Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system which integrates physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intention.
The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced 'chee' and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced 'gung', means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means 'cultivating energy'.
Qigong practices can be classified as martial, medical, or spiritual. All styles have three things in common: they all involve a posture (whether moving or stationary), breathing techniques, and mental focus. Some practices increase the Qi; others circulate it, use it to cleanse and heal the body, store it, or emit Qi to help heal others. Practices vary from the soft, internal styles, such as Tai Chi, to the external, vigorous styles, such as Kung Fu. However, the slow, gentle movements of most Qigong forms can be easily adapted, and can be practiced by all age groups.
The gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. They have also been found to improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive functions.
People do Qigong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds, and reconnect with their spirit.
Qigong's great appeal is that everyone can benefit, regardless of ability, age, belief system, or life circumstances.
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