What is Qigong?
Qigong, also written as chi kung, is pronounced ‘chee gung’. Qi is defined as ‘the one universal life force, which is the foundation upon which all manifestation is built’. It is a part of -- and flows through -- all things. Qi is life energy. ‘Gong’ means an accomplishment or skill that has been gained through steady practice. Therefore Qigong can be defined as the skill of enhancing your life force energy through regular and sustained practice.
Its 5,000 Year Old History
Qigong has a long history that has been developed and refined by the Taoist and Buddhist Masters of China over a period of 5,000 years. It is not only a powerful art and science of cultivating energy but it also has left its mark on many aspects of Chinese culture, such as the healing arts, calligraphy and music.
The word Qigong is a modern term for an ancient Chinese practice. It is about using special movements, meditations and breathing patterns, all designed to help you achieve your personal goals of good health, martial arts inner strength, and spiritual accomplishment.
Ancient Secrets Revealed Today
Qigong has been a traditionally kept secret within the schools of the external and internal martial arts; within the political and wealth hierarchies; and within the temples and monasteries of China and Tibet. Qigong is so greatly respected that it has been referred to as “the secret engine that powers the Chinese martial and healing arts”.
It is indeed fortunate for us that, in recent years, an enormous amount (certainly not all) of Qigong information and teaching has been made available to the general public. This has given everyone of all ages, sexes, and levels of health and fitness, the opportunity to greatly benefit from these life-enhancing teachings and traditions. The Qi Healing System and Medical Qigong Therapy use Qigong to enhance all aspects of healing and energetic expression, and also teaches different styles to suit the needs of a wide range of people.
The Three Categories – Medical – Martial - Spiritual
Qigong is often categorized into three different types, which overlap in varying degrees. These are health/medical Qigong, martial Qigong, and spiritual Qigong. Health/medical Qigong focuses on health preservation and restoration. Martial qigong can be used to enhance sport or martial art performance. Spiritual Qigong enhances spiritual, psychic and intuitive perceptions, and is sometimes referred to as ‘Shengong’, or the development of spirit skills. I do teach medical, martial and spiritual Qigong forms.
The Video page has some additional information and an informative introduction to Qigong.
Qigong for Healers
Qigong is also an excellent practice for anyone involved in the healing arts. It can help enhance your own qi, sensitize and bring qi to your hands, increase personal magnetism, psychic sensitivity and latent powers, and by helping to clear your own internal energy pathways, a better channel for healing energy.
See Healing Audio for more information on Qigong and Qigong for healers.
Many healing traditions of the world have a core belief that health and the healing process is enhanced by removing energy blockages, and improving the circulation of Qi within the body. Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Tui Na, (a form of Chinese Medical Massage) and herbs are used to influence the flow of qi through the body’s pathways with the goal of improving health.
Qigong is another powerful way of removing energetic blockages and increasing the circulation of qi (life energy), blood and lymph fluids throughout the body. The regular practice of qigong and its physical movements, breath patterns and mindfulness are known to be so effective that in China over 80,000,000 people practice this proven self-care system every day!
Not only does qigong have a long historical tradition of performance success but recently a great deal of modern scientific data supports this. This verifies what the ancient Taoist already knew, that Qigong can be an effective healing, strengthening and enlightening practice. One source of some of these modern studies can be found at ‘The Qigong and Energy Medicine Database’, which currently lists over 6,545 abstracts and citations on the effectiveness of Qigong and other energy based healing systems.
Qigong - The Path of Movement, Meditation and Strength for Everyone
Depending on the goal of your Qigong practice, the movements of any form can be gentle, soft or flowing; others may involve more muscular strength, or they may be static postures or even seated meditations.
However, unlike the long learning curve associated with tai chi chuan, Qigong forms can be learned very quickly. They are perfect for people of all ages and fitness levels and they provide a powerful adjunct to any fitness/health program.
Those who practice Qigong consistently find that it helps them maintain optimum health, speeds recovery from illness, reduces stress, increases vitality, and provides a feeling of deep harmony as well as a gratifying sense of personal accomplishment.
Although Qigong, like any other health care practice, is not a panacea, it is a highly effective health care practice. Many health care professionals recommend Qigong as a powerful form of complementary care.
Perhaps the greatest message about Qigong is that it is for everyone. It enables all of us to improve the quality of our lives in so many different and powerful ways. Our age doesn’t matter; neither does our ability nor the circumstances of our lives. In order to improve all we need to do is to continue to put one foot in front of each other, to keep going, and never give up.
Qigong is a wonderful practice that is truly for every person!