In keeping with the progressions of modern living conditions, people all over the world are looking to improve their health. As a result, many people are becoming aware of different systems of health improvement. China possesses thousands of years of development in self-defense practices, different artistic forms of self-expression and various methods and systems of health cultivation. The reason Wudang Wushu has been able to continuously prosper without being drowned out by modern trends is because it maintains a truly unique cultural character; its primary focus is on its oldest and most practically applicable value – health cultivation.
Ancient Daoist practices are based in the cultivation of body, mind, and spirit through combining internal and external practices, practicing movement and stillness, and committing oneself to the application and study of these arts. These practices are used to balance and fortify the body’s original qi, vitality and spirit. The cultivation of jing, qi and shen, as well as the physical body, are given significant importance in Wudang Martial Arts. For instance, through practice we focus on the meridians and enhancing this natural pathway for energy to travel through the body. Daoist Health Cultivation uses dao yin (Daoist stretching and breathing exercises), qigong, and wushu/gongfu methods in order to harmonize and improve the circulation of the meridians, improve the circulation of qi and blood, and harmonize yin and yang within the body – thereby achieving great improvement in overall health.
At the Wudang Daoist Traditional Kungfu Academy, there are several Daoist Health Cultivation practices that are suitable for all to learn and practice, including Taiji, standing meditation, Ba Duan Jin (the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qi Gong), Taiyi/Liangyi Quan, Five Animals Qi Gong, Taihe Quan, push hands, etc. These practices are soft and slow-moving, and are helpful in coordinating breathing and intention/thinking, regulating blood and circulation, and relaxing the spirit and mind. They can help in lowering the degree of blood viscosity, reducing cholesterol, and blood stasis; improving blood circulation, and can greatly improve the condition of blood clotting related problems of the internal organs that may be at risk or in poor health and cause for concern. For example – those at risk of heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (blood clotting), early stage cirrhosis of the liver, etc. can greatly benefit by adopting these practices into their daily lives. By opening the meridians and removing sickness and toxic substances from the body one can therein begin to improve the overall yin yang balance of the internal organs. Daoist Health Cultivation methods can greatly improve and strengthen practitioners’ immunity to sickness and disease as well as slow the aging and deterioration of the different organ system of the body. These practices are quite suitable and beneficial for everyone – especially young children, the elderly and infirm and those suffering from waist and neck problems.