What is Qigong?
Qigong is the most profound health practice ever invented by mankind for the prevention of illness, reducing stress, managing chronic conditions, increasing longevity, and promoting healthy, active aging.
Tom Rogers, President, Qigong Institute
Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is a 5000 year old internal Chinese practice of learning to cultivate and rejuvenate your internal energy using slow, graceful movements and a variety of slow breathing techniques. The practice of Qigong builds muscle strength while reducing stress and enhancing energy. “Qi” means energy/breath/life force and “Gong” means cultivation/movement/work. Qigong is practiced by 200 million people worldwide of all ages, physical abilities, religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds.
Did you know that Qigong:
- Is a way of living, not just a physical practice
- Is an essential component of traditional Chinese medicine
- Delivers anti-aging and life-prolonging effects
- Is the Mother of Acupuncture, Tai Chi and the Martial Arts
- Cultivates energy through the use of breathing techniques synchronized with movement
Did you know that Qi
- Has the same meaning as “prana” which is a Sanskrit word for “life force”
- Is the same energy that moves your blood and causes your heart to beat automatically
- Is thought of as only connected to Qigong, but every system of healing uses a form of Qi including:
→ Ayurveda, Yoga and systems of healing from India (they call it “prana”)
→ Kemetic Yoga, Kemetic studies and systems of healing from Africa (they call it “Ra”)
→ Christianity, referring to it as the “Holy Spirit”
→ Many other systems from all over the world
Qigong is said to have come from China over 5000 years ago, but this system of healing wasn’t even labeled “Qigong” until the 1950’s. Try not to limit your thinking to a specific country, practice or modality. Qigong is the metaphor for a way of living that includes breathing, movement and meditation. In our society, we have trained ourselves to be so limited in the way that we think. It is our hope to broaden perspectives so that you will see the universal meanings and applications of Qigong. We provide a title, but hope that you will not be confined by it. We hope you will understand that while we are using guidelines that were perfected in China under the Qigong name and system, ALL IS ONE. No one and no practice that is a way of life and includes principles, breathing, meditation and movement will be excluded.
Three Intents of Qigong
Although all is one, for learning purposes it is helpful to distinguish between the three intents of Qigong. This section is not intended to encourage separation of thought but to emphasize the intent with which you practice Qigong. The foundation of all Qigong practices begin with synchronicity of seamlessly combining breath with movement in meditation. Dr. George Xavier Love is our founding Qigong Master, Mentor and Elder. When I spoke to him on this matter he suggested that we always approach life with intellectual curiosity. This involves acknowledging what you truly do not know and seeking answers. The “I already know it all” approach puts you on the downward spiraling path. So with an open mind and intellectual curiosity, lets briefly explore the three intents of Qigong:
Medical Qigong is the oldest therapeutic modality of traditional Chinese medicine. It is considered a complete system of holistic healing strategies that enhances the body’s self healing mechanisms by addressing the root cause of disease. It can fuse a wide array of movement strategies, therapeutic nutrition, breathing and meditation.
Most people are familiar with what we would call “Martial Qigong.” Martial Qigong has more of a self defense intent and includes Tai Chi, Karate, Kung Fu, Jiu-Jitsu, etc.
The intent of Psycho/Spiritual Qigong is to promote emotional balance, serenity, tranquility and peacefulness.
Health Benefits of Qigong
- Nourishes the heart, improves circulation
- Stimulates metabolism, digestion, elimination and improves absorption
- Rejuvenates sexual function and the immune system
- Enhances blood flow to the brain, mental sharpness, concentration
- Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Reduces stress and blood pressure
- Enhances the healing effects of therapeutic massage, Reiki and craniosacral therapy
- Improves mind/body connections, reflexes and helps prevent osteoporosis
- Encourages spiritual growth and transformation
Qigong is a Way of Living That Includes
- Eating whole, real foods and herbs
- Self empowerment, spiritual growth and transformation
- Energizing meridians through massage and acupressure
- Creating an environment that flows with nature
- Paying it forward
Normal healthy people use about 60% of their circulatory system. When our Qi increases this percentage also goes up. So how is this any different than jogging? In Qigong the body is totally relaxed, yet the blood is mobilized to flow powerfully. Because there is no stress response or cortisol release, which contracts blood vessels, the blood can enter areas that may have been blocked off for years. No other exercise offers this level of circulation to organs and glands.
Jeff Primack, Supreme Science Qigong Foundation