Exercises for the Bones, Joints, & Tendons 1 & 2
(the Mobility of the Skeletal System and for Promoting Longevity)
Shujin Zhuanggu Gong 1 & 2
These exercises were not created with any internal organ in mind, i.e. they do not relate to one particular organ. They promote the health of the soft tissue (ligaments and tendons - Shujin) and the bones (Gu) which, in Chinese thought, are interrelated to create one system.
The exercises are targeted at treating all the joints from the neck downwards including dysfunction and atrophy of the muscles. They also aim to relieve pain associated with the bones and joints, and regular practise of these exercises can possibly prevent and treat osteoporosis.
Muscle is composed of fibre protected by membrane which in turn is attached to the bones of the joint. Over-repetition of one particular movement (e.g. pumping iron) will destroy the balance of muscles.
From the Chinese perspective, permanently tense muscles lack a sufficient supply of Qi to nourish them.
Muscles can be affected by Wind, Cold, and Dampness, all of which affect the flexibility of the muscle leading to chronic fatigue. Pain is often caused when the bone and the muscle membrane stick together. The cure is relaxation.
Muscles and bones are related to the Spleen, Liver, and Kidney.
The Spleen is strongly related to the muscles. This organ is associated with the digestive system, and receives the goodness from food. When the Spleen is functioning normally, then the person will be well nourished. These exercises strengthen the Spleen.
The Liver relates directly to the tendons, providing nourishment for them. The tendon is always next to the joint and affects the movement of the joint and the muscles. Over-use of muscles creates fatigue in the tendons. The Liver nourishes the tendons, so, if it is weak, it will not be able to provide sufficient nourishment. This is most common in the aged. These exercises benefit the tendons by fortifying the Liver.
The Kidney has direct bearing on the bones. The Kidney stores qi and creates bone marrow which nourishes the bones. These exercises fortify the Kidney.