Qigong (also spelled Chi Kung) comes from the Chinese words "Qi" meaning "Energy" plus "Gong," meaning "work" or "practice." This Chinese Exercise system focuses on cultivating and attracting life-force energies. Through training in this healing art, practitioners build up their health by combining discipline of the mind and the body's "Qi" (vital force). Those who practice it regularly can experience profound improvement in every aspect of their life.
According to the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Qigong is recognized as a Mind-Body Medicine. Focus on the breath, body posture and state of awareness opens up the channels for energy (Qi) to be moved. Through Qigong exercises practitioners are able to correct energy imbalances within the body.
Some divide qigong into "Medical," "Martial," or "Spiritual" categories depending on the purpose of the practice.
Qigong is generally practiced in two major categories, "still" and "moving." "Still" qigong emphasis is on quiet meditation, using methods of internal focus and regulation of breathing. It can be practiced in motionless postures such as the lying, sitting or standing positions.
"Moving" qigong involves moving the body under the conscious direction of the mind, and since the movement is expressed externally, it is also known as external qigong. These sequences of movements, breath work, visualizations and meditation are called forms and are a major portion of the Qi Gong healing practice. Part of this healing work is learning to calm the mind and to clear the heart and mind of petty distractions and desires. Rather than letting the mind run us like a runaway train, we learn to be the director of the development our untamed vast internal powers.
Chi is present in all living things and absent in dead ones. The higher the person's vibration the more chi one has to drawn on. We all have this universal life force operating through us, but unless we exercise it the way we do our minds and bodies, it is an unmanaged great power waiting to be cultivated -- the sleeping dragon within all of us.
A person's emotional state can be measured as a vibratory rate. Some of the other ways besides meditation, qigong, yoga and martial arts that one can raise their vibration ( state of consciousness) is by:
1. Living in the moment -- Not living in the past or worrying about things that have not happened yet.
2. Forgiveness -- Not letting go of past hurts keeps you bound to the exact thing you don't want to be.
3. Acts of kindness -- I rescue animals. Daily acts of compassion toward people or animals heals the giver and the receiver
4. Healthy loving relationships -- That feel safe, connected and positive.
5. Avoid drugs, smoking and alcohol -- This puts the body into a state of severe disharmony
6. Well cared for healthy happy plants and animal companions in your home.
7. Only allowing that which is good into your life
8. Surrendering all to your Higher Power, Buddha, Nature, Christ or any of the great Avatars you feel comfortable with) and asking for the most high good for all involved.
Development of chi is part of the core curriculum of many martial arts including Shaolin Kung fu, Tai Chi and Qigong training. Inner power control is the focus for health, healing, self-defense, medical practices and spiritual growth.
It is important to not to train in this art past the early stages without the guidance from a master. Improper technique may cause injuries along vital meridians. Besides training in the art, when working with a reputable Qigong Master healer, it's can be beneficial to go for treatment to heal the body by having your chi flow be put back into balance.
I recently learned about two powerful stories about the transforming power of Qigong. Nancy Guevara was in a car accident, most of the bones and joints in her body were broken and injured. Her jaw was broken in two places and it was never set or discovered (due to many injuries), the connector bone that hinges the top of her jaw to the bottom jaw on the right was broken off. Her jaw should have not been able to move, eat, chew and talk. It's been a constant progression over the past eight years but it took about four years to really get her jaw functioning. Through energy medicine and qi-gong, She has been able to train her muscles to do the work for the bones. Her UCLA jaw doctor was so amazed by her remarkable recovery that he used her x-rays and story in a research study because they had not seen it done before. To this day the x-rays show the right side still broken but somehow working.
She was a CPA and working as the director of finance, planning and analysis specializing in strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting at the time. After this life-altering experience and recovery process she has been working as a therapist sharing her knowledge and experience through energy medicine healing techniques and hypno-therapy. She can be reached at HealingWithNanc@yahoo.com, po box 1666, santa monica, ca 90406.
After hearing her story I decided I must talk with her Qigong teacher, Michael Sieverts, who played an important role in her miraculous healing.
Sieverts' story of how he became a student of Qigong is no less fascinating. After suffering from violent seizures 10 years ago, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He went through surgery to have the tumor removed. This operation left him paralyzed on the left side of his body.
He did radiation and chemotherapy. His nutritionist told him that Qigong would be helpful in recovering his symmetry and balance. The after effects of the treatments made his first Qigong classes very difficult, and he felt like quitting. His teacher suggested he stick with it. Within two years he was off his medications, and had the strength and balance to begin teaching other cancer survivors.
He has now long outlived his original prognosis, and continues to immerse himself in this powerful healing practice, studying with Master Tang Wei Zhong at UCLA's Simms-Mann Center for Integrative Oncology, at The Wellness Community in Santa Monica, at weSPARK in Sherman Oaks, and at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai.
Links to those programs are listed below.