Qigong (Ch’i Kung)

The
history
of Qigong (Ch’i Kung)
commences beyond the era of
written records, in the mists of prehistory. Earliest
estimates suggest that self enhancement and empowerment
practices date into the time of Chinese shamans, previous to
500 BCE.

While Qigong has strong roots into mystical and
philosophical ground, the practical healing and stress
management applications are the most popular aspects of the
tradition in China today. Both the health and spiritual
applications are rapidly gaining in popularity in the
Western world as people realize that disease and stress are
relieved by peace of mind.

Qigong is one of the four pillars of traditional
Chinese medicine: Acupuncture, Massage, Herbal Medicines and
Qigong. Of these, Qigong is the one that can be most easily
self initiated. Both massage and herbal remedies can also be
done as self care, however, Qigong is the mother of Chinese
self healing. Patients who use Qigong faithfully need less
medication, less acupuncture and heal faster.

The word Qigong breaks into Qi and Gong: Qi =
vitality, energy, life force, Gong = practice, cultivate,
refine; Qigong = to cultivate and refine through practice
one’s vitality or life force. The Chinese believe that the
primary mechanism that is triggered by the practice of
Qigong is a spontaneous balancing and enhancing of the
natural healing resources in the human system. Over
thousands of years millions of people have benefited from
these practices believing that improving the function of the
Qi maintains health and heals disease.

In the paradigm of mechanistic Western science, the
practice of Qigong triggers a wide array of physiological
mechanisms which have profound healing benefits. It
increases the delivery of
oxygen
to the tissues. It enhances the elimination of waste
products as well as the transportation of immune cells
through the
lymph
system
. And it shifts the chemistry of the brain and the
nervous
system
. You can find a
summary
of the many physiological mechanisms that are initiated by
the practice of Qigong in the
Information
Center
.

There are various estimates for the number of
varieties of Qigong. There are at least a thousand. Some
elaborate and complex, some mysterious and esoteric and some
simple and practical. If you adjust to a relaxed, upright
posture, take a deep breath and relax your mind – you are
already doing Qigong. Try this: sit up, relax your body,
take a deep breath, rest your mind for just a moment.
Already you are stimulating an automatic self healing
response.

On any morning in the parks throughout China you will
find literally thousands of people doing Qigong practices.
Some practice individually quietly among the trees. Others
practice in large groups of hundreds or even thousands.
Often, one will see a patient, in hospital pajamas, doing a
special form of cancer recovery Qigong – ta form of slow and
intentful walking. Or a group might stand in a circle
chatting as they do a simple form based on hand
movements.

Qigong is one of the most powerful self healing
traditions ever developed in human history. It is literally
a health wonder of the world.

Every time you return to this Qigong and Taiji
Resource Center you will find that our libraries are
growing.

You may wish to explore the
words
that are used to describe Qigong (Ch’i Kung) and Taiji (T’ai
Chi)
, it will help to clarify a few important
points.

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Avatar Written by Roger Jahnke OMD

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