by Mantak Chia
'Iron Shirt' refers to the protection that this unique system of breathing exercises and standing postures give. You learn how to root yourself to the Earth and how to direct the Earth's gravitational and healing power through your bone structure. By packing concentrated Chi into the fasciae (connective tissues) surrounding the vital organs, you detoxify them and make them resistant to injuries from accidents or blows. Iron Shirt's strengthening of the organs is of special interest to athletes and performers, for it teaches them how to increase the performance of the whole system. For aspiring Taoist masters, Iron shirt lays the groundwork for higher, spiritual work.