History of Chinese Medicine (TCM)
(Historical Time-Line of Acupuncture)
is a very ancient form of healing which pre-dates recorded
history. The philosophy is rooted in Taoist tradition. which goes back
to over 8,000 years. The people of this period would meditate and observe the flow of
energy within and without. They also were keen to observe man’s relations with
nature and the universe. There were many stages of this period but the most legendary was Fu His, who lived in the Yellow River area of China approximately
8,000 years ago. By observing nature, he formulated the first two symbols, a broken line and an unbroken line. These symbols represented the two major
forces in the universe - creation and reception - and how their interactions
form life. This duality was named Yin-Yang and they represented the
backbone of Chinese Medicine theory and application. Fu His then discovered that
when Yin-Yang fuse, a creative action occurs and this gives birth to a third aspect
Fu His then pondered on how this triplicity occurs eight times and this led to the
eight trigrams and then sixty four hexagrams of the I-Ching (Book of
shaped the thinking for years to come and every influential book on Chinese Medicine is based upon its fundamental philosophy.
primitive society of China is divided into two time periods - The Old
Stone Age (10,000 years ago and beyond) and the New Stone Age (10,000 -
4,000 years ago). During the Old Stone Age, knives were made out of stones
used for certain medical procedures. During the New Stone Age, stones
were refined into fine needles and serve as instrument of healing. They were named BIAN STONE - which means the sharp edged stone to treat diseases.
Many bian stone needles were excavated from ruins in China dating back to
the New Stone Age.
most significant milestone in the history of Acupuncture occurred
during the period of Huang Di - The Yellow Emperor (2697-2597). In the
famous dialogue between Huang Di and his physician Qi Bo, they discuss the whole
spectrum of the Chinese Medical Arts. These conversations would later become monumental text The Nei Jing ( The Yellow Emperor Classics of
Internal Medicine). The Nei Jing is the earliest book written on Chinese
Medicine. It was compiled around 305-204 BC, and consists of two parts:
The Su Wen (Plain Questions) - 9 volumes - 81 chapters, The Su
introduces anatomy and physiology, etiology of disease,
pathology, diagnosis, differentiation of syndromes, prevention, Yin- Yang, five elements,
treatments, and man’s relationship with cosmos.
The Ling Shu
(Miraculous Pivot, Spiritual Axis) - 81 chapters, The
Shu’s focus is Acupuncture, description of the meridians, functions
Zang-Fu organs, nine types of needles, function of acupuncture
points, needling techniques, types of Qi, location of 160 points.
(Classics of Difficult Issues) - The Nan-ching is an ancient
Chinese medical classic; it was compiled, probably, at some time
during the first or second century A.D. For the past eight or nine
centuries, the Nan-ching has been overshadowed by the reputation and
authority of the "original" classic, the Huang-ti nei-ching ("TheYellow
Emperor's Inner Classic") with its two largely different segments, the
Huang-ti nei-ching su-wen (or Su-wen) and the Huang-ti nei-ching ling-shu
1,000 BC, during the Shang Dynasty, hieroglyphs showed
evidence of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. Bronze needles were
from ruins, but the bian stones remain the main form of needles.
the Warring States Era (421-221 BC) metal needles replaced the bian stones. Four gold needles and five silver needles were found in an
ancient tomb dating back to 113 BC. The Miraculous Pivot names nine types
of Acupuncture needles. The history notes many physicians practicing
Acupuncture during this time Another milestone for this period
compilation of the Nan Jing (Book of Difficult Question) The NanJing
discusses five element theory, hara diagnosis, eight extra
meridians, and other important topics.
260-265 AD, the famous physician
Huang Fu Mi, organized all of
the ancient literature into his classic text - Systemic Classics of
Acupuncture and Moxibustion. The text is twelve volumes and describes 349 Acupuncture
points. It is organized according to the theory of Zang Fu, Qi and
Blood, channels and colaterals, acupuncture points and clinical application. This
book is noted to be one of the most influential text in the history of Chinese
was very popular during the Jin, Northern, Southern, Dynasties (265-581 AD) For XuXi family were known as expert in acupuncture.
During this time period important texts charts enhanced knowledge and application.
experienced great development during the Sui (581-618) and
Tang (618-907) Dynasties. Upon request from the Tang Government
(627-649 AD), the famous physician Zhen Quan revised the important Acupuncture
texts and charts. Another famous physician of the time,
Sun Si Mio,
Prescription with Thousand Gold for Emergencies (650-692). This text includes data
on acupuncture from various scholars. During this period, Acupuncture
became a special branch of medicine and practitioners were named acupuncturists. Acupuncture schools appeared and acupuncture education became part of
the Imperial Medical Bureau.
the Song Dynasty (960-1279), a famous physician Wang Weiyi wrote he
illustrated Manual on Points for Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
included 657 points. He also cast two bronze statues on which
points were engraved for teaching purpose.
Dynasty (1568-1644) was the enlightening period for the advancement
of Acupuncture. Many new developments included:
Revision of the classic texts
Refinement of Acupuncture techniques and manipulation
Development of Moxa sticks for indirect treatment
Development of extra points outside the main meridians
The encyclopedic work of 120 volumes - Principle and Practice
Medicine was written by the famous physician Wang Gendung
6. 1601 - Yang Jizhou wrote Zhenjiu Dacheng (Principles of Acupuncture
and Moxibustion). This great treatise on Acupuncture
principles of the NeiJing and NanJing. This work was the
foundation of the teachings of G. Souile de Morant who introduced Acupuncture into
the Qing Dynasty to the Opium Wars (1644-1840), herbal medicine
became the main tool of physicians and Acupuncture was suppressed.
the revolution of 1911, Western Medicine was introduced and
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology were suppressed. Due to the large
population and the need for medical care and Acupuncture and
remained popular among the folk people and the “barefoot doctor”
was used exclusively during the Long March (1934-1935) and
despite harsh conditions it helped maintain the health of the army.
This led to
Mao Zedong, the leader of the communist Party, to see that
remained an important element in China’s medical system. In 1950,
Mao officially united Traditional Chinese Medicine with his book:
the 1950’s to the 1960’s Acupuncture research continued with
further study of ancient texts, clinical effect on various disease, acupuncture
anesthesia, and Acupuncture’s effect on the internal organs.
1970’s to the present, Acupuncture continues to play an important
role in China’s medical system. China has taken the lead in researching all
aspects of acupuncture’s application and clinical effects.
acupuncture has become modernized it will never lose its
connection to a philosophy established thousands of years ago.
- Acupuncture and Moxibustion - Beijing Press
Ancient / Modern / Meridians(M) /
Perspective of Reflexology)
widely held theory on
is that reflexology originated in
China about 5,000 years ago. Many reputable reflexologists have stated
their belief in this theory. Other theories suggest that there are
parallel developments elsewhere in Babylonian and Egyptian cultures.
The oldest documentation depicting the practice of reflexology were
being unearthed in Egypt.
the Russian (Ivan Pavlov - the study of the brain reflex), German (Dr. Alfons Cornelius - one of the very first to use reflex zones massage
to treat illnesses) or Americans (Dr. William Fitzgerald
- the founder
of Zone Therapy and Eunice Igham 1879-1974 , the Mother of Modern
Reflexology) , followed by Fr. Josef Eugster (the Father of Modern
Reflexology) - has through his humility and compassionate love,
brought help to thousands and thousands of people who cannot afford
Western health care and had the greatest influence on the growth and
development of reflexology. His name would be side by side Eunice Ingham's. What Eunice did in America, he has done in Asia
and around the world. All the above-mentioned techniques are certainly
based on similar idea, reflex action on zone/area or points on the
feet and hands.
There is also the Chinese link that exist between reflexology
Infact early Chinese
exacavations during the New stone Age, unearth stone needles called
Bian Stone that resembles the tools that are being used today by
Master reflexologist Moyshan in her treatment strategy during her
She has through humility and dedication
brought together Western and Eastern Reflexology in New York City and
has continue to help people of all nationalities to improve and lead a
has evolved and perfected through the generations
passing on and incorporate the latest Western relaxing techniques and
the Eastern treatment method that
is linked to Meridian Therapies such as acupuncture, shiatsu and
acupressure which has its roots in Chinese Medicine.
Moyshan Method also involves working on acupuncture and acupressure
points but only those found in the feet. Like meridians, acupuncture
points in the feet mirrors those found in other parts of the body.
Through increased awareness of meridians one can practice reflexology
more effectively as meridians provide profound insight into the
disease pathways throughout the body and are therefore a most useful
Oasis in Chinatown
is the founder of the Moyshan Foot Massage.
Using the “Moyshan Method” she has the most effective
treatment for stress, tension relief and jet lag and her treatment is
part of a holistic treatment to bring your body back into balance and
to remove toxins accumulated in your system. By going back to the
basics, patients are encourage to take control and take better
care of themselves through diet, exercise and drinking lots of water
and a series of reflexology sessions to rebalance and detoxify
the system. A visit to this
Litle Oasis in Chinatown is a must if you
are in the Big Apple.
Accounts of Massage Therapy)
is closely related to acupuncture in its use of the meridian system and is
considered to be effective for a similar range of health problems. However it
should not be seen as a poor relation to acupuncture. It is an effective and
comprehensive therapy and is regarded alongside herbs, diet, qigong and one of
the fundamental arts of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Chinese Massage Techniques
are at the heart of any system of bodywork. They are what defines its feel and
therapeutic qualities. Most textbooks on Chinese Massage list between 30 and
70 shou fa or hand techniques. These cover not only a range of soft tissue
techniques, but also many percussion and joint manipulation methods including
spinal adjustments similar to Osteopathy, although there are important
differences. Some of these shou fa resemble western massage, others are quite
unique. For example in gun fa, the back of the hand is rotated rapidly back
and forth over the skin with an effect which one of my patient's once
described as like a heavy rolling pin.
Broadly speaking shou fa are classified into yin (sedating) and yang
(stimulating). However each technique is further classified according the
therapeutic principles it achieves. For example mo fa (rubbing) stimulates
yang qi, tui fa (pushing) regulates counterflow. The skilled therapist
combines these techniques in just the same way a herbalist combines herbs in a
formula ensuring that therapeutic principles are achieved with a proper
balance of yin and yang. So in a situtation where yin sedating techniques are
primarily called for, the therapist will use some yang stimulation to activate
qi and blood just as a herbalist adds ginger to a cooling formula.
The massage therapist has other tools to draw on. Shou fa can be applied to
particular areas, channels, acupoints or ashi points achieving similar results
to acupuncture needles. They can also be applied in different directions.
Working with or against the flow of the channels, towards or out from the dan
tien, clockwise or counter clockwise, all have different effects.
Equally important is the way the techniques are carried out. Chinese sources
say that the shou fa must be gentle and soft yet deep and penetrating. The
strokes must be applied rhythmically and persistently. The controlled use of
very deep, moving pressure is one of the secrets of Tuina massage. A Tuina
therapist might spend the same time on one frozen shoulder as a western
masseur would spend on an entire body treatment. The repeated application of a
single technique many hundreds of times with deep penetration and qi
communication is often termed "finger meditation".
and overlapping areas
massage is in fact not a single therapy but encompasses five related and
press and rub - massage for rejuvenation and health maintenance. Widely used
in the home and in martial arts, qi gong and sports training.
push and grasp - sophisticated medical massage used to treat injuries, joint
and muscle problems and internal disorders.
Tuina - one of the primary ways the Chinese treat babies and young children.
The points and channels used are quite different to the standards ones.
point press - familiar as acupressure. Uses simple pressure techniques. Very
much a home remedy but also used by acupuncturists when needles are not
Liao Fa, curing with external qi - healing with direct transmission by qigong
masters after many years of rigorous training and discipline.
practice it is the context and objectives which distinguishes these branches.
In terms of theory and techniques they have much in common. Central to all of
them is the idea that massage affects not only the physical body but also the
Qi body (the network of channels and points) and the mental body (emotions,
thoughts and spiritual faculties). Since both physical and mental health are
dependant on a smooth and abundant flow of Qi, massage can effectively treat
all three levels.
is of course as old as human kind. However even with this perspective
the pedigree of Chinese massage is impressive. There are massage
textbooks as far back as the Nei Jing (722-481 BC) the most ancient
medical texts. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) it is recorded that
there were 56 massage doctors in the imperial hospital more than the
total of herbalist and acupuncturists. Around this time
Chinese techniques were imported to Japan and eventually gave rise to
Peter Henrik Ling learned from
Chinese masters before developing Swedish Massage( the origin of
Western bodywork) which is practiced and perfected and taught at the P.H.
Ling Clinic at the
in New York City more than a quarter century ago and still operate a
treatment clinic today.
with herbal medicine has great benefits. Massage can enhance and speed up the
action of herbal remedies, our hands can detect a wealth of diagnostic
information and touch adds a deeply compassionate level to the act of healing.
Furthermore the liniments, oils etc used in massage provide an additional
channel for herbs to work. The
herbalist will get more from a system of massage based on the same
traditional energetic and holistic principles as their herbal
practice. Inevitably we must look to the great civilizations of the
East to find such systems. Chinese massage, is a sophisticated ancient but living tradition rooted in
Yin-Yang, five elements, qi-blood-fluid etc with a unique power to
heal disease rather than simply relax the body and relieve tension.
development of the Chinese tradition came from the synergy between
four groups, doctors who brought the sophisticated medical theories of
TCM to massage, martial arts who combined deep experience of qi with
great ability to heal injuries, Bhuddist and Taoist adepts who used
massage as an essential support to their spiritual yoga and laymen
often blind practitioners offering massage for pleasure and
relaxation. Since the time of the Mao Zedong massage has continued to
develop absorbing western ideas into the traditional framework. It is
widely practiced and taught in hospital and medical schools and is an
essential part of primary healthcare. The astounding success of
China's athletes and gymnasts is due at least in part to the use old
traditional massage in their training.
Historic Massage & Health Practices
Roots (Historical Essence of
Herbs have been relied upon for the
healing of ailments for thousands of years. The focus of herbalism is to
support he body’s self healing ability. Herbs nourish us physically, mentally,
emotionally and spiritually. When we take herbs the essence enters the
acupuncture meridian and adjust the vital flow of energy in the body. Herbs
are strong foods, so by eating them we enrich ourselves with a vast array of
nutrients. The energetic classification of herbs is a science which has been
refined over the last 3000 years. Today, we see further refinement due to the
changing profile of disease.
The history of Chinese Medicine
dates back to the writings of the Yellow
Inner Classics (Huang Di Nei Jing). This work of art is a dialogue
between the Yellow Emperor(2697 -
2597 B.C.) and his physician Qi Bo , in which they discuss the whole spectrum
of Chinese Medicine – including topics such as Acupuncture, YinYang, Five
Elements pathology, diagnosis, and etiology of disease. The work was compiled
around 305 -204 B.C. the Inner Classic is the foundation for theory and
philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Chinese Herbal Medicine is a
compilation of experimentation and research dating back to a tribal chief
named Sheng Nong who resided in
along the great Yellow River Plateau (2700B.C.). He is famous for ingesting
many substances to record first hand their effect. In all he recorded around
365 healing substances and wrote the first book on Traditional Chinese
Medicine(The Classic of Material Medica – Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing). The work
was compiled around 206 B.C. The historical tradition continued with the work
of famous physician who lived around the
century A.D. named
Zhang Zhong Jing. He was one of the most celebrated
Chinese physicians who compiled two classics – (Shang Han Lun – discussion of
cold induced disease) and (Jing Gui Yao Lun – Synopsis of Prescriptions of the
Golden Chamber) These works are still referenced today for the diagnosis,
treatment, and differentiation of yin-yang and 6 stages Chinese Medicine is a
branch of the Taoist healing arts which include Acupuncture, Tai Qi Chuan,
Meditation, Qi Gong, Astrology, I-Ching,
Geomancy. Around 452 A.D. a taoist named
Tao Hong Jing contributed to
Chinese Herbal Medicine by editing the original Classics of Materia Medica
according to kingdom – plants, animals etc. He also increased the total
substances to 730 substances. In 1618 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty the
government contributed by compiling the first Official Materia Medica named
Xin Xiu Ben Cao. This great work includes 844 illustrated pages. During the
Sung Dynasty (960 – 1279 A.D.) a physician named Tang Shen Wei increased in
the Material Medica to 1746 substances. By 1590 A.D. the most comprehensive
medical book named Grand Material Medica
(Ben Cao Gang Mu) was compiled by
Li Shi Zhen with over 52 volumes,
and 30 years over research, it includes 1892 substances with over 100
illustration and 10,000 prescription Today the Material Medica is being
further refined by clinical and scientific data. Most of the research is
being done in
. Each herb is listed with the properties, acupuncture meridian entered ,
functions, clinical use, major combinations, dosages and pharmacological
research such as anti-microbial effect, anti-viral effect, anti-fungal effect,
effect on blood pressure, effect on smooth muscle, endocrine effect, central
nervous system effect, use in gynecology, etc.
Masters & Sages
Accounts of Qi Gong)
The history of Chinese Qigong
can be roughly divided into four periods.
Little is known about the first
period, which is considered to have started when the Yi Jing - Book
of Changes was introduced sometime before 1122 B.C., and to have extended
until the Han dynasty (206 B.C.) when Buddhism and its meditation methods were
imported from India. This infusion brought Qigong practice and meditation into
the second period, the religious Qigong era.
This period lasted until the
Liang dynasty (502-557 A.D.), when it was discovered that Qigong could be used
for martial purposes. This was the beginning of the third period, that of
martial Qigong. Many different martial Qigong styles were created based on the
theories and principles of Buddhist and Daoist Qigong. This period lasted
until the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911; from that point Chinese
Qigong training was mixed with Qigong practices from India, Japan, and many
Before the Han Dynasty
(Before 206 B.C.)
The Yi Jing - Book of
Changes1122 B.C.) was probably the first Chinese book related to Qi. It
introduced the concept of the three natural energies or powers (San Cai): Tian
(Heaven), Di (Earth), and Ren (Man). Studying the relationship of these three
natural powers was the first step in the development of Qigong.
In 1766-1154 B.C. (the Shang
dynasty), the Chinese capital was located in today's An Yang in Henan
province. An archeological dig there at a late Shang dynasty buIial ground
called Yin Xu discovered more than 160,000 pieces of turtle shell and animal
bone which were covered with written characters. This writing, called "Jia Gu
Wen" (Oracle-Bone Scripture), was the earliest evidence of the Chinese use of
the written word. Most of the infonnation recorded was of a religious nature.
There was no mention of acupuncture or other medical knowledge, even though it
was recorded in the Nei Jing that during the reign of the Yellow emperor
(2690-2590 B.C.) Bian Shi (stone probes) were already being used to adjust
people's Qi circulation.
During the Zhou dynasty
(1122-934 B.C.), Lao Zi (Li Er) mentioned certain breathing techniques in his
classic "Dao De Jing" (or Tao Te Ching) (Classic on the Virtue of the Dao). He
stressed that the way to obtain health was to "concentrate on Qi and achieve
softness" (Zhuan Qi Zhi Rou).(*l) Later, Shi Ji - Historical Record in
the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (770-221 B.C.) also described
more complete methods of breath training.
About 300 B.C. the Daoist
philosopher Zhuang Zi described the relationship between health and the breath
in his book Nan Hua Jing. "The men of old breathed clear down to their
This was not merely a figure of
speech, and confirms that a breathing method for Qi circulation was being used
by some Daoists at that time. During the Qin and Han dynasties (221 B.C.-220
A.D.) there are several medical references to Qigong in the literature, such
as the "Nan Jing" (Classic on Disorders) by the famous physician Bian Que,
which describes using the breathing to increase Qi circulation. "Jin Kui Yao
Lue" (Prescriptions from the Golden Chamber) by Zhang Zhong-Jing discusses the
use of breathing and acupuncture to maintain good Qi flow.
Zhou Yi Can Tong Qi - A
Comparative Study of the Zhou (dynasty) Book of Changes by Wei Bo-Yang
explains the relationship of human beings to nature's forces and Qi. It can be
seen from this list that up to this time, almost all of the Qigong
publications were written by scholars such as Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi, or
physicians such as Bian Que and Wei Bo-Yang.
Han Dynasty to the Beginning
of the Liang Dynasty (206 B.C.-502 A.D.)
Because many Han emperors were
intelligent and wise, the Han dynasty was a glorious and peaceful period. It
was during the Eastern Han dynasty (c. 58 A.D.) that Buddhism was imported to
China from India. The Han emperor became a sincere Buddhist; Buddhism soon
spread and became very popular.
Many Buddhist meditation and
Qigong practices, which had been practiced in India for thousands of years,
were absorbed into the Chinese culture. The Buddhist temples taught many
Qigong practices, especially the still meditation of Chan (Zen), which marked
a new era of Chinese Qigong. Much of the deeper Qigong theory and practices
which had been developed in India were brought to China. Unfortunately, since
the training was directed at attaining Buddhahood, the training practices and
theory were recorded in the Buddhist bibles and kept secret. For hundreds of
years the religious Qigong training was never taught to laymen. Only in this
century has it been available to the general populace.
Not long after Buddhism had been
imported into China, a Daoist by the name of Zhang Dao-Ling combined the
traditional Daoist principles with Buddhism and created a religion called Dao
Jiao. Many of the meditation methods were a combination of the principles and
training methods of both sources. Since Tibet had developed its own branch of
Buddhism with its own training system and methods of attaining Buddhahood,
Tibetan Buddhists were also invited to China to preach. In time, their
practices were also absorbed.
It was in this period that the
traditional Chinese Qigong practitioners finally had a chance to compare their
arts with the religious Qigong practices imported mainly from India. While the
scholarly and medical Qigong had been concerned with maintaining and improving
health, the newly imported religious Qigong was concerned with far more.
Contemporary documents and
Qigong styles show clearly that the religious practitioners trained their Qi
to a much deeper level, working with many internal functions of the body, and
strove to obtain control of their bodies, minds, and spirits with the goal of
escaping from the cycie of reincarnation.
While the Qigong practices and
meditations were being passed down secretly within the monasteries,
traditional scholars and physicians continued their Qigong research. During
the Jin dynasty in the 3rd century A.D., a famous physician named Hua Tuo used
acupuncture for anesthesia in surgery.
The Daoist Jun Qian used the
movements of animals to create the Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Sports), which
taught people how to increase their Qi circulation through specific movements.
Also, in this period a physician
named Ge Hong mentioned in his book Bao Pu Zi using the mind to lead
and increase Qi. Sometime in the period of 420 to 581 A.D. Tao Hong-Jing
compiled the Yang Shen Yan Ming Lu - Records of Nourishing the Body and
Extending Life, which showed many Qigong techniques.
Liang Dynasty to the End of
the Qing Dynasty (502-1911 A.D.)
During the Liang dynasty
(502-557 A.D.) the emperor invited a Buddhist monk named Da Mo, who was once
an Indian prince, to preach Buddhism in China. The emperor decided he did not
like Da Mo's Buddhist theory, so the monk withdrew to the Shaolin Temple. When
Da Mo arrived, he saw that the priests were weak and sickly, so he shut
himself away to ponder the problem.
He emerged after nine years of
seclusion and wrote two classics: Yi Jin Jing or Yi Gin Ching -
Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic and Xi Sui Jing (or Shii Soei Ching -
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 Qi to clean the bone marrow and strengthen the blood and immune system,
as well as how to energize the brain and attain 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
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 which
imitated the way different animals fight. The animals imitated were the tiger,
leopard, dragon, snake, and crane.
Outside of the monastery, the
development of Qigong continued during the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907
Chao Yuan-Fang compiled the
Zhu Bing Yuan Hou Lun (Thesis on the Origins and Symptoms of Various
Diseases), which is a veritable encyclopedia of Qigong methods listing 260
different ways ofincreasing the Qi flow.
The Qian Jin Fang (Thousand
Gold Prescriptions) by Sun Si-Mao described the method of leading Qi, and
also described the use of the Six Sounds.
The Buddhists and Daoists had
already been using the Six Sounds to regulate Qi in the internal organs for
some time. Sun Si-Mao also introduced a massage system called Lao Zi's 49
Massage Techniques. Wai Tai Mi Yao (The Extra Important Secret)
by Wang Tao discussed the use of breathing and herbal therapies for disorders
of Qi circulation.
During the Song, Jin, and Yuan
dynasties (960-1368 A.D.), Yang Shen Jue (Life Nourishing Secrets)
by Zhang An-Dao discussed several Qigong practices.
Ru Men Shi Shi (The Confucian
Point of View) by Zhang Zi-He describes the use of Qigong to cure external
injuries such as cuts and sprains. "Lan Shi Mi Cang" (Secret Library of the
Orchid Room) by Li Guo describes using Qigong and herbal remedies for internal
disorders. "Ge Zhi Yu Lun" (A Further Thesis of Complete Study) by Zhu Dan-Xi
provided a theoretical explanation for the use of Qigong in curing disease.
During the Song dynasty
(960-1279 A.D.), Chang San-Feng is believed to have created Taijiquan (or Tai
Chi Chuan). Tai;ji followed a different approach in its use of Qigong than did
Shaolin. While Shaolin emphasized Wai Dan (External Elixir) Qigong exercises,
Taiji emphasized Nei Dan (Internal Elixir) Qigong training.
In 1026 A.D. the famous brass
man of acupuncture was designed and built by Dr. Wang Wei-Yi. Before that
time, the many publications which discussed acupuncture theory, principles,
and treatment techniques disagreed with each other, and left many points
When Dr. Wang built his brass
man, he also wrote a book called Tong Ren Yu Xue Zhen Jiu Tu
(Illustration of the Brass Man Acupuncture and Moxibustion). He explained the
relationship of the 12 organs and the 12 Qi channels, clarified many of the
points of confusion, and, for the first time, systematically organized
acupuncture theory and principles.
In 1034 A.D. Dr. Wang used
acupuncture to cure the emperor Ren Zong. With the support of the emperor,
acupuncture flourished. In order to encourage acupuncture medical research,
the emperor built a temple to Bian Que, who wrote the Nan Jing, and worshiped
him as the ancestor of acupuncture.
Acupuncture technology developed
so much that even the Jin race in the distant North requested the brass man
and other acupuncture technology as a condition for peace. Between 1102 to
1106 A.D. Dr. Wang dissected the bodies of prisoners and added more
information to the Nan Jing. 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.), Marshal Yue Fei was credited with creating several
internal Qigong exercises and martial arts. It is said that he created the
Eight Pieces of Brocade to improve the health of his soldiers. He is also
known as the creator of the internal martial style Xing Yi. 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.), many other Qigong styles were founded. The well
known ones include Hu Bu Gong (Tiger Step Gong), Shi Er Zhuang (Twelve
Postures) and Jiao Hua Gong (Beggar Gong).
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, which
described moving and stationary Qigong practices; and "Yang Shen Fu Yu" (BriefIntroduction
to Nourishing the Body) by Chen Ji Ru, about the three treasures: Jing
(essence), Qi (internal energy), and Shen (spirit).
Also, Yi Fan Ji Jie (The
Total Introduction to Medical Prescriptions) by Wang Fan-An reviewed and
summarized the previously published materials; and "Nei Gong Tu Shuo"
(Illustrated Explanation of Nei Gong) by Wang Zu-Yuan presented the Twelve
Pieces of Brocade and explained the idea of combining both moving and
In the late Ming dynasty (around
1640 A.D.), a martial Qigong style, Huo Long Gong (Fire Dragon Gong), was
created by the Taiyang martial stylists.
The well known internal martial
art style Ba Gua Zhang (or Ba Kua Chang)(Eight Trigrams Palm) is believed to
have been created by Dong Hai-Chuan late in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.).
This style is now gaining in
popularity throughout the world. During the Qing dynasty, Tibetan meditation
and martial techniques became widespread in China for the first time.
This was due to the
encouragement and interest of the Manchurian Emperors in the royal palace, as
well as others of high rank in society.
From the End of Qing Dynasty to
Before 1911 A.D., Chinese
society was very conservative and old-fashioned. Even though China had been
expanding its contact with the outside world for the previous hundred years,
the outside world had little influence beyond the coastal regions.
With the overthrow of the Qing
dynasty in 1911 and the founding of the Chinese Republic, the nation began
changing as never before. Since this time Qigong practice has entered a new
Because of the ease of
communication in the modern world, Western culture now has great influence on
Many Chinese have opened their
minds and changed their traditional ideas, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Various Qigong styles are now
being taught openly, and many formerly secret documents are being published.
Modern methods of communication
have opened up Qigong to a much wider audience than ever before, and people
now have the opportunity 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.
Guide & Resources
TaiJiQuan Chen Style
Robert Peng - QiGong for Health
Roots (Historical Influence of Feng Shui)
A Brief History
1. Pre- Qin Dynasty:
Cradle of Feng Shui
Archaeological evidence shows that the ancient Chinese chose dwelling sites
with the following features:
platform or relatively high ground
- Proximity to water course or supply of clean water
- Well-drained soil and a solid foundation
- Easy transportation
- A peaceful environment, preferably surrounded by trees
These practices developed into something called 'Xiangdi' (observation and
appraisal of the earth) by the time of the Qin Dynasty.
With the development of
feudal society, knowledge in Xiangdi developed further.
2. Qin and Han
Dynasties: Germination of Feng Shui
- Period when
Feng Shui principles are taking shape
- Publication of Kan-yu-jin-kui (The Golden Treasure of Kan Yu). This sowed
the seed for Liqi Pai (Compass School) and started the split between Xing
Shi Pai and Liqi Pai. Theory began to exert its importance over observation.
3. Wei, Jin,
Northern and Southern Periods: Propagation of Feng Shui
- Guo Pu was
said to have written the book Zhang Shu, (The Book of Burial) in this
period. It gave the first definitions of Feng Shui.
- Guang Ge (Wei Dynasty) was another outstanding Feng Shui master of the
period. Credited with having written Guang’s Guide to
the Principle of the Earth.
4. Sui, Tang, and
the Five Dynasties: The Spread of Feng Shui
of the imperial examination system during the Tang dynasty changed the
structure of Chinese society from aristocracy to a meritocracy (promotion on
merit). As a result, Feng Shui evolved very quickly.
- Yang Jun-Song formalised the Xing Shi Pai. He came from
Jiangsi, therefore the “Form” School was also
called Jiangsi Pai.
- The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Dwelling (Huang-di-zhai-jing)
made its appearance.- Together with Guang’s Guide to the Principle of the Earth, these two books
symbolised the maturity of Feng Shui.
5. Song Dynasty: The
golden period of Feng Shui
separation of the two schools became distinct.
- Feng Shui was consolidated, the Luopan became widely used in Feng Shui
- The Liqi Pai became more popular.
6. Yuan Dynasty
- Ruled by the
Mongols who are not native Chinese.
- All Chinese culture including Feng Shui suppressed.
- Feng Shui went into a decline.
7. Ming and Qing
of Chinese culture
- Revival of Song dynasty ideology and Feng Shui made a come-back.
- As time went on, Feng Shui became contradictory, confusing, and unduly
- During Qing dynasty it became corrupted and went into a decline again.
- Feng Shui was
banned after the establishment of Communist China c. 1949.
- The practice of Feng Shui was confined to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and S.E.
- There is now a Western-led resurgence of Feng Shui.
How Feng Shui Works
Roots (History of
Chair Massage / Massage Chair)
David Palmer is the San Francisco
practitioner who created the world's first massage-specific
chair, the High Touch Massage Chair, in 1986. I remember
visiting the factory in Santa Rosa, California, with David
just a few months before its debut to see the prototype. David
was excited about how the chair would revolutionize touch
therapies, allowing anyone to get worked on without taking off
their clothes, and to receive a full-body massage at nearly
any location. His dreams have come true. Today we find the
massage chair being used wherever one's imagination may take
The original High Touch
Massage Chair, which debuted in 1986,
created by David Palmer and manufactured by Living Earth
Crafts. The photo shows the chair in its folded-up position,
which allows it to be carried much like a suitcase, complete
with handle and carrying strap.
early attempt at using metal instead of wood, circa 1989. This
model did not fair well, due to its poorly designed locking
mechanisms that made the chair very unstable and unsafe.
The Massage Bar, created
in 1993 by Cary Cruea of Seattle, Washington, utilizes a
separate desktop face cradle attached to the countertop. The
desktop face cradle was created about 1990 and was designed
for doing massage where a chair was not available.
latest development in massage chairs, circa 1999, this one
from Golden Ratio Woodworks and the mind of owner John Fanuzzi.
Many chairs look and act like this one, using high-tech
tubing, quality vinyl and offering an easy-to-assemble set-up
and easy-to-carry break-down. The Oakworks chair uses
powder-coated aluminum and allows many adjustments.
The retail cost of that first
chair was $385. With nearly a dozen manufacturers today and
prices ranging from a low of $239 to a high of $551 (average
$418) the chair costs about the same as a massage table.
The evolution of the massage
chair since 1986 has been considerable in terms of the
materials used to make them, the added features like wheels,
covers and instructional videos (the first chair had no
diagrams or photos on how to assemble it), the safety of
transporting and adjusting a chair, and the stability and
quality of the overall product.
Most notable has been the
change from primarily wooden materials to high-tech metals and
plastics, while the vinyls and under-padding have also
improved with new technology. The range of adjustments on
today's table make the original look like a one-dimensional
unit, even though the High Touch Massage Chair had a face
rest, and seat, arm and leg adjustments. Today's chairs have
extensive face-cradle adjustments, and several models can take
the client from a sitting position to a horizontal posture
that is almost supine.
The chair has also spawned
other related inventions, such as the desk-top face-cradle
designed to attach to the top of a desk while the client is
seated on an ordinary stool. (There's also the new mobile
massage tool for home use that provides a face-cradle at the
end of your bed, supported with a metal support under the box
springs and mattress.)
The massage chair has indeed
been one of the most influential new tools for the
practitioner since it was first introduced, and has
contributed toward an expansion of the career opportunities in
the industry like no other tool now on the market. David
Palmer is still going strong, teaching his method of giving a
session on the chair-right next to a large number of others
trying to capture the market of those who want to learn how to
use a massage chair and market its uses into today's
fast-paced world. Because with a massage chair, where you do
massage is now as far-reaching as your own imagination.
Robert Noah Calvert is the founder and
CEO of MASSAGE Magazine. The material for this column
comes from two sources: the World of Massage Museum's
collections and Calvert's book, The History of Massage
published in February 2002 by Healing Arts Press.