What is Qi Gong?
Qi gong is an ancient form of Chinese exercise that aligns your body, health and mind with low impact martial arts training. Qi Gong heals the body by maintaining a healthy balance in the body’s systems. The video below shows a Qi gong class:
In parks you may see people practicing tai chi, which looks like very slow karate. Tai Chi can be difficult to master. Qi Gong’s rules are not as strict as those of Tai Chi and the exercises can be learned more quickly.
What are the Benefits of Qi Gong?
Qi gong is easier to learn and offers health benefits more quickly than Tai Chi:
• It relaxes your mind, muscles, joints, and internal organs, and helps circulation.
• It can be used alongside medication to reduce blood pressure and possibly the amount of medication needed. (As with any exercise program, get your doctor’s approval first.)
• You can strengthen your muscles and bones and develop a better sense of balance to prevent falling.
• Qi Gong provides “active rest.” If you are training intensively and need a break but still want some type of exercise qi gong provides it without learning complicated positions.
• Qi gong releases endorphins, reducing stress and making you feel better.
The History of Qi Gong
Qi Gong has its roots dating back 4,000 years, in ancient Chinese culture. The translation for qi (or chi) is “life energy”, while gong means mastery, cultivation, accomplishment, and skill. Together, the two words represent cultivating life’s energy to be healthy.
While there have been many forms of Qi Gong over the years, the Chinese government since World War II has de-emphasized the spiritual aspects of qi gong. Qi gong today in China often focuses on breathe control, meditation and stress release, and exercise.