What is qigong?
Qigong is a holistic system of gentle exercise that originated in China and focuses on cultivating vital life force through various techniques such as:
The movements used in Qigong are repeated several times resulting to stretching the body, increasing the movement of fluids such as blood, synovial and lymph, and building self-awareness on how the body moves through space.
Qigong is an internal process that has used external movements. The word Qigong originated from the words “Qi” which means “life force” or the energy that fuels the body and spirit, and “Gong” which means “work” or “gather”. When the flow of Qi energy is balanced, the body allows itself to heal optimally.
Is Tai Chi and Qigong the same?
Tai Chi is a form of martial art that embraces the mind, body, and spirit. It is used for self-defense techniques and various health benefits. Later on, it became popular as a form of exercise that combines the gentle physical exercise and stretching movements with mindfulness.
The following are some of the differences between Tai Chi:
- Tai Chi is a form of Qigong
- Tai Chi is used as a martial art while Qigong is used purely for healing
- The movements used between Tai Chi and Qigong are different
- Tai Chi and Qigong works with the chi-energy differently
How do you practice qigong
Qigong has four main divisions and depends on the practitioner’s goal – spiritual, medical, martial, and athletic. There are two greater paths under Qigong
- Personal Cultivation - all paths in Qigong started as a personal journey of self-discovery using movement, breath, and intention.
- Clinical Qigong - Clinical Qigong Professionals are able to use qi transmission methods effectively and teach prescriptive Qigong exercises based on various diagnostic and assessment systems that help restore health and wellness.
What are the benefits of Qigong?
Qigong helps in opening the energy flows in the meridians. It enhances the ability of the person to feel the Qi energy underlying the physical world and helps in deepening the communication with it.
Physically, Qigong movements help warm tendons, ligaments, and muscles, tone vital organs and connective tissue, and improve fluid circulation.
As a health practice, Qigong has numerous health benefits which include:
- cardiovascular benefits like lower resting heart rate, improved blood pressure, and improved cholesterol levels
- respiratory benefits like a slower breathing rate, and improvements in asthma and bronchitis
- improved immune system
- improved fluid circulation and microcirculation
- improved blood flow to the brain
- lowered risk of developing stroke
- reduced frequency and intensity of seizures
- improved body posture, balance, strength, endurance, and flexibility
- reduced chronic pain
- decreased stress levels and anxiety
- improved memory retention
- improved kidney function
- higher bone density
- eliminates free radicals from the body
- improved digestion
- improved vision and hearing