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Have you heard of Qigong? Many people haven't, but you may be surprised to learn that over 80 million people not only have heard of it but actively practice it each day!
Originally from China, but now practiced the world over, Qigong helps its practitioners improve their health and fitness, aid in healing and recovery of illness, relieve stress, develop energy and vitality, and gain a better sense of connection to themselves and the world around them.
The term Qigong (pronounced "chee gung") literally means "energy practice." It refers to a family of practices based on the concept of qi (pronounced "chee"), the internal energy that runs through our bodies. It is this same concept of qi that is fundamental to acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine.
The most popular types of Qigong are exercises that combine Tai Chi or yoga-like movement with breathing and mental concentration to stimulate the qi. But Qigong also includes practices such as standing and sitting meditations, massage, therapeutic healing techniques, and other health and energy-building practices.
When it comes to teaching and learning Qigong, I like to emphasize five basic chi skills. These skills are stepping stones on the path to complete health through Qigong. These skills are best learned using a combination of movement practices, along with some meditation and breathing techniques, and a few simple self-massage techniques.
Here is a brief rundown of each of these skill levels.
The purpose of Qigong exercises in this level is to "jump-start" your Chi health with circulating chi through your meridians (energy pathways).
The emphasis on this meridian level is "immediate benefits". These practices help you gain immediate health and stress relief benefits, as well as short term improvement of chronic health problems. This is great way to start if you have any health challenges or compromises. But even if you are healthy, this level provides a solid foundation for further chi development.
In our program, we call this the "Opening the Body and Mind" level.
Qigong exercises in this level are designed to improve storing of energy in your "chi vessels" (energy reservoirs), as well as to improve connections from your chi vessels to your chi meridians.
The goal in this level is to develop greater "internal health," as well as to work on long term improvements and protection against chronic health problems. If Level 1 is about "short-term getting health," then Level 2 is about "long-term staying healthy."
In our program, this is the "Coordinating Mind, Body, and Breath" level.
This Qigong level is all about discovering how to connecting the internal energy you developed in the first two levels, with the "chi field" that surrounds us. The emphasis is to take the skills you developed in level one and level two, and make them more "dynamic."
Exercises in this level have a variety of benefits. They can:
In our program, we call this the "Rooting and Energetics" level
I teach a one-hour webinar entitled "Complete Chi Health" that explains these five levels and goes into them in more detail. You'll also see examples of Qigong movements in each of the levels.
To get access to this webinar, please join our Tai Chi and Qigong free lessons. Within two weeks or so of joining the free lessons, I will send you an invitation to join me for a live webinar or to watch a recording of a past webinar. The webinar is provided at no cost, but you have to take the free lessons to get access to the webinar.
You have my best wishes for health, well-being, and Chi Development,