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.
The Kung Fu master, Sifu Wong Kiew-Kit, referring to the Shaolin Wahnam style, says "the first eight Lohan Hands are the same as the eight exercises in a famous set of chi kung exercises called the Eight Pieces of Brocade." There are numerous versions, seated and standing, of Bodhiidharma's exercise sets - including the related "Tendon-Changing and Marrow-Washing" (Yi Jin Jing) qigong set with exercises identical to Brocade versions (Li Jingwei, 2014, p. Some versions of the 18 Lohan (Luohan) Hands have up to four levels, and scores of movement forms for qigong and martial purposes.
Professor Wang Jiafu has traced the history of Dao-yin fitness exercises, and states "Books and diagrams about daoyin appeared in growing numbers in the Western Jin Dynasty (266-316 AD).
"Breathing in and out in various manners, spitting out the old and taking in the new, walking like a bear and stretching their neck like a bird to achieve longevity - this is what such practitioners of Daoyin, cultivators of the body and all those searching for long life like Ancestor Peng, enjoy." - Chuang Tzu, Chapter 15, circa 300 BCE (Actually, Chuang Tzu seems to be mocking these exercises as unnecessary.) There was a wealthy King Ma who lived sometime around 160 BCE during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 24 CE).
When King Ma died they placed many documents in his tomb.
Over many centuries in China, traditional medical remedies (e.g., herbs, massage, diet, heat, acupuncture, exercise routines, etc.) were combined with esoteric and magical Daoist (Taoist) and local shamanistic healing practices.