Qi Gong exercises
Qi gong exercises
“If people exercise their bodies, the hundred ills cannot arise. Even if you constantly ingest medical preparations but do not know the art of nurturing life, it will still be difficult to extend your lifespan. The way of nurturing life is to constantly strive for minor exertion but never become greatly fatigued and force what you cannot endure. Moreover, running water does not grow stale, the pivot of the door does not get infested with bugs. The reason for this is that they move” – Sun Simiao
Though it has only recently become popular in the West, Qi gong (pronounced chee-gung) is a type of Chinese medicine exercise that has been used for centuries in China for both health and healing purposes.
China has a long history of developing practices that integrate body, mind and breath, for a variety of purposes. Some came from spiritual traditions such as Buddhism and Confucianism while others were purely developed for medical purposes. Medical qi gong, in turn, can be used to either maintain health and wellbeing or to treat disease. Other traditions aimed to attain great longevity, spiritual transcendence or sexual and internal alchemy.
As befits such a rich tradition, a number of different names were used, such as neigong (internal skill), xingqi (circulating qi), zhan zhuang (standing meditation). Many of these traditions were passed down in secret from master to student in unbroken lineages thousands of years old, and only becoming open traditions in the 20th century. Since about the 1950s, qi gong has been the accepted umbrella term for all of the Chinese exercises that employed repetitive movements integrated between body and breath.
Much like yoga, Qi gong promotes strength and flexibility through a series of slow, controlled movements. However, Qi gong goes beyond simply promoting physical health; it is also believed to help balance the body’s qi, or life force energy. This, in turn, helps to improve overall health and wellbeing. While anyone can practice Qi gong for general health and vitality, it is also often used to help heal specific illnesses and imbalances. For example, people with asthma may use Qi gong to help improve breathing, while those with back pain may use it to help strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility. Ultimately, Qi gong is a versatile tool that can be used to maintain health or help heal an illness.
Personally and in my medical practice, I have found qi gong to be a powerful healing modality for both body and mind. It is very effective in alleviating depression and anxiety and is a wonderful, gentle and accessible way to dramatically improve treatment outcomes in pain conditions and internal medicine conditions including digestive issues and breathing issues.
Another aspect of qi gong that I deeply appreciate is how accessible it is to almost anyone, in any state of health or disease. It can be modified to fit almost anyone’s situation. Also, while it does need to be practiced regularly in order to reap its benefits, even 5-10 minutes per day is often very beneficial.
Doing qi gong in conjunction with acupuncture, herbal medicine and diet is often an incredibly powerful way to gain health, vitality and wellbeing while healing disease. i often recommend qi gong exercises as home exercises to patients who are interested.
If you have any questions about whether qi gong can help you or wish to see Chris at either his Collingwood or Meaford clinic, please use the buttons below.