There are a number of ancient health exercises that have been passed down through generations, and one of the most notable is Qigong. Often spelled Chi Kung in some circles, but referring to the same thing in either case, Qigong is based on a set of precise movements that are meant to impact bodily and mental health in a variety of important ways.
At Just Breathe Tai Chi, we’re happy to offer a number of fantastic courses for Tai Chi, Qigong and related practice modalities. For those just learning about it for the first time, here are some fascinating facts about Qigong (Chi Kung) and its various benefits.
History of Qigong
Qigong is an ancient art that has origins dating back thousands of years. It likely originated in tribal areas of China as a form of natural movement and healing. Over time, it developed into a more formalized system of exercises and breath work, with different schools and styles emerging. Tai Chi is actually a form of Qigong—with similarities and differences. In recent years, it has seen a resurgence in popularity as people are rediscovering its many benefits.
How Qigong Works
Qigong relies on three key elements – breath, movement and focus – to achieve its many benefits. The exercises are designed to move energy (or “Qi”) through the body in a smooth and balanced way. This can promote better circulation, improved breathing and a more relaxed state of mind and body.
This is done through a variety of movement types, some of which are gentle and others that are more vigorous. Movements range from large, expansive ones that involve the entire body to small, delicate movements of just a few joints. The exercises can be done standing, sitting or lying down, making them accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Benefits of Qigong
There are many distinct ways in which Qigong can benefit your health. Regular practice can improve flexibility, balance and coordination. It can also help to reduce stress, anxiety and pain. Some people even find that it boosts their energy levels and immune system function.
For instance, one study found that Qigong reduced fatigue in breast cancer survivors, while another showed that it improved sleep quality in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Singular or Complementary
One of the great things about Qigong is how it can be practiced either on its own or as a complement to other activities. Many people enjoy incorporating it into their regular workout routine, while others find it to be a helpful way to wind down at the end of the day. No matter how you choose to practice it, Qigong can be a valuable addition to your health and wellbeing.
If you’re interested in trying Qigong, contact our team at Just Breathe Tai Chi to sign up for one of our classes or workshops. Or view a sample class. We offer a variety of classes for all levels of experience, so you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.