Chinese Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin
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280pp. September 2008
Chinese Healing Exercises: The Tradition of Daoyin
Author: Kohn, Livia;
"Livia Kohn is absolutely the source on the origins and great luminaries of Qigong, Tai Chi, and Chinese healing exercises. As the world’s appetite for stress mastery, wellness, and complementary medicine grows and the fields of health promotion and personal empowerment explode, there is a need for accurate reflection on the origins of China’s ancient power tools for well-being, healing, and longevity. Based on sound scholarship and accessible to a wide audience, this book fulfills that need." —Roger Jahnke, OMD, Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi

Daoyin, the traditional Chinese practice of guiding the qi and stretching the body is the forerunner of Qigong, the modern form of exercise that has swept through China and is making increasing inroads in the West. Like other Asian body practices, Daoyin focuses on the body as the main vehicle of attainment; sees health and spiritual transformation as one continuum leading to perfection or self-realization; and works intensely and consciously with the breath and with the conscious guiding of internal energies.

This book explores the different forms of Daoyin in historical sequence, beginning with the early medical manuscripts of the Han dynasty, then moving into its religious adaptation in Highest Clarity Daoism. After examining the medieval Daoyin Scripture and ways of integrating the practice into Tang Daoist immortality, the work outlines late imperial forms and describes the transformation of the practice in the modern world.

Presenting a rich crop of specific exercises together with historical context and comparative insights, Chinese Healing Exercises is valuable for both specialists and general readers. It provides historical depth and opens concrete details of an important but as yet little-known health practice.

27 illus.
A Latitude 20 Book

Author: Kohn, Livia;
Livia Kohn is professor emerita of religion and East Asian studies at Boston University.
Read the introduction (PDF).
List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Early Medical Manuscripts

2. Officials, Hermits, and Ecstatics

3. The Exercise Classic

4. Pathways to Immortality

5. Modern Precursors

6. Daoyin Today

Conclusion

Original Sources

Bibliography

Index




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