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Qigong

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MARK GERRY:
Qigong (pronounced “chee-goong”) is a five thousand year old traditional form of Chinese energy exercise for the body, mind, and spirit. It is a system for improving and maintaining health as well as to help cure disease. The basic aim is to bring the body into a state of balance and self-regulation. Qigong, literally means “breath work”, and is a distillation of several ancient healing systems, including Taoist Yoga, Buddhist meditation, and traditional medicine. The practice of Qigong is based upon the cultivation and balance of “qi”, roughly translated as “bioenergy”. This concept is at the core of most every aspect of Chinese culture, including art, architecture, philosophy, sports and science.

Once a hidden practice jealously guarded by the elite spheres of classical Chinese society and later forbidden during the Cultural Revolution, Qigong today enjoys vast popularity among the Chinese people, official support by the Chinese Ministry of Health, and intensive scrutiny by the Chinese scientific community.

Qigong is one of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s (TCM) principal methods of treatment. Though there are many schools, concurrent theories are these:

· The mind, body, and spirit energies can be regulated and cultivated through the relaxation and concentration of mental and physical exercises

· Control of respiration plays a central role

· Bringing the body into a state of maximum repose and self-regulation can help realize full physical potential, resist illness, recover damage caused by diseases, and balance the body’s relation with the mind.

· “Balancing the human with the sky”. In traditional Chinese thought, the sky is a general term for nature. Qigong researchers maintain that the human body and nature exist as an inter-related and inseparable unity. Imbalances in this unity are a key cause of illness. Therefore, humankind should strive for the conscious awareness of our inherent coordination with nature.

Recent scientific research has begun to produce physiological evidence backing Qigong theory. For example, it has been shown that :

· Disordered or overstimulated cells in the cerebral cortex can be returned to a relaxed state through Qigong practice

· Positive physical changes can be traced to more efficient respiration and metabolism which in turn greatly reduces energy consumption

· The body’s strength is fostered and more prepared to fight off illness by Qigong because of an improved immune system

· Qigong aids the generation of saliva and gastric juices thus improving digestion and absorption.



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"Qigong is a discipline anyone can learn. Many people practice Qigong simply because it makes them feel good, perform better, experience higher levels of energy and stamina, and reach their level of optimal health. Qigong can improve sports performance, prevent jet lag, and supercharge the immune system. Qigong practice has been shown to super-oxygenate the cells of the body. It can reduce stress, improve bowel function, and relieve the symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders. In the area of pain control, Qigong practice can relieve acute and chronic pain, reduce the pain of childbirth, and speed recovery from sports or other injuries. In addition, Qigong can increase the effectiveness of Western medications, may reduce the side effects, and even allow the use of smaller doses.

Many scientific studies have documented that Qigong has value in the treatment of more serious problems. It can reduce healing time after surgery by 50%, normalize the blood pressure, and heal tuberculosis. It can heal gastric and duodenal ulcers chronic atrophic gastritis (stomach inflammation), and liver disease. It can relieve nearsightedness (myopia) and improve mental performance. It also has been effective in the treatment of substance abuse, obesity, respiratory conditions, asthma, and allergies.

Benefits have also been seen in a long list of serious neuromuscular conditions, such as post-stroke syndrome, paralysis from brain and spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, aphasia (loss of the power of expression of speech), Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy.

In more than thirty research studies, Qigong has been found to reverse the effect of aging. Qigong has improved or reversed the results of many medical tests that usually become abnormal with age. In addition, it has cured many of the diseases that are common to senior citizens.

Qigong has been shown to reduce deaths related to high blood pressure, reduce the frequency of strokes, reduce the incidence of retinopathy (deterioration of the back of the eye), improve the efficiency of the pumping action of the heart, and decrease blood viscosity (“thin” the blood). It has also improved EKG (heart) and EEG (brain) readings, normalized the level of sex hormones, and improved blood sugar levels in diabetics."

quoted from the book “Miracle Healing from China...Qigong” by McGee and Chow

East West Academy of Healing Arts, 450 Sutter Street, Suite 2104, San Francisco, CA 94108 (415) 788-2227 / 415 788 2242 fax / Web Page: http:/www.eastwestqi.com

MARK GERRY:
 :)

Mell:
You seem to have a lot of information on this subject.  For a novice interested in learning a small amount on the subject (without being overwhelmed), where would you suggest one look?  

BB54:
There are several books on the subject out there.  However, you will get overwhelmed.  Chi-Kung is just as complicated as the rest of the martial arts.  Basically, most systems have some sort of Chi-Kung along with their respective Chin-Na. I suggest you start with the first exercise I put on the forum which is the beginning of the "Palama Set" numbers 2 and 3.  This exercise will give you a lot of energy and is a very good start in Chi-Kung development.  Happy New Year Mell.  Nice talking to you again.  How are things going ?  Brian

Chief Instructor:
FYI...Inside Kung-Fu magazine often has short articles on Qigong. January's issue details 9 Tibetan qigong exercises. Short but possibly enough for a quick fix...

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