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Qigong in Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.)

  Qigong was further developed during the Han Dynasty, the routines and techniques became more specific and the theories more elaborate.
  In 1973, a special silk painting (The Daoyin Diagram) was excavated from no. 3 Han tomb of Mawangdui in ChangshaThere are 44 human figures on the painting, each with a different body posture, some stretching or bending, some turning, some in sideward movement, some standing and some sitting, some have equipments with them and some have not. Many postures of the figures are imitation of animals, and some have notes beside to indicate the diseases that can be treated by practicing that specific posture, there are also breath methods to practice together with the body postures. It can prove how qigong developed at that time.
  Hua Tuo (华佗)[1] had great achievement in qigong study as well as in medicine. At the end of Eastern Han Dynasty, he compiled a dao yin routine, Wu Qin Xi (The Five Animals Frolic), of five animals including tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird. It was created based on single movements from the ancients and became a monument in the development of qigong Eastern Han Dynasty was when the religion of Taoism born and the Buddhism being introduced into China. The Classic of Peace (Tài Píng Jīng, 太平经) of Taoism written during this period contains many details about qigong, while the introduction of Buddhism into China led to the consolidation of qigong with some Buddhist cultivation practices. All of these promoted the development of qigong on both the theoretical and practical aspects, and greatly enriched this ancient “life study”.


[1] Hua Tuo华佗: a famous doctor in the Three Kingdoms Period
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