What is Qigong (Ch’i Kung)?

QIGONG (Ch’i Kung) means “energy exercise” or “breath cultivation,” an ancient Chinese yogic discipline that is the central power plant activating traditional Chinese medicine, the Chinese martial arts, and Chinese philosophical and religious experience. Pronounced “chee-gung” , Qigong is a generic term representing a vast body of yogic techniques that cultivate internal energy, Qi (Ch’i). The Chinese have studied the energy of the human body for thousands of years. The first recorded study of Qi is found in the Yellow Emperior’s Canon of Internal Medicine (2690 – 2590 B.C.), making Qigong one of the earliest health activities of mankind.  This ancient knowledge has been handed down through the ages, from generation to generation from master to student, in the form of Chinese martial and healing arts.

Qi (ch’i) is the vital life force of the human body and the fundamental energy of the universe. Proper practice enables one to attain excellent health, rejuvenation, and longevity. Advanced Chi Kung practice develops a super-abundance of Qi, activating extrasensory perception, latent powers and spiritual insight.

All Qigong methods involve the conscious regulation of the mind, respiration, and the posture and shape of the body– to ultimately bring the body’s vital organic functions under the regulation of the subconscious mind.  Qigong effects sublime mind-body integration and produces a wide range of profound health benefits associated with increased circulation, respiratory capacity, improved posture and balance: accelerated healing from numerous forms of chronic disease, strengthened immunity, prevention of premature aging, and increased longevity.

Qigong schools vary according to the esoteric formulas of regulating mind, body, and breath. Within the universe of Qigong systems, there are three characteristic styles:  Quiescent, Dynamic and Quiescent-Dynamic:

  1. Quiescent styles emphasize static postures and preclude movement of the trunk and limbs.
  2. Dynamic Qigong involves movement of the body. Most include standing and walking postures and many are congruent with martial arts. Examples are the Qigong engines within the three major Chinese “internal” martial arts–Tai Chi, Bagua and Xing-I Boxing;  the Frolics of Five Animals;  Six Harmonies & Eight Methods, Silk-Weaver’s Exercise and the vast body Mt. Ehrmei Energy Arts.
  3. Quiescent-dynamic Ch’i Kung employs both static and moving postures. Quiescence is cultivated before movement is practiced.  One such system is the Flying Phoenix Celestial Healing Ch’i Meditations introduced on this website.

Ch’i Kung originated more than 5,000 years ago in China’s antiquity. Throughout most if its history, it has been kept secret within Chinese martial fraternities and monastic spiritual traditions. Only in the last 30 years have medical forms of Chi Kung–become widely accessible and popularized throughout China. Today, medical Ch’i Kung practices are the exercise rage throughout China and strong interest has subsequently developed in the West.

To read more about Qigong, click on Zen-Bear below.