by Anthony Monteith, Contributing Writer
To the Chinese, disease begins with a disruption to the flow of ‘chi’ (energy). It is believed these imbalances and blockages in energy are the cause of illness. Qi Gong (qi = energy, gong = skill) is designed to make that flow return to normal, similar to acupuncture, but without the needles.
Medical Qi Gong is one of the oldest forms of medicine in the world and is a section of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the practice of manipulating energy and the practitioner uses this skill on their clients. Loosely explained, this is known as ‘external’ Qi Gong. It works by strengthening and redistributing the chi of the individual and harmonizing the blood circulation and nervous system. It is non-invasive and can be safer and gentler than some of the other Chinese medicines, such as Tuina and herbs. Light massage techniques may be used but often no touch is necessary at all. The client may also be given certain exercises to incorporate into their daily routine to aid with the healing.
Some of the advantages of receiving Qi Gong include no pain or discomfort from the treatment and no tired or aching muscles afterwards. The techniques boost the immune system, calm the nervous system, and improve blood circulation which in turn aids in essential nutrient absorption and removal of waste products.
This type of therapy has been successfully used to treat a wide variety of difficult and life-threatening illnesses, even cancer. It is also highly recommended for chronic and acute pain, joint/muscle tension, headaches/migraines, stress, sports injuries, rehabilitation, insomnia, and organ and tissue rejuvenation. Very sensitive people, children, the elderly and those in frail health seem to particularly benefit from it but it can assist anyone.
A practitioner of Qi Gong needs to know Chinese philosophy and medicine, along with modern biology, anatomy and physiology. It requires enormous dedication, hard work and concentration in order for a practitioner to use their own chi to transform another person’s health.
The Chinese government officially recognized Qi Gong as a standard medical technique in Chinese hospitals since 1989 and began formally regulating it in 1996. It is now offered to all who are covered by the country’s National Health Plan. Qi Gong can be used as a preventative health care system as well as a complementary and alternative therapy. Even though it is such an ancient medical system, it is only within the last twenty to thirty years that scientific research around Qi Gong has come to the fore. There are now about one thousand articles that have been presented at international conferences and published in scientific literature. There are also many ongoing long-term studies into the use of Qi Gong to treat serious diseases such as nerve disorders and COPD.
About the Author
This article was written by Anthony Monteith of http://www.elementalchikung.ie. Anthony is an instructor and teaches a classical approach to Chi Kung or Qi Gong with a modern twist. He is also a practitioner of Acupuncture and Tuina. His teaching website is http://www.tuinatherapy.ie. Anthony is based in Ireland, but he travels to China for regular training.