Tendon and Muscle Transforming 
Practice (Yi Jin Jing)

Dr. Roger Jahnke

This practice comes from the Shaolin Temple’s traditional method called the Tendon and Muscle Transforming Practice (Yi Jin Jing). It was originated by Da Mo also known as Bodhidharma, who created many health and martial Qigong forms for the monks.

Sometimes Tendon Changing is taught as a martial practice; some teach it as a healing practice. It has a wide range of applications and can be used to circulate Qi as well is purify Qi and a has beneficial effect on all the connective tissue including the tendons.

In The Healing Promise of Qi: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi, it is part of the Purify Qi phase in the HeartMind level of cultivation. Your body dispels by-products of metabolism including waste, spent cells, and toxins through blood, lymph, bile, urine, sweat, and even tears using the kidneys, bladder, liver, large intestines, lungs, and skin. In Chinese medicine, we speak of the body and mind having the ability to separate the pure from the impure, the clear from the turbid, or the righteous from the imbalanced.

In Qigong, this process, whether spontaneous and innate or enhanced by the intent of the HeartMind, is often simply referred to as fresh Qi replacing exhausted Qi. We can accelerate the rate the body purifies Qi through Qigong and Tai Chi. Tendon and Muscle Transforming Practice (Yi Jin Jing) or Clearing the Small Universe is a powerful method to Purify the Qi. The forced breath dispels extra Qi through the exhalations. The vigorous hand movements are clearing the area around you as well as opening the Qi channels.

  • As you push, and you allow your pelvis to sink, it opens the torso.
  • As you push right and left, it opens the center of the body.
  • When you push down, the spine lifts up, also opening the torso.

This clearing and opening accelerates the flow of internal water, which is conducive for fresh new Qi to rush in.

For information on this Qigong practice, go to The Healing Promise of Qi pages 119-130.