mastery of awareness
Qi (or chi – pronounced “chee”) is frequently translated as life energy, life force, or energy flow. Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts.
Gong (or kung; gung – pronounced “gung”) is often translated as cultivation or work.
Qigong (pronounced “chee gung”) refers to the cultivation and balance of life energy, especially for health. It focuses on breath, movement and awareness.
Qigong (and tai chi, with which you may be more familiar) is a traditional Chinese exercise. It is a form of gentle exercise involving movements that are typically repeated, composed of strengthening and stretching the body, increasing fluid movement, enhancing balance and building awareness of how the body moves through space. It is based on two ideas:
- Qi flows through the body along “energy pathways” called meridians. If the flow of qi is blocked or unbalanced at any point along the pathway, it is thought that you may become ill. Doing qi gong (or tai chi) increases energy flow and improves health through gentle, graceful, repeated movements.
- Nature, including the body, consists of opposing forces called yin and yang. Good health results when these forces are in balance. Qi gong (or tai chi) movements attempt to help restore the body’s balance of yin and yang.
Some believe that as a complement to Western medicine, qigong can help the body heal itself.
Notice the scrub jay in the photo above. He is perfectly balanced at the top of a 35+ feet tall tree with his right leg, and is holding his left leg steady, as if he is doing a qigong movement! He also has a deformed left foot, which doesn’t seem to hold him back much. (Click here to see another photo of this same bird.)
Also, seeing his pose reminded me of the original 1984 “Karate Kid” movie, when Daniel was learning an important life lesson about balance. (See image at the Wikipedia link here.) In reality, this bird was just waiting for me to put out some peanuts for his daily treat!
Examples of qigong health benefits:
- Health Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong – WebMD
- Health Benefits of Qigong – Wikipedia
- Qigong Study for Diabetes Patients – WebMD
- Qigong Study for Prostate Cancer Patients – Huntsman Cancer Institute
- What are the Benefits of Qigong? – eHow
Have you tried qigong (or tai chi)? If so, what are your experiences?
This is for the letter “Q” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.