What is Health Qigong?
Qigong is one of the traditional Chinese exercises and healing techniques, originally was part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Martial Art in ancient China. Confucians practise Qigong to cultivate mind and body, Taoists and Buddhists do it to transcend worldliness; Chinese medical physicians use it to cure illness and keep fit; and martial art learners practice it for self-defence. Qigong is a Psychosomatic practicing skill that adjusts body, breathing and mind into one.
Qigong came from two separate words, Qi and Gong. Qi means breathing, meditation, imagination also Qi in Chinese means energy. Gong means movement, exercise, practise, so, putting the two words together means using the mental power or imagination to lead your breathing and also physical movement to keep fit. They include physical exercise with control breathing to lead the Qi energy to flow in the body following the acupuncture channels, by doing so to balance the body functions and to improve the mental and physical functions. They are very simple and practical self-healing techniques.
Qigong is a Psychological practising skill that adjusts body, breath and mind into one. The first is to adjust posture and movement, the second is to adjust and regulate breathing and the third is to adjust mental concentration. Qigong practise is a psychological and physical practice which is to integrate the 'three adjustment into one'. There is strong evidence that the Health Qigong, which was developed and widely practised in China, greatly improves general health of those who regularly practise it. In many cases practitioners can recover from long-term illness. In modern times it is very popular to be used for fitness purposes. There are millions of people practising Health Qigong every day in China.
The Chinese Health Qigong Association after many years of studies and researches is now able to introduce 4 simplified forms of Health Qigong purely for keep-fit purposes. Chinese Health Qigong Association is trying to introduce these techniques worldwide.
The 4 types of Health Qigong are:
- Ba Duan Jin (Eight excellent movements),
- Wu Qin Xi (Frolics of five animals),
- Yi Jin Jing (tendon changing classic),
- Liu Zi Jue (The art of expiration in producing six different sounds)
Ba Duan Jin (Eight excellent movements)
Ba Duan Jin, a traditional Chinese health and fitness Qigong exercise routine dated back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279), is a gem in China's health and fitness culture.
As a safe aerobic exercise, it features a movement of intensity and format in line with the theories of kinetics and physiology. Added to the traditional eight movements, are sections on the preparatory posture and closing form, making the exercises more complete, standardized and rational.
It has been proved that practice of Ba Duan Jin improves the respiratory system, limb strength, and flexibility of the joints, and fortifies the nerves, as well as enhances the general balance. It improves the cardiovascular function and helps to cure illnesses such as coronary artery scleroses and osteoporosis. It strengths one's immune system to a degree, and delays the ageing process, so as to increase the life span. It also improves one's mental health.
Wu Qin Xi (Frolics of five animals)
Wu Qin Xi, imitating the movements of animals, is a group of physical breathing exercises for health care with a uniquely Chinese national flavour. The system was designed by Hua Tuo, a leading physician of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD). He developed his system based on existing ancient Chinese traditional physical exercises following theories of the functions of the internal organs and meridians as well as the principles of the circulation of Qi and blood in the human body. His inspiration came from careful observation and study of the characteristic behaviour and activities of tigers, deer, bears, monkeys and birds. He came to the conclusion that wild creatures regularly performed certain exercises to build up their constitution and improve their life skills. In this book, the physical movements and spiritual expressions of those creatures are vividly described, and the principles of traditional Qigong exercises are used as guidance for students. During practice of the exercises, they are asked to coordinate their mind with the movements, and combine internal exercises with external exercises.
Movements are comparatively simple and easy to master and are suitable for people of different age groups.
Experience has proved that after a certain period of practice, both the physical and the mental health are improved. Indeed, physical and psychological tests of people who practice Wu Qin Xi give high scores to their overall constitution, the functions of the various organs, mental attitude and power of perception, as well as physical fitness. In addition, the waistline and ratio between waist and buttocks in female practitioners are reduced, the cardiovascular and respiratory functions are markedly improved, and the grip strength is reinforced. The exercises enhance bodily strength, flexibility of joints, spiritual vitality and psychological confidence.
Yi Jin Jing (tendon changing classic)
Yi Jin Jing is a health and fitness exercise handed down from ancient China.
Yi Jin Jing focuses on the turning and flexing of the spine, thus invigorating the limbs and internal organs. These movements have been proved to be able to improve health and fitness, prevent diseases, lengthen life and improve the intellect. In particular, practice of the Yi Jin Jing exercises has very impressive effects on the respiratory system, flexibility, balance and muscular strength. It can also prevent and cure diseases of the joints, digestive system, cardiovascular system and nervous system.
Yi Yin Jing requires the practitioner to keep his or her spirit totally relaxed. It involves an integration of mind and body, natural breathing, gentle movements infused with strength, and interplay of the insubstantial and the substantial. Easy to learn and perform, this refreshing exercise has impressive health and fitness effects, and is adaptable to all age groups.
Liu Zi Jue (The art of expiration in producing six different sounds)
Liu Zi Jue is a traditional health and fitness practice focused on control of the breath.
Liu Zi Jue regulates and controls the rise and fall of Qi (vital energy) inside the body and related inhalation and exhalation through different mouth forms (six in all) to breath and pronounce the "XU, HE, HU, SI, CHUI, and XI" exercises. These exercises strengthen the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys and Sanjiao (the three portions of the body cavities housing the internal organs) respectively and help to balance the energy and functions of the inner organs.
These exercises are slow, gentle and graceful and are easy to learn. They are suitable for people of all ages and conditions of health.
Liu Zi Jue is safe and reliable and it helps to cure chronic diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia and high blood sugar. Surveys reported that the practitioners found general improvement of quality of life, improvement of social and family relationships. It is believed that such an effect is the result of gentle breathing movements which calm the feelings and emotions.