What is Chi Gong?
Chi Gong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.
The word Chi Gong is made up of two Chinese words. Chi(Qi) is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.
The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Chi Gong means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
Chi Gong is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions.
Chi Gong practices can be classified as martial, medical, or spiritual. All styles have three things in common: they all involve a posture, (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus. Some practices increase the Chi; others circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, store it, or emit Chi to help heal others. Practices vary from the soft internal styles such as Tai Chi; to the external, vigorous styles such as Kung Fu. However, the slow gentle movements of most Chi Gong forms can be easily adapted, even for the physically challenged and can be practiced by all age groups.
Chi Gong creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not part of traditional exercise programs. Most exercises do not involve the meridian system used in acupuncture nor do they emphasize the importance of adding mind intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added, the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of Chi Gong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.
Those who maintain a consistent practice of Chi Gong find that it helps one regain a youthful vitality, maintain health even into old age and helps speed recovery from illness. Western scientific research confirms that Chi Gong reduces hypertension and the incidence of falling in the aged population. One of the more important long-term effects is that Chi Gong reestablishes the body/mind/soul connection.
People do Chi Gong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit.
When these three aspects of our being are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviours. It also creates a balanced life style, which brings greater harmony, stability, and enjoyment.
There are a wide variety of Chi Gong practices. They vary from the simple, internal forms to the more complex and challenging external styles. They can interest and benefit everyone, from the most physically challenged to the super athlete. There are Chi Gong classes for children, senior citizens, and every age group in between. Since Chi Gong can be practiced anywhere or at any time, there is no need to buy special clothing or to join a health club.