Centuries ago ancient Chinese cultures and Martial Artists discovered and refined a system of protection as well as preservation. This was called bymany names over the ages, yet it is centered on "Body Change" exercises.
These were designed to strengthen the individuals mind, body and spirit, but not
Today everyone realizes the benefits of health and exercise, whereas in history it was not as separated from daily life as it is today. As example you ate food you grew, had shelter from what you built, your labor and physical actions determined your health and longevity in a much harsher environment and life. So in modern times we must seek ways to condition our bodies as our lives have been stripped of the need to manually work at everything.
Sanchin is a perfect macrocosm of protection, from health issues, aging or confrontation as it serves to fortify the body, mind and spirit totally.
However many times these deeper factors are overlooked or set aside to concentrate on individual facets, like muscle tone or body conditioning for more external appearance or use. What is grossly overlooked in modern times is the benefit to our health, wellness (maintenance) and longevity.
We all understand that exercise builds the body and increases efficiencies... but most people do not understand the full depth of what they influence. As example the nervous system, yes we can develop new neural pathways that make actions quicker as they have been so trained. However there are many internal systems people do not know they can influence or change within their own body.
The peripheral nervous system consists of the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. The SNS consists of motor neurons that stimulate skeletal muscles. By contrast, the autonomic system consists of motor neurons that control smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and glands as it monitors visceral organs and blood vessels with sensory neurons, which provide input information for the CNS.
The Autonomic System is further divided into the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Both of these systems can stimulate and inhibit important functions in your body. What is not commonly known is that, the two systems work in opposition to each other, where one system stimulates an organ, the other inhibits. Working in this fashion, each system prepares the body for a different kind of situation, as follows:
These sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for situations requiring alertness or strength, or situations that arouse fear, anger, excitement, or embarrassment (fight, flight, freeze or faint situations). In these kinds of situations, the sympathetic nervous system stimulates cardiac muscles to increase the heart rate, causes dilation of the bronchioles of the lungs (increasing oxygen intake), and causes dilation of blood vessels that supply the heart and skeletal muscles (increasing blood supply). The adrenal medulla is stimulated to release epinephrine (Adrenalin) and norepinephrine (noradrenalin), which in turn increases the metabolic rate of cells and stimulates the liver to release glucose into the blood. Sweat glands are stimulated to produce sweat. In addition, the sympathetic nervous system reduces the activity of various “tranquil” body functions, such as digestion and kidney functioning.
The parasympathetic nervous system is active during periods of digestion and rest. It stimulates the production of digestive enzymes and stimulates the processes of digestion, urination, and defecation. It reduces blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates and conserves energy through relaxation and rest.
Structural, Hydraulic and Electrical
_**"Toughen my sinews, harden my bones,
Make my blood flow freely,
I will then be young forever
In touch with the realm of gods."
Canon of the Great Void**_
The Body Change includes all aspects of the body and it's functions... from it's neurology to its flush to the strengthening of all components, systems as well as the structure. But it is not from the simple exercise as we normally view it (muscle strength, seating, endurance, etc.), it goes to full brain use, to increase all systems as well as protect them. By using full brain function we can think clearer, intuit more readily and become more aware, for combat or life.