Five Element Theory
Anyone who begins their dive into the depths of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has first been introduced to the Five Elemental Theory. This understanding is the imagery, the framework, the tool used throughout the study and practice of TCM. From daily life management, seasonal changes, acupressure, acupuncture, tongue diagnosis, body type observation, personality tendencies, internal circulation and communication, to just the general tides of life, this theory is key to seeing the different constitutions of different people as well as the conditions and patterns that have effect on them in different ways.
Five Animal Qigong
The Five Animals Qigong learned in the San Feng Sect of Wudang is a very unique set of exercises. Within the training of each movement, one opens and strengthens their internal organs and their blood circulation. When the five animals; dragon, tiger, leopard, snake, and crane, are used as a composite whole, one can attain better balance, body awareness, flexibility, tendon and muscle strength, and longevity in health. Qigong is also used to assist the body in the natural expulsion of toxins and waste that has accumulated through bad habits and lifestyles. In time, the dedication to such a practice can improve ones mental stability, as the training constantly strives to focus the minds energy and tame the disruptions caused by external distractions.
The Eight Immortals
The Eight Immortals encompass a wide spectrum of Chinese lore and ideals. Each story depicts a legend of intense proportions. It circles around average personas during the Tang and Song Dynasties that overcome challenges in their life, each of their own perspective, in order to achieve immortality ascend to the heavens.
Each of the Eight Immortals is oft described with a special totem. An object that they carry with them which normally is accrdited to some sort of magical power. The descriptions of the Eight Immortals are very symbolic, and over time their legend has grown amongst the storytellers and is known throughout China and embedded into their culture.
The Daoist Topknot
One of the most common questions I get asked back home is, "What's with the hair?" It is an obvious first question, especially to those who are uninitiated to the ways of Wudang and the Daoist culture that resides there. China has a long history of traditional hairstyles. Each has its own meaning. Some are fashions. Some are traditional. Some are functional. Some were even used to show submission to those in power. Over time, others have been given meanings. So what is the story behind the topknot?