QiGong, pronounced “chee gong”, is an ancient Chinese healing practice. The essence of its meaning is – the practice of energy movement in the body. Qigong techniques of using the body’s life force energy to remain healthy and young has been in use for centuries in China to reinforce the body’s natural desire to remain healthy. Modern times find Qi Gong being practiced on a global level and when put into terms of a global society; it is a way for the entire world to stay healthy and in balance with the planet.
QiGong Techniques for Beginners
The techniques beginners will use in the practice of QiGong will usually include the slowing down of the breath, combined with gentle focus on the body movements. When a beginner works slowly and appreciates the practice, it allows them the time to adjust and tune into their own inner peace.
QiGong carries a beautiful language description of each movement. Not all movements are named as beautifully as these, some are more mundane, but each phase of the method carries a name. This allows the person an easy way to remember the sequence of movements and thereby learn the practice more easily.
The beginner will learn the 8 traditional Qigong postures, or brocades:
- Immortal Looks to the Heavens
- Immortal Twists the Body
- Immortal Looks the the Heaven and Earth
- Ride the Horse and Draw the Bow
- Immortal Bows Forward
- Immortal Looks to the Rear
- Shaking Immortal
- Closing Position
Here is a great video showing how to do these 8 simple movements:
- Autumn breeze blowing leaves
- Beautiful woman turns at the waist
- Flying like an eagle
- Gazing backward at the moon
- Holding the sun in one hand
- Scooping the sea
- Turning as a windmill in the breeze
These are just a few of the movements used within a QiGong practice session. Now, who wouldn’t want to participate in something as soothing as holding the sun or looking at the moon? It almost has a meditative and calming effect just reflecting on the terms.
But, the breath and motion combined during these movements build the entire practice to strengthen the body into a healthy unit fit to combat the signs of aging in this fast paced society we live in today.
Where To Learn QiGong Techniques in Person
QiGong classes are taught at various locations throughout the world. Depending on where you live, it shouldn’t be much problem finding a qualified QiGong teacher somewhere near you.
Here is a list of some Qigong studios around the world:
Portland, OR – Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School
New York, NY – Qigong New York
Boston, MA – Brookline Tai Chi
Europe – Chi Neng Institute
Los Angeles – Qigong Healing Institute
QiGong shares a close relationship with the practice of Tai Chi, and is related in that they both use the same slow, fluid rhythms of nature. They are very complimentary practices and it is not uncommon to find to find a center where both are practiced under the teachings of both a Tai Chi Master and a QiGong Master.
Another good place to explore would be with a martial arts center. Even small towns in rural settings may have someone who would teach QiGong living within their communities.
Qigong DVDs and Online Classes
If someone is trying to learn this powerful system of energy healing and cannot find a live teacher (QiGong Master) nearby, another option is to practice QiGong by watching a QiGong DVD. QiGong videos are readily available for purchase on the internet, or one may be able to borrow them from a local library.
The art and science of this ancient practice are perfectly suited for learning through this technological format. Following along with a video allows a person to work at his or her own pace (the pause and rewind button may be a person’s best friend when learning these movements) and to be guided in the practice without feeling self-conscious.
QiGong Techniques – An Internal Practice
However keep in mind that when practicing within a group, as with yoga and other mind reflective and body strengthening practices, QiGong is a self practice. It is not a contest, rather it is an internal practice that is suitable for practice within groups, but the only person one should be concerned with in that group is themselves.
One person may have a particular gift of balance where the next one is strong and the one after that may be silent and reflective. This doesn’t mean that they are wrong; it only means that at this time their particular development places them at that stage of learning within the practice.
Varyious Types of QiGong Practices
There are several methods of QiGong practices that are being taught. They may include:
- Shibashi QiGong
- Eight Brocade Section QiGong
- Dayan QiGong (a/k/a Wild Goose)
Of course one would follow whichever their QiGong Master is teaching, but when developing the practice on their own students may choose between the various practices to change up the routine or may stay with a single method because that is what suits their personality.
The importance is not in which method to practice, but the devotion to the practice itself. The discipline and routine are what will benefit the practitioner overall. That is where the key to health lies – within the dedication of the practitioner to the practice.
If you have the knowledge but do not use it, your body will show no benefit. If you put the knowledge of this ancient energy building source into play they will certainly be rewarded with a lean, healthy and fit body.
Qigong Techniques for a Healthy Lifestyle
Practicing QiGong techniques becomes a part of a healthy lifestyle designed for longevity and health. It naturally combats premature aging, keeps the internal organs operating at peak performance and allows your muscles to remain strong and flexible well into the golden years.
Just as when a flight attendant reminds us to “secure our own oxygen mask first before assisting others”; we all must work on our own self before helping others. The self discipline practice of QiGong is an easy, financially viable way to achieve securing our own oxygen in order to help others.