What is Qi Gong?
by Deanna Ries
The documented history of what we know as Qi Gong goes back thousands of years. The earliest beginnings of Qi Gong practice probably emerged naturally in the simple fields of ancient China. Slow-paced farmers, deeply attuned to the rhythms of nature, observed ways in which life was nurtured in plants and animals, and progressively, imitated those principles.
About 1122 B.C. The Book of Change first recorded the concept of qi or vital energy. Studying the relationship of three powers – heaven, earth and man – was an early step in the development of Qi Gong. Early practitioners recommended that the breath be collected and allowed to descend into the body. Interest in breath and life-force (qi) was heightened during this period and became one of the roots of Chinese Medicine. Movement and exercise have always existed in the Chinese culture. These exercises help circulate life-force energy in the body.
Qi means energy as well as breath. Gong is a general term meaning work or skill. The term Qi Gong may therefore be translated as breathing exercise or energy work. The practice of Qi Gong is a breathing exercise of working with life-force energy. Developing this life-force energy is essential to achieving a vital, healthy emotionally and spiritually balanced life.
Most forms of Qi Gong involve various degrees of stretching, flowing movements, and standing postures that are harmonized by rhythmical breathing and a calm, unhurried focused mind.
Qi Gong requires no equipment, little space, and can be practiced in a short amount of time. It is simple, yet brings a tremendous amount of healing power to the individual practicing Qi Gong. When we are healthy our Qi flows smoothly through every part of us. Qi Gong strengthens the mind-body connection, reduces stress, promotes healing, health, and inner peace.
Qi Gong increases the internal energy of the individual. Practicing Qi Gong, enables the individual to become healthy, emotionally balanced, and spiritually connected. It creates inner peace, balance, and harmony that leads to healthy longevity and a deep sense of purpose in life. Sit up, relax your body, take a deep breath and rest your mind for a moment. You are practicing Qi Gong.
Article references: Lee Holden, Qi Gong for Health and Healing, Pub: 2010 Sounds True, Inc.
Mantak Chia and Lee Holden, Simple Chi Kung, Pub: 2011 North Star Trust, Rochester, Vermont.
Lee Holden, What is Qi Gong Article, Internet May 2011.