Gather Your Qi
I’ve recently been hearing a lot about Qigong (pronounced chee-GONG). I’ve heard it referenced in connection with exercise, relaxation and balance. Since these are subjects that I’m always interested in, and thinking that it was the new “thing”, I started doing some research on what Qigong is. As it turns out, Qigong isn’t new at all. Qigong is just the current name for the Taoist breathing exercises that date back nearly 5,000 years. Tai Chi, which I’ve heard of many times, is just one of the 3,000+ forms of qigong. Definition of QigongQi refers to the energy of the universe. Gong means to gather with skill. Putting them together, Qigong means to gather energy from the universe with practiced skill. Using breathing, slow rhythmic movement and mental images, qi is gathered, brought into the body and moved through the meridians of the body. The results calm the mind, energize the body and help to create a sense of balance. The mind, body and spirit all work together. History of QigongThe concept of moving qi through the body may actually have originated as far back as 6000 years ago in India. However, it is believed that Qigong was developed in China around 4000 years ago. It was primarily used for health and religion purposes before its introduction into martial arts.Qigong for HealthQigong is traditionally used to balance the yin and yang. The Chinese believe that disease and illness are the direct cause of the imbalance between yin and yang. Therefore, Qigong is the natural method to optimize the body’s latent energy and guard against illness. The benefits of Qigong are numerous. Using the lower stomach while breathing stimulates the lymph system, which in turn detoxifies and oxygenates the body. The breathing and mental imagery shift our nervous system and reduce stress. The gentle movements lubricate the joints and increase flexibility. Qigong has been said to alleviate arthritis and chronic fatigue, improve metabolism and increase circulation. The lists go on and on.
Gather Your Qi
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