Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.
The word Qigong is made up of two Chinese words. “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. Qigong means cultivating energy. It is an important form of alternative complementary medicine.
Qigong practices involve a posture, (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus. The slow gentle movements of most Qigong forms can be easily adapted, even for the physically challenged and can be practiced by all age groups. Qigong creates an awareness that is not part of traditional exercise programs. It involves the meridian system used in acupuncture and adds mindful intent and breathing techniques to enhance the benefits of exercise exponentially.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong 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.
One of the more important long-term effects is that Qigong reestablishes the body/mind/soul connection which encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors.
The National Qigong Association offers a free DVD called The Five Treasures which is a simple routine that anyone can do to enrich their lives. By adding Qigong to their daily routine children learn to channel their energy and develop increased concentration; office workers can reduce stress and seniors enhance balance and their quality of life. Go to www.NQA.org