Wu Qin Xi (五禽戏) – The Five Animal Frolics can be regarded as the earliest form of Medical Qigong in Chinese history, dating back to Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
The creation of Wu Qin Xi was attributed the famous Chinese Physician and Surgeon Hua Tuo (110-207) who had great skills as a surgeon, acupuncturist, herbalist and knowledge of human anatomy. He is also believed to be the first person in the world to have developed the use of anaesthesia. Besides treating his patients when they were ill, Hua Tuo was also keen to recommend physical exercises for people as a method of rehabilitation, recovery, and most importantly for prevention. Wu Qin Xi is a set of Daoyin (deep stretching) and Tu Na (deep breathing) exercise imitates the actions of animals based on the habits of the tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird.
8 Strands Brocade Qigong (Ba Duan Jin)
There are many different ways to practice Ba Duan Jin. These many variances also show themselves in the naming of the single postures. Some styles describe the movements in a simple, functional way while others tend to be more poetical. To give an example, the naming of the 8th routine varies between “Raising and Lowering the Heels to Cure Diseases”, “lifting the heels and shaking the body to cure 100 ailments”, or more energetically (and boldly): “bounce to shake out the 10.000 diseases”. This is not so much due to translation and its errors, but rather a hint at the different traditions and lines of transmission, in which the 8 treasures are practiced.
Ba Duan Jin opens up a whole spectrum of possibilities. Though the 8 Brocades are mainly practiced as health exercises, there are also versions primarily used for martial conditioning.
Ma Wang Dui
Ma Wang Dui Qigong a set of graceful movement exercises based on the Ma Wang Dui silk scroll painting, the earliest (so far) archaeological relics showing how Chinese people use whole-body movement for improving their health and well-being over 2,000 years ago. These movements are elegant, easy for everyone to practice. Each movement is related to one of the 12 meridians. Ma Wang Dui Qigong emphasizes the use of intention to guide energy flows in the meridians and through acupoints. Thus, the body (movements and actions) and the mind (intentions and thoughts) are trained to co-ordinate with energy (qi).
Chen Tai Chi
Chen Tai Chi Chuan is made up of fast and slow, Hard and soft movements, fajin (issuing energy), leaps, stomping of the feet. It has windings, twists, and turns (chanrao zhuan zhe) and the movement of energy is distinctly
spiral, or screw-like.
Chen style method unites dantian nei zhuan “turning the dantian within”.
It requires that the mind be in command of the Chi ( the flow of vital energy ) which in turn activates the body. This is done to gain the best effects and to exercise both the internal and external parts of the body together at the same time.
The Chen school of Tai chi chuan teaches both attack and defense as well as the health side to this art form and is suitable to people of all ages and walks of life.