Mindful meditation by the lake

Qi Gong: The Ultimate Life Force

The Life… Then and now

I still remember when I was 5 years old. 

I was going to school, having fun with my friends, doing cannonballs in the pool or walking around digging into ant mounds, searching for insects, exploring the forest, smacking trees with sticks pretending we were some superheroes saving the world. 

I loved the outdoors. I loved my school. I loved my teachers and I adored the headmaster who was a gentle, encouraging man. 

Once could say, I loved life! 

Whatever life threw at me I ran with it, I dodged it, I crashed into it, I wrestled with it and I always found myself back on my feet, laughing and dusting myself off for more! 

Life felt like a sibling. A sibling who annoys the heck out of you, tries to bring you down but someone who is always there with love and embrace when you need it the most. 

I couldn’t get enough. Life was by my side, my energy was abundant, and I was invincible. 

But as I grew older it seemed as though the universe was trading parcels of my energy for time. 

I felt drained and withered… every day. 

Why is it that adulthood saps us of energy? I heard the usual answers. Stress, work, children, relationship and life. They all seem to be the reason why it sucks the life out of us. 

Is that what life is about? To suck the energy out of us? 

No. 

Here is a method that has been in use for 7000 years and we, in the West, are only just scratching the surface of. 

By now I am sure you have heard of Qi Gong and that Qi refers to vital energy. 

In Sanskrit, vital energy is referred to as Prana. In Japan it is referred to as Ki. 

Although there is no direct English translation of Qi, you can think of Qi as an electrical charge in a battery. A full battery can operate anything but when the battery is low it requires a recharge. 

What is Qi Gong? 

Qi Gong, dating back to 7000 years, is a form of exercise specially designed to raise your Qi. 

The meaning behind Qi Gong is the cultivation or consistent practice (Gong) of Qi, the vital energy. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong is the body-mind exercise that integrates 3 adjustments of body, mind and breath into one. 

Systematic training exercises practiced together with coordination of breathing patterns, rhythmic movements and meditation is Qi Gong. 

While physical exercise focuses on the outer body, Qi Gong focuses on the internal body.  

Therefore, practicing Qi Gong simultaneously trains the body, breath and mind. 

Put simply Qi brings benefit into our physical, mental, spiritual health at the same time. 

Can we get Qi from Food? 

When we eat, the energy that comes from food, Gu Qi, ascends up to the lungs. When this Gu Qi combines with air it becomes “gathering Qi” called Zhong Qi. 

This Zhong Qi then becomes true Qi, or Zhen Qi, which takes on two forms – nutritive (Ying Qi) and defense (Wei Qi). 

What we eat is only the beginning of Qi. Ensuring that Qi flows freely within us is what Gong Qi is. 

Is there research behind Qi Gong?  

In 2015, the online website Medicine published a research study to show the benefits of Qi Gong for Hypertension. Qi Gong was shown to be a superior complementary approach for people with hypertension. 

In 2020, National Library of Medicine published the findings of randomized controlled trial of Qi Gong Tai Chi on patients with lung functioning. 

The results showed that after 6, 12 and 24 weeks, the patients who underwent Tai Chi Qi Gong showed improvement in functional capacity, dyspnea score and quality of life. 

Should you try Qi Gong? 

It is a method that Master Zhou used all his life, so I know it works. 

The best thing about Qi Gong is the simplicity. Due to its simple movements and promotion of health, it is recommended for anyone of any age and physical ability.

Try it. You have nothing to lose.

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