QiGong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.
The word QiGong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words.
Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.
The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, QiGong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
QiGong creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not part of traditional exercise programs. Most other forms of exercise do not involve the meridian system used in acupuncture nor do they emphasize the importance of adding mindful intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added, the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of QiGong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. It has also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions.
Those who maintain a consistent practice of QiGong find that it helps one regain a youthful vitality, maintain health even into old age and helps speed recovery from illness. Western scientific research confirms that QiGong reduces hypertension and the incidence of falling in the aged population. One of the more important long-term effects is that QiGong reestablishes the body/mind/soul connection.
Medical QiGong therapy is the eldest therapeutic modality of Chinese medicine. It is a comprehensive system of health care, addressing the root cause of symptoms or disease, while treating the client as a whole. Medical QiGong treatments are based upon a differential diagnosis rooted in Chinese medical theory.
In a Medical QiGong treatment, the practitioner, having developed through dedicated study and self-cultivation the ability to sense and manipulate energy, uses qi emission to restore health and wellness to the client. The practitioner may also teach medical QiGong exercises and meditations.
Practiced as an excellent adjunct to Western medicine, medical QiGong and Chinese medicine may successfully treat conditions which Western medicine finds resistant or ambiguous.
Medical QiGong can be used to address many common ailments or health concerns, including mental, physical or emotional stressors, physical pain, high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety or depression. Relief may happen quickly for some or can occur slowly over time – every patient’s experience is unique.
An initial consultation and first treatment can last between one and a half to two hours, depending on the patient’s medical history and comfort discussing their health concerns. Follow-up sessions are one hour in length and most general treatment plans begin with weekly visits. As the patient progresses in his or her treatment, the frequency of visits changes accordingly.
After discussing health concerns, the patient lies down on a massage table, fully clothed, and is instructed on how to “QiGongbreathe.” This is a deep belly breathing, through the nose, that is performed throughout the duration of their treatment.
The practitioner will observe and scan the body – moving their hands across both the patient’s physical and energetic body, feeling for temperature differences and the quality of any sensations that may be present. Once this is complete, the practitioner begins energizing the meridian systems or energy pathways of the body by facilitating free energy flow. This process moves along the same pathways, or meridians, as in acupuncture treatments, however involves no needles.
Medical QiGong is a system of energetic medicine that, through natural processes, allows the body to balance itself for optimal health. The body rids itself of unwanted imbalances to efficiently function in harmony.
The results vary from person to person, as with any treatment, but the more you put into the discipline, the more you will get out of it. Daily practice of QiGong between treatments and beyond treatment with a practitioner will help deliver long term, lasting results.
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