In the study and practice of Chinese medicine, there are different groups of alternative healing from acupuncture to herbal remedies, meditation, and martial arts practices like Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong.
The pinyin form of qi is translated to life energy and gong translates to achievement or good result. In the West, qigong is commonly grouped within the practices of energy healing or alternative medicine. In this article, we’ll discuss the different modalities, practices, and philosophies behind Qigong.
A Brief History of Qigong
Qigong practice dates back 5,000 years in Chinese culture, with different forms used in different cities and provinces. It was commonly applied as a meditative practice for groups, communities, and the general workforce.
The period of the Great Leap Forward (1958 – 1963) and the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976), qigong and other traditional Chinese practices, were more controlled with limited access to the public. Qigong was encouraged in state-run institutions, hospitals, and universities.
At the end of the Cultural Revolution, qigong and T’ai Chi regained popularity as an exercise routine. Today, it is common to see older generation Chinese in the Chinatown district of San Francisco doing their qigong practice in the early morning.
Qigong practice is designed to help preserve jing or essence spirit.
Energy healing is also referred to as energy medicine.
The concept is based on Chinese philosophy that grew to prominence in the West during the 1980s New Age Movement. The body is made of energy fields. When they are out of balance, the body-mind connection is interrupted leading to depression, anxiety, stress, which can manifest through chronic pain.
Energy healing can be applied by a practitioner who functions as a guide and teacher. There are other types of energy modalities practiced in alternative medicine including light energy, magnet therapy, Reiki, reflexology, and sound therapy.
Qigong also includes food medicine; using organic, nutrient-rich foods as a part of one’s diet or during a specialized treatment. A Qigong diet focuses on vegetable protein, antioxidant-dense foods (such as in lentils) and fresh, seasonal fruits (particularly those that are considered cooling energy to lower the body’s temperature, thus mitigating fever).
Neutral energy foods in a Qigong diet are root vegetables, corn, and nuts. Okra and onions are also used in Qigong recipes for their cholesterol-lowering properties. Today, the food as medicine Qigong practice is used by naturopaths as well as Western physicians.
Qigong guided meditation and slow movement are other practices that are designed to relieve stress and promote well-being. Within these practices is the Breath Empowerment Series.
By following one of the Breath Empowerment meditations, you can reduce stress and increase blood circulation on-demand. This is best practiced when laying in a lateral position and includes techniques in abdomen placement.
For slow-moving Qigong exercise, a good introduction for beginners is the Qigong Level 1 Form video, which includes a Qi challenge to practice each day for 30 consecutive days. Level 1 form also includes the bonus 10 minute walking Qigong method.
Qigong Level 2 Form video begins with circulation and washing movements and ends with the 9-breath method. Level 3 Wuji is a free-form Qigong. You learn Tai Chi step and balance in addition to 7-types of Qigong movements you can create into your own form and experience.
Learn Energy Healing & Qigong With Supreme Science Qigong Center
Although Qigong is widely practiced today, it is not an exact science. As with any alternative therapy, it can be most beneficial in tandem with other standard Western treatments and practices. It is recommended to consult your healthcare provider before beginning a Qigong exercise or nutrition program that is new to you. Enjoy and be well!