Qigong Explained – What is Qigong? Part 1 of 3

By on 06/30/2014
qigong explained

Qigong Explained

We frequently see the word qigong (qi gong, chi kung) mentioned in the same breath as tai chi, but perhaps you are like I was not too long ago, knowing very little about  qigong and looking for a good resource to get qigong explained.   That’s why for the next few posts, I will be featuring qigong; what it is, how it works and how it can be used along with tai chi to improve your health and happiness.

As one who is grounded in the medical sciences, I like to know how (physiologically) a treatment works, and does the explanation fit with what I know scientifically to be true.  So when I set out to learn more about what qigong is and how it works, I found this following video and enjoyed it’s simplicity yet clarity in answering my questions.  However, first let’s quickly define “qigong”.

Origin of the Word Qigong

Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that uses slow movements, rhythmic breathing, and meditation techniques to promote health, healing, and inner peace. The word Qigong is actually a combination of two Chinese words—“qi,” which translates to “spirit” or vital energy, and “gong,” which signifies cultivation of and commitment to mastery. Thus, qigong can be thought of as a technique to build and control the energy inside you. Studies suggest that the practice of qigong may contribute to reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure, and less pain. It is often recommended by complementary medicine practitioners as a beneficial therapy for patients with cancer, migraines, and chronic fatigue. Noted for its benefits to mental health, it can be especially useful to those who struggle with depression, anxiety, or stressful life circumstances.

Application of Qigong

The beauty of qigong is that anyone of any age or fitness level can do it, even those who have special physical needs or reduced mobility. It is not just about movement; its holistic approach engages and exercises both body and spirit. Depending on your circumstances, you can choose to practice it as part of a group class, as a private lesson, or at home with a video. No special clothing is needed for qigong; you can wear whatever makes you most comfortable.

Practice of Qigong

There are many forms of qigong, and a typical qigong session incorporates gentle movement with mindfulness. A series of gentle, circular movements is practiced. There are several levels of movement in qigong, and the goal, especially at higher levels, is to keep the movements as flowing and small as possible. In today’s busy world, people rarely pay attention to their movements and may move in a rigid manner when stressed.  Deliberately slowing your movements down and letting them flow naturally, as qigong encourages, helps to counteract this problem.

Qigong Breathing

Qigong also features guided abdominal breathing, teaching you to breathe slowly and deeply.  This sounds simple, but those who are stressed actually take very shallow breaths, without realizing it. Deep breathing is one of the quickest ways to induce relaxation, and it can be done on its own or while doing movement practice. Meditation and mindfulness techniques, which vary depending on the type of qigong one is studying, allow students to connect with their spiritual side.  At advanced levels, sounds and chants are used to deepen relaxation.

Qigong Introduction Video

Here is Part 1 – a nice introduction to qigong.  Below you will find my bullet-points from the video containing definitions and quick learning tips gleaned from this video.  Though it is only a few minutes long, it is packed with great information.  Next will be part 2!

Here are some quick take-away’s from the video:

  •  Chi = Energy; life force
  • Dao / Tao = The way of nature
  • Lower Dan Tian = Humans store chi like a battery in the dan tian
  • Acupuncture, acupressure, massage, herbal therapies, meditation and qigong exercises, each have an effect on how well the chi flows through the body
  • With qigong, we use our mind, breath, and physical movements to direct the chi circulation
  • Piezoelectric = mechanical energy converted to electrical energy
  • Bones are piezoelectric
  • Chi is increased by stressing the bones and muscles
  • Each cell in the body acts like a battery and stores electrical energy (potential)
  • Our bodies are a huge battery made up of billions of tiny batteries (cells)
  • Research has proven that skin conductivity is greater over points known as acupuncture points
  • Our health goal is to keep the conductivity flowing smoothly through all organs, muscles, and tendons
  • Relaxation opens all the chi energy channels
  • Fat has LOW conductivity
  • When an area of the  body (tissue, organ, etc.) has too much or inadequate chi flow, sickness and disease result
  • Our endocrine glands produce hormones known as our Pre Birth Essence
  • Hormones act as catalysts (increase) our metabolism, stimulate our bodies and increase vitality
  • Fat has LOW conductivity

For a slideshow with more qigong definitions I highly recommend you check out the slideshow on this page.

 

 

 


 

I welcome your thoughts, insights or questions

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