How old is Qigong?
A: Qigong, Chi Gong, Ch’i Kung (chee gong) is one of the main rivers of Chinese Medicine, along with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine. There is archaeological evidence of qigong-like postures over four thousand years old.
What is Qigong?
A: Qi is invisible life force energy, and gong translates as diligent exercise or practice. Qigong means exercising our vital energy. Energy is not crated but it can be transformed! It’s necessary to maintain “balance” within our body-mind. With regular practice, we have the opportunity to transform energy, so that its circulation is improved and increased.
Who can do Qigong?
A: Every age can benefit from doing Qigong! Any age can practice many of the moves standing, seated or lying down.
What are Qigong moves?
A: Exercises, stretches and short routines called “flows” which combine a series of moves, specific breathing patterns, and relaxation poses involving focus and visualization. Qigong is often described as a series of moving meditations.
Can it improve my balance/core strength/flexibility?
A: Absolutely; Qigong increases flexibility, improves balance and conditions your core. Core muscle strength is essential to good balance. As muscles, tendons and joints are strengthened and conditioned, so does your total physical fitness.
Can it help my moods and emotional health?
A: When energy is flowing smoothly, your moods tend to be more even and harmonious. Qigong relaxes and calms the mind, and soothes the spirit. You may find it easier to relax and get a better night’s sleep. You may nurture an energetic reservoir to draw upon in challenging situations and to help others.
How does Qigong benefit my Wellness?
A: Gentle movements and specific breathing exercises combined with meditation and focusing techniques tone, tune, circulate and strengthen Qi, invisible life force energy that animates all living things. Qigong routines make this practice relaxing yet invigorating, leading to improved body-mind fitness and emotional equanimity. In my experience this includes a prolonged state of happiness, aka: joie de vivre =acceptance of life as it is!
How is Tai Chi different than Qigong?
A: Qigong can be considered one of the great grandparents of Tai Chi. Long Form Tai Chi
involves a specific series of 108 moves, these are qigong moves put together as one
continuous flow practice. Short Form Tai Chi involves a repetition of a set series of
moves repeated clockwise in four directions, then counterclockwise in the same four
directions. It’s all about balance, stimulating the mind and body in space and time. You
will learn many Tai Chi routines in your Qigong practice.
How is Yoga different than Qigong?
A: Common practices such as acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine, yoga and physical therapy can trace their roots to the same Qi beginnings of those who went inward and sensed the energy within the body. These shaped the movements, postures, sounds and meditations that restore the balance of our vital life energy. I began my practice of yoga at nineteen years and taught Hatha Yoga for years along with some Tai Chi and Qigong. Now I find the continuous flow of Qigong’s energetic movements and meditations best fit my needs.
Does Qigong have similar postures to Yoga?
A: Yes, Tao Yin Yoga is an arm of Qigong.
Can I practice Qingong with asthma, COPD? Is it beneficial for my lungs?
A: Research suggests benefits to a wide variety of common ailments including asthma, pain management, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic fatigue.
What other ailments can benefit with Qigong practice?
A: Both the USA and China have hosted conferences for academic exchange of Qigong research. Qigong has been shown to improve posture and respiration, induce the relaxation response, cause favorable changes in blood chemistry, and improve self-awareness and concentration.
Can any level of physical fitness do Qigong?
A: Start where you are and you improve as you practice and learn. If you are just beginning a fitness regime, Qigong is a perfect activity for you. If you have a regular fitness regime, this is another great tool to develop and deepen your existing practice. No matter what your experience or “level”, there are always more advanced stages to learn. I love Qigong because there are thousands of moves, I practice lifelong learning with Qigong!
Do I need special equipment?
A: No special equipment is needed. Loose clothing and fitness attire are preferred because these won’t restrict your range of motion. You need shoes that are lightweight and won’t slip or stick. Try practicing on the beach without shoes. No special tools are needed either, although I recommend a blanket or yoga mat for prone postures and meditation.
Can Qigong lead to greater longevity?
A: anyone that keeps moving, keeps their energy flowing, and feels good about themselves and their practice will surely be positively affected with more enjoyable active aging. I always say “Qigong embodies the healing arts of longevity.” My experience affirms Qigong 4 Healthy Aging keeps me feeling vital and younger!
Why is Qigong a self-healing program?
A: the focus is Qi/Chi, learning to move, increase, store and direct Qi. It’s a combination of intentional physical movement, focus, conscious awareness and a feeling of liveliness within one’s physical body. Each move involves sensing Qi in your body while toning different muscle groups and various organs. Personal power and effortless confidence grows. Others may remark “You’ve got good chi”. It feels good but it’s so much more than you. It’s more like an advanced meditation’s witness state. This Qi can restore your body to its natural state of balance. Every Qigong session is like a self-healing practice.
Why learn new routines and consistently DO your Qigong practice?
A: Muscle memory! Muscle memories are are not literally stored in your muscles, but are stored in your brain through familiar, repetitive movements you do with your body. Qigong flows and routines require a series of moves, coordinated breath patterns and focused concentration. This focus and functioning of body and brain helps improve overall motor skills, muscle function and stimulates new connections inside your brain. If you physically cannot practice, then visualize doing the routines. This is still an effective way to learn and train. You can improve your brain at any age in many ways.
“Thanks for introducing me to Qigong. At first I didn’t know how to even pronounce the word, now I look forward to learning more. Consistently doing the exercises is helping me slim down, have more energy and get into the shape I want.”