Qigong is the cultivation of the vital energy called Qi (chee), the force that animates every living being. Practicing the art of Qigong opens the flow of Qi throughout our bodies helping to keep us balanced, strengthened, fit, healthy and at peace.
The word Qigong (pronounced 'chee-gung') is derived from two Chinese characters. Qi (or Chi) refers to our vital energy, life force or breath. Sometimes translated as "the vapor of the finest matter", its character represents the steam that rises from a grain of cooking rice, symbolizing distilled essence. 'Gong' means practice or cultivation. Qigong, then, is the cultivation of the vital energy the Chinese call Qi, the force that animates every living being.
Practicing the art of Qigong opens the flow of Qi not only in the area we are moving, but throughout our bodies. When balanced and strengthened by Qigong practice, our Qi keeps us fit and healthy all our lives. Though Qigong has been studied by physicians of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, western scientists in both China and the U.S. have only recently begun to apply the scientific method to the practice. Initial studies of Qigong and the related Qi-cultivating exercise Tai Chi show that regular practice lowers blood pressure, improves heart function, eases addictions, significantly reduces falls and fractures in the elderly and reduces fatigue, anxiety, tension, depression, and mental confusion at any age. Qigong has been popularly associated with astounding acts by masters who move objects simply by pointing their fingers, illuminate light bulbs merely by holding them in their hands, or dissolve tumors without even touching a patient's body. Enthusiasts believe that the practice cures a variety of illness from heart disease to arthritis, asthma to aids. Though recent research has aimed to measure QI via bioluminescent imagery or chart the effects of Qigong of illness, the vital force of Qi has yet to be fully grasped with conventional methods.
Given the growing popularity of Eastern medicine in our country, it is likely that by the time western science is finally able to chart and describe all that Chi does, millions of people worldwide will have already experienced the power of this vital energy.
Of the four major branches of traditional Chinese medicine; acupuncture, herbal medicine, Qigong and massage, Qigong is the most easy to practice as a self healing technique. With the exception of external or medical Qigong, which relies on a practitioner who emits Qi and moves it through your body, no one else can do Qigong for you. All you need is Qi!
When you practice Qigong, you perform a set of graceful movements and postures that are like a simple dance, one designed to balance the vital energy throughout your body. The practice also includes meditation and visualization, self massage and the expression of sounds. When you practice Qigong regularly, your health and fitness are in your very own hands. Subtle yet powerful, the results of your practice will astound you
Group qigong sessions: 60 min., $15.00 USD per person per session; Private one-on-one Qigong class, 60 min., $75.00