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.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 Kung Fu master, Sifu Wong Kiew-Kit, referring to the Shaolin Wahnam style, says "the first eight Lohan Hands are the same as the eight exercises in a famous set of chi kung exercises called the Eight Pieces of Brocade." There are numerous versions, seated and standing, of Bodhiidharma's exercise sets - including the related "Tendon-Changing and Marrow-Washing" (Yi Jin Jing) qigong set with exercises identical to Brocade versions (Li Jingwei, 2014, p. Some versions of the 18 Lohan (Luohan) Hands have up to four levels, and scores of movement forms for qigong and martial purposes.
Professor Wang Jiafu has traced the history of Dao-yin fitness exercises, and states "Books and diagrams about daoyin appeared in growing numbers in the Western Jin Dynasty (266-316 AD).
One can also see some movements and postures in the Five Animal Frolics that are comparable to the Eight Treasures.
Longevity and fitness instructors, and some doctors, throughout China prescribed specific exercises to help prevent or heal injuries, improve health, or cure various illnesses, along with the other curative methods of traditional Chinese medicine.
Taoism emphasizes the underlying unity of the individual and the cosmos, living in harmony with the true Way or Dao (Tao), giving up petty viewpoints, simplicity, solitary retreats, avoiding violent interference with others, a simple natural diet, natural and compassionate living, sharing with others, seeking insight into "emptiness", seeking a higher understanding or enlightenment, living a healthy lifestyle, storing and circulating energy (Qi, Chi, Prana), practicing meditation, studying and working diligently, and seeking mystical insights.
These methods and practices were explored and adapted in China for thousands of years to help to maintain good health, to prevent and cure diseases, to restore vitality, to calm the mind, and to enhance the spirit of the patient or practitioner.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.Under each pose, on the Dao-yin diagram (Tu), was a caption with the name of an animal exercise or the name of the disease that the posture might help cure. Making beneficial exercises interesting and enjoyable has always been a challenge to creative people.A number of the postures depicted in the Dao-yin Tu closely resemble some postures in the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung (The Wonders of Qigong, 1985, pp. Hua T'o (110-207 CE) is one of the most famous physicians of the Han Dynasty.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.