Imagine ability to control all aspects of your given life energy as you wish, using only the power of your mind. To use it in such way in order to restore and maintain health, slow down aging, or protect yourselves against injury. Such ability is simply explained as understanding and knowing transformational processes in nature.
Chinese culture calls it Qigong 气功. It’s a rare and somehow mystique discipline known to few. Practicing Qigong activates development of abilities to sense and control life energy known as qi. “Qi” 气 has numerous translations such as: the life force, the spirit breath, air, or oxygen. “Gong” 功 translates as: work, skill or accomplishments. We might translate Qigong as life energy workout.
How about qi? Chinese believe that qi is our life energy. Qi has its limits and when we consume it up, we simply die. Traditionally Qigong practice is used in order to prevent illnesses, promote better quality and extend life.
Qigong practice correspond to three categories of people: mere people, soldiers/athletes and spiritual people (monks, priests), and therefore Qigong is broadly divided as: Medical qigong, Martial art qigong, and Spiritual qigong. The largest category is Medical Qigong. It consists of exercises with aim to slow aging, prevent disease, and cure illnesses.
The qi circulates along the body throw very specific channels known in Chinese as jing luo 经络. By Chinese point of view, health is represented by continuous, free, balanced, and harmonious flow of qi, throughout all parts of the body. Qigong practice requires control, and it involves breathing exercises, body postures, and mental meditation in order for qi to go back into proper circulation. Qi is flowing through body just like a blood does inside specific channels. Qigong meditation is basic training in developing the mental control to move your qi.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that diseases appear due to malfunction/imbalance of flow of qi, either a blockage, deficiency or an excess. Traditional Chinese Medicine rose from the empirical observation of nature. It began more than 5000 years ago. Chinese civilization understands that we are part of the nature by mutual interconnection of body and mind, space and time, with dynamic process of constant change between man and nature. For the whole to function harmoniously, every part must remain in balance.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is divided into four main branches: Acupuncture, Herbs and Food therapy (Chinese pharmacology and Dietology), Tuina - massage therapy (Orthopedics, chiropractics), and Medical Qigong (Physical exercises and Physical therapy).
There is an old saying: "The proper study of Chinese Medicine involves the study of its ancient history." In their beginning, the knowledge of science and magic were indistinguishable, and it was difficult to differentiate between them. For instance, astrology and astronomy were unified science until 18th century. Chinese Medicine incorporates an ancient history of energetic magical pictographic symbolism and shamanism, and according to expression "the only difference between occult magic and science is time."
Once upon a time, popular Qigong school named Falun 法轮大法, due to great influence on Chinese society during 1999, got prohibited by Chinese government. Chinese government became more cautious in relation to Qigong, thinking that Qigong might influence Chinese society negatively, and therefore responded by closing up Qigong departments at TCM Universities and hospitals. Hopefully only until recently such measures are in power.
In TCM clinics are used recorded ancient healing Dao Yin 导引exercises. Dao Yin represents Qigong precursor breathing exercises, usually in sitting and lying position, derived from a long history of experience in preventative medicine. Historically Qigong exercises dates back to Shang Dynasty 商代 (1600-1046 B.C.) with at the time, plenty of descriptive drawings and texts of Qigong training exercises and meditations. First Medical Qigong exercises were constructed by analyzing animals’ movements. Mawangdui Han Dynasty tombs (206 B.C-220 A.D.) 马王堆汉墓 unearthed a silk relic of very likely first drawings of Dao Yin exercises. Drawings contain forty-four ancient Qigong classic illustrations, with descriptions of therapeutic movements and corresponding diseases.
One of the most famous and gifted doctor of TCM of all time was Hua Tuo 华佗, known as "father of surgery". Related to Qigong, doctor Hua Tuo is famous for developing the "Five Animal Frolics," which are among the oldest forms of Medical Qigong exercise prescriptions still used in China today.
In ancient China, Medical Qigong prescriptions developed into a system of Yin and Yang energetics. Medical Qigong prescriptions can be used in order to further the patient's treatment process. There are two purposes for Medical Qigong practice and cultivation: to protect and strengthen the body's health, and to treat diseases. In ancient China, Medical Qigong exercises and meditations were originally known as Dao Yin training, and were divided into Yang movements - Dynamic Action, and Yin Movements - Static postures. Both Static and Dynamic Dao Yin Qigong training methods supplement each other and can be combined and trained equally; such is the balance of Yang and Yin energy.
Medical Qigong exercises has three categories of Dao Yin training: Postural Dao Yin training, Respiratory Dao Yin training, and Mental Dao Yin training. When are combined together, these Dao Yin exercises form the foundation of modern Chinese Medical Qigong Self-Regulation prescriptions.
Postural Dao Yin consists of training the tissue structures. It is further divided by training position, such as: walking, standing, sitting, lying, massaging, and hand meditative gestures.
Respiratory Dao Yin consists of breathing exercises and includes various techniques of inhaling, exhaling, aspirating (sounds and Mantras), and holding the breath.
Mental Dao Yin consists of focused concentration, guided imagery, and creative visualizations, and requires that the thoughts be concentrated on one object or process.
Medical Qigong treatment relieves pain, disperse qi and blood stagnation, but fails to address the patient's life-style which is often a major contributing factor. Patient's sick conditions are always elevated by stress, overwork, lack of appropriate exercise and inappropriate food and beverage. Medical Qigong doctor can prescribe to the patient Self-Regulatory Qigong exercise for particular sickness.
When an imbalance develops, certain active points of the disease correspond to different organs, muscles, and limbs of the body, and a pathological reflex is formed. Trigger and reflex points which are painful to touch are perfect examples of this phenomenon. Medical Qigong prescriptions stimulate the patient's autonomic nervous system, gradually eliminating fatigue as the normal body functions are restored. Another important aspect of the Medical Qigong prescription exercises is the enhancement of the body's immune system function.
Medical Qigong prescription functions are: Purgation of toxins, Tonification of organ systems, and Regulation of the body's organ systems.
• Purgation techniques are Sound resonation therapy, Vibrating Palm and Tiger Kneading Palm, resulting in a stronger cell vibration and tissue interaction.
• Tonification techniques such as Color Visualization, Qi Emission, etc.
• Regulation techniques use the mind's intention to regulate the energetic fields of Qigong meditations in order to move Qi and Blood stagnation, tonify the internal organs and organ systems, and to enhance the autonomic nervous system.
Medical Qigong therapy can be used to not only strengthen the metabolism of the organs and cells, but also to increase cellular energy. It has enhancing effects on the lymphatic system. Medical Qigong health benefits are white blood cell production, stabilized blood pressure, and improved immune function.
When Medical Qigong exercise are prescribed, there are five primary areas addressed in the healing process, such as: intuition, purgation, tonification, regulation, and qi massage. The patient is taught to:
• Increase Intuition of his or her body and its current condition;
• Purgate cleanse and purify the body's energetic fields to rid it of Qi stagnations and toxic pathogenic factors;
• Tonify and recharge body;
• Regulate the Qi internally and externally throughout the body's entire energetic structure;
• Qi Massage regulation.
Medical Qigong prescriptions
These prescriptions enable patients to reinforce the treatments performed by the Qigong doctor and prevent the patient's energy from reverting back to old, destructive patterns. The Qigong doctor selects the proper Medical Qigong prescription to address a patient's specific illness, and formulates a treatment program designed for each patient's individual case.
Each cell in the body has its own unique resonant vibration. When combined together, the vibrating cells create their own specific frequency within the various tissues, internal organs, and organ systems.
• Excess Qi has the cumulative effect of too many cells trapped and vibrating together in one specific area of the body. This overactive cellular function causes Qi to radiate out from the tissues and can be felt by the Qigong doctor while scanning the patient's body with the extended palm.
• Stagnation within the diseased tissue area cannot transmit Qi fast enough to the other areas of the body. Stagnation creates what is known in TCM as an excess condition, and can result in symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Any area of the body that is in an excess condition displays a high-intensity energetic field surrounding the tissue area. The energetic field of an excess condition will naturally repel the doctor's palm when scanning. Purgation of excess conditions is accomplished when patient exhale healing sounds after tissue massage stimulation. Stimulation is used to excite the tissues, causing the cells to vibrate faster and disperse condensed energetic stagnation.
• Deficient condition has a low-intensity energetic field surrounding the tissue area. The energetic field of a deficient condition will naturally pull the doctor's palm inward when scanning. Tonifying deficient conditions is accomplished by having the patient inhale colored light to the specific internal organ after massage stimulation. Light is used to fill the energetic space existing between the cells, creating more energetic substance.
All Medical Qigong treatments end with regulation techniques when patient's cells and tissues are allowed to return to a natural state of balance and harmony.