Qigong (a.k.a. Chi Kung) means Qi (Life Energy) Gong (intensive training).
The concept of Qi is a very mysterious one to most Westerners. It is a fundamental cornerstone in Traditional Chinese Medicine and many energy based Healing Arts. Qi is the animating power or Universal organizing principal that flows through all things. Qi can be channeled and refined by the practice of the Chinese art of Qigong .
Qigong is a form of energy building and self healing using mental concentration, visualization, healing postures, self massage, movement, focused intention and precise methods of breathing.
In the Eastern influenced Healing Arts we believe maintaining a balanced flow of Qi in the body is essential in maintaining good health and vitality. In the practice of ‘Internal’ Martial Arts (such as Taiji, Kyudo and Aikido for example) the cultivation and refining of Qi is pursued to add power and focus to the application of Martial Arts techniques.
My Taiji Teacher, Master Paul Kwan maintains that any method which works to invigorate life and energy can be termed ‘Qigong’. According to Master Kwan; Esoteric Taoism follows the belief that the Human life cycle is based on the initial growing and eventual fading of Qi in the body. As we age, the energy routes which supply and support the circulation of Qi to the vital organs progressively become fatigued, resulting in deterioration, weakness, and poor health.
Over time this Qi energy settles into hot and cold parts of the body. By adulthood the hot (Yang) energy has risen to the upper body containing all the vital organs such as: The heart, liver, lungs, and brain. The cold (Yin) energy tends to settle in the: Legs, genitals, kidneys, and lower abdomen.In order to rebuild and refortify these energy channels, the ancient Taoists created the practice of Qigong; with the idea of extending longevity via regeneration and proper dispersion of the vital Qi energy. Qigong then is a process of rebirth; a return to one’s original, primordial self.
In the practice of Qigong we seek to refine and rejuvenate our bodily supply of Qi. With proper breathing, posture and mindfulness; we ‘pull in’ Qi energy from the Universe, release excess tension through controlled breathing and open key energy meridians in the body. Energy circulation with Qigong seeks to re-create a balance of Qi in the body by a harmonious blending of the body’s Yin and Yang energies.
© Janos Neder