QiGong (also spelled “Ch’i Kung”) is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine from China. It is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate Life Force Energy (Qi). QiGong practice leads to better health and vitality and a tranquil state of mind. In the past, QiGong was also called Nei Gong (“Inner Work”) and Dao Yin (“Guiding Energy”). Qi is pronounced “chee” and Gong is pronounced “gung,” as in “lung.”
We are all exposed to stress. QiGong teaches us how to control our reactions to stress so that stressful events in life do not cause such symptoms as high blood pressure, frustration, and anxiety. Healthy people practice QiGong to become super-healthy. Healers use QiGong to prevent “healer burn-out” and to maintain a positive presence.
Benefits of QiGong:
Experimental evidence indicates the following healing effects of QiGong exercises:
Cardiovascular: lower resting heart rate; normalized EKG, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
Respiratory: slower respiratory rate, improves gaseous exchange, significant benefits for asthma and bronchitis.
Immune System: better targeting of antigens, significant anti-cancer effect.
Circulation: improves microcirculation, prevents vascular spasms, very helpful for angina, migraine, and Reynaud’s Syndrome (cold hands and feet).
Brain: improves cerebral blood flow, less incidence of stroke; reduction in frequency and intensity of seizure disorders; slow, high amplitude brainwaves suggest relaxed and integrated state of consciousness.
Musculoskeletal: improves posture, balance, strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Chronic Pain: significant pain reduction from all causes, including injury, surgery, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Mental Health: decreases stress response, Type A behavior, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and depression; improves memory and interpersonal sensitivity.
Longevity: improves blood pressure, vital capacity, cholesterol and hormone levels, kidney function, mental acuity, vision and hearing, skin elasticity, bone density, immune function, digestion, balance, flexibility, strength, libido; destroys free radicals (major cause of tissue degeneration) by stimulating activity of superoxide dismutase.
QiGong has been shown to improve posture and respiration, induce the relaxation response, cause favorable changes in blood chemistry, and improve self-awareness and concentration. Research suggests that QiGong may be beneficial for asthma, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches, pain, and a wide variety of common ailments. QiGong masters advise focusing on yi, not on qi. Yi means intent, mindfulness, and awareness. If a person does QiGong mechanically, repeating movements without awareness, the movements have little benefit. They might exercise the muscles, but they won’t cultivate qi. Yi leads qi. Yi is also essential for inner peace and interpersonal peace.
QiGong practice helps people make better decisions. It enhances creativity and intuition. It also reduces greed and selfishness and helps people appreciate what they share with the rest of humanity.
QiGong integrates techniques from all of China’s great spiritual traditions. QiGong is an example of the importance of all spiritual traditions.
FLYING CRANE QIGONG:
In Asia, the crane is a symbol of longevity and contemplation. It has a quiet, noncompetitive character. The movements of this form are based on those of the crane, which are graceful and harmonious like the flow of water in a mountain stream.
Imagining yourself as a crane is the key to all the movements. There are five sections, which take a total of 20 to 30 minutes to perform, depending on your pace. Generally, slower is better for relaxation, producing a centered and grounded practice session.
The five sections are as follows:
Shibashi QiGong consists of 18 breathing exercises along with movement developed from ancient Chinese philosophies of health and health maintenance for every part of the body. The exercises should be performed slowly and with gentle internal force. This facilitates muscular oxidation while improving blood flow. In turn, these conditions lead to greater resistance to disease. Therefore, we can see that treating individual organ systems leads to improved function of the whole body.
Shibashi is simple and easy to learn and is suitable for people of all ages and physical abilities.
Practitioners may do only those exercises needed to relieve their particular condition or may complete the entire set of exercises, which takes only 20 to 25 minutes. All movements should be coordinated with long, slow, even, and smooth respiration.
QI DYNAMICS: Perfect Stillness Heals
Qi Dynamics is QiGong for health, harmony, happiness, and healing. It consists of 18 movements, which encompass two different forms: Liangong Shr Ba Fa, which means therapeutic QiGong for the muscular/skeletal system, and a more advanced form of Shibashi, so there is breathing with all the movements.
This form does not involve a flow as with the others. After each movement is completed, the practitioner stands in perfect stillness for at least 5 to 10 seconds before going on to the next movement.
The practitioner rests in true balance, using the mind, relaxing, expanding, and lengthening.