QiGong - an introduction to the 18 movements of Shibashi
Shibashi Taiji QiGong, or Tai Chi Kung, is a relatively recent system, usually attributed to Lin Housheng, 1982. It is a gentle and flowing exercise routine that includes ancient and classical movements from Tai Chi and QiGong.
Shibashi has become popular across many parts of the world and is actually considered the national health exercise in Malaysia and Indonesia due to its effectiveness!
The health benefits are numerous if it is practised regularly - Shibashi strengthens the back and immune system, improves circulation, sleep, flexibility and improves the condition of hair, teeth and bones. It also reduces anxiety and promotes calmness and stability.
Specific movements benefit more specific conditions, for example the stretching and rocking movements improve circulation and digestion, breathing and asthma-type conditions are helped by the slow breathing and expansive arm movements, the back and shoulders are helped by the arm movements and gentle bends and the coordinating movements help to increase mental sharpness.
There are 18 movements in total and each one is performed 6 times as slowly as possible, using gentle, flowing movements.
This is a great website for more information about Shibashi, including pictures and instructions for each movement:
The following link shows a video of the 18 movements, including a voice-over:
(please excuse the walking boots and the fly that keeps attacking the camera!)
Although Shibashi is a forgiving set of movements, (so, even if you're not following them absolutely correctly, you're unlikely to do yourself any harm) I would recommend looking for a local class if you are interested in using QiGong as part of your daily practice. Please ask me for more details!