Many of these health exercise practices continue to this day, and the Eight Treasures are often considered a Wai Dan medical qigong exercise set.The Chinese Health Qigong Association says that "as a traditional Chinese health and fitness Qigong exercise routine, Ba Duan Jin, or Eight Section Exercises, dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279)." The scholars Ji Jingwei and Zhu Jianping say, in their book An Illustrated Handbook of Chinese Qigong Forms from the Ancient Texts (2014, p.82), that "The Eight Section Brocade is a set of dynamic exercises for health preservation composed of eight parts.Under each pose, on the Dao-yin diagram (Tu), was a caption with the name of an animal exercise or the name of the disease that the posture might help cure. Making beneficial exercises interesting and enjoyable has always been a challenge to creative people.
In 1973, archeologists in China excavated the tomb of King Ma.
In King Ma's tomb at Mawangdui, on the outskirts of the city of Changsha in Hunan Province, they discovered medical manuals, compilations, and a silk scroll on which were drawn 44 humans in various poses or postures.
The use of calisthenics, stretching, and breathing exercises to maintain good health, fight disease, and enhance the quality of life is of great antiquity.
This type of physical activity has a long documented history in both India and China.
Seeking ways to enjoy a long, healthy, energetic, ethical and enchanted life are, of course, of widespread and perennial interest.
Interesting theories abound about the origin and development of the Eight Section Brocade Chi Kung.
Artwork, medical manuals, folklore, treatises, scriptures and reports on the subject go back over 2,500 years.
Likewise, military physical conditioning techniques, and training with military weapons (bow, sword, staff, saber, knife, spear, etc.) are of comparable antiquity.
It eliminates sickness, benefits the legs, and is also a form of Tao Yin.