The face of exercise is changing in America. Instead of relentlessly pursuing a sculptured physique, people are chasing longevity, stress reduction and improved health through mind-body practices like qigong. The realm of working out has shifted from people just wanting to build bulk and lean, toned muscles to them understanding that the inner health of the body is just as important as the outer health." New York Times April 5, 2007
What is Qigong? ("chee-gong")
Qigong is an ancient Chinese practice that enables the body to heal itself and promotes longevity by combining exercises of meditation, visualization, breathing and movement. According to Chinese Medicine, "Qi" is the leading force behind blood circulation, digestion and metabolism.A long kept secret, dating back 5000 years, Qigong was seldom taught outside family bloodlines and royalty in China. Today, 200 million people are practicing Qigong worldwide and it is slowly, but surely, reaching the West. It is beneficial to whomever practices it regardless of age, sex, race or religion. However, it is most beneficial when it is practiced in groups. In Qigong, healing occurs when one raises their energy high enough to push through the blockages of the nervous and circulatory systems. Sometimes people need stronger energy to clear the pipes so Qi can reach the problem areas. Doing Qigong alone is very powerful, but doing it in a group takes the energy into overdrive and magnifies your biological magnetic field. Being in that high amplitude energy is the single fastest way to jumpstart your internal energy.
How is Qigong different from other forms of Exercise or Yoga?
Qigong makes your body pulse with energy. Only Qigong deals with the actual energy itself to such a degree - and where we pulse… we regenerate. Yoga is a great compliment to Qigong, however, Qigong has a much higher success rate for people actually feeling Qi. Yoga enthusiasts, those who are fitness oriented and anyone that works with energy, like Reiki, love Qigong.
Breathing is key to Qigong from the start in contrast to other disiplines where it is introduced years into practice. Yoga can be harder to do than Qigong, especially for older adults, and it does not have practices that involve energy transmission. On the other hand, both can ultimately lead to similar higher levels of spiritual awareness. In terms of public perception, Qigong is where yoga was twenty years ago." (last paragraph paraphrased from Qigonginstitute.org)
How does Qigong heal the body?
Qigong moves a lot of blood and generates a lot of energy without lots of movement or stress. A Qi blockage, or energy blockage, is simply an area where blood cannot go or an area where disease can occur. Qigong usually improves this. Blood can work itself through closed off capillaries when a person is relaxed and increasing Qi in that area. So, how is this different from jogging? In Qigong, the body is totally relaxed, yet the blood is mobilized to flow powerfully. Because there is no stress response or cortisol release (which contracts blood vessels and causes belly fat), the blood can enter areas that may have been blocked off for years. Imagine the same blood circulation you get from jogging while standing still...completely relaxed. No other exercise offers this level of circulation to organs and endocrine glands. Dr. Oz said on Oprah, "If you want to live to be 100...do Qigong," and "Qigong is the best longevity exercise." There are thousands of scientific studies that show Qigong has helped people reverse cancer, diabetes and heart disease. You can read these scientific studies at QigongInstitute.org.
Health Benefits and Effects of Qigong~
Qigong has powerful health-promoting effects: 1) Improves the motion of blood, warms the blood & enhances the whole body circulation. 2) Stimulates appetite, sexual function, assimilation of nutrients and digestion/elimination. 3) Accelerates metabolism, weight loss, decreases need for sleep. 4) Bolsters the immune system by reducing cortisol, a known inhibitor of cytokine (cellular communicator) production. 5) Develops dexterity, reflexes, and prevents osteoporosis in clinical studies. 6) Opens arteries allowing greater brain-based microcirculation to prevent Alzheimer's disease. 7) Enhances mental acuity, focus and concentration. The Qi draws focus and trains the mind. 8) Helps us to calm down, relax and become more peaceful. 9) Harnesses the power of True Source, remarkably improves the results of hands on healing, such as Reiki, and helps spiritual growth.
Why Healthcare Practitioners & care givers need Qigong~
Often specialty doctors and therapists end up with the same condition they treat in others. This is due to a transference of energy, a certain "Energy Information Signal." By regularly doing Qigong, one can easily cleanse their energy. It is also very important for care givers to practice self care and boost their own energy.