Qi gong is a similar form of Chinese medicine or therapy to Tai chi in that it requires those practicing it to learn a series of movements or exercises in order to maintain a healthy body and mind by keeping the Qi flowing freely throughout the body.
Qi gong however differs from tai chi in that the exercises don’t have to be performed in any strict routine or pattern. Qi gong is more about learning how to distribute the Qi evenly throughout the entire body in order to improve the health and harmony of both the mind and body.
Where did Qi gong originate?
It was the great grandfather of Chinese daoist Loa Tzu that described the first Qi gong practice in the third and fourth centuries BC.
The yellow emperor’s classic of internal medicine described Dao yin exercises in the first and second century BC as a way to cure colds and fevers and as a way to be able to attain tranquillity and harvest vital energy.
A folded piece of silk cloth was documented in the second century showing painted figures in a variety of poses featuring all the major categories of Qi gong, as we know it today.
Breathing, stances, movement and self-massage were all shown and what was more interesting were the captions underneath the figures, the captions indicated specific disorders such as kidney disease, gall stones, flatulence, lumbago, gastric disturbance and anxiety.
These of course are all illnesses and diseases that we today associate with Qi gong and which regular practice of Qi gong can help to alleviate.
Qi gong today
Today there are over 35,000 different forms of Qi gong exercise with the Qi gong form being described as a specific mental and physical exercise or series of exercises which are prescribed to train, develop and condition the body and mind for better healing, health and longevity.
Even with the many numerous forms of Qi gong, the underlying theory and the principle behind the practice are all basically the same.
They all basically rely on simple movements which aim to release tension throughout the body and increase the flow of energy, there is another form of Qi gong and this is practiced in a meditative form and is called Jing gong which means the quiet form.
Meditative Qi gong relies on focusing the mind to bring calmness to the body through the emotions. This is achieved by calming the mind and relaxing the body before leading the Qi along specific pathways throughout the body with the mind.