Qi = vital energy
Gong = exercise or work or achievement
Qi Gong (or Chi Kung) = energy cultivation exercises
One of the greatest gifts of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the self-care practice called Qi Gong. It is a series of techniques that allow an individual to cultivate her or his own wellness. Your practitioner may specialize in specific aspects of these techniques and may offer to perform Medical Qi Gong.
Some basics :
The healthful benefits of Qi Gong occur in the consistent application of two fundamental principles that help you cultivate your vital energy:
- Your breath – it is said in TCM that the Lungs command the Qi (vital energy)
- Your thought - In TCM we say “where your thoughts go is where the energy goes”
The application of conscious breathing and directed thought stirs and enables individuals to invigorate their own vital energy.
There are many styles of Qi Gong which may involve standing, sitting, walking, moving, lying and others. Some styles are very easy while others are more involved, requiring in-depth study. There are some promoters of Qi Gong that report exaggerated effects, and so patients should exercise caution with any system that promises results that are beyond the norm.
Research examining the effects of Qi Gong in randomized controlled studies have shown consistent and significant benefits in the following areas:
- Cardiopulmonary function
- Bone density
- Physical function
- Quality of life
- Emotional wellness
- Immune function
You can be assured that, for the most part, when performed regularly, simple Qi Gong styles have definite, positive, powerful and lasting effects on health.
Medical Qi Gong
This style of Qi Gong may refer to two different situations:
The first situation may reflect styles of Qi Gong that are purported to treat specific illnesses that are practiced by an individual for self-care.
- The second case may refer to a style of Qi Gong performed by a trained practitioner on a patient. In this case, the practitioner directs vital energy using his or her hands held over the patient’s body. This form of practitioner-led Qi Gong can have very positive effects and can be done as a stand-alone treatment, or in conjunction with acupuncture, tui na (physical therapy), or herbology.