Qìgōng 气功

Qigong (chi kung) literally meant "Breath (Air) Work" or translated as "Inner Vital Energy", is a practice of aligning body, breath, and mind for health, meditation, and martial arts training. Qigong is a two thousand five hundred year-old Chinese health method with the first Taoist Qigong method that combines slow graceful movements with mental concentration and breathing to increase and balance a person's vital energy.

Around 530 B.C., Lao Tzu (老子 Lǎo zi), the founder of Taoism, described breathing techniques in his book Tao Te Ching (道德經 Dào dé jīn), recommending that the breath be collected and allowed to descend in the body.  Interest in breath and life force (Qì 气) was heightened during this period and became one of the roots of Chinese Medicine, along with the concepts of yin and yang and the five elements. Historical references indicate that qigong-like practices were common in royal and aristocratic households from ancient times.  Huang Ti (The Yellow Emperor, circa 2600 B.C.) is considered the originator of many health and longevity practices linked to qigong.  His lifestyle was recorded in a text called The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine (黄帝内经 Huángdì nèijīng), which first appeared in writing about 300 B.C. and is still considered the bible of Chinese medicine.

In the early 1950s, the new China Government tried to integrate disparate martial arts and exercises approaches into one coherent system, with the intention of establishing a firm scientific basis for such practice. In 1951, Liu Guizhen established the name "Qigong" to refer to the system of life preserving practices that he and his associates developed based on Tao and other philosophical traditions. During the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution (between 1958 and 1963), Qiqong was under tight control with limited access among the general public. After the end of Cultural Revolution, Qiqong and TaiJi was popularised as daily morning exercise practiced en masse throughout China. However since the 1999 Falun Gong crackdown, practice of Qigong in China has been restricted.

A new era Chinese Government sponsored, Tai Chi Qigong Shiba Shi Series, was created by Professor Lin Housheng. Set One, 18 movements (Shiba Shi) which was created in 1979. Set Two, 18 movements, was created in 1988. Four more (Set Three, Set Five, Set Six and Set Seven) Tai Chi Qigong 18 movement sets were created in the 1990's. Professor Lin's best selling book, Qi Gong is the Answer to Health, was first published in 1985 in China.

The 4 Minutes Warm-Ups in Qigong prepare the body by loosening the joints, relaxing muscles, softening connective tissue tension, getting blood flowing and getting your body ready for the Qigong session.

Further Reading:

  1. Long White Cloud Qigong is based in beautiful clean green New Zealand, ‘the land of the long white cloud’, that provides training in Qigong to students all around the world.
  2. The Qigong Institute is a clearinghouse for related news and scientific facts to aid researchers, writers, Qigong practitioners and teachers based in California, USA.
  3. The Tai Chi Qigong Shiba Shi Series was created by Professor Lin Housheng (Website) from China. Set One, 18 movements (Shiba Shi) was created in 1979. Set Two, 18 movements, was created in 1988. Four more (Set Three, Set Five, Set Six and Set Seven) were created in the mid 1990's. Professor Lin's best selling book, Qi Gong is the Answer to Health, was first published in 1985 in China.

Updated On: 17.01.02

 

4 Minutes Warm-Up