Sons of Reflected Light
Beginnings: the 'Sons of Reflected Light' 反光子 and the Early Taoists
How did the Chinese health arts begin? This is how my illustrious master, Professor Chan Kam Lee, told it to me in 1934: that some 12,000 years ago (approximately 10,000 BC), there arrived in China a race of people who were very tall indeed — reputedly over seven feet in height; and because of their unusual clothing they came to be known as the 'Sons of Reflected Light' (反光子 Fankuang Tzu, Pinyin: Fǎnguāng zǐ). Where they came from is still a mystery, and perhaps the true answer to this question may never be known, but on their arrival they wasted no time, for they soon began to collect together a group of skilled people from many trades and professions, whose intelligence was above the normal average during that period.
Having collected this band of people together, they then began to instruct them in many different arts and crafts which technically were far in advance of anything that existed in those far-off days, and many of which have still not been bettered even to this present day.
It took many, many years to instruct the Chinese in the numerous sciences that in those early days were absolutely unheard of. Not only were they new but in many cases they were completely at odds with the Chinese way of life, and with their thinking at that time. Many died trying to learn all that was being taught to them. So it happened that their children, and in turn their children's children, had to carry on the work and the studies of these various arts.
They were taught many arts, including silk weaving, pottery making, the utilisation of metals, and making and using gunpowder, making glass, and the most important of all, the vast range of health arts, such as herbal therapy, health diets, hot and cold treatments, massage, acupressure (spot pressing), respiration therapy and energy therapy.
Generation after generation have tried to carry on the work that these wonderful people bestowed upon mankind. Whether the Chinese people have succeeded in remaining true to the original teachings, over the many centuries that have passed, only time will tell. It cannot be denied, however, that there is at least a possibility that during the many years that have gone by, and owing to the absence of early written records, some of those teachings have been lost.
After many centuries the 'Sons of Reflected Light' disappeared, and nothing seems to have been heard of them since, except that the foundations that they laid in all the years of their work have been built on through the years. Many of the family groups slowly dispersed throughout the length and breadth of China, and because of this, you will find that certain of the health arts became prominent in particular areas of the vast territory of China, mainly owing to the simple fact that some of the arts were more suitable to the local climate and natural environment of particular territories. 
Taoism came into being in China between 10,000 and 5,000 BC, and it was through the dedication and hard work of the early Taoists that they were able to develop so many arts and crafts from the foundations and guidelines given to them by the 'Sons of Reflected Light', a sect of people reputed to be over seven feet in height, and who wore a type of clothing that had never been seen in China before. Where they came from is still a mystery, and may remain a mystery for ever, but whilst they stayed they taught local craftspeople many different arts and crafts, which were far in advance of anything else that existed in those far off days. Many of these skills are still in advance of anything that is in existence even in this present day and age.
Great efforts have been made by the Taoists through the ages to carry on this good work and to pass on the knowledge that was given to them by the 'Sons of Reflected Light'. Unfortunately, since no written records were kept in those far distant days, some of their teachings have no doubt been lost in the realms of time.
Amongst the skills that were passed on are silk-weaving, glass and pottery making, the manufacture of gun-powder, and metal working. The most important of all, however, is the vast array of health skills, many of which are still being practised and taught today.
These health arts eventually became known as the 'Eight Strands of the Brocade' (Pa Chin Hsien), and in the West they are still being used to help sufferers of all types of disease and infirmity, often completely free of charge. This philosophical outlook is still carried on within Taoist families, for when it is your birthday you give your parents and your brothers and sisters a present each to thank them and to show your appreciation of being brought into this world amongst such nice people. We still keep up this practise in our house.