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It eliminates sickness, benefits the legs, and is also a form of Tao Yin.
If you feel out of sorts, just practice one of my Frolics.
By the time of the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907 AD) daoyin had branched out into other forms of fitness exercises, such as the popular baduanjin." (Wonders of Qigong, p.13).
The Qigong and American Indian master, Kenneth Cohen, notes that the eight-century Daoist treatise Xiu Zhen Shi Shu ("The Ten Treatises on Restoring the Original Vitality"), attributes the development of the Eight Section Brocade to one of the legendary Eight Immortals of Chinese folklore, Chong Li-quan.
By moving about briskly, digestion is improved, the blood vessels are opened, and illnesses are prevented. As far as Tao Yin (bending and stretching exercises) is concerned, we have the bear's neck, the crane's twist, and swaying the waist and moving the joints to promote long life.
Now I have created the art called the Frolics of the Five Animals: the Tiger, the Deer, the Bear, the Monkey, and the Crane.
The Chinese Health Qigong Association says that "as a traditional Chinese health and fitness Qigong exercise routine, Ba Duan Jin, or Eight Section Exercises, dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279)." The scholars Ji Jingwei and Zhu Jianping say, in their book An Illustrated Handbook of Chinese Qigong Forms from the Ancient Texts (2014, p.82), that "The Eight Section Brocade is a set of dynamic exercises for health preservation composed of eight parts.In 1973, archeologists in China excavated the tomb of King Ma.In King Ma's tomb at Mawangdui, on the outskirts of the city of Changsha in Hunan Province, they discovered medical manuals, compilations, and a silk scroll on which were drawn 44 humans in various poses or postures.Literature that talks about such health and fitness exercise postures or routines, with some movements quite similar to movements in the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung, goes back nearly 2,500 years.Let us now review some of that historical development, in chronological order.
It is likely that ancient dances, medical theory, military drills and exercises, shamanistic rituals, and Buddhist and Taoist practices were all sources for the specific and formal movement routines of Dao-yin or Chi Kung (Qigong).