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C16 Chinese woodcut: Daoyin technique for 'Yellow swelling'

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Credit: C16 Chinese woodcut: Daoyin technique for 'Yellow swelling'. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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Illustration of technique named 'The immortal strikes the lyre' (Xianren fu qin) from Shouyang congshu: Xiuzhen miyao (Compendium of Longevity and Cultivation Practices: Arcane Essentials of Cultivating Perfection), a text on daoyin (therapeutic gymastics) and Qigong, describing 49 daoyin techniques. The original author of this work is unknown; supposedly, it was discovered in 1513 (8th year of the Zhengde reign period of the Ming dynasty) by Wang Zai, who published it with an introductory essay.

According to the text, this daoyin technique treats chronic, longstanding huangzhong ('Yellow swelling'; oedema with jaundice).

Method: As shown in the illustration, place both hands on the knees; concentrate the attention and hold the breath; circulate Qi for 49 breaths. Thus the Qi will be unblocked, the blood will liquefy, and the illness will clear up spontaneously.

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Heading: The immortal strikes the lyre (Xianren fu qin)

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