Relax your body: Understanding the 8 Sections and 9 Joints

September 16, 2011

relaxation, Tai Chi, Boston Tai Chi

Many people want to become relaxed, but they can only relax part of their body. When they relax their hands, their shoulders might tighten. When they relax their shoulders, their waist might tighten.  In Tai Chi, you need your whole body to be relaxed. In order to relax, we need to understand Ba Duan Jiu Jie, which in English translates as, “8 Sections and 9 joints”.

What are the 8 Sections of your body?

1. Shins

2. Thighs

3. Waist

4. Back

5. Shoulders

6. Upper Arms

7. Lower Arms

8. Fingers

What are the 9 Joints in your body?

1. Ankles

2. Wrists

3. Knees

4. Hips

5. Waist

6. Neck

7. Shoulders

8. Elbows

9. Fingers

We say, when you relax your shoulders, your energy goes to the elbows.
When you sink your elbows, your energy goes to the hands.
When you empty your hands, your energy will reach the finger tips.

Only when all 8 sections and 9 joints are relaxed, 
then your energy can go wherever you wish. 
When your energy is under your control, 
then we can say your body is totally relaxed in Tai Chi.
  • For a more detailed explanation of the 8 Sections and 9 Joints, Please read my article in Tai Chi Magazine, Fall 2011, entitled, “The Secret of How to Relax: Understanding the 8 Sections, 9 Joints”.

Copyrighted by Huan’s Tai Chi

By Huan Zhang

Chief instructor of Huan's Tai Chi and Kung Fu. 6th Generation of Yang Style Tai Chi. 4th Generation of Five Element Tong Bei. Enjoys a good cup of tea, Chinese cooking and travel.