Five Animal Frolics

 

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                     Five Animal Exercises

 

Five Animal Frolic DVD Now Available!

Wu Qin Xi, the Five Animal Frolics, is a very old therapeutic exercise. It was created to build up health and prolong life by imitating the movements of five animals (tiger, deer, monkey, bear and crane). The Five Animal Frolics was created by Hua Tuo, who lived during the Han dynasty about 2000 years ago. Hua Tuo was a highly skilled physician, famous for his advanced surgical techniques. Hua Tuo believed that appropriate amounts of exercise were essential to health. He pointed out that body movement prevents disease by promoting digestion and absorption and ensuring smooth circulation of blood. He compared this to a door hinge, which in ancient China were made out of leather. If the hinge was used regularly it would stay strong and supple but through lack of use it would wither and become brittle and weak.

Hua Tuo practiced the exercises diligently and vigorously popularized the set which is still practiced in China today because of its effectiveness. The Five Animals set can be used to increase health and vitality and prevent disease as well as help in the recovery from illness. According to "The Life of Hua Tuo" in The Book of Eastern Han, Hua Tuo "looked vigorous and strong at the age of 100." His disciple "Wu Pu practiced the exercises and could still hear and see well, and had a complete set of firm teeth when he was over 90 years old."

Each animal movement is designed to stimulate one of the major energy systems of the body. The tiger movement invigorates the lung energy; the bear movement can relieve stagnation of qi in the liver; the deer strengthens the stomach; the monkey reinforces the kidney; and the crane balances the qi in the heart. It is the special ability to balance and regulate all the functions of the five internal organs central to Chinese medicine that makes this exercise so effective. In China, it is considered valuable for people with a variety of chronic conditions, including pulmonary emphysema, hypertension, coronary heart disease, peptic ulcer, insomnia, and anxiety/depression.

There are over 3000 different styles of Qi Gong, with many different variations of the Five Animal movements and many different styles of Tai Chi. This particular variation of the Five Animal Frolics is called the 100 Step Form, a form very rarely practiced outside of China. The 100 Step Form consists of four sets of the five animals, for a total of 20 different movements. Each movement is repeated for five steps, so there are 100 movements in total. It takes from 10 - 15 minutes to complete the exercise depending on the pace. After each 5 step repetition the direction is reversed, making this a very compact form. Unlike most Tai Chi forms, which require too much space, the Wu Qin Xi sets can be performed in a typical home or office.

100 Step Form Wu Qin Xi (Five Animal Frolics)

Preparing Form

Set 1

1. Mountain Climbing Tiger

2. Neck Up Stretching Deer

3. Two Arm Monkey

4. Single Arm Bear

5. Diagonal Flying Crane

Set 2

1. Prey Searching Tiger

2. Neck Compressing Deer

3. Fruit Picking Monkey

4. Two Arm Bear

5. Horizontal Flying Crane

Set 3

1. Mountain Coming Down Tiger

2. Long Running Deer

3. Moon Watching Monkey

4. Arm Waving Bear

5. Open-Close Flying Crane

Set 4

1. Back Looking Tiger

2. Leg Stretching Deer

3. Fruit Offering Monkey

4. Back Shaking Bear

5. Landing Crane

Closing Form

Here is a great link to more information about the Five Animal Frolics

 

 
 Page Created March 27, 2006.   Page Last Updated on 10 January, 2007             Send Mail