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. Wu Qin Xi is a set of Daoyin (deep stretching) and Tu Na (deep breathing) exercise that imitates the actions of animals based on the habits of the tiger, deer, bear, monkey and bird.
The Five-Animal Qigong is practiced by imitating symbolically and physically the movements, breathing and sounds of the five animals. It consists of some standard forms of movements, spontaneous movements and sounds, and simple but effective techniques.The symbolic connotation of the animals can have great effects on state of mind and behaviour. The dignity and masculine power of the tiger, the elegance of the deer, the earthiness and soft strength of the bear, the graceful and free spirit of the bird and the liveliness and vigilance of the monkey, all imprint their marks on the consciousness and assist in building confidence and self-esteem.
Traditional Five Animal play is practiced through a series of set techniques/methods arranged by each of the animals:
- Tiger (14 methods)
- Deer (9 Methods)
- Bear (9 Methods)
- Ape (10 Methods)
- Bird (13 Methods)