Definition - What does Qigong mean?
Qigong is a traditional Chinese system of postures, movement and meditation that is practiced to promote health, well-being and spiritual development. Like many types of yoga, it has an emphasis on coordinating breath with movement , but it is actually more closely related to Tai Chi. It has roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts and philosophy.
In practicing qigong, the intention is to balance the qi, or chi (life energy). It is a practice that cultivates balance and harmony to mind, body and spirit. Some believe that qigong allows access to higher states of consciousness, helping to bring the practitioner closer to realizing their true nature.
Yogapedia explains Qigong
A typical qigong practice will involve slow, flowing movements, coordinated with deep breathing in order to create a moving meditation. Although the research base for qigong’s medical benefits is as yet insubstantial, it is claimed that qigong can help:
- Improve hypertension
- Reduce pain symptoms
- Manage mental health conditions such as stress or depression
- Boost healing
- Clear emotional and spiritual blockages
Qigong is considered more accessible than its sister system of Tai Chi, because many of the exercises are very simple and easy to master. Because it does not involve memorizing long or complex routines, it can be more straightforward for persons to experience the benefits quickly. In addition, although it is based in Taoist philosophy, it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of religious belief.
Qigong is now popular throughout China and is becoming well known worldwide for exercise, relaxation, self-healing and training for martial arts.