What is Qigong

Highlight: Qi represents the “vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.” and Gong refers to any kind of physical or mental practice. 

 

What is Qigong?

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According to the National Qigong Association, “Qigong is an ancient Chinese healthcare system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention”.  Qi, which is pronounced as “chee” in mandarin, represents the “vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.” and Gong refers to any kind of physical or mental practice. From a traditional Chinese medicine point of view, Qigong is a way of healing the human body through self-training and adjustment. As Qigong became mainstream, a lot of medical research was carried out to study its benefits, and it has been proven that practicing Qigong can be beneficial to both mental and physical health.

 

History of Qigong

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Qigong is a type of traditional exercise in China for keeping health and fitness. It was first recognized as “Tu Na” around 3000 years ago in ancient China. Tu Na means breathing and the famous philosopher Zhuang  Zi explained in his book Nan Hua Jing that breathing until it reaches down to your heel is the secret of being immortal. Later, the Six Healing Sounds of Qigong was invented by Taoism, an ancient religious belief in China.  It is a breathing technique that can improve healing and longevity. Another important practice in Qigong is meditation. Meditation was brought to China by Da Mo, the first Buddhist Patriarch Bodhidharma, during the Liang dynasty and it aims to balance the Qi that flows through our body. Meditation can be beneficial to both our minds and bodies. On top of breathing exercises, martial Qigong was created based on the theories and principles of both Taoist and Buddhist. Today, Qigong has developed into a range of exercises that help to heal and energize people and create balance in our body.

 

Types of Qigong and Benefits

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Qigong can be divided into four categories, namely health, medical, spiritual and martial. Health Qigong, which normally involves supine or seated meditation, breathing exercises and gentle movements, can help to ease stress and raise confidence. Medical Qigong refers to the way to treat patients by using energy manipulation, herbal remedies and Chinese massage techniques. It needs to be done by a qualified Qigong practitioner and is proven to strengthen the immune system, nervous system and internal organs. Other benefits of medical Qigong are regulating hormones, reducing pain and relieving stress. Spiritual Qigong is religion-based and combines seated or moving meditation and prayer. The purpose of Spiritual Qigong differs in religions but it is often to achieve harmony and self-awareness. The last type is martial qigong, which is practiced to strengthen skills in martial arts such as speed, power, flexibility, balance and coordination. It can also help to improve performance in other sports like football or swimming.

 

 

Written by Bota @ InteractChina.com

Posted by Yuqing@ InteractChina.com


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