In this post, we are going to explore the Qigong routine known as the Daoist Five. I am only going to detail the theory behind the practice rather than the practice itself. The Daoist Five is one of the better Qigong sets for maintaining internal organ health. It is based on the concept of the Five Elements, each of which corresponds to yin and yang organs. The Daoist Five is a set of Qigong movements whose purpose is to restore both yin and yang energy balance in order to promote efficient qi flow from each organ. Each element represents a specific organ and each of the five movements work on a specific element and organ (each element is represented by its organ and vice versa). The movements stretch the meridians and activate all three forms of important energy (jing, qi and shen) and also massage the internal organs. This set of movements is especially helpful for getting immediate and impressive results. Keep in mind that you can practice each exercise individually to address a specific organ, or each together as a simultaneous set.
Ultimately, the purpose of the Daoist Five is to bring the elements back into balance. It is possible to have too much qi, not enough qi or balanced qi and our goal is the latter. We can also tonify each element, which means increasing the qi level to resolve a deficiency or purge, which involves decreasing qi to eliminate an excess. Deficiencies and excesses of qi can result from foods, supplements, drugs, thinking or emotional patterns, environmental influences, lifestyle choices, genes or medical conditions. One can also regulate qi, which involves supporting a qi level that is already balanced. Different intentions result in different patterns of breathing and intention. Tonifying qi involves focusing on inhaling and visualizing healthy qi entering the body and it is most often the kidneys (which correspond to the water element) that require tonification. Purging involves exhaling and visualizing bad qi leaving the body and the organ most commonly in need of purging is the liver (corresponding to the wood element).
When addressing the yang organs and meridians, we are focusing on activating the meridians along the outside of the arms and legs, back of the body and organs related to the digestive system, expanding and contracting the motion of the digestive system, which increases qi and blood circulation to the organs. It also helps these organs transmit what is necessary and eliminating what is not. For this reason, it is a helpful way of addressing digestive disorders. After this, the Daoist Five Yin is employed to address each element individually so the practitioner can more deeply explore each organ and address it appropriately through either purging, toning or regulating.