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Chinese Medicine - The Healing Art of Qi Gong

Chinese medicine dates back to the late Shang Dynasty, 1000 years before the birth of Christ. Beginning even in those ancient times, Chinese medicine has focused not on treating individual symptoms, but rather on understanding the collection of symptoms and the context in which they occur. This holistic approach is based on the recognition for the need for harmony and balance. Treating only the symptom, as is common in Western medicine, ignores the underlying imbalance which produced the illness.

The core secret of Chinese healing is Qi (pronounced Chee), the natural energy found in each of our bodies. Qi flows along well defined lines called meridians. Disruptions in the flow of Qi is the source of many ills. Restoring the smooth flow of Qi is essential to restoring health. Blockages in Qi disrupt the body’s natural balance making, reduce our ability to combat stress, increase tension and make us more likely to fall sick. By releasing blockages and stimulating the flow of Qi, the body is brought into harmony and balance. This balance will reduce stress, relieve tension and improve our health.

As people everywhere become more aware of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine a less well-known, but no less important Oriental healing art is emerging: QiGong (Chi Kung). The word itself means "Cultivating Vitality." This broad category of breath and movement exercises also refers to a form of direct healing work with others. Along with acupuncture and herbal medicine, it is one of the fundamental traditional practices you can use to achieve and maintain health and quality of life.

The Practice of Qi Gong

Personal practice of Qigong promotes balanced, radiant health. Simple, enjoyable movements, like the elegant Eight Treasures of Qi Gong, done regularly can:

  • Improve all aspects of physical, emotional and mental health. Most involve a kind of smooth, slow activity - a bit like moving underwater - combined with specific breathing patterns. Virtually anyone can practice Qigong.
  • Clear energy and rejuvenate, which is especially useful at the end of a busy day. People who practice Qigong get back some of the energy "lost" during the day and sleep more soundly.

It can be done almost anywhere. Commonly you will practice once or twice a day, generally in the morning and/or evening. It can take as little as 15 minutes. Qigong is one of the original forms of "preventive medicine" for healthy living.

There are many types of Qigong, but they all have a common goal: balancing and increasing the energy flow within the body. This means better health, deeper and more restful sleep and increased quality of life.

An interesting aspect of practicing Qigong is it's subtlety. There is a saying that if an exercise looks big on the outside, it is small on the inside, and if it's small on the outside, it's big on the inside. This means that flashy, broad movements may not be the most profound in their effects, while more subtle ones probably are. Some of the most advanced exercises have virtually no movement visible on the outside.