"If you want to be healthy and live to 100, do Qigong."
-Dr. Mehmet Oz M.D.
What is Qigong?
Qigong is a general term for Chinese meditations and exercises that are used to improve and maintain good health and promote longevity. Qi is the life force or energy within all living things. Gong refers to one's ability or skill. Thus, Qigong means Qi ability. A person that practices Qigong develops the ability to work with and improve their own Qi, thus improving their health.
Qigong is a three thousand year old technology from China that has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM, disease occurs in the human body when Qi flow is disturbed (excess, deficient or blocked). The practice of Qigong will help to smooth out the flow of Qi in the body, thus, restoring balance and improving one's health.
"Tension is who you think you should be.
Relaxation is who you are."
- Chinese Proverb
Qigong Reduces Stress
Relaxation is one of the most important aspects of Qigong. The relaxation of both mind and body is important. The focus of Qigong is to cultivate the practitioner's mind power of concentration, thus improving their ability to relax. Thus, practicing Qigong allows one to relax, thereby, activating the body's own innate ability to heal and reducing the effects of stress.
The Benefits of Practicing Qigong
The benefits that come with practicing the art of Qigong are many and individual. It depends on your mind and your practice. Consistent and daily practice will yield the best results. It is important to have an open mind when practicing Qigong. Suspend all doubts and expectations and just practice and experience Qigong. Everyone experiences Qigong differently. Everyone experiences the benefits that come from practicing Qigong differently. It is important to be patient because the benefits may show up at different times for different practitioners. Over time, you may experience the following benefits...
Qigong exercises are sometimes called "movement forms". These including standing postures, moving exercises and martial arts forms like Tai Chi. Qigong exercises are a great way to reduce stress, strengthen, heal and energize the body. Since the meditation aspects of Qigong are yin (still, mental, internal), it is necessary to balance the body with Qigong exercises, which are yang (movement, physical, external). Even gentle Qigong exercises are yang (remember yin and yang are relative). Maintaining yin and yang balance is important for having a healthy mind, body and spirit.
Qigong Meditation is an aspect of Qigong that emphasizes a quiet and inner focused practice. Qigong Meditations are also referred to as Qigong "quiet forms". Qigong meditation utilizes relaxation, breathing, and visualization techniques. Relaxation is a corner-stone of Qigong meditation. Meditation provides the means for relaxing the body and the mind. Relaxation itself improves the flow Qi in the body, since the restrictions to flow, like tension and pressure, are released. In addition, once the mind is relaxed, it is better able to direct Qi in the body to areas that are in need of healing. One example of this form is called "Running Qi". As stated by Qigong Grandmaster Tianyou Hao, "The mind leads the Qi, the Qi follows the mind".
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an ancient healing system developed in China that is still in practice today. Chinese Medicine combines diagnosis, acupuncture, herbal therapy, Tui Na, Qigong and diet to aid the natural healing ability of the human body. TCM is centered around the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang and the concept of a life force, called Chi or Qi.