The ancient art of Qigong
Qigong is a phrase coined in 1948 but the practice of Qigong dates back to ancient China and has been practiced continually for thousands of years. Qigong was originally invented for military purposed so soldiers could improve their strength, recover from injuries quickly and maintain their focus. The original methods of Qigong were kept secret because armies did not want to make their secrets public, but over time many advanced Qigong practitioners went on to become doctors and other healers.
What is Qigong?
Qigong is based on a belief that all life in the universe is being created and sustained by a pervading energy known as Qi. There is great debate if Qi (Chi) is a real phenomenon and what the true source of the phenomenon is. We know scientifically that life on Earth is driven by the energy of sunlight so it is possible that Qi is a phenomenon related to solar energy which can be stored and used by people for health purposes. The process of practicing Qigong involves elements of meditation, movement, breathing techniques, and focus. We know that all of these elements like exercise and meditation are beneficial for our health and Qigong combines all of them.
Who uses Qigong?
Every morning millions of people in China walk to the local parks to practice Qigong. It is estimated that approximately 8% of the population participates on a frequent basis. Many of the participants are dealing with illness such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and all other afflictions. Many other participants are there to take proactive steps to maintain good health. This practice is 100% free and can be done every day. Because health care around the world is so expensive, these millions of people are taking measures to gather as a community, at the start of their day, to take ownership and control of their health.
Qigong in America
Qigong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Reiki are all Eastern medical practices which are gaining popularity in the United States. Some of these systems have turned into fitness fads but they still offer clear results which are propelling their popularity. Today nearly 15% of U.S. hospitals offer the option of Qigong or Reiki to be paired with modern medicine. Many Universities around the world are also studying these energy healing methods trying to understand how and why they work.
Regardless of our understanding of the mechanisms, we can say for sure that these systems are ancient and there must certainly be a reason they still exist today!
By Erica Peace