From the Uang Dynasty to the Late Qing Dynasty to AD

During the Liang dynasty (502-557 A.D., £) the emperor invited an Indian prince named Da Mo (£■&), who was also a Buddhist monk, to preach Buddhism in China. When the emperor decided he did not like his Buddhist theory, the monk retreated to the Shaolin temple ('>*#• + ). When Da Mo arrived at the Shaolin temple, he saw that the priests were weak and sick. He decided to shut himself away to ponder the problem. He stayed in seclusion for nine years. When he emerged he wrote two classics: Yi Jin Jing (Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic, ) and Xi Sui Jing (Marrow/Brain Washing Classic, ), The Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic taught the priests how to gain health and change their physical bodies from weak to strong. The Marrow/Brain Washing Classic taught the priests how to use the internal energy or Qi to clean the bone marrow and strengthen the blood and immune system as well as how to energize the brain and attain Buddhahoocl or enlightenment. Because the Marrow/Brain Washing Classic was harder to understand and practice, the training methods were passed down secretly to only a very few disciples in each generation.

After the priests practiced the Muscle/Tendon Changing exercises, they found that not only did they improve their health, but they also greatly increased their strength. When this training was integrated into the martial arts forms, it increased the effectiveness of their techniques. In addition to this martial Qigong training, the Shaolin priests also created five animal styles of Gongfu from watching the way the different animals fight. The animals imitated were the tiger, leopard, dragon, snake, and crane.

Outside of the monastery, development of Qigong continued during the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907 A.D., HI * Chao, Yun-Fang ( * A* ) compiled IheZhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun (Thesis on the Origins and Symptoms of Various Diseases, titjA&tt W), which is a veritable encyclopedia of Qigong methods. He listed 260 different ways of increasing the Qi flow. The Qian Jin Fang (Thousand Gold Prescriptions, -ffcrf ) by Sun, Si-Miao ) described the method of leading Qi, and also described the use of the six sounds. The use of the six sounds to regulate Qi in the internal organs had already been used by the Buddhists and Daoists for some time. Sun, Si-Miao also introduced a massage system called Lao Zi's 49 Massage Techniques. Wai Tai Mi Yao (The Extra Important Secret, by Wang Tao (iA) discussed the use of breathing and herbal therapies for disorders of Qi circulation.

During the Song, Jin, and Yuan dynasties (960 -1368 A.D., YangSheng

Jue ) (Life Nourishing Secrets) by Zhang, An-Dao ) discussed several

Qigong practices. Ru Men Shi Shi (The Confucian Point of View, it ri&J ) by Zhang, Zi-He (ft-f-i») uses Qigong to cure external injuries such as cuts and sprains. Lan Shi Mi Cang (Secret Library of the Orchid Room, M t a It) by Li Guo (+*) uses Qigong and herbal remedies for internal disorders. Ge Zhi Yu Lun (A Further Thesis of Complete Study, ft ) by Zhu, Dan-Xi provided a theoretical explanation for the use of Qigong in curing disease.

During the Song dynasty (960-1279 A.D., £), not long after the Shaolin temple started using Qigong in their martial training, Zhang, San-Feng (ft ^-f ) is believed to have created Taijiquan. Taiji follows a different approach in its use of Qigong than does Shaolin. While Shaolin emphasizes Wai Dan (External Elixir, Qigong exercises, Taiji emphasizes Nei Dan (Internal Elixir, ^fl") Qigong training (see the next section for Wai Dan and Nei Dan),

In 1026 A.D. the famous brass man of acupuncture was built by Dr. Wang, Wei-Yi Before this time, although there were many publications which discussed acupuncture theory, principles, and treatment techniques, there were many disagreements among them, and many points which were unclear. When Dr. Wang built his brass man, he also wrote a book called Tong Ren Yu Xue Zhen Jiu Tu (/(lustration of the Brass Man Acupuncture and Moxibustion, A lr x £ £ 8 ). He explained the relationship of the twelve organs and the twelve Qi channels, clarified many of the points of confusion, and for the first time systematically organized acupuncture theory and principles. In 1034 A.D. he used acupuncture to cure the emperor Ren Zong With the support of the emperor, acupuncture flourished. His work contributed greatly to the advancement of Qigong and Chinese medicine by giving a clear and systematic idea of the circulation of Qi in the human body.

Later, in the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279 A.D., ¿j £ ), Marshal Yue Fei was credited with creating several internal Qigong exercises and martial arts. It is said that the Eight Pieces of Brocade (Ba Duan Jin, ^fi^ ) was created by Marshal Yue Fei to improve his soldiers' health. He was also known as the creator of the internal martial style Xingyi ). In addition to that, Eagle Style martial artists also claim that Yue Fei was the creator of their style.

From then until the end of the Qing dynasty (1911 A.D., ft), many other Qigong styles were founded. The well known ones include Hu Bu Gong (Tiger Step Gong, fcftJi), Shi Er Zhuang (Twelve Postures, ) and Jiao Hua Gong (Beggar Gong, ■"Htiir). Also in this period, many documents related to Qigong were published, such as Bao Shen Mi Yao (The Secret Important Document of Body Protection, ) by

Cao, Yuan-Bai (if A & ), which described moving and stationary Qigong practice; Yang Sheng Hu Yu (Brief Introduction to Nourishing the Body, ) by Chen, Ji-Ru

(Efc*{|), about the three treasures: Jing (essence, *k ), Qi (internal energy, & ), and Shen (spirit, #). Also, Yi Fang Ji Jie (The Total Introduction to Medical Prescriptions, Hx^-fr) by Wang, Fan-An ) reviewed and summarized the previously pub lished materials, Nei Gong Tu Shuo (Illustrated Explanation of Nei Gong, ft ti S it ) by Wang, Zu-Yuan (¿&S) presented the Twelve Pieces of Brocade, and also explained the idea of combining both moving and stationary Qigong.

In the late Ming dynasty (1640 A.D., fl) a martial Qigong style, Huo Long Gong (Fire Dragon Gong, was created by the Taiyang martial stylists. Late in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D., >fr), the well known internal martial art style named Baguazhang (a¿hi ) was created by Dong, Hai-Chuan ( ). This style is now gaining in popularity throughout the world.

Before 1911 A.D., Chinese society was still very old fashioned and conservative. Even though China had been expanding its contact with the outside world for the last hundred years, the outside world had little influence beyond the coastal regions. With the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and the founding of the Chinese Republic, the nation started changing as never before. Therefore, we would like to draw a line at 1911 A.D. and consider the time since then as a new period. Before we discuss the present period, let us first summarize a few points which marked the characteristics of the previous period:

1. Qigong was adapted into the martial arts, and martial Qigong styles were created.

2. Qi circulation theory and Chinese acupuncture technologies had reached a peak. More documents were published about medical Qigong than about regular Qigong exercises.

3. Religious Qigong practice remained secret.

4. Qigong exercises had become more popular in Chinese society.

From the Late Qing Dynasty to the Present

Since 1911 A.D., Qigong practice has entered a new era. Because of the ease of communication in the modern world, Western culture is having a great influence on the Orient. Many Chinese have opened their minds and changed their traditional ideas, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The various Qigong styles are now being taught openly, and many formerly secret documents have been published. Modern methods of communication have opened Qigong to a much wider audience than ever before, and people now have the chance to study and understand many different styles. In addition, people are now able to compare Chinese Qigong to similar arts from other countries such as India, Japan, Korea, and the Middle East. I deeply believe that in the near future Qigong will be considered the most exciting and challenging field of research. It is an ancient science just waiting to be investigated with the help of the new technologies now being developed at an almost explosive rate. Anything we can do to speed up this research will greatly help humanity to understand and improve itself.

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Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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