Daoist Longevity and health cultivation practices date back thousands of years. The first mention of Small Circulation is found in the Xingqiming ( , 475-206 BC) and the concepts of movement based Qigong practice were already explained in the YinShu (186 BC) and Daoyintu (168 BC). A specialized treatise on breathing with detailed analysis on methods and timing of practice was outlined in the Que Gu Shi Qi (168 BC). The concepts of the body as the universe, travelling through the viscera and the visualization of spirits therein was included in the Taiqing text as was the classic Daoyin Yangsheng Classic in the Fourth Century. There are many many more classics and treatise on such Health cultivation and throughout history masters and practitioners have through experimentation and practice advanced our knowledge of such holistic universal approaches. It is these that the Taiping Yansheng Gong method was compiled with elements from a number of different practices and the underlying Daoist route to health cultivation.
There are Eight levels to the Taiping Neigong System. The first four are outlined below.
Level One - Opening and harmonizing the System (养生功)
The foundation of the Taiping Neigong focuses on the harnessing of good physical health through a series of exercises that release blockages, promote the flow of energy and achieving a transformation of the body. It focuses on the Muscolo-skeletal system.
- Lead the body to become Supple and Flexible (引体令柔)
- Smooth the tendons and strengthen the bones (疏筋壮骨)
- Circulate the Jing-luo meridian system (经络动功)
- Expel the old and ingest the new moving qi (吐纳行气)
- Bring the sinews to extremities and seek the five forms (五行拉筋)
- Eight immortals longevity methods (八仙长寿)
Level Two - Regulation and Nourishing the System (五行功)
The second stage of the Taiping Neigong focuses on the Neizang (Internal Organs) and their nourishment. The different methods such as sound, visualization, emotion, nature and massage are applied to help regulate and nourish the health of the body's internal system.
- Six Healing Sounds and vibration of the internal body (六字诀法)
- Nourishing the Internal Organs through kindness & love (爱善五脏)
- Tapping and vibrations to activate the surface channels (拍打抖身)
- Ingesting universal Qi into the internal Organs (服元氣法)
- Self Massage for enhancing qi circulation (内脏按摩)
- Absorption of natural qi from the universe (三丹采气)
Level Three - Activating and Harnessing Energy (内丹功)
The Third stage focuses more internally commencing with the regulation of the mind and spirit (in addition to the body as per previous stages). Here the practice of specialized breathing, energy development and circulation coupled with transformation methods are applied. This allows the practitioner to progressively enter into the fundamental Energy stage of their practice.
- Embryonic breathing and sitting in oblivion (調息坐忘)
- Small Circulation (小周天法)
- Grand Circulation (大周天法)
- Transformation of Essence (炼精化气)
- Five Phases become one (五行归一)
- Initiation of the Primordial with Heavenly Constellations (混元天罡)
Level Four - Synergy of Heaven, Earth and Man Immortality (三仙功)
This stage is about discovering the relationship between the universe and the human body self. It includes the how various aspects of life and objects within the universe can affect each other including aspects such the sun, moon, stars and matter throughout earth in a range of combinations.
- Harmonization of Water and Fire (坎离交媾)
- Human Immortal Skill (人仙功法)
- Earth Immortal Skill (地仙功法)
- Heaven Immortal Skill (天仙功法)
- Interchanging energy with the natural universe (自然换气)
- Nourishing the Eight extraordinary channels through the five phases (五行开脉)