Qigong (or ch'i kung) refers to a wide variety of traditional "cultivation" practices that involve methods of accumulating, circulating, and working with Qi or energy within the body. Qigong is sometimes mistakenly said to always involve movement and/or regulated breathing; in fact, use of special methods of focusing on particular energy centers in and around the body are common in the 'higher level' or evolved forms of Qigong. Qigong is practiced for health maintenance purposes, as a therapeutic intervention, as a medical profession, a spiritual path and/or component of Chinese martial arts.

The 'qi' in 'qigong' means breath or gas in Chinese, and, by extension, 'life force', 'energy' or even 'cosmic breath'. 'Gong' means work applied to a discipline or the resultant level of skill, so 'qigong' is thus 'breath work' or 'energy work'.  Attitudes toward the scientific basis for qigong vary markedly. Most Western medical practitioners and many practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, as well as the Chinese government, view qigong as a set of breathing and movement exercises, with possible benefits to health through stress reduction and exercise. Others see qigong in more metaphysical terms, claiming that cosmic qi can be drawn into the body and circulated through channels (aka meridians). Whatever you believe, the health benefits of QiGong are powerful:

  1. Improves the motion of blood, warms the blood and enhances whole body circulation,
  2. Stimulates appetitie, sexual function, assimilation of nutrients and digestion/elimination,
  3. Accelerates metabolism, weight loss, decreases the need for sleep,
  4. Bolsters the immune system by reducing cortisol, a known inhibitor of cytokine production,
  5. Develops dexterity, reflexes and prevents Osteoporosis in clinical studies,
  6. Opens arteries allowing greater brain-based microcirculation to prevent Alzheimer's disease,
  7. Enhances mental acuity, focus and concentration.  The Qi draws focus and trains the mind.
  8. Helps us to calm down, relax and become more peaceful.
  9. Harnesses the power of the True Source, remarkably improves results of hands on healing, such as Reiki, and helps spiritual growth.

Opray Winfrey's beloved Dr. Oz said on international television, "If you want to live to 100. . .do Qigong" and "Qigong is the best longevity exercise".

 What will you do with all that energy? 

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