Chi Kung or Qigong
Qigong (pronounced “chee-gung“) is an ancient Chinese exercise system combining meditation and slow, gentle movements to promote health and relaxation. The qigong student learns to visualize an invisible energy field known as qi (“life force”) and move it through the body to balance and heal dysfunction.
Mentioned as early as 3,000 years ago in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, qigong, or “energy work”, has been considered one of the main pillars of Chinese medicine along with acupuncture, herbal treatment, massage, and diet.
Over 80 million Chinese practice qigong daily, and in the West its popularity has steadily increased over the last decade. Qigong is the forebear of exercises like t’ai chi and dao-in (Chinese yoga).
Qigong is considered an effective therapy for a host of chronic illnesses that are considered difficult to treat with Western medicine, including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hypertension and chronic pain.
In Chinese medicine, all disease stems from an imbalance in the qi as it moves through twelve “meridians” or channels of the body. These energy channels cannot be seen with the human eye like the circulatory system, but they can be detected and manipulated using acupuncture points along the meridians. A principle of qigong is that “the mind leads the qi, and the qi leads the blood”. This means that one uses the mind to guide and enhance the flow of qi through the meridians.