, 1997.  160 pages. 


The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi 
By Roger Jahnke, O.M.D..  Chicago, Contemporary Books, 2002.   Index, notes, extensive recommended reading list, 316 pages.  ISBN: 0809295288.  VSCL. 


How to Do Qigong Swinging Arms   [Swinging Form Two]


Indian Club Training


Lifestyle Advice From Wise Persons 


Lohan Shaolin Buddhist Qigong


Magic Pearl Qigong: A Tai Chi Medicine Ball Exercise Routine and Meditation Technique.  Developed by Mike Garofalo. 


Magic Pearl Qigong


Muscle and Tendon Changing Qigong - Yi Jin Jing  


Nourishing the Essence of Life: The Outer, Inner and Secret Teachings of Taoism.  Translated with and Introduction by Eva Wong.   Boston, Shambhala, 2004.   104 pages.  ISBN:  1590301048.
  VSCL. 


One Old Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove   


Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Chi Gung for Lifelong Health (Tao of Energy Enhancement).  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis. 
Illustrated by Husky Grafx.  North Atlantic Books, 1993.  Second Edition.  174 pages.  ISBN: 1556431643.  VSCL.  Master Frantzis teaches three swinging movements.  The First Swing is precisely explained and illustrated on pages 181-187.  The Second Swing is explained on pages 188-199.  The Third Swing is explained on pages 200-213. 


Oneness Rhythm Exercise.  By Koichi Tohei, Aikido Grand Master


Pendulum Swing  UTube, 1:15 minutes. 


Pendulum Swing Exercises for Rotator Cuff


Pendulum Swing, Swinging the Arms Up and Down, Forward and Back, Swinging Arms Form One


Piqua Tongbei: Swing Your Arms Like a Great White Ape  A martial arts warm up routine.  The movement is carefully described and the webpage includes a video showing the movement.  The arms rotate 360 degrees.  One right arm rotates in a clockwise manner, the left in a counterclockwise manner was you walk forward.  Then both arms rotate two or three full rotations in the same direction as you walk forward.  


Qigong Empowerment: A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist and Wushu Energy Cultivation Qi: Bibliography, Links, Resources and Quotations  By Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching.  Edited by Denise Breiter-Wu.  Rhode Island, Way of the Dragon Publishing, 1997.  Index, glossary, 348 pages.  ISBN: 18896590.  VSCL. 


Qigong (Chi Kung): Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Instructions, Lessons, Notes  


Realms of the Dragons Website  


Relaxing into Your Being: The Water Method of Taoist Meditation Series, Vol. 1 
By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Fairfax, California, Clarify Press, 1998.  Reader's Edition.  208 pages.  Republished by: North Atlantic Books, 2001, ISBN: 1556434073.  VSCL. 


Rooting, Grounding, Centering, Sinking, Central Equilibrium


The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity, & Enlightenment.
  By Yang Jwing-Ming, PhD., 1946-.  YMAA Chi Kung Series #1.   Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Association, 1989.  Glossary, 272 pages.   ISBN: 0940871076.  VSCL. 


Relaxation, Calmness, Poise, Effortlessness 


Secrets of Ch'i Kung: Rise of the Dragon  By Tony Salvitti.  Volume II of series.  Kindle book, 2011. 


Secrets of the Dragon Gate: Ancient Taoist Practices for Health, Wealth, and the Art of Sexual Yoga.  By Dr. Steven Liu and Jonathan Blank.  New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2011.  214 pages.  ISBN: 9781585428434.  VSCL. 


Shaolin Buddhist Lohan Qigong 


Shiatsu and Do-In: Arm Swinging Exercises


Shuai Shou, Swai Shou, 甩手, Swing (Fling, Throw Away) Hands 


Silk Reeling Qigong 


A Simple Exercise That Can Heal the Heart.  A presentation by Stephen Sinatra, M.D., at the Longevity Now Conference in 2010.  Swinging the arms forward and up, then backward and up, a couple of hundred times each day.  UTube, 2:31 minutes.  Detoxing the thoracic duct: The thoracic duct is the major pathway in the center of the chest where lymph flows from the abdomen and legs back to the heart.  "If you want to work with someone's heart, work with the energy of the arms."


Single Arm Dumbbell Swing 


Spinning Drum and Arm Swings Exercises for a Qigong Warmup   [Swinging Forms Two and One


Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Taijiquan and Qigong Website 


Sung:  Relaxed, Effortless, Soft, Yielding, Loose, Open


Swing Hands Five Style.  A demonstration by Barry Lin.  UTube, 6:35 minutes. 


Swinging Arms Exercise, Bai Bi Yun Dong, Yang's Martial Arts Association, Dr. Yang Jwing Ming 


Swinging Arms to Relieve Back Pain  UTube, 2:11 minutes.    [Swinging Form One]       


Swinging the Arms.  UTube, 2:21.  Jacob Newell, Old Oak Taiji School, Sonoma County, California. 


Swinging the Arms for Good Health.  By Yang Jwing Ming, Ph.D. 


Swinging the Arms Up and Down, Forward and Back, Pendulum Swing, Swinging Arms Form One


Swinging the Arms: Wen Sheng Qigong.  UTube, 1:45 minutes.  In this movement form the arms are drawn in a circle to one side then the other. 


Tai Chi Arm Swing Warm Up Exercises.  By Laoshi Gladys Tan.  UTube, 1:54 minutes. 


T'ai Chi Ch'uan 


Tai Chi Swing Series  UTube, 9:21 minutes.  Shifu Mike Pekor of Tai Chi Kung Fu of Long Island.  An excellent presentation!   [Swinging Form Two]


Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi 


The Taoist Body.  By Kristofer Schipper.  Translated by Karen C. Duval.  Foreword by Norman Girardot.  Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 1993.  Originally published in French in 1982 as Le Corps Taoiste.  Notes, bibliography, index, xx, 273 pages.  ISBN: 0520082249.  VSCL. 


Taoist Classics.  The Collected Translations of Thomas Cleary.  Boston, Shambhala Press.  Four Volumes:  Volume One, 296 pages, 2003.   Volume Two, 640 pages, 1999.   Volume Three, 304 pages, 2001.   Volume Four, 464 pages, 2003.  


Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques.   Edited by Livia Kohn.  Michigan Monographs in Chinese Studies, 1989.  398 pages.  ISBN: 0892640855.  VSCL. 


Taoist Studies and Practices: Ripening Peaches 


Temple Qigong 


Three Unique Exercises to Shape Up for Spring.   By Maoshing Ni. 


Twist Body, Tap Kidneys      [Swinging Form 2]  


Two Arm Swing: Kettlebell Exercises


Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California 


Valley Spirit Qigong 


VSCL =  Valley Spirit Center Library, Red Bluff, California 


The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing
   By Kenneth S. Cohen.  Foreword by Larry Dossey.  New York Ballantine Books, 1997.  Index, notes, appendices, 427 pages.  ISBN: 0345421094.  One of my favorite books: comprehensive, informative, practical, and scientific.  VSCL.  The Swinging Arms exercise is described on pp.


Way of the Cane and Short Staff  


The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine.  By Ted J. Kaptchuk, O.M.D..  Chicago, McGraw Hill Contemporary Books, 2nd Edition, 2000.  Index, bibliography, appendices, notes, 500 pages.  Foreword by Margaret Caudill, M.D., and by Andrew Weil, M.D.  ISBN: 0809228408.  An excellent introduction to traditional Chinese medicine and modern research on the topic.  VSCL. 


What is Dynamic Stretching? 


Wild Goose (Dayan) Qigong: Links, Bibliography, Quotes, Notes 


Wisdom Qigong.  Dr. Wang.  The Dragon Widening the Opening in the Clouds   [Swinging Form Two]


Wu Qin Xi, Five Animal Frolics Qigong 


 

                                              

 


Yang Sheng Fa  The Chinese program for "Life Nourishing Techniques" or "Methods for Nourishing Life" or "Longevity Methods."    Yang Sheng Fa includes exercises (e.g. Dao-Yin, Qigong, Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Yoga, Walking, etc.), a proper diet for a lean physique, good sleep and rest habits, self-massage, acupuncture, the proper use of herbs and medicine, wholesome habits and self-discipline, a productive occupation, adapting to seasonal changes, Feng Shui, enhancing mental health practices, ethical behavior, meditation, guidance and wellness coaching from masters, philosophy, and study. 


Yang Sheng Fa: Longevity Methods   


Yang Sheng Fa  By Neil Kingham
 

Yi Jin Jing - Muscle and Tendon Changing Qigong 


Yoga: Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Notes 


Yoga: Swinging Arms   Stimulates the kidneys and improves the mobility of the spine.  This yoga teacher pivots on the toe of the right foot and draws the right heel forward as she swings to the left side.  She pivots on the toe of the left foot and draws the left heel forward as she swings to the right side.   


Zone Therapy: Swaiso

 

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Lessons, Instructions, Suggestions, Comments
Swinging Arms Exercises
By Mike Garofalo

 

Disclaimer

Some of the movements of Swinging Arms Qigong or Dragon Qigong may not be suitable for persons in poor health or recovering from injuries.  Qigong and Dao Yin exercises should only be practiced by persons with good mental health.  Consult with your trusted physician if you have any serious doubts about your health or readiness for the daily practice of body-mind arts and Qigong Persons with rotator cuff problems, other shoulder problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or arthritis in the shoulder joint might want to find other exercises to do rather than this version of Swinging Arms Form One.        

 

1.  Swinging Arms Exercise - Form One

Swinging the Arms Forward and Back, Up and Down
Pendulum Swing


1.  Stand with your feet at a hip width distance apart, less than shoulder width, feet pointing straight ahead.  Keep the knees slightly bent.  This standing stance should be comfortable.  Release tension in the body, soften, stay loose, open the chest, keep an open mind - in short, maintain Sung

2.  Keep your head over your shoulders, and the head in line with the spine.  Lift the crown of the head and tuck the chin a little.  Shoulders are kept relaxed, but don't slouch.  Maintain central equilibrium.  Keep an upright posture. 

3.  The feet are grounded and rooted into the earth.  Feet remain flat on the floor during the entire exercise.  The feet should point straight ahead.  The knees are over the feet.   

4.  Look forward, soften and widen your visual focus.  Take in the whole practice scene.  Don't try to block sensory feelings, zone out, or escape being fully present in the simple here and now.

5.  Arms should be loose, relaxed, and hanging gently at the sides of your hips.  Hands should remain soft and relaxed. 

6.  Gently raise both arms up in front of the body, palms facing down.  Raise the arms up to about shoulder height or less, depending upon the mobility or comfort range of motion for your shoulder joint.  The arms are fairly straight with only a slight bend in the elbow. 

7.  Allow the arms to gently move down and back to the sides of your hips.  Continue to lift the arms up behind the body, palms facing up, to a height you are comfortable with, depending upon the mobility of your shoulder joint.  Most people draw the hands up behind the back at considerably less than a 30 degree angle up from the hips.  Then bring the arms downward until the hands are along sides of the hips.  The arms are fairly straight with only a slight bend in the elbow. 

8.  Continue moving both arms at the same time from the hips, up to about shoulder height or less in front, down to the sides of the hips, and up the back, then down to the hips.  Be gentle.  Take your time.  Both arms will gradually begin to effortlessly swing up and down, forward and back, up and down.  Relax!  The arms are fairly straight with only a slight bend in the elbow. 

9.  Breathing is natural, comfortable, effortless, unstrained.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  The tongue rests gently on the upper palate.  

10.  The knees will gently begin to bend and straighten slightly as the arms swing forward and back.  A swinging rhythm will establish a bending pattern and movement flow in the knees.  Don't keep the knees stiff, locked, or rigid.  Go with the flow. 

11.  Continue to swing the arms forward and back until you have warmed up your body, loosed the joints, and established a comfortable and flowing motion of swinging your arms.  Slowly increase the pace of your swinging. 

12.  Avoid rapidly snapping the lower arms or hands as you draw you arms downward from the front.   

13.  Enjoy swinging your arms forward and backward for as long as you like.  Start with a swinging practice of two to four minutes, and gradually increase the practice time as your body becomes conditioned to the exercise, your stamina increases, and you find benefits from doing this exercise. 

14.  As you near the end of the exercise period, slow the swinging pace down and reduce the range of motion in the swing.  Gradually slow down and finally stop.  Stand and rest for awhile.   

    This dynamic stretching exercise helps various parts of the body and is an excellent warm up exercise.  It stretches the biceps as you draw the arms back and up.  It stretches the triceps as you swing the arms up and forward.  The relaxed fingers and wrists are stretched on the downward fall of the arms (a nice counter to the flexed and tensed positions of the hands on a keyboard).  The shoulder joint and tendons benefit from the gentle range of motion activity, and the deltoid muscles are exercised.  The pectoral muscles are stretched on the backward movement of the arms.  Strength gains, although very modest, are primarily in the deltoids, latissimus, quadriceps, and trapesius.  If the swinging arms activity is continued long enough the heartbeat will increase slightly.  This kind of rhythmic activity has a calming effect on the body and reduces stress.  Stephen Sinatra, M.D., claims this exercise will benefit the thoracic duct and help the heart.  Chinese Qigong masters claim that Qi flow is enhanced and the body energized, blood pressure is reduced, and various diseases are prevented or healed. 

    There are alternative versions of this Swinging Arms exercise practiced and recommended by different folks.  Some people like to quietly count the repetitions on the forward up swing as it helps them to focus and maintain a regular breathing pattern.  Some people just swing one arm forward and back, and alternate between the arms.  Guo Lin's Qigong, a Walking Qigong, for cancer patients, alternates the arm swing from side to side, but the elbows are bent more and the waist turns from side to side as the arms swing upward.  Some people enjoy stepping in place or walking forward in a coordinated manner (e.g., Yang Jwing Ming) as they swing their arms forward and backward, up and down.  Swinging the arms or pumping the arms during brisk walking is a popular exercise.  Some swing the arms higher up in the front, up to face level or higher.  Some rise on their heels as they swing the arms up.  Some rock the toes up and down, or the heels up and down as they swing their arms.  Some like to talk with others as they swing their arms, others prefer being quiet.  Some hold very light dumbbells or kettlebells in the hands while doing this exercise for greater strength gains (forward dumbbell raises), although repetitions are kept low.  

 

 

2.  Swinging Arms Exercise - Form Two

Swinging the Arms from Side to Side
Ringing the Temple Bell, Spinning Prayer Wheel
The Black Dragon Creates a Whirlwind, Washing Machine

 

1.  Stand with your feet at a hip width distance apart, less than shoulder width, feet pointing straight ahead.  Keep the knees slightly bent.  This standing stance should be comfortable.  Release tension in the body, soften, stay loose, open the chest, keep an open mind - in short, maintain Sung

2.  Keep your head over your shoulders, and the head in line with the spine.  Lift the crown of the head and tuck the chin a little.  Shoulders are kept relaxed, but don't slouch.  Maintain central equilibrium.  Keep an upright posture. 

3.  The feet are grounded and rooted into the earth.  Feet remain flat on the floor during the entire exercise.  The feet should point straight ahead.  The knees are over the feet.   

4.  Look forward, soften and widen your visual focus.  Take in the whole practice scene.  Don't try to block sensory feelings, zone out, or escape being fully present in the simple here and now.

5.  Arms should be loose, relaxed, and hanging gently at the sides of your hips.  Hands should remain soft and relaxed. 

6.  Bring the right arm up and across the body letting the right hand gently tap the left hip, turning the waist to the left at the same time.  The left arm is simultaneously draw up behind the back and the left hand gently taps the lower back on the right side. 

7.  Then, keeping both elbows up at about the waist level, turn the waist to the right, bring the left arm across the body to the left side letting the left hand gently tap the right hip.  The right arm is simultaneously draw up behind the back and the right hand gently taps the lower back on the left side.   

8.  Gradually increase the speed of turning at the waist, swinging both arms from side to side.  Turn from the waist.  Use the turning waist to propel the arms. 

9.  Maintain a center line from the top of the head, through the center of the body, straight down to the ground to a point centered between the feet.  Rotate from side to side from the center line.  Keep the head in line with the spine.  Turn the torso, not the head, not the shoulders. 

 

 This dynamic stretching exercise helps various parts of the body and is an excellent warm up exercise.  It stretches the biceps as you swing the arms to the back.  It stretches the triceps as you swing the arms forward and across the body.  The relaxed fingers and wrists are stretched by the centrifugal forces as the arms swing to the sides.  The shoulder joint and tendons benefit from the gentle range of motion activity, and the deltoid muscles are exercised.  Strength gains, although very modest, are primarily in the deltoids, obliques, and quadriceps.  If swinging the arms from side to side is continued long enough the heartbeat will increase slightly.  This kind of rhythmic activity has a calming effect on the body and reduces stress.  Chinese Qigong masters claim that Qi flow is enhanced and the body energized, blood pressure is reduced, and various diseases are prevented or healed. 

 

 

 

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Quotations, Lore
Swinging Arms Chinese Exercises

 

 

 

"Arm swinging, or Bai Bi, works on the principle that swinging the arms stimulates the Chi channels in the shoulder joints, arms and hands. The increased flow of Chi in the arms spreads to the rest of the body, producing a generally beneficial effect. The arms become loose and free, helping to make our Aikido more relaxed and effective."
Ki Energy, Aikido Health Center

 

 

"Experts have long been baffled about why humans move the arms when strolling, since they play no obvious role in helping propel the body forward.  But a modeling experiment carried out by researchers in the US and Netherlands has found that the movements actually provide considerable hidden benefits.  Not only does it take 12 per cent more energy for muscles to keep the arms straight than letting them sway freely, but swinging arms also makes life easier for the legs.  The force of a walker's contact with the ground increases by 63 per cent if their arms are not in motion, the scientists found.  'Although arm swinging is relatively easy to achieve, its effect on energy use is significant,' wrote Stephen Collins of the Delft University of Technology and the University of Michigan, one of the study's co-authors.
-   Dynamic Arm Swinging in Human Walking, is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, 2012.   

 

 

"From the perspective of Daoist and TCM/CCM principles and conecpts, swinging arms is at once dispersing and replenishing renmai and dumai Yangqi and yinqi "selfheal" while invigorating the body (upper jiao) and warming/dissipating dampness.   From my training, it is a whole body exercise rooted in feet (stable posture) waist/yao as axle/pivot to propel upper body (upper jiao) in wringing out the damp and noting the wringing/arm swinging is just the left over external movement of waist rotation and the corresponding "kinetic energy" generated by said movements. To just swing the arms is to only utilize 10% or so of the benefits associated with this exercise.  ...  From my experience, the version I've been taught has the waist and legs doing the movement, while keeping your alignments is of paramount importance (kwa - shoulders nest) for allowing the maximum flow of chi. There's also a 100% weight shift from one leg to the other (the weighted leg has that side's arm at the back with the hand at the kidney area). The arms remain relaxed, with no tension, not moving left to right by themselves, only rotating. The left to right movement comes from the momentum created by your waist and legs. Also, keeping the armpits open throughout (without strain). As practice advances you learn to have the rotation of the thighs and legs enter the core of the movement, with the muscles rotating outwards as you come to the centre - giving a sense of propelling the arms and chi outwards, then rotating inwards as you shift to the side - with the arms and chi drawing in towards the body. There's also opening and closing going on, but this is all later in the game."
Swinging Arms 

 

 

"Swinging arms, or ba bi, works on the principle that swinging the arms stimulates the Qi channels in the shoulder joint joints, arms and hands; the increased flow of Qi in the arms spreads to the rest of the body, producing a generally beneficial effect, but being particularly good for heart trouble, nervous disorders and certain types of cancer.  In addition, the arms become loose and free, helping to make our Aikido more relaxed and effective.  Essani incorporates these ideas and practices into his Aikido system, insisting that his Aikido is also a means of promoting and maintaining a healthy mind and body."
-  Nick Waites, Aikido, Iron Balls, and Elbow Power, 2008 

 

 

"Swinging the Arms is a common Qigong to integrate the body and invigorate the qi. The primary movement is in the hip joint, but it is initiated in the feet. The body rotates on a vertical axis. The arms are totally empty, tapping the torso to vibrate the internal organs. Make sure to keep the root settled downward even as the qi starts to rise. Also make sure to keep the loaded knee properly bent and aligned with the foot. This is a good Qigong to practice at the beginning of a practice session.  1. Basic: weight on both feet, no weight shift.  2. Internal Rotation: shift weight and turn torso into the weight shift.  3. External Rotation: shift weight and turn torso out of the weight shift.  4: Single-Leg: no weight shift, includes both internal and external hip-rotation.  5: Basic: return to basic, put it in neutral (don't turn on the brakes!) and settle into stillness."
Swinging the Arms.  Jacob Newell, Old Oak Taiji School, Sonoma County, California. 

 

 

"Dynamic stretching is a technique gaining in popularity due to recent studies which show that traditional static stretching techniques do little to increase flexibility or reduce injury when performed before a workout. In fact, many studies show that static stretches actually have a detrimental effect on explosive movements and strength output.  There are two types of flexibility receptors, a static receptor, which measures magnitude and a dynamic receptor, which measure speed and magnitude. As one would expect, dynamic activities that require movement, such as running , jumping, or kicking use the dynamic receptor to limit flexibility. Therefore, a dynamic stretch that stresses the dynamic receptor is more beneficial when preparing for a warm-up when performing a dynamic activity.  Dynamic stretching also includes constant motion throughout the warm-up, which maintains the core body temperature, whereas static stretching can see a drop in temperature of several degrees.  Another benefit of dynamic stretching is that it prepares the muscles and joints in a more specific manner since the body is going through motions it will likely repeat in the workout. It also helps the nervous system and motor ability since dynamic motions do more to develop those areas than static stretches.  It is important to note that although many studies show the lack of benefit of static stretching before a workout, there is still much data to support the benefits of static stretching after a workout.  Dynamic stretching works by the practitioner gently propelling their muscles towards their maximum range of motion. It is very important to note the practitioner should not use jerky, forced movements to try to increase the range of motion beyond what is comfortable as it can easily cause injury.  In general the practitioner wants to move the muscle into stretches in a similar way to how they’re going to move them in a workout.  For example a martial arts practitioner who wants to stretch a hamstring for a kick may swing a straight leg forward to gradually increase the height they can obtain.  Doing light kicks, with little explosive acceleration, while gradually increasing height, could also be considered a dynamic stretch."
Dynamic Stretching

 

 

"One exercise that is gaining popularity for patients with type 2 diabetes is arm swing exercise. One study showed that doing arm swing exercises lowers blood glucose levels. Arm swing exercises are modeled after tai chi movements. They are sometimes called tai chi arm swing exercises. These are traditional Chinese arm exercises. The effect of arm swing exercises on type 2 diabetes is twofold. First, the exercises lower blood sugar levels. Second, they increase the activity of insulin receptor cells. For diabetic patients who can withstand more activity, tai chi classes showed improvement in blood pressure, fasting blood glucose levels, waist circumference, and body mass index (BMI). Another study showed that balance and diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage, of the feet improved in elderly patients with diabetes who participated in tai chi exercises."
Arm Swing Exercises for Type 2 Diabetics

 

 

"In the last fifty years an exercise based on the principles of the Yi Jin Jing has become popular. Although the exercise is very simple, the results in strengthening the body and curing illnesses are significant. Theoretically, when you repeatedly swing your arms, the nerves and Qi channels in the shoulder joints are stimulated to a higher state, and this Qi will flow to the areas of lower potential to complete the circulation. Because a number of the Qi channels connected with the different organs terminate in the hands, swinging the arms increases the circulation in these channels. Arm swinging will not only increase the Qi circulation, but the relaxed up and down motion will also increase the flow of blood.  From the last fifty years of experience, we know that a number of illnesses can be cured simply by frequent practice of swinging the arms. For some cancers, the increase in Qi circulation will help the degenerated cells to function normally and may help the cancer.  According to Qi theory, cancers are caused by the stagnation of Qi and blood, which results in changes to the structure of the cell. Several types of cancer that may be cured by swinging the arms are cancers of the lungs, esophagus, and lymph. Other kinds of disorders that can be helped by swinging the arms are: hardening of the liver, paralysis caused by high blood pressure, high blood pressure itself, heart trouble, and nervous disorders.  The method is very simple. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth. Swing your arms forward until they are horizontal with the palms facing down, then swing them backwards as far as possible with the palms facing up. Keep your entire body relaxed. Start with two hundred to three hundred repetitions, then gradually increase to one or two thousand, or up to half an hour."
-  Yang Jwing Ming, Ph.D., Medical Qigong Practices for Good Health

 

 

"Swaiso Exercise (Swinging of the hands). What is Swaiso? The word ‘Swai’ literally means to ‘swing’ or to ‘throw away’. Swaiso means to swing the arms back and forth with the feeling of throwing out the evil energy which is the cause of blocks and tensions, the root of all sorts of illness. How is it done? 1. Stand firmly on the ground with legs and torso straight. Spread the
feet to shoulder width and feel the toes slightly gripping the earth.  This exercise is best done bare-foot. 2. Swing both arms backward and forward together using force on the backward swing and allowing the hands to come forward by their inertia. The elbows should be kept straight and the palms facing down. The eyes should be focused straight ahead and allow the mind to be empty by counting silently. 3. Begin the first session with swinging for just about a hundred times and gradually increase the number to a thousand per day, in two sessions, for healing purpose. Points to be observed 1. Relax the upper body above the hip joint completely. Allow the arms to swing naturally and do not tighten the shoulder. 2. Feel the gravitational pull of
the lower body and stand with your soles firmly on the earth feeling the strong pull of the earth. 3. Keep your back straight, arms loose and allow your mind to become still. 4. Focus your attention on the solar plexus region i.e., approximately three inches above the navel where the negative emotions are stored up. 5. Keep your palms down when you swing and the heels on the ground like heavy stones, with the toes digging at the earth. 6. Occasionally change the direction of your standing and find out which direction gives you the best effect."
Zone Therapy

 

 

"The swing arms exercise (Bai Bi Yun Dong) in the Yang's Martial Arts Association School is simply forward and backward swinging of the arms, not twisting, using the waist as a pivot.  The method is very simple.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth (just breath normally, not in co-ordination with the movement).  Swing your arms forward until they are horizontal with the palms facing down, then swing them back.  Dr Yang also teaches this exercise with walking in place, every time your arms come forward you alternately raise one of your legs.
Dr Yang attributes this exercise with being able to cure some cancers, lower blood pressure, solve nervous disorders, and increase and equalize Qi distribution in the body.  Dr Yang 'By repeatedly swinging the arms, the nerves and qi channels in the shoulder joints are stimulated to a higher state, and this qi will flow to the areas of lower potential to complete the circuit.' This exercise is mentioned in Dr Yang's book Qigong for Health and Martial Arts, and it is demonstrated on the Simple Qigong Exercises for Back Pain DVD, and also as a recovery piece on the White Crane Hard and Soft Qigong DVD."
Swinging Arms, YMAA Bulletin Board

 

 

"Swinging the arms is a simple Qigong-like exercise to help a heart with any excess condition.  Excess conditions are those of too much Yang in the heart, (or too little Yin elsewhere).  High blood pressure, angina, tachycardia, and other physical heart issues can be the result. This exercise can also be helpful for such issues as anxiety, insomnia, over-excitement, night sweats, mental and emotional problems and dizziness."
Fun With Qigong for Seniors 

 

 

"Body Swing:  Relax your body and mind by performing a body swing, a common warm-up exercise in the practice of Qigong. Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart, arms hanging at your sides. Turn your upper torso to your left, allowing your arms to swing with your torso as you turn your head to look over your left shoulder. Keep your feet and hips facing forward. Turn to your right, this time looking over your right shoulder, arms swinging free. Repeat this left and right sequence several times until you feel relaxed along your spine and hips."
Denise Wang

 

   

"Swinging Warm Up:  Stand with your feet comfortably apart, knees softly flexed. Relax your arms at the shoulders. Gently swing from side to side. In swinging to one side, your knees will bend deeper; on reaching the side as far as you can twist, your knees should straighten again, but not to a locked position. While swinging, swing your arms loosely so that one arm swings behind, tapping the opposite hip while the other arm swings up and across the body, tapping the opposite shoulder. So in swinging to the right side, the right arm swings behind and the left arm swings up and across.  Now repeat the swing to the opposite side, remembering to bend and straighten the knees. This will generate energy and help it to flow throughout the body. The light taps are to stimulate meridian points."
Linda Donohue, Qigong Energy Exercises 

 

 

"It is the goal of every qi gong exercise to enhance free flow of qi. Modern research shows qi gong exercises can address many areas of pain, including premenstrual pain and cramping, head, neck, shoulder and back pain, headaches/migraines, wrist pain, and side effects of chemotherapy and chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.  There are many different postures and series that can be learned. Following is a great starter for those new to qi gong.
    Daily qi gong arm-swing exercise: Begin with feet firmly planted, shoulder-width apart. Rotate on the heels while turning left to right from the hips. Arms hang limply at sides, swinging as lower body turns from side to side. Lead from hips, not from shoulders.  Breathing: Breathe consciously, in and out through the nose. Use deep, low belly breaths from the diaphragm.   Repetition: 10-15 minutes each day, in morning and evening.   Benefits: Prevents stagnation (or pain) in shoulder, hip, knee and ankle joints, wrists and back."
Elizabeth Marazita, Bastyr University

 

 

"Dynamic stretching will be beneficial to your performance and set you up for the current workload!  Why is this critical and important?  Here is the science.  Your body has many mechanisms that need to be activated and stimulated.  When you put your body through a series of stretches while in motion, it sends signals from the brain to the muscle fibers and connective tissues in that area to prepare to do work.  Your body’s temperature begins to rise and blood is pumped to the working areas of the body.  Getting good blood flow to the area of the working muscles is very critical in order to supply the area with energy needed to do work.  Along with getting proper blood flow to the working area, the muscle fibers and connective tissues will gain more flexibility and range of motion.  Many studies have shown that dynamic stretching can help increase power, improve flexibility, and increase your range of motion."
-   What is Dynamic Stretching?

 

 

"Bai bi niu yao (swinging the arms and striking the waist, shoulder and back areas) is of a pigua nature and requires developing the waist so as to whip the arms against the body.  Although it stimulates numerous acupuncture points and a number of organs, its primary purpose is to condition the body to withstand blows from an opponent and bring blood into the palm."
Bajiquan & Piguazhang Training

 

 

"The First, Second, and Third Swing exercises energize and relax your hips, neck, shoulders and arms.  The First Swing opens the chi of the “lower burner” of the body - the legs, hips, and pelvis, and the intestinal, urinary, and reproductive systems, including aspects of the kidneys.  The Second Swing energizes the “middle burner,” including the spleen, liver, stomach, and aspects of the kidneys.  The Third Swing energizes the "upper burner," including the lungs, heart, and brain."
Summer Five Seasons Qigong

 

 

"The Three Swings from Energy Gates are some of the most challenging exercises to do well in the entire Energy Arts curriculum. You have to relax, maintain good alignment, and coordinate stepping and turning while moving faster than most other qigong exercises.  Let’s talk a little bit about why the Three Swings are important and what you need to integrate to do them well.  In the Tai Chi Classics, it says, “the motion should be rooted in the feet, released through the legs, controlled by the waist and manifested through the fingers.” Think of practicing the swings as a way to test this concept. You will get much clearer feedback from the swings about how the motion you generate from the feet travels out to your fingertips than you will from solo form practice.  To do the swings well, you need to do these three things: 1. Relax Your Arms.  2.  Sink Your Weight. 3. Open Your Kwa.  When you let the arms go completely and begin to turn from the kwa, you then focus on alternately sinking the weight down one leg and then the other. In that sense, the First Swing is a natural extension of what you do in your Standing practice and then in Cloud Hands.  What’s new in the First Swing, though, is that you will begin to speed up the alternating sinking (that causes your weight shift from side to side), so that the arms begin to swing. Until you start building momentum, though, the arms should just hang by your sides."
Dan Kleiman 

 

 

"The 2 arm swing is the most basic of all the kettlebell movements and one which every other movement will play off of. To begin, place both hands on the handle of the kettlebell and let it hangs down between your legs with you feet hip width apart. Next bend your knees and drop your hips back so you are in a squatting position. The next part is the swing. It’s important to remember that the swing is created by extending your ankle and knees while popping your hips, as opposed to being created by throwing the kettlebell with your arms. Your arms should stay straight and extended while swinging the kettlebell and the height of the kettlebell should come to eye level. As the kettlebell travels back down on the swing it is important to bend at the knees and drop the hips to return your body into the starting position in order to start another swing. Your back should be kept in a tight and flat position at all times throughout the swing."
-   Kettlebell Exercises Made Easy 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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© Valley Spirit Qigong, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2012
By Michael P. Garofalo, M.S., All Rights Reserved.
 

This webpage was first posted on the Internet on May 17, 2012

This webpage was last updated on May 26, 2012

 

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