"A Chinese exercise system which focuses on attracting and developing one’s Qi”
The saying “Sound mind in sound body” epitomises the core of Qigong. It is an ancient system of exercise and health treatment. It involves meditation, breathing control and body movements. It focuses on attracting and cultivating one’s “vital energy” (Qi). Tranquillity and relaxation are two of Qigong’s main aspects. There are several forms of Qigong practiced throughout the world, some of which focus in spirituality and health by means of breathing and meditation, whereas others are more intense and may comprise martial arts exercises.
Medically, Qigong is used as a means of prevention and rehabilitation and is often paired with acupuncture. It facilitates the flow of blood and maintains the body in optimal condition, preventing illnesses. Besides blood circulation, it also improves lymph circulation, through the practice of synchronising breathing with motion. It is important to note that it reduces levels of stress, which in turn reduces inflammation, resulting a boosting of the immune system.
At the same time, the practice tones breathing muscles, improving the air capacity of the lungs. Studies have shown that people who practice Qigong regularly walk faster than average, covering a longer distance within the same time (6 minutes) as controls. One of the greatest studies of Qigong found that there are positive outcomes in bone density and the sense of equilibrium. There are also reports that Qigong may help control hypertension, even diabetes.
Qigong exercises may be done in an upright, sitting or supine position. Generally speaking, Qigong is an excellent way to relax, while at the same time it may serve as a “warm up” for more advanced forms of martial arts (e.g. Tai Chi).
Why should I practice Qigong;
The main aim of Qigong is to maintain the body in good health, while at the same time promoting psychological well being. It may be used both preventively and as a treatment. Qigong reduces the levels of stress and inflammation, while boosting the immune system.