Taken from "The Art of Ba Gua Zhang" by Tom Bisio.
Ba Gua Zhang (Eight Diagram Palm) is a Wushu form with a relatively short history. Apart from its combative value, it has proved to be an effective means of preventing disease and promoting health and longevity. For this reason, it has gained widespread popularity among the Chinese people.
In order to make a medical and physiological study of the health giving effects of Ba Gua Zhang, a comprehensive research group was formed by 13 members of the teaching groups of Sports Physiology, Wushu, Sports Medicine and Anatomy at the Bejing Physical Culture Institute. Their research program involved 60 males ranging from 60 to 82 years of age who were divided into two groups: (1) the exercise group of 30 persons who practice Ba Gua Zhang regularly; and (2) the control group consisting of 30 healthy retired workers. They were given X-ray photographic examinations of the chest, waist and hips, as well as a number of medical physiological tests consisting of items such as range of movement of the spine and hip joints, breathing function, circulation function, the work capacity of muscles, eyesight, hearing, balancing ability, and circumferences of the limbs, Statistical treatments with BCMII type electronic computer of the data obtained showed clearly that the exercise group is better than the control group in all respects. This amply proves that regular practice of Ba Gua Zhang can promote health and slow down retrograde changes related to senility.Read More