Qigong (Chi Kung) is the art of cultivating internal energy. “Qi” is, your internal energy and “gong” simply means the work involved in the cultivation of that energy. Qigong combines coordinated breathing, movement and awareness into an exercise with healing and mediation benefits. While tai chi can be considered a type of qigong, the two are more commonly distinguished as separate but closely related practices, with qigong playing an important role in training for tai chi, and with many tai chi movements performed as part of qigong practice. The focus of qigong is typically more on healing or meditation than martial applications.
Traditional Chinese medicine talks about the smooth flow of qi or life force energy throughout our bodies. The unimpeded flow of qi helps to develop a calm mind and a healthy body. This energy can be enhanced by various methods. The practice of qigong is one such method.
Although there are a vast number of qigong forms, most will fall into one of these three categories:
- static (sitting, standing – similar to meditation)
- semi-dynamic (little or no stepping but with upper body movements)
- dynamic (every part of the body is moving, such as Tai Chi)