Translated as “the working of air,” Qigong (chi kung) can be one or a series of standing, sitting, moving or lying down breathing techniques used to strengthen and circulate the body's already existing Qi as well as regenerate lost Qi.
Once someone has gone through our Qi Healing and/or our Qiological Positive Eating program, to where the Qi flow is fixed and normal, and the health and/or emotional issues at hand are in the healing phase or are already healed, how do you prevent the same issue from coming back? Two important ways is to increase the amount of Qi in the body and to make sure that the Qi flow stays strong. These can both be accomplished by learning Qigong. So at VivaLaChi, one of the final and very important steps in one’s path to healing and maintaining that wellness edge for the rest of your life is to learn Qigong.
There are many different kinds of Qigong out there, but we will only teach the Qigong that saved Craig's life and helped him break a $10,000/year medication habit. That was his pill bill in 1979, so one can only imagine what it would be in 2010.
It takes less than five minutes to learn, and requires at least five Qi breaths a day to not only instantly increase your mental and physical performance but over time it will also improve your internal strength, increase the amount of Qi in your body, and prevent old health issues from returning and stop new ones from developing.
Naturally, the more you practice Qigong, the faster and stronger the Qi will get. When Craig learned Qigong, he did it two hours a day, 7 days a week.
Important Note: Qi normally flows up the butt to the top of the head, down the front of the body and through the dan tian (the body’s Qi center). Qi also flows down the arms and legs then out of the body via the fingers and toes. If your Qi flow is backwards, practicing Qigong increases the flow’s wrong direction and over time this will lead to major health problems. Before teaching Qigong, we will always make sure that your Qi is flowing in the right direction.
Qi, Qigong, Qi healing, Health
Qi (Chi), Qi Flow and Health
Qi or Chi is one of the most difficult of all Chinese concepts to comprehend. The literal meaning of Qi is “breath” or “air”, and by extension, “breath of life “, “life force” or “energy that sustains living beings”. The Chinese believe that the flow of Qi governs nature and life.
Qi is believed to flow through the human body in channels called meridians. The Chinese consider all illnesses, both physical and mental, as a result from irregularity in the flow of Qi. In a healthy person, Qi flows along the meridians freely and smoothly. When Qi becomes imbalanced, disease and illness begin to take forms. Qi imbalances can occur as a result of poor diet, overexertion, inactivity, injury, toxins, the environment or emotions (anger, worry, sadness, grief, fear, fright). Traditional Chinese medicine, one of the oldest medical disciplines in the world, strives to keep the flow of Qi balanced, increase the levels of Qi and make sure the Qi remains strong. Treatments are, therefore, aimed to find and correct the source of the imbalance.
A variety of techniques were developed in traditional Chinese medicine to treat illness by adjusting the Qi flow in the body. Herbs and food influence Qi from inside the body. Acupuncture, Tui na, Cupping and Moxibustion use external stimuli to access acupuncture points (also called acupoints) along the meridians in an effort to clear blockages. Qigong practices are used to strengthen the Qi flow, which in turn also increases one’s health. Many famous Chinese physicians throughout history, for example Hua Tuo (141-208 AD), Li Shizhen (1518-1593 AD), were also Qigong practitioners.
In respect to the onset of body aches and pains associated with the aging process, Chinese doctors may attribute that to Qi blockages caused by old injuries. For example, a senior citizen’s constant ache and stiffness in his knee would be explained in the West as possibly caused by the “bum knee tore in high school during the football game." A Western doctor would usually tell this old man to take Ibuprofen or Aspirin to ease the pain. A Chinese doctor would say that the knee was mostly healed and that it worked fine while the man was young when his Qi flowed was still strong. However, now that he is old, his Qi flow is slower and that it gets stuck at the site of his old injury. Treatments would be prescribed to improve the Qi flow.
Qi (Chi) and Qigong (Chi gong or Chi Kung)
Some scholars estimate that the concept of Qi might be 5000–7000 years old. Tracing the exact historical development of Qi and Qigong is difficult, because the concept of Qi probably existed many years before written language had developed. The earliest evidence of Qigong practice comes from the discovery of color pottery of the Majiayao culture of the Neolithic period found in 1975 in Northwest China’s, Qinghai Province, Ledu County Liuwan. A painted water vessel pottery pot (height 34 cm), estimated to be at least 5000 years old, was found decorated with a human portrait (see figure) posed in a posture that is identical to a posture of Qigong practice called standing post (see picture). The Qigong historian Li Zhi-yong contends that this figure represented the earliest Qigong masters, which was further corroborated by anthropologist K. C. Chang (Chang, K.C. 1999).
The earliest form of Chinese writing, known as oracle bone inscriptions (or Jia Gu Wen in Chinese Pinyin), was accomplished by carving ancient Chinese characters onto tortoise shells and animal scapulas. The oracle bone inscriptions were mainly used for divination and keeping records of events that happened during the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 B.C.). The graphic character of Qi was found on an oracle bone inscription, and was also discovered on bronze inscriptions of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties (1122 to 221 B.C.). The character is a pictogram (depicting the shape) symbolizing the flow of air.
By the Warring States Period of the late Zhou Dynasty (481-221 B.C.), the evidence proving the existence of the concept of Qi was quite abundant. In particular, the practice of Qi had been described in the inscription of the jade artifact “Xing Qi Ming” (see picture). It is the earliest found written evidence of Qigong. Based on the inscription, it is clear evidence showing that the concept Qi and the practice of Qigong were well established at that time.
The translationof the inscription is as follows: “To regulate qi: When it is in depth, it will accumulate (store, collect); when it accumulates, it will spread; when it spreads, it will move downward; when it moves downward, it will settle; when it settles it will be firm; when it becomes firm, it will sprout; when it sprouts, it will grow; when it grows, it will regress; when it regresses, it will become nature (heaven, sky); heaven (sky) has roots (pounds into the ground) above; earth (ground) has its root (pounds into the ground) below; smooth flow enables life; reverse flow leads to death.”
Two other important findings discovered from the Han dynasty also demonstrate the practice of Qigong in China more than 2000 years ago. An artifact known as the Zhangjiashan Hanjian Yinshu (Literally translated as “The Han Bamboo Strip Book Yinshu”), which dates back to 186 B.C., was unearthed in Hupei Provonce Jiangling Xian Zhangjiashan in 1984. According to the studies of Peng Hao and Li Ling, Hanjian Yinshu is a detailed manuscript that includes therapeutic and illness-preventive techniques as well as movements that emphasize breathing methods as a way to attain health and longevity (Li, 2001).
The other archaeological testimony, “The Silk Book on Qigong Practices” or Daoyin tu, was unearthed from a Han Dynasty tomb (168 B. C.) in 1973 in Hunan Province, Changsha. The Daoyin tu is a color manuscript that shows forty four movements in a series of sketches accompanied by commentaries on their therapeutic features. According to Li Ling, there are two identifiable categories of sketches. The first group is the “Animal Plays,” which is divide into eight types of animal-bird movements such as bear-hanging and bird-stretching as described by Zhuangzi. The second group is the cure for illness and disease that includes eighteen ways to treat deafness, hernia, anxiety, knee pains, neck problems, abdominal bloating, sciatica, fever, and pneumonia. (Li, 2001)
The term “Qigong” (Chi Kung or Chi gong) is made up of two Chinese characters, “Qi” (air) and “Gong” (accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through steady practice). Together, Qigong means cultivating energy or work through breathing. The concept of Qi and Qigong practice of utilizing breathing to strengthen health has evolved throughout Chinese history and different aspects of Qigong practice have been mentioned in the literature: tu-na (exhaling and inhaling), dao-yin (guiding the energy flow), xing-qi (promoting the circulation of qi), fu-qi (intake of qi), shi-qi (feeding qi), lian-qi (practice qi), tiao-qi (regulating qi), jing-zuo (sitting quietly), zuo-chan (meditation), zuo-chan (sitting meditation), nei-gong (internal gong), zuo-wang (sitting undisturbed), yang-shen (nourishing the spirit) and shou-shen (guarding the spirit). The commonality of all these aspects is the regulation of breathing to reach good health and a higher spirituality. The term “Qigong” summarizes the essence of all these practices, and first appeared in the Chinese literature in “Records of the Jingming ‘Clear Brightness’ Sect”, a book written by Daoist priest Xu Xun (239-374 A.D.) during the Jin dynasty (265-420 A.D.), where Qigong was mentioned in the chapter “Elucidation on Qigong”.
In the early 20th century, Qigong was the topic of several books. The term “Qigong” appeared in two Wushu training books, “Secrets of Shaolin practice” published in 1915 by Zhonghua Book Company and “Collections of Wushu Practices”, now a classic martial arts text, written by the famous kung fu master Wan Lai-shen published in 1929 by Commercial Press Ltd. In the book written by Zhang Qing-lin “The Secrets of Regulating and Practicing Qi” published in 1929, it mentions about taiji tai chi) founder Zhang San-feng’s emphasis on the practice of Qigong, cites the lyrics (rhymes) used in Qigong practice and also credits Zhang as the originator of dian xue (Dim Mak), a method of training used to strike acupuncture points to interfere with proper Qi flow. Famous Chinese general and outstanding kung fu practitioner, Zhang Xue-liang, wrote a brief description of the importance of Qigong in the book’s preface.
In the 1930’s, Qigong had become a treatment method used in some hospitals. The health aspects of Qigong became the emphasis of two books, “Qigong Treatment Method for Tuberculosis (TB)“ by Dong Hao, published in 1934 by the Xiang Lin hospital in Hangzhou, and “Records of Qigong Treatment Methods” published in 1938 by the Gong Bo Qigong Treatment Institute in Shanghai.
The clinical results of Qigong in Hebei Province in the 1950’s led to the official use of the term “Qigong” in the study reports. Liu Gui-zhen summarized his clinical experience of Qigong treatment in his “Qigong Treatment Experimentation”. The term “Qigong” became widely used after the publication of this book in 1957.
The sporadic appearance of the term “Qigong” in classical literature does not reflect the popularity of the term in common language. Qigong has not only been a common term in the spoken language, it has also been often used in the kung fu novels and marital arts films.
Chang, K.C. 1999. Collected Treatises on Chinese Archaeology, Zhongguo kaoguxue lunwenji. Beijing: Shenghuo Dushu Xinzhi Press.
Gao, Ming. 1996. Commentaries on the Silk Scroll Book of Laozi, Boshu Laozi Xiaozhu. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju.
Guo, Qing-pan. 1997. An Elucidation on Zhuangzi, Zhuangzi Jishi. Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju.
Li Ling. 2001. A Study on Chinese Occult Arts, Zhongguo fangshu kao. Beijing: Eastern Press.
Peng, Hao. 1990. “A Primary Study on the Han Bamboo Strip Gymnastic Book from the Han Bamboo Strips of Zhangjiashan,” in Wenwu: 10. Beijing.
Summarized Results of Scientific Studies on Qigong Exercise
· Generate magnetic field (Japan)
· Balance electrodermal measurements (USA)
· Influence brain wave (China) (Austria)
· Change the blood flow of the brain (Austria)
· Reduce level of stress hormones, increase pain suppression neurotransmitter, and balance growth hormone and testosterone (Korea)
· Influence the immune cells towards anti-inflammation response in favor of a rapid resolution of inflammation (Hong Kong) (USA) (Spain), and increase the resistance against common infection and inflammation (Korea). Tai Chi and Qigong practice improve the antibody response to influenza vaccine (USA)
· Improve organ functions: Reduce the level of liver disease markers and renal disease marker (Spain)
· Improve functional capacities (exercise) of patients with heart problems (Italy)
· Improve respiratory function by increasing oxygen, reducing carbon dioxide in the blood (Korea) and increasing efficiency in gas exchange (USA)
· Improve the health of asthma patients (Germany)
· Stabilize heart function (Korea)
· Reduce pain (Sweden) (USA)
· Improve motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (Germany)
· Tai Chi and Qigong improve body mass index, waist circumference, and glucose control measures (Australia)
· Improve global quality of life, and reduce side effects of cancer treatments and inflammation biomarkers (Australia), but it does not provide cure for cancer (Review UK)
· Tai Chi and Qigong reduce blood pressure, stress hormones, cholesterol and symptom score of heart failure just as good as conventional exercise (Korea) (Taiwan) (UK) (China) (Hong Kong)
· Qigong exercise reduce stress at computerised work (Sweden) and hospital staffs (USA)
· Alleviate clinical depression (Hong Kong)
· Improve Vitality, Sleep, Social Activity, Health Distress, Mental Health and Psychological Well-being of females of Chronic Fatigue syndrome (UK)
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