The Eight Treasures are a series of short exercises that can be practiced by anyone at any level of fitness. The movement sequences are patterned on nature, such as the “white crane washes its feathers” and “the sleeping Lion turns its head.” It is a combination of bodily exercise and internal chi movement. It brings great vitality to the body, mind and spirit and provides a good foundation for body coordination and longevity as well as a strong spirit.
People with severe health problems can benefit from practicing the breathing methods and placing less emphasis on the physical aspect. Once health improves, the more physical part of the exercises are emphasized. Those who are already in excellent physical condition benefit by developing a strong center through the abdominal chi and a more harmonious flow of energy.
The Eight Treasures is a form of Qi Gong that has been passed down to the Ni family from the Yellow Emperor through the tradition of the Integral Way. It is also called Pa Kun Dao In (八公导引) which means “Channeling Exercise of the Eight Old Respectable Ones” or Shen Jia Ba Jin Duan (仙家八景图), which means “Eight Groups of Exercise from the Immortal School.”
The Eight Treasures works on all parts of the body and activates all twelve channels and the eight extraordinary channels (these refer to energy pathways particularly addressed by acupuncture and Chinese medicine). It takes between 20 and 50 minutes to perform the entire sequence of movements, depending on your speed and the number of repetitions chosen.
Eight Treasures Qigong can be practiced by anyone of any fitness or meditative level.
Paul Olko is a Naturopath, Herbalist and Asian Bodywork Therapist. He has been associated with the NI Family Traditional practices since 1989 and travels to Los Angeles each year to advance his own practice.
He is certified by the Chi Health Institute in the NI family’s Eighteen-Step Harmony-Style Tai Chi. and has been a yoga teacher since 1972.