Author: Ma Jiren
Shanghai Qigong Research Institute, Shanghai, China 
Conference/Journal: 1st World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1988
Other: Pages: 203 , Word Count: 481
It is believed that Chinese qigong has a long history of 5,000 years. In the course of its development over thousands of years, qigong has absorbed and incorporated various kinds of exercise theories and methods in all fields beneficial to the mind and body. prevention and treatment, intelligence and prolongation of life. Therefore, a great number of qigong exercises have been created and used for therapeutic purpose. which brings valuable information to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine and contributes positively to medical care of the people.
Being a Chinese unique cultural legacy, qigong is a self-applied exercise for the health of mind / body, which was gradually developed by the ancient Chinese people in their long practice in life and labor and in their prolonged struggle against disease and senility. It is a branch of clinical science of TCM as well. It was in remote antiquity that the sprout of qigong appeared in people's daily life. According to the literature and information concerned as direct or indirect evidence, we can find that the origin of qigong is closely related to clinical practice. It was recorded in ancient books that at the time of 2,500 B. C. . the Central Plains of China was in flood and dampness was extremely violent. As a result. there occurred skin numbness and joint stiffness among the local people. In order to relieve these conditions, people there consciously selected dancing movements as a kind of treatment, Hence, these dancing movements are regarded as the earliest dynamic qigong.
'The Classic of Internal Medicine' describes 5 kinds of therapies formed due to different geographical locality in remote antiquity. One of them is Daoyin (similar to dancing movements) developed in the central part of China and is taken as the ancient qigong .
Daoyin was the name of a therapeutic measure of qigong in the 5th century B. C. . In a broader sense, Daoyin contains the whole contents of ancient qigong including the quiescent and dynamic qigong; in a narrow sense it refers only to the dynamic qigong . Viewing from the literature, special practitioners were trained for different medical branches. The ancient qigong which was also called Daoyin was among these measures.
The use of the ancient qigong in treatment and prevention was recorded extensively in ancient books. In the 7th century, these records were systematized in a large scale and taken into the noted medical book 'Treatise on the Etiology and Symptomology of Diseases', in which 260 qigong -practicing methods are available, applicable respectively to 110 syndromes. In 'Collected and Classified Ancient/Current Books, Volume of Medicine', qigong, as one of the 4 therapeutic methods, was applied to the treatment of a great number of diseases in viscera and the body surface as well.
In addition to the application of a certain qigong exercise particular instruction was also given to patients according to their conditions and body constitution. Rich experiences have been accumulated in this aspect.