As a practitioner of QiGong for over 14 years and as a practitioner and teacher here at the Resiliency Center, I must admit that I resonate to the practice of QiGong. I love QiGong as many of you know; it is my way of life. Yet I would like to explain some differences between QiGong and Tai Chi. Some people prefer Yoga; some prefer Pilates; some prefer Tai Chi, and I prefer QiGong. It is all GOOD.
Tai Chi has increased in popularity and often appears in the background for advertisements of unrelated products. It is recommended for seniors and by the American Arthritis Society, which has its own simplified version. Many health clubs and martial arts studios offer Tai Chi classes.
Tai Chi is a Chinese art designed to protect oneself from unarmed and armed attacks and illnesses. It is both a martial art and a method for preventing and treating illnesses. The movements are choreographed to be practiced in a specific order. You may find more information about its history and concepts through Google and also in the article “Are You Really Learning Tai Chi and is it Effective for Stress?” by Martin Eisen in the Yang Sheng Journal [Insert link to http://yang-sheng.com/?p=1612].
QiGong, pronounced ‘Chee Kung’ is not as well-known as Tai Chi and is frequently given as an auxiliary exercise before or after doing Tai Chi. In Chinese, “Gong” means work or hard task. “Qi” can be translated as life energy. When you practice, dance QiGong, you practice, learn to control the flow of Qi through your body by using breath, movement and meditation. It is a Chinese practice and discipline that is at least 5000 years old. Depending upon the goal of the practitioner, the main divisions of modern Qigong (there are thousands of different practices) are Spiritual, Medical, Martial and Athletic. And yes, there is an overlap between the divisions.
Medical Qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM theory says that the health is the result of smooth, unblocked, not stagnate Qi circulation. When Qi does not flow smoothly, it may be stagnant or blocked, and that can cause a problem or a deficiency in any part of the body. Disease can be a result of poor Qi circulation. Once the flow of Qi is balanced, the body tends to heal itself.
Qi cultivation facilitates and supports health and the quality of life. Practicing Qigong can empower the body through Qi cultivation for healing and health; it helps to train the body to produce within, the internal elixir. This means to produce the effective corresponding medicine within the body. According to Master Zhongli Quan, “the best medicine can be produced by internal Qi cultivation, with greater balance and harmony of the internal organs.”
While I am not a certified Medical QiGong practitioner, I lead people to discover the joy of the flowing healing movements of QiGong, as a way to take charge of your health, so that you can work in harmony with your Primary Medical Doctor. Qi cultivation is the heart of QiGong practice. It helps us to cope with stress and the energy imbalances that happen during daily life, towards achieving an optimal state, one with greater balance and harmony that will allow the healing of chronic health conditions towards joy.
I am thankful for the blessings and rewards that QiGong practice has enabled me to experience. Come join me so that I may share this experience and practice with you.
Qi Dao, Yi Dao. Where the Qi flows, the Mind goes.
Karen Steinbrecher leads QiGong here at the Resiliency Center every Thursday in the Open Workspace at 2:00 pm and 6:15 pm. The class lasts for 50 -55 minutes for a charge of $10.00/class.