The ancient Chinese discovered that it was possible to develop and direct the body’s vital energy, or Chi, in particular ways. It could be nurtured to help prevent disease and premature ageing. It could be made to flow from one person to another and thereby used to help heal the sick. It could also be employed with powerful effect in the martial arts. The exercise systems used to stimulate and channel human energy came to be known as Chi Kung, which literally means “energy exercise”. The goal of Chi Kung exercise is to stimulate the flow of energy internally in the body so that it effectively rushes through and clears the entire network of Chi channels, or “meridians”. Extensive research has been done over the years to develop a system of exercise that would speed up the blood circulation without placing an intolerable strain on the lungs. The results drew on the accumulated wisdom of Chinese Taoist and Buddhist breathing practices and the practices and disciplines of the martial arts. One type of Chi Kung uses a series of breathing exercises to control the internal movement of Chi while the body remains virtually motionless. These "Standing Meditation" postures along with traditional sitting meditation help the student to quiet the "Monkey Mind", or what we refer to as the voice in our head. When the mind becomes calm, the body can then heal it's imbalances of energy.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese system of exercise and meditation that makes the mind and spirit tranquil, improves performance in sports, and cultivates health, well-being, and long life. Thus, there are three major kinds of qigong: spiritual, sports, and healing. It is a spiritual discipline, inspired by ancient Chinese shamans, Taoists, and Buddhists, all of who sought harmony and peace in the solitude of nature.
Evidence demonstrates that qigong may be an effect adjunct in the treatment of many illnesses including cancer and heart disease. Learn about the remarkable 12 benefits of qigong, here:
- Well-being and improved health. Qigong emphasizes the whole body, whole system health. While it is true that qigong will often cure specific ills, this is not the primary reason for practice. It is not only a matter of adding years to your life, but life to your years.
- Clear and tranquil mind. When the mind is at peace, the whole universe seems at peace. World peace begins with you; it is your responsibility to find a peaceful heart and mind. Then you can heal and transform others just through your presence. If you have a tranquil mind, you will make better decisions and have the skill to know when act and when to be still.
- Deeper, more restorative sleep. Qigong will help you find the deep relaxation and mental quiet necessary for sleep.
- Increased energy, including sexual vitality and fertility. Qigong people have more energy; it can reverse energy and restore youthfulness.
- Comfortable warmth. Qigong is great for cold hands and feet. Circulation improves, and the body generates more internal warmth when it is cold.
- Clear skin. The skin, like the intestines, is an organ of elimination. According to Chinese medicine, as your qigong improves, your body eliminates toxins, and the skin becomes clear.
- Happy attitude. There is an old Tibetan saying, “You can tell a Yogi by his or her laugh.” Correct and moderate qigong practice usually creates an optimistic and joyous disposition.
- More efficient metabolism. Digestion improves, and hair and nails grow more quickly.
- Greater physiological control. This means that aspects of the body that were imbalanced or out of control begin to normalize, for example, breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, hormone levels, and states of chronic inflammation or depletion.
- Bright eyes. The qigong master’s eyes are said to glow in the dark, like a cat’s. The eyes also appear bright because the spirit and soul are luminous and the heart is open.
- Intuition and creativity. Intuition and creativity generate each other and come from the same source, an awakened brain and being, an ability to think with the gut, to feel with the mind.
- Spiritual effects. Advancement in qigong is often accompanied by a variety of spiritual experiences. For example, synchronicity, meaningful coincidences, become more common. When the qi is abundant, clear, and flowing, the senses perceive and are permeated by a sweetness.
Some common questions regarding Qigong
Is chi kung the same as qi gong?
Yes, they are the same. "Chi kung" is the usual English spelling, whereas "qi gong" is the Romanized Chinese spelling. In Romanized Chinese, q is pronounced like the English ch'; and o like the English u. Hence, both "chi kung" and qi gong" should be pronounced like the English "ch'i gung".
Is chi kung the same as Taiji quan?
They are different, although Taiji quan (if it is practiced the way traditional masters practiced it) makes extensive use of chi kung. Basically, Taiji quan is a martial art, whereas chi kung is a collective term for various arts of energy exercises, which may or may not be used for martial art purposes. The movements of some chi kung types resemble those of Taiji quan, whereas many other chi kung movements are totally different from typical Taiji quan movements.
What are the benefits of practicing chi kung?
There are many wonderful benefits derived from practicing chi kung, and they may be generalized into the following five categories:
- Curing illness and promoting health
- Enhancing vitality and developing internal force
- Promoting youthfulness and longevity
- Expanding the mind and the intellect
- Spiritual cultivation
Many chi kung types focus on only one or two of the above categories, but a few cover all the five. For example, most types of medical chi kung aim mainly at curing illness, virtually all sexual types of chi kung emphasize solely on youthfulness, whereas Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung touches on all the above five categories of benefits.
While we certainly do not suggest going against your doctors advice, you are the best source to determine whether or not you can practice. Many Qi gong movements, such as Medical Qi gong, can help prevent or cure illnesses and injuries. We suggest you talk to our Qigong instructors about specific issues.
Our core Qi gong curriculum has been developed by highly trained experts in the field of Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. People of ALL abilities, from beginners to advanced students can realize the benefits of training and practice with us.
Our basic Qi gong curriculum includes:
Level I - Qi gong
- Basic Breathing Exercises
- Small Circulation Qigong Set (Opening the Microscopic Circuit)
- Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong (Ba Duan Jin)
- 6 Healing Sounds & Five Elements Qigong Set
- 5 Standing Qigong Postures
- Sitting 8 Pieces of Brocade
- Five Animal Qigong Play