In the rhythm of breathing, arms and legs glide through the air in slow motion. The eyes close and full of concentration, a slow sequence of movements is performed, reminiscent of a martial art. Qigong is much more than that. In fact, it is a Chinese form of movement, concentration, and meditation whose exercises holistically combine martial arts, meditation, and medicine. Qigong belongs to the so-called kinematics, one of the five pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The various breathing, movement and concentration exercises are always performed slowly and fluently in the Qigong, with the aim of harmonizing the flow of Qi.
Therefore, the name derives from. Unlike the exercises themselves, the term that summarizes them is still relatively young. It is only used since the 1950s and consists of Qi (life energy) and Gong (work) together. Qigong therefore means working with the life energy or its care. Through the energy work, the person strengthens from the inside out and thus boosts his self-healing powers. According to TCM, our life energy flows through energy channels (meridians) that supply our organs with qi. Qigong devotees use a variety of exercises to strengthen, balance, or maintain qi, thereby warding off disease.
The many different exercises of Qigong are difficult to distinguish from Tai Chi at first glance. In fact, they are based on very similar principles and movement patterns. Tai Chi, however, is more body-oriented, whereas Qigong places a stronger focus on mental activity. Incidentally, how many exercises actually exist at Qigong is unknown. Their sheer endless number can be easily explained: In ancient China, each master had its own training system, which he passed on to his students. The students in turn developed their own concepts. So even then an extremely wide spectrum was created. With the move to other countries, the number increased again significantly – the exercises were always adapted to the needs of people and further developed.
Even in our latitudes Qigong is now very popular. The practical thing is that you can do it virtually anywhere. In good weather, it’s definitely worth a session outdoors. The fresh air is ideal for breathing exercises and the relaxing sounds of insects and birds create a pleasant meditative atmosphere.
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