The Essence of Qigong
Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical posture, breathing techniques and focused intention. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean the “life force” or “vital energy” that flows through all things in the universe.
The second word, Gong, pronounced “gung”, means accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy. It is practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
The slow, gentle Qigong style that is utilized enables us to draw in healthful chi (Qi), circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, and then store it. Inherent in this practice is healthful stretching, acupuncture median stimulation, internal organ massage, spinal flexibility, and body balance. Deep seamless breathing and a clear relaxed mind are also innate to our Qigong. All movements are done within everyone’s comfort zone…no straining, no impact.
Like any other system of health care, Qigong is not a panacea but it is certainly a highly effective health-care practice. Many health care professionals now recommend Qigong as an important form of alternative complementary medicine. This fact has fostered the rapidly increasing popularity of Qigong throughout the US and other Western countries.
WHY DO QIGONG?
Qigong creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not part of traditional exercise programs. Most exercises do not involve the meridian system used in acupuncture nor do they emphasize the importance of adding mind intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added, the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.
The soothing, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase energy, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.
Those who maintain a consistent practice of Qigong find that it helps one regain a youthful vitality, maintain health even into old age and helps speed recovery from illness. Western scientific research confirms that Qigong reduces hypertension and the incidence of falling in the aged population. One of the more important long-term effects is that Qigong reestablishes the body/mind/soul connection.
People practice Qigong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirits. When these three aspects of our being are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors. It also creates a balanced life-style which brings greater harmony, stability and enjoyment.
WHO CAN BENEFIT?
Qigong’s great appeal is that everyone can benefit, regardless of ability, age, and belief system or life circumstances. Make Qigong a part of your life.
You will be led through a series of gentle flowing movements that enable you to gather, distribute and store healing Qi (energy).
There is no impact, no sweating … it’s fun and easy to do. You will enjoy the friendly interactive team-teaching style of Qigong Masters, Bob & Fran German.
Be sure to get your doctor's approval before starting this or any other exercise/fitness program.
Detailed Health Benefits of Qigong Practice
Balanced Strength and Coordination - Building strength and flexibility throughout the body is one of the goals of Qigong. This occurs naturally through the graceful circular movements.
Improved Posture - Qigong places great importance on the spine being flexible and elongated, the head upright and light, the waist/pelvis loose and free, shoulders down, legs firm and feet rooted – all essential elements to promoting good posture.
Improved Breathing - In Qigong practice, one learns to breathe at a slower pace, gently, and seamlessly. Discover how to bring vital life-force energy that permeates the Universe into your being in order to enhance our energy level and minimize tension.
Increased Joint Flexibility - Qigong's slow, rotating, shifting movements improve joint flexibility naturally.
Toning of Muscles and Improved Weight Ratio - The gentle, rotating, opening and shifting can create a low effort way to reduce pounds. Many students report that Qigong brings them a more normal, usually reduced appetite, as life energy is gained from Qi instead of relying heavily on food.
Improved Skin Tone – Because of the increase in circulation along with the reduction in stress, the skin glows with regular Qigong practice.
Lowered Blood Pressure – Qigong practitioners are frequently known to have lower blood pressure readings and make it very possible to reduce or eliminate blood pressure medicines.
Builds Strength - Vital organs and glands are massaged internally and strengthened through the practice of Qigong. Bone strength and density improves through the shifting, turning, and rooting that occur. Also, training the mind to send nerve impulses to the muscles during the ongoing graceful movements stimulates the nervous system.
Inner Stability and Balance – The consistent practice of these centering, shifting, flowing, and rooted movements, plus the emphasis on proper body alignment and posture enables a better sense of balance. Increased inner stability is accomplished through proper breathing techniques, good Qi flow and continual build-up and storage of Qi.
Stress Prevention and Reduction – Qigong provides a “moving meditation” that helps clear the mind and enables you to relax and experience inner peace.
Increased Ability to Focus – Qigong enables you to improve concentration through its inherent need for mental attentiveness to being “in the moment” during its practice. This “concentration practice” should carry into everyday life.
Improved Spiritual Attunement – The practice naturally returns you more deeply to yourself and the Universe. The centering and relaxing into your body and mind with a clarity, stillness, and sense of inner peace enables you to be more aware of your body, mind, spirit as well as natural surroundings. Qigong allows you to be more self-connected as well as attuned to your environment.
Awareness and Knowledge of Personal Health - This same idea of being attuned to ones body increases awareness of your own personal health status. You can more readily identify those areas that need more attention and can eventually improve them through your Qigong practice.
Increased Patience and Sense of Timing - The slow flowing pace of Qigong exercises promotes the practice of movement control and timing. This naturally carries over into everyday life where patience and sense of timing is bound to improve.
Resiliency –Qigong can provide a method of “bouncing back” from an illness, tiredness, tenseness, and other challenges. Qigong's emphasis on softness, flexibility, lightness, and agility in movement can naturally rebalance and rebound.
Of course, Qigong practice benefits will vary from person to person.