"Qi" ~ air, breath of life, vital energy ~ "Gong" ~ benefit from work or cultivation ~ originally birthed from "Dao-yin" ~ leading and guiding qi, is an ancient Chinese energy art and science as relevant today as it was over 5,000 years ago. First intuited by shaman, later infused with Daoist philosophy steeped in a profound understanding of universal energy and its relationship to humanity, earth, and laws of nature and the cosmos, so eloquently expressed in the deep, rich text of the "Tao de Ching" (Tao or Dao).
"Qigong", pronounced "Chee-Goong", is actually an umbrella covering a vast array of esoteric and healing arts; from reality-blowing Daoist and martial arts to the holistic healthcare system of Traditional Chinese Medicine to powerful and sublime moving and still meditations promoting optimum health, longevity and spiritual awareness. The common thread in all of these practices and modalities is the cultivation of and connection to source energies.
Most often when we hear of "qigong" it's referring to an empowering self-care practice using one's breath, focused awareness, intention/visualization, postures or movement to facilitate energy flow in the body to promote mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing.
The Qigong referred to here is a beautiful practice needing little space or time, no special clothing or equipment. It's a perfect lifetime practice supporting radiant health and wellbeing and can be done standing, sitting or lying down. Simple, yet profound, the practice endows (in-"Dao"s) the dedicated practitioner with increased vitality, optimum health and a deep sense of connection. Qigong is the best health insurance one can have and certainly the most economical!
Known Health Benefits
Qigong improves flexibility, balance and bone density. It enhances respiration, circulation and memory. It supports the immune system, enhancing lymphatic flow, supports the endocrine system, balancing hormones. Creates a state of homeostasis within bodily systems, creating dynamic balance in the branches of the autonomic nervous system. Scientific studies have shown its efficacy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, hypertension and in the production of anti-aging enzymes and more. It's complementary to Western medical practices and is being used to support and shorten recovery after surgeries and manage chronic illnesses. Visit qigonginstitute.org for articles on scientific studies.
WHAT IS QIGONG?
If energy animates all life, emanates from all things, and permeates all space, doesn't it make sense to have a daily practice that refines your relationship to energy?
The empowering practice of Qigong gracefully enables the committed practitioner to merge with the ultimate fabric of our lives to create physical, mental, emotional stability, resilience & flexibility. Qigong cultivates energy awareness, enhances intuition and discernment, empowers personal responsibility, while creating a profound sense of belonging and connection, aka. spiritual awareness.
One can spend a lifetime studying Qigong, as the practice and philosophy never stops revealing new insights, truths and profound benefits.
In the West, there are wonderful Qigong teachers and Masters, who have studied a lifetime. To find a teacher in your area and begin a practice visit the National Qigong Association website at nqa.org
What I found over the years is the best qigong teachers have a depth of knowledge along with a light-heartedness, sense of humour and playfulness. When you look at them their eyes twinkle and their whole body smiles!
Approaching a Qigong practice with a child-like curiosity, suspending any hard-held beliefs will enable you to play in the playground of the energy of everything!
The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing ~
A Complete Guide to Chi-Gung: Harnessing the Power of the Universe ~
The Healing Promise of Qi ~ Roger Jahnke, O.M.D.
Qigong For Beginners with Francesco Garripoli and Daisy Lee. Double disc set includes a documentary film on Qigong in China, and Wuji Qigong exercises filmed in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, plus an inspiring, insightful interview with Francesco Garripoli.
Vicki Dello Joio has developed a wonderful online Qigong jump start program called Pivot to Positive, containing many short videos for specific emotional challenges and designed to help shift one's energy back to center. Visit Way of Joy online to sample this unique, accessible, supportive program.
Solala Towler's website offers qigong resources, and online magazine, The Empty Vessel: The Journal of Taoist Philosophy and Practice
Visit Three Pure Rivers website of Mark Reinhart, for more insights and a wonderful library linked to Amazon.com.