This section is from the book "The Beverages of the Chinese; Kung-fu or Tauist Medical Gymnastics; the Population of China; A Modern Chinese Anatomist and A Chapter in Chinese Surgery.", by John Dudgeon. Also available from Amazon: Kung Fu, or Taoist Medical Gymnastics.
We reserve for the conclusion of this Paper our own remarks and investigations into these principles and theories, and now hasten to place before the reader some of the various methods, active and passive, prophylactic and curative of disease, and for strengthening the body. There are numerous works on the subject, copiously illustrated by more or less rude wood-cuts showing the various positions, - sitting, standing, and lying. To facilitate the full understanding of much that lies at the basis of all Chinese philosophy, and of course also of their medical practice and theories, and is taken for granted in Kung-fu, would require our entering into the general subject at some length. At present it must suffice, aided by brief notes where the references would otherwise be unintelligible, to give as briefly as possible the rationale of the art from the Chinese standpoint. This remarkable people have always highly esteemed the study of physic, because of its utility in the preservation of life and the cure of disease, but chiefly from the close connexion which they believe exists between the body and its various members and the heavenly bodies. The reader will, therefore, not be astonished to find in Kung-fu, as in their medicine generally, much that is puerile and sublimely ridiculous, with here and there grains of wise observation and practical remark. Their reverence for antiquity, and their clinging to their elaborate and beautiful theories which their ignorance led them to make, and their conservatism leads them to keep, has been the chief cause of retarding progress in medicine and the cognate sciences. Had they shown as much talent and industry in studying man as he is, as they have exhibited in the industrial arts, etc., the Chinese would undoubtedly have been the first physicians in the world. With the highest heathen civilization, they stand lowest in point of practical medicine.