The Healing Practice of Qigong
Qigong is a practice that anyone can do on their own. It is an excellent technique for facilitating healing, preventing disease, increasing vitality and longevity, calming the mind and reducing stress.
Translated into English, Qigong means “working with life force energy”. Qigong (pronounced "chee-gong") is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine that originated in China. It incorporates breathing techniques, gentle movement and meditation to cleanse, cultivate, circulate and refine energy throughout the body. The uses and applications of qigong are impressive.
Qigong is helpful for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal balance
- Immune function
- Lymphatic health
- Menstrual issues
- Muscular spasms
- Pain relief
- Weight management
THE PRACTICE OF QIGONG
Qigong is practiced by tens of millions of people in China and around the world as a health tonic. In this sense, Qigong is an excellent approach to preventative medicine. Qigong has been used as a standard medical technique in Chinese hospitals and has been included in China’s National Health Plan.
There are three types of Qigong practice: martial, medical and spiritual. All of these practices are similar in technique; they each use moving or stationary postures, breathing techniques and mental focus. Specific Qigong practices can be gentle or vigorous and work in various ways with the body’s Qi (energy). Some practices increase Qi, while others circulate, disperse or store Qi.
Chinese Traditional Medicine employs medical Qigong as an adjunct to the other components of the treatment of disease. Increasingly, alternative health care professionals are recommending Qigong as an important aspect of healing, disease prevention and disease treatment.
Those who practice Qigong regularly report that it helps them feel younger and more energetic. Also, Qigong practice stimulates a more rapid and effective recovery from illness. Research conducted in Western medical institutions has confirmed that Qigong reduces hypertension and significantly reduces the incidence of falling among the elderly.
Qigong can be practiced by people of any age group and any level of physical fitness. Many of the Qigong techniques can be practiced virtually anywhere at any time, and require no special clothing or class. Health care practitioners typically recommend certain Qigong exercises to individual patients according to their specific needs and health issues. These exercises may change over time as the health condition changes.
ELEMENTS OF QIGONG
There are 3 basic elements of Qigong practice: physical movement, breathing, and the mind (the state of the mind).
There are literally thousands of Qigong movements. Groups of movements are called forms. There are 3 types of forms: internal (slow and soft), external (fast and hard) and Ma Bu (in which one holds a posture motionless). Ma Bu is the root of all Qigong movements. While it may seem a simple things, cultivating a good Ma Bu form is very important and can be a central emphasis of teaching in some Qigong or Tai Chi schools.
Qigong breathing involves much more than simple practice of inhalation and exhalation. The Chinese have long recognized the power of the breath. Breath can move and manipulate energy through the body very precisely and with very specific effects. For example, some breathing techniques are used to move chi along particular meridians in order to facilitate healing or support of associated organ systems. The breath can be very energizing or very soothing. The breath can be used to cleanse or nourish areas of the body; or to supply energy, reduce excess energy or move energy as needed to support a healing process.
In the practice of Medical Qigong, mind is just as important as movement and breath. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (and many of the alternative forms of healing), the condition of the mind is recognized as a significant contributor to physical health and longevity (not to mention psychological health, happiness and personal fulfillment). The mind is a source of much of the stress that plagues us and eventually leads to deterioration of mild states of disease or the onset of new forms of illness or imbalances that lead to poor health. In Qigong, the goal in working with the mind is to reduce the incessant mental activity that most everyone suffers from, to calm the mind and create in inner environment of relaxation, equanimity, stillness, centeredness, clarity, compassion and peace.
To learn more about Qigong and how it can help you specifically, contact Bobbie.
Bobbie Rene Parke, M.Ac.O.M., L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.