“To a mind that is still the whole Universe surrenders.”Lao Tzu
Qigong is an ancient Chinese exercise & healing technique. Combining movements in stillness, mental connection, traditional Chinese medicine, self cultivation, breathing and meditation to increase balance and vital energy Qi.
Gentle, relaxed, slow yet strong, and suitable for everyone – its smooth movement is as flowing water and floating clouds – it instils a calmness in both body and mind.
“Everything in Life is Vibration”Albert Einstein
Benefits of Qi Gong
Benefits of qigong include lowered stress and anxiety, increased focus, and improved balance and flexibility. It may even reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases.
Qigong can harmonise, strengthen, and have a healing effect on the functioning of all the internal organs and bodily systems.
It increases the supply and flow of energy throughout the body, can have a variety of rejuvenating effects.
It is believed to increase longevity, and it induces calm mental and emotional states.
Five Animal Qi Gong
The Five Animals Frolics Health Qigong practice is a simple daily exercise for people of all ages to improve their physical and mental health, and sense of wellbeing.
Wu Qin Xi (五禽戏) – The Five Animal Frolics can be regarded as the earliest form of Medical Qigong in Chinese history, dating back to Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
The creation of Wu Qin Xi was attributed the famous Chinese Physician and Surgeon Hua Tuo (110-207) who had great skills as a surgeon, acupuncturist, herbalist and knowledge of human anatomy. He is also believed to be the first person in the world to have developed the use of anaesthesia.
The form has ten separate movements, two for each of the animals. One of the aims is to embrace the characteristics of each animal – the courage and strength of the tiger, the serenity and poise of the deer, the steadiness and solidity of the bear, the nimbleness and dexterity of the monkey, and the swiftness and grace of the bird. Each animal is linked to one of the five elements, the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and each movement has its correspondence to an organ and the meridians and energy channels used in acupuncture.
TIGER | Element : Wood | Organ : Liver
DEER | Element : Water | Organ : Kidney
BEAR | Element : Earth | Organ : Spleen
MONKEY | Element : Fire | Organ : Heart
BIRD | Element : Metal | Organ : Lung
Learning the Form
If you are interested in learning this form please get in touch. I run modular lessons set in blocks of 6 weeks – Suitable for a beginner but also offering the opportunity to develop a real depth of understanding of this form. As always there are many versions of 5 Animals, the one that we cover in our syllabus is the Chinese Health Qi Gong version as taught by Master Lai Jian Hui– (pictured above), Faye Yip (British Health Qi Giong Association) and Tary Yip (Deyin Tai Chi Institute) . I am currently Running classes for both Tai Chi & Qi Gong in Bude on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Feel free to call me on 07415714256 for more information.
Five Elements vs Five Animals
The 5 animals (Wu Qin XI) does not follow the same sequence as the Five Phases or Elements in TCM. There is an idea that this is linked to the meridian theory rather than following the phases creative and destructive/ controlling cycles. This has been designed deliberately by Hua Tuo to enrich our energy flow, balancing and harmonising our mind and body and spirit, making this one of the most powerful Qi Gong forms that we can practice.
Resources and further reading
Five Phases vs Animals : https://www.cmaconweb.org
Wu Qin Xi: Five-Animal Qigong Exercises By Chinese Health Qigong Association