Translated as “Life Energy Cultivation”, the practice of Qigong has existed for at least 4000 years, and owes its modern-day existence to the overlapping influences of traditional Chinese philosophy, medicine, and martial arts. Over the ages, each of these fundamental segments of Chinese life have found value in, and brought value to the training of this ancient and often esoteric system of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Qigong has found widespread use in the teaching traditions of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism, with the followers of each using it to aid in their quests for spiritual enlightenment and moral development.
Today, the practise of Qigong primarily centres arounds its health benefits as a form of alternative therapy, and its purported value in allowing practitioners of the martial arts to exceed their physical limitations.
The focus of Qigong is on the achievement of internal balance through a combination of balletic movements, meditative techniques, and the perfection of postures drawn from the art’s Buddhist yoga influences.
Each aspect of Qigong is intended to assist the practitioner in gaining mastery of self through its focus on virtue, mental clarity, and self-enlightenment,
Internally, the practice of Qigong is about the development of human potential and the unlocking of higher levels of awareness so that mastery of the self can be gained. A calm mind and clarity of thought are beneficial in one’s daily life, and greater levels of success can be enjoyed through their achievement – Qigong aims to aid the practitioner in this achievement.
Physically, Qigong loosens up the muscles and improves flexibility. In China, Qigong exercises are a standard prescription for both high and low blood pressure, as it is known to improve the elasticity of the blood vessels.
Its low-impact nature means that the art can be practised by anyone, of any age, and from any walk of life.