Qigong 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 the life energy. The word Qigong is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing, increased vitality, and a tranquil state of mind.
The documented history of qigong goes back approximately 2,500 years. Chinese archaeologists and historians have found references to qigong like techniques that date back at least 5,000 years.
There are many different qigong’s, you can learn how to grow and move the Qi in your body to help heal organs and disease. You can learn how to project your Qi to help heal other people. There are qigong’s for high blood pressure, weight loss, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, boosting your immune system, and the list goes on! When I was in school we practiced qigong or tai chi every day twice a day. I experience many benefits from this practice, from my own emotional and spiritual healing, to strengthening my body, and such an increase of energy that on the days where I would go to school all day then go to work until 4am I felt better and had more energy then on the days where I slept in and only went to work!
Qigong is highly effective as a stress management tool, decreasing daily stress, boosting the immune system, improving balance, helping the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure, increasing strength, flexibility and balance by bringing Qi to the muscles, bones and tendons.
Qigong is generally a safe practice. For people that are very weak or may not be able to stand there are seated qigong’s that can be practiced. It is best to learn qigong from a qualified qigong practitioner.
Towards the end of school we all had individual Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment plans based on each of our own individual issues and needs. Part of the treatment plan was that we had 3 qigong’s that we did that benefited our individual issues. Different qigong’s help move the energy along the different meridians in the body. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the theory is that the body contains meridians, these meridians are pathways in the body which the Qi flows through. It flows through every body part, tissue, and organ.
The first of my qigong’s was the microcosmic orbit meditation. It raises the energies contained in the lower energy centers and cause them to rise up into the higher energy centers in the heart, brain, and crown. By doing so it helps to transform and refine the energies both of our physical body and consciousness, resulting in improved physical health, greater mental and emotional balance, and for those that wish, access to deeper levels of awareness and spiritual insight. I found this qigong meditation to be very relaxing and would also do it before I went to bed to help quiet my mind.
My second qigong was joining fire and water. Water (lower dan tian) represents the kidneys (will power and core energy) and fire (your passion, your fire, your spark) the heart. This qigong is good for depression, low energy, and anxiety. I did this qigong because I had some stagnation in my lower dan tien and my kidney Qi was not rising to my heart center very strongly, I also had some things happen in my past that caused by heart center to close up, this was a great qigong for moving the energy between the kidneys and heart.
My third qigong was gaze of the tiger. One of the meridians this qigong works is the pericardium, the pericardium is the heart protector. This is one of my favorite qigong’s, I find that while I’m doing this qigong I go into a very meditative state, I feel very peaceful and content.
Qigong was one of my favorite practices I learned while going to school, although I really loved everything I learned! It was funny, some days you’d get to school and think “man, I don’t feel like doing qigong today”, by the time we got done you’d always be so glad you did it! If you were kind of grumpy or sleepy you would feel happy and energized afterwards. And it was amazing how the energy in the room would change after doing qigong!