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.
This name has been handed down by the sages of antiquity, and hence the eight illustrations. The object aimed at is to prevent the entrance of demons and vicious air, to obtain clearness in dreams and sleep, and not stupidity, to shut out cold and heat from the body, and prevent disease from gaining a lodgment. The time when the exercises are enjoined to be carried out is after the third watch (11 to 1 a.m.), and before noon, as this period agrees with the creation of heaven and earth, and also with their fixed series of diurnal revolutions; and the blood and air cannot stop, but must proceed also in their revolutions, and this is in accordance with the principles of the Eight Diagrams, which has excellent reason on its side. The idea in the expression "to close the fist tightly" has not been deeply investigated. Not only must the eyes be closed and see one's own eyes, and thus the heart shut to the external world, but at the time of sitting cross-legged, the left heel must be so flexed as to buttress the movable place (perinĉum) below the root of the membrum virile of the kidney, so as to prevent leakage of the semen. In performing this kung, it is not absolutely necessary to do it at the periods specified. Any time of the day when the body is at leisure and the heart unoccupied will do equally well. To use the exercise much or little must be left to each one's own discretion. If persons, however, will abide by the after midnight and before noon arrangements, then, if at these periods they should have no leisure, what then? Those who wish to learn Tao cannot but understand this. Such is the native introduction to these sections. It will be observed that they are prophylactic.
No. 1. - Knocking the teeth and collecting the spirits. Bump the teeth and assemble the spirits 36 times. Let the two hands embrace the Kw'en-lun * (the head) and beat the "Heavenly Drum" (the occiput) 24 times. Note. - The eyes must first be shut, and the heart dark (i.e., in Tauist phraseology, sit cross-legged), the fists must be tightly closed, and the heart at rest, and both hands placed behind the vertex (of the head); then 9 respirations such that the ears will not hear, afterwards respire, but still to be inaudible to the ears; then sound the "Heavenly Dunn" 24 times; afterwards knock the teeth and assemble the spirits; then both hands with their palms must cover the ears, and the fore-finger is to press upon the middle finger, and the back of the brain to be tapped right and left each 24 times. (The occiput is also sometimes termed the "Jade Pillow").
* A mountain of Central Asia, the Hindu Kush, widely celebrated in Chinese legends, especially in ancient fable and Tauist mythology. The cosmogonists and mystics elevated it to the position of the central mountain of the earth, or as we say now "the roof of heaven," and the source of the " four great rivers," also the residence of the queen of the genii. Innumerable marvels are related of this mountain, with its trees of pearls, jade-stone, and immortality. The appropriation of the name of this mountain to the head is, therefore, not out of place.
No. 2. - Shaking the "Heavenly Pillar', The right and left hand to shake the " heavenly pillar ' each 24 times. Note. - First close the fists tightly, then move the head once right and left, look at the shoulder and upper arm while following the movement 24 times.
No. 3. - The Tongue Exciting Gargling and Swallowing the Saliva. Let the tongue stir up the palate right and left 36 times, gargle 36 times, divide into 3 mouthfuls, and, like hard things, swallow [the saliva thus produced], and afterwards the "fire" (inflammation) will go.
Note, - Let the tongue excite the mouth, teeth, right and left cheeks; and, when the saliva has been thus produced, then gargle; and, when the mouth is full, then swallow it. The tongue is the "red dragon," the saliva is the "divine water," and the swallowing of the three mouthfuls must imitate the sound ku ku the sound of gurgling water).
No. 4. - Rubbing the Kidneys. With both hands rub the court or hall of the kidneys (the loins) 36 times, the more the better. ( Tang chia and fu are indifferently used; and, when applied to the viscera, denote their residence). Note. - Close the respiration, rub the hands until warm, then rub the kidneys according to the number of times already mentioned; afterwards draw back the hands, close the fists tightly. Again shut the breath, reflect, use the fire of the heart and burn (heat) the tan tien (navel); and, when you feel that it has become very hot, then use the subsequent method. In the expression "the dragon going and the tiger fleeing," the saliva represents the dragon and the air [of respiration] the tiger. In closing the breath and rubbing the hands warm, the nose first inspires the pure air, and then the respiration is closed; after a little, the hands are rubbed quickly until they become quite hot; then slowly let the nose give exit to the air. To rub the back clung men, (i.e., semen door) means the external kidney behind the loins (as explained by the Chinese). When the joining of the hands in rubbing is finished, withdraw the hands and grasp the fists firmly (as before). Again shutting off the air, think of the fire as burning the "wheel of the navel." This refers to the tan tien, and using the "heart fire" to think it down to the heating of the tan tien.
No. 5. - Winding the Single Pulley. With the right and left [hand], turn the single pulley 36 times. Note. - First bend the head and move the left shoulder 36 times, then the right also 36 times.
No. 6. - Winding the Double Pulley. Thirty-six times. Note. - Move the two shoulders like a pendulum 36 times. Bend the head, move the shoulders, think the fire from the tan tien upwards by the "double pass" (one of the acupuncture apertures in the back) to the brain, the nose introducing the pure air; then close for a brief period, and extend the feet.
No. 7. - Pressing the Vertex. Rub the two hands together, and after five hems (voluntary half-coughs, in Chinese, k'o, interlace the hands and support Heaven, and then press the vertex each 9 times. Note. - Interlock the hands and raise them aloft to support the void 3 or 9 times.
No. 8. - Grasping the Hook. Let the two hands take the form of a hook, advance them to the front, grasp the soles of the two feet 12 times, again withdraw the feet and sit upright. Note. - Bring both hands to the front, clasp the soles of the feet 12 times, re-collect the feet and sit upright. Wait till the saliva in the mouth is produced, then gargle and swallow according to the number of times already indicated, move the shoulders and body 24 times, and also the pulley exercise (termed the "river cart") 24 times; think the fire of the tan-tien from below upwards, and burn (heat) the body. At the time of thinking, the mouth and nose must be closed for a very little. Wait till the saliva is produced in the mouth; if it fail, then re-excite it, gargle and swallow according to the former method. When the " divine water" is swallowed 9 times, and the gurgling sound produced, the pulses become all harmonized and regulated.