Five Animals Qigong E-book

English version

Five Animals Qigong – Wu Qin Xi

A complete medical Qigong system

Five Animals Qigong is the oldest known dynamic Qigong system created by Hua Tou (110-207 BC). Hua Tou is known as the Father of Chinese medicine. His work is still used to this day. It is a Taoist legend, that Hua Tou received these exercises from two Taoist hermits, living in a cave on the Gong Yi Mountain.

The exercises are also known as ‘Five Animal Play’. The five animals are the fearsome and untamed Tiger, the graceful Deer, the heavy and clumsy Bear, the agile Monkey and the flying Crane. These Qigong exercises are based on each of these five animals. One must not only imitate the movements of the animals, but also their attitude and behaviour. This complete system develops grace, agility, strength and balance. The exercises enhance the circulation of Qi.

There is a connection between these five Qigong exercises and the five elements of Chinese medicine that also links to the internal organs. Hua Tou’s purpose was to design exercises that would prevent imbalances in the internal organs.

Animal          Element        Yin organ     Yang organ

Bear              Wood             Liver              Gall bladder

Bird (Crane)  Fire                Heart             Small intestine

Monkey         Earth             Spleen           Stomach

Tiger             Metal              Lung              Large intestine

Deer             Water             Kidneys          Bladder

In Chinese medicine the Yin organs are considered as deeper and more important than the Yang organs. The Yin organs are generally firm and compact in structure. They fabricate, store and distribute Qi, blood and body fluids.


The Yang organs are hollow in structure – they receive, decompose, absorb and separate the parts of our diet, which are useful from the rest.

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