Qigong (pronounced Chee gung) is a powerful system of medicine from China. It is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy (“Qi“).
Qigong training has four major areas of application which includes Healing Qigong (Yi Gong/ Medical Qigong) which teaches us how to control our reactions to stress reducing the chances of developing conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety attacks etc, External Qi Healing (Wai Qi Zhi Liao) which consists of a sophisticated system of health assessment and non-contact treatment and exercises that increases sensitivity to energy fields and yet does not violate psychotherapists’ professional ethics (which do not allow touching the patient) and thus compliments body-centered psychotherapy, Sports Qigong (Wu Gong) which includes exercises that enhance performance in any sport, and finally Spiritual Qigong (Fo Gong, Tao Gong) which evolved from Taosism and Buddhism as a spiritual discipline that leads to self-awareness and tranquillity of the mind. Lesser known categories include Art Qigong which enhances aesthetic sensitivity and Business Qigong .
Qigong training is suitable for all ages as the techniques include an array of standing and sitting postures that one can choose from which can be tailored to individual needs making it an ideal aid to recovery from injury or illness. As it is a form of treatment that doesn”t involve medication it compliments other forms of therapy but should never be used as a substitute form of treatment.
The benefits of practicing Qigong includes health, vitality and a tranquil state of mind, self awareness and concentration and good posture, however research has also identified it as beneficial for the treatment of cancer, Asthma, Chronic Fatigue, headaches and other common ailments.
The central goal in Qigong training is the control and manipulation of “Qi“, a form of energy that supposedly exists in all things including the air, water, food, and sunlight. In the body, “Qi” represents the unseen vital force that sustains life. Qigong training involves the control and balance of the “Qi” within the body and its interaction with the surrounding environment.
The importance of “Yin” and “Yang” or balance between complementary principles is a fundamental principle accepted in Chinese medicine. It suggests that the two forces (Ying and Yang) are always interacting, opposing, and influencing each other. This principle is also applied to Qigong training. For example, the organs within the body are classified in terms of “Water” (Ying organs) and “Fire” (Yang Organs) and one of the goals of Qigong training is to balance the “Qi” between those opposing organs which results in the flow of positive energy.