What is Qi? Qi (pronounced “Chee”) is energy.
What is Gong? Gong is exercise or activation.
The oriental approach to exercise is soft, gentle and yet powerful; it is about gathering, cultivating and harvesting energy, rather than expending it as in Western exercise.
According to the Taoist principles of Yin and Yang from which Traditional Chinese Medicine originates, Qi Gong is a self-healing art designed to help one stay well, youthful, agile and alert.
The Taoist philosophy is about a person walking along the path of life, a spiritual path of joy, insight, freedom and depth. Tao is everywhere and is the movement of all life which flows in all directions endlessly, following the universal process of existence. We have the choice as individuals to have an awareness of this or not. The riches we gain, however, if we choose to follow this path of life are infinite, as they help us maintain a balance and a sensitivity in all that we do. For example, we become focused in our daily activities, observant and compassionate of others, joyful and trusting of Tao or the universal energy which we may choose to call God, Allah, Divine Power, or whatever you are most comfortable with.
Qi or energy is everywhere and is the Life Force around and inside of us. Many books have been written on Qi/energy, and what this chapter is loosely based on is the thousand years’ old Chinese philosophy, but adapting it to our contemporary Western lives with a revolutionary approach of spontaneous Qi Gong movement called True to Our Roots, founded by me, Nadia Smith.
Over thousands of years five main schools of Qi Gong disciplines were developed in China, within which hundreds of different styles and forms of choreographed exercises emerged. These schools are the Taoist, the Buddhist, The Confucian, the Medical and the Martial Arts ones, and an extra one could be added as the Village or Family/Ancestral school. Their essence is about self-healing and they are still practised fervently all around the world.
This begs the question, “How did it all begin”? Animals and we humans practise Qi Gong naturally all day, for example, yawning and stretching first thing in the morning, stamping our feet when we are cold, rubbing our tummy when we are full or in pain; these natural movements are almost like reflexes which we do to feel better; that is Qi Gong.
So, do we need to practise forms and be devout followers of various Schools and their Masters?
I learned the hard way! As a devout Health & Fitness Instructor I spent years striving through pain and pride, practising new forms while loving the challenge without heeding the aches and pains my body was developing. After all I came from an era and belief of “No Pain, No Gain”, and “Going for The Burn”! Qi Gong is a self-healing art through movement, however …. so, what went wrong there? My curiosity was aroused and I started to delve deep into my psyche and my books!
This is a sample of a chapter published in the book, The Book of Energy Healing. To pick up your copy click here.