|qigong in a nutshell.
||[Apr. 7th, 2007|12:20 am]
internal cultivation through motion and presence
In ancient China, people came to believe that through certain body movements and mental concentration combined with various breathing techniques, they could balance and enhance physical, metabolic and mental functions. These movements were worked out over time by exploring the natural range of motion through the joints, as well as drawing on motions in imitation of various animals. This research was passed down and refined through the centuries to become the living art form that we see today.|
According to traditional Chinese medicine, good health always accompanies a free flowing, well-balanced energy system. The practice of Qigong (the ancient Chinese practice blending movement, breathing methods, and mental focus into a spiritual healing art form) helps to cleanse the body of toxins, restore energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and help individuals maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It has been said that Qigong is one of the most profound healing traditions ever developed in human history. It is quite literally a health wonder of the world.
The word Qigong is a combination of two ideas: “Qi” meaning air, breath of life, or (bioelectrical) vital energy of the body, and “gong” meaning the skill of working with or cultivating, self-discipline, and achievement. The art of Qigong consists primarily of meditation, relaxation, physical movement, stretching, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises. Practitioners of Qigong develop an awareness of qi sensations (energy) in their body and use their mind to guide the Qi to specific areas of their bodies for healing purposes or personal power building. When the practitioners achieve a sufficient skill level, they can then direct or emit external Qi for the purpose of healing others or enhancing martial arts ability. The Chinese believe that the primary mechanism that is triggered by the practice of Qigong is a spontaneous balancing and enhancing of the natural healing resources in the human system. Over thousands of years millions of people have benefited from these practices, believing that improving the function of the Qi maintains health and heals disease.
Qigong is one of the four pillars of traditional Chinese medicine: Acupuncture, Massage, Herbal Medicines and Qigong. Of these, Qigong is the one that can be most easily self-initiated. Both massage and herbal remedies can also be done as self care; however, Qigong is the mother of Chinese self-healing. Patients who use Qigong faithfully need less medication, less acupuncture, and they tend to heal much faster.
In the paradigm of mechanistic Western science, the practice of Qigong triggers a wide array of physiological mechanisms which have profound healing benefits. Here's a list of some of the most basic benefits of practicing Qigong:
-Improved blood circulation & increased oxygenation of the blood and tissues
-Strengthening of the immune system
-Improved balance and reflex
-Stimulation of the lymphatic system
-Increased focus, concentration, and mental acuity
-Significant reduction in stress level and a greater sense of overall well-being.
And these are just the basics of what Qigong can do. Truly dedicated practitioners have healed themselves from disorders ranging from migraines to terminal cancer.
While Qigong does have strong roots which extend into mystical and philosophical grounds (much like yoga), the practical healing and stress management applications are the most popular aspects of the tradition today. Both the health and spiritual applications are rapidly gaining in popularity here in the west as people realize that some of the most pernicious diseases can be relieved by deep breathing, relaxation, and peace of mind.
Qigong, especially when combined with a healthy diet, can create results that many believe to be impossible. But even at its most basic level, The art of Qigong is sure to enhance an individual's enjoyment and overall quality of life.