And I mean it too. I’ve been obsessed with energy healing these days, and finding a practice that works for me. I find it so difficult to sit still and concentrate in a traditional way, but I love meditation that encourages movement, involves water or music. I was introduced to Qigong earlier last year, and it has quickly become one of my go to practices.
Qigong (alternatively spelled chi gung or chi kung) is a form of gentle exercise composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space.
When you practice and learn a qigong exercise movement, there are both external movements and internal movements. These internal movements or flows in China are called neigong or “internal power”. These internal neigong movements make qigong a superior health and wellness practice.
The internal movements also differentiate qigong from almost every other form of exercise in the West that often emphasizes prolonged cardiovascular movements (such as in running and biking) or that focus on muscular strength training (weightlifting).
It stems from China’s 3000 year old system of self healing, as, I view health as meaning having an active role in how you feel, not putting it solely on another.
The effectiveness of qigong has been proven in China by its beneﬁcial impact on the health of millions of people over thousands of years. Developing the life force, or chi, is the focus of Taoism, China’s original religion/philosophy. The Taoists are the same people who brought acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, bone setting, and the yin/yang concept to the world.
Unfortunately, most of the speciﬁcs of these valuable contributions have until just recently been blocked from Western awareness by immense cultural and language barriers. These barriers are beginning to break down to an extent in acupuncture, but with regard to qigong they are still very much in place. For most people, the ﬁrst and foremost beneﬁt of qigong lies in the relief or prevention of chronic health problems.
Many physical problems are at least partially due to, or aggravated by, mental or emotional stress, so the importance of the inner tranquility developed through qigong cannot be overestimated. The practice of qigong helps manage the stress, anger, depression, morbid thoughts, and general confusion that prey on your mind when your chi is not regulated and balanced. Strengthening and balancing the energy of your mind enhances your ability to detect subtle nuances and to perceive the world and its patterns at ever-increasing levels of complexity. People who do not practice some form of energy development many never acquire these abilities.
Qigong is also useful on the spiritual level. The ultimate aim of all inner Taoist practices is the alchemical transformation of the body, mind, and spirit, leading to union with the Tao. Feeling the energy of your body makes it possible for you to understand the energy of your thoughts and emotions, and this leads to comprehending the energy of the spirit. From here it is possible to fully understand the energy of meditation or emptiness, and through emptiness it is possible to become one with the Tao.
According to Taoism, every human being contains “the three treasures”—jing (sperm/ovary energy, or the essence of the physical body), chi (energy, including the thoughts and emotions), and shen (spirit or spiritual power). Wu (emptiness) gives birth to and integrates the three treasures.
The Taoists use the all-pervasive life energy as the basis of spiritual investigation. The ultimate goal, becoming one with the Tao, has been called many things, such as ‘enlightenment’, ‘meeting with the Father in Heaven’, ‘reaching Nirvana’, and ‘ultimate understanding’. Taoists feel that it is best for one to begin with the energy of the body, then progress through emotions and thoughts to spiritual power, before going for the ultimate.
As always I would love to hear what you think! Do you practice qigong? Sound off below!
Until Next Time,