Pronounced chee kung or chee gung, the term Qi gong means:
• Qi: life energy, breath, air
• Gong: work
Hence the meaning of Qi-gong is “working the life energy”.
Qi-gong is a series of exercises involving breathing and visualization methods and gentle movements of the body in order to harness the life energy (qi) inside the body. It has its roots in ancient China and is used by tens of millions of people all over the world to boost mental and physical health.
Qi-gong is part of the curriculum of the more important universities in China and in Chinese hospitals it is officially recognized as a valid medical procedure. The exercises contained in Qi-gong are designed to benefit the whole body and are focused on certain organ systems in the body. It can help restore and balance the digestive, lymphatic, cardiovascular, and nervous systems to make them function at their utmost peak and efficiency. Aside from their own personal self-healing and benefit practitioners of Qi-gong can also tap into its power to cure other people.
Based on the theory of Chinese medicine, physical and emotional conditions are tied to blockages of energy in the body. According to this viewpoint, Qi gong’s ability to heal mental and emotional conditions is due to the fact that it helps clear out the blockages and balances the energy within the body. Qi gong can help treat your problem whether you believe in this theory or not.
One can practice Qi-gong in a lying, sitting, or standing position. Anyone can practice it including male and female children, teens, adults, and seniors. Practitioners of this healing technique believe it can bring about a calm and quiet state of mind. This is achieved by focusing on one point of the body or on the breathing. The least you notice external stimuli (light, temperature, noise, etc.) the deeper your quiet state of mind goes. The body and mind becomes a sea of peace and tranquility. With perseverance and patience, people who find it difficult to achieve this state will definitely be able to go deeper and deeper into it.
For better outcomes, qi-gong should be practiced on a daily basis. People tend to perform the exercises in the morning, prior to commencing their daily activities. This is appropriate since you body and mind are well-rested and more relaxed at this time making it more convenient to focus on the exercise; also, the Qi is at its highest quality in this time of day as the air is fresher. One can also perform the exercises at other times of the day. This will ultimately depend on what time you feel is best to exercise.
Qi gong exercises can last for an hour or just five minutes, at least. It may be a bit too much if you perform it for more than an hour. It is not meant to replace conventional medical treatment, although it can be used as an adjunct to it. When you perform Qi-gong, your mind and body relaxes, your breathing slows down, and your concentration gets focused. These benefits themselves can help alleviate anxiety and stress. With regular practice, you will attain maximum vitality and a more peaceful and tranquil state of mind.
When combined with techniques such as visualization, physical exercises, and meditation Qi-gong can provide you with a way to overcome severe anxiety attacks.
Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.