Kung-Fu, or Tauist Medical Gymnastics, by John Dudgeon, , at sacred-texts.com
In the year's exercises, we must omit all references to the time each day, which ranges from mid-night to 7 a.m., when they are enjoined; also the numerous correlations with pulses, blood-vessels, viscera, the five elements and their natures, the atmospheric influences,—whether heavenly, earthly, or respiratory,—the eight diagrams, the cyclical signs, points of the compass, etc. There are two exercises for each month, making 24 in all, arranged according to the 24 solar terms or periods (breaths) of the year, corresponding to the day on which the sun enters the first and fifteenth degree of one of the zodiacal signs. To each of these an appropriate name is given, which we have retained, as they are in popular use. The exercises are arranged according to the four seasons, and each season is prefixed and suffixed with some animal representing the correlated viscera. These we have also retained from their quaintness, excellency of design, and with the view of conveying an idea of the Chinese correspondencies. It will be observed that the Black Tiger and the Dragon occur very frequently in the Tauist works. Charms also frequently accompany them; but, as this is a wide subject and has a special form of treatment, it is omitted here. It has been discussed elsewhere. The various correlations of the human body will be found treated in the Philosophy of Chinese Medicine, a work contemplated by the writer. In the medicinal exercises which follow, I have given the prescriptions attached to them, as they throw some light upon their materia medica and mode of preparing drugs, the nature of their recipes, etc. Included in the chapters on Seasonable Regimen, referred to further on, are found prescriptions ascribed to
the Yellow Emperor (2697 B.C.), to cure or prevent diseases of the viscera which are omitted. The spring governs birth; summer, growth; autumn, harvesting; and winter, storage. For each period and for each viscus, the various things that regulate and assist are given; what is indicated and what contra-indicated, with all matters that ought to be attended to.
The liver is the viscus which stands at the head of the three months of spring. It is represented as a dragon (see illustration, below). The name of its spirit is "Dragon Smoke;" its appellation is "Containing Brightness."
[paragraph continues] The form of the liver is that of a dragon; it stores up the soul; it resembles a banging bottle-gourd of a whitish brown colour; it is placed below the heart, a little nearer the back; the right has four lobes, the left three lobes; its pulse emerges from the end of the thumb. The liver is the mother of the heart and the son of the kidneys. To repair and nourish it, during the first half of the three months, one must sit facing the east, knock the teeth 3 times, shut the breath and inspire 9 times; breathe the south air,—take in 9 mouthfuls and swallow 9 times. Certain medicines are also ordered. The kung to direct the liver for the spring three months is to press equally the two hands on the shoulders, slowly press the body right and left each three times. It can also be done by clasping or interlocking the two hands, turning the palms and dorsa alternately to the chest 3 × 5 times. This will cure obstruction of the liver from vicious wind and poisonous air, and prevent disease from developing. These exercises must be incessantly attended to morning and evening in the spring, without intermitting even one day; and, with the heart set upon it, the cure is complete. If, after driving out the corrupt air, the eyes be fixed and closed, opening them only a little, and then puff out the air slowly and by little, the cure of a flushed face and flow of tears will be effected.