Qigong, pronounced ‘chi kung’ is an ancient Chinese exercise and body healing technique, with overtones of spirituality, that has been developing for more than 3000 years.
China is recognized as having the oldest sophisticated and cultured civilization known to man.
Many modern treatments for physical and mental ailments have their origins in ancient Chinese healing practices that have been recognized as effective by Western medical practitioners.
Most people will be aware of both the Chinese technique of Acupunture and the many comprehensive Chinese herbal remedies and tonics now readily available in the West.
The recognition in the West of the practice and art of Qigong is now also growing rapidly as more and more schools and trainers offer their expertise.
In the last thirty years Qigong has been known to have been practiced by groups up to thirty thousand strong in Chinese stadiums.
The earliest known practitioner of Qigong was Hua Tao (circa 150 A.D.) known as the first famous Chinese surgeon.
When Hua Tao advised a General who had consulted him to have an operation the General suspected that Hua Tao was out to murder him and ordered his execution.
It is believed that Qigong had its’ beginnings in the ancient practice of sorcery and ritual dances which led eventually to a documented systematic approach that has been continued to be developed to the present day by, amongst others, Taoists, Buddhists Confucians and practitioners of Chinese martial arts.
`Qi’, translated from the Mandarin, means Life Force, Breath or Life Energy and ‘Gong’ is Dedicated Practice, Work or Technique and this gives a meaning that the exercise is a combination of breathing techniques combined with bodily movements.
Using slow and graceful movements and at the same time practicing controlled and coordinated breathing patterns boosts the flow of ‘Qi’, the vital life force that gives a feeling of inner tranquility and provides the healing and regenerative energies needed by the body.
Qigong is an aspect of Chinese medicine that is principally practiced for maintaining good health but it is also taught as a healing technique and is often allied with martial arts training. There are over three thousand different styles and schools of Qigong known throughout the world, some make convincing and more often than not unproven claims to have remarkable healing and curative successes.
Others are recognized by Western and Chinese medical practitioners as having benefits to the health of body and mind through controlled exercise leading to stress reduction and physical well being.
Since the nineteen fifties’ research into Qigong has been ongoing in both the West and East.
Chinese hospitals have recognized Qigong as a standard medical technique since1989 and the Chinese government officially implemented Qigong management regulations when adding the technique to their National Health Plan.
Work has been done that suggests that some aspects of Qigong can have very beneficial effects on the joints, balance and prevention of falls amongst the elderly.
The curriculae of some medical universities include Qigong courses and offer Batchelor and Master degrees in the subject.
As so often in this day of the fast buck there are so called schools, teachers and practitioners of Qigong that make unfounded claims of their expertise and the benefits of joining their set up, for a fee of course, so be wary, ask questions and check out the answers before parting with any cash.
Caveat emptor and carry out due diligence!
However there are very many highly skilled, qualified and totally committed believers actively engaged in the business of helping others to achieve the benefits of the ancient and proven Qigong route to bringing harmony to body and mind.