Qigong - Physical exercises with spiritual elements to harmonise energy flow
Qigong originates from ancient Chinese culture, with some reports dating as far back as 770 and 221 BC. It is one of the oldest Chinese meditation and therapy techniques. The distribution of Buddhism in China also led to a distribution of qigong.
The traditional form of qigong focuses on the flow of qi. Qi is seen as a universal, spiritual power, which inspires the universe and is the central force in all living creatures. There are a number of different qigong forms. One style involves fluid movement that is synchronised with the breath, while another form requires no movement at all and is known as static qigong.
As with all types of qigong, bodily functions can only work correctly if qi flows freely. Therefore, diseases are caused by qi being blocked. According to this theory, even emotional imbalances can lead to qi being obstructed. This can be resolved through concentrative meditation. This technique combines these three elements: conscious breathing, exercise and visualisation. The different exercises control the breathing; the meditative imagination guides qi through the body, fading out environmental influences and encourages deep relaxation. Many exercises have animal names to symbolise the movement. Slow movement relaxes unstable emotions.
Qigong has been found to help support treatment for high blood pressure, asthma and lessen the side effects experienced from cancer treatment. It is also said that your ability to concentrate is improved.
Related topics: Qi , Meridians , Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) , Tai Chi chuan