Saturday, November 01, 2008

Qigong or Qi Gong

Qigong ("chee-gung") is an ancient (5,000-7,000 years old) Chinese system of exercises and techniques designed to work with and improve the body's qi (life force energy).

Qigong has been influenced by and has influenced many other Chinese philosophical practices. It incorporates Taoist ideas of balance and harmony and Buddhist ideas of mental and spiritual awareness. Central concepts of the patterns of energy flow are shared with traditional Chinese medicine, and qigong stimulates the same points on the body that acupuncture and acupressure use. Qigong is often prescribed by Chinese physicians as part of medical treatment.

Qi (or chi) refers to the fundamental life energy of the universe which is present in air, water, food and sunlight. In the body, this energy sustains life. We are born with qi and get it from food and air. The balance of our physical, mental, and emotional levels also affect levels of qi.

Qi moves through the body along 12 main meridians (channels), which correspond with 12 main organs. The organs interact with emotions on the mental level. Qigong improves the balance and flow of energy through these meridians and increases the amount of qi. Another goal of qigong is to balance yin and yang in the body.

Qigong is used for health and healing but also for physical fitness and as a martial art (tai chi and kung fu developed directly from it).

Qigong consists of postures (standing, sitting, lying down), movements (stretches, slow motions, quick thrusts, bending), breathing techniques (deep abdominal, chest, relaxed, holding) and mental exercises. Postures and movements are designed to strengthen, stretch, and tone the body to improve the flow of energy. Meditations and mind exercises are used to enhance the mind and move qi through the body.

Qigong exercises are meant to be performed every morning and evening. But qigong is not just daily exercise. It is a lifestyle with the goal to produce a state of harmony and stability. You can live consciously by incorporating qi principles in everything you do by paying attention to your body, attempting to improve your posture, and moving and breathing harmoniously to activate and harmonize qi.

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I found some videos on You Tube to try out. I've only looked at a few of them so far but here are a couple I liked. Just do a search for "qigong" and "qi gong" and you'll find lots.

1 comment:

  1. I am also a fan of qigong, thank you for the article, thank you for sharing!
    My blog on the subject of Chinese medicine and qigong