Qi is the Chinese word that defines the energy of being, our “vital breath” or “life energy.” We live in this field of Qi, yet, like a bird in flight or a fish in water, we’re unaware of the medium that supports us. All of nature pulsates with Qi. Human beings, animals, fish, birds, and insects along with all the flowers, trees, mountains and seas of the earth manifest Qi. The elements of heaven, thunder, lightning, wind and fire share Qi. It’s the common language of the universe, uniting and binding all things together. Qigong is the ancient Chinese art and science of becoming aware of this life energy and learning how to control its flow through a precise choreography of posture, movement, respiratory technique, and meditation. It’s the practice of accumulating Qi, balancing Qi, and coordinating the flow of Qi to maintain health and well-being.
Through gentle movement, visualization, sound, breathing and conscious intention, the ancient practice of Qigong dynamically restores the life energy and creative power within oneself. As the underlying causes of life’s challenges are released, you reconnect with the universal source and bring new and vital energy streams into the flow of life. Unlike some forms of healing therapies where the individual is often a passive patient, Qigong requires one actively participate in healing. Regular practice of Qigong will help enhance resistance to disease, restore physical energy, relax and energize breathing, quiet the mind, promote more restful sleep, relieve stress-related illness, increase a sense of awareness, improve posture, balance, and inner peace.
There are thousands of types of Qi Gong practices however the two main categories are Quiescent and Dynamic. Quiescent is characterized by little-to-no movement and is quite meditative while dynamic is characterized by movement. Under dynamic falls Tai Chi Qi Gong. In this type of dynamic Qi Gong, all movements are done using Tai Chi Principle with unity of movement. With either category one of any age and any health profile can harness the many healing benefits it has to offer.
Like acupuncture, qigong is one of the essential components of traditional Chinese medicine. It’s based on the flow of Qi along meridians or channels corresponding to each of the 12 principal organs. With acupuncture, points on each meridian are stimulated by needles to increase or decrease the flow of qi and promote healing, while in qigong slow, graceful exercise routines are employed to have the same effect.
Mind and body are an important concept in Qigong in they aren’t separated; rather, the mind is present in all parts of body, and can be used to move qi throughout the body. A third concept practiced in qigong is the relationship between yin and yang. Yin and yang are opposites, yet they interact with each other and influence the others actions. One of qigong’s goals, in addition to improving the balance and flow of qi, is to balance yin and yang. Therefore, when qigong is practiced, complementary techniques are used to balance things out. For instance, a technique using the left hand may be followed by a technique involving the right hand; a strong technique may be balanced by a lighter technique, and so on.
Qigong is a simple, efficient, and effective method for helping you experience your optimal health, wellness, and happiness; helping you heal physical and emotional pain; and enhancing the quality of your life and the lives of others. Qigong’s great appeal is everyone can benefit, regardless of ability, age, belief system or life circumstances.
by Maureen Lamerdin For Nevada Appeal