What is medical Qi Gong?
The name “medical” or “health” Qi Gong is used mostly to differentiate it from martial arts or competition type of Qi Gong (especially in China).
All martial arts, all forms of kung fu, karate or Tai Chi actually derive from Qi Gong. A Chinese master once said: QI Gong is like practicing scales and organizing them in short musical pieces. Tai Chi, in contrast, would be like a symphony with a full orchestra. Qi Gong; therefore Qi Gong is easier master and practice than full forms. It is also easier to use to target specific organ systems and health problems. Qi Gong was therefore used by Daoist masters to strengthen health and can be a great complement, introduction or support of more complex and demanding sports or martial arts practices. It can also be practiced on its own as a beautiful from with increasing degrees of complexity and challenge.
The main form that I introduce in our Patagonia practice is called “Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong”, built upon series of 8 mouvements organized around one main organ system. The first series is called “General QI Gong for Health” that introduces the most common mouvements. That is the one we practiced this summer in June but it is not a prerequisite to other forms. The other series consist of “Qi Gong for Lungs,” “Qi Gong for the Heart” “Qi Gong for the Kidneys,” “Qi Gong for the Liver” etc.This organization enables a strong and solid foundation for a seasonal practice, since Chinese medicine associates seasons and organs in the following way:
- Lung: autumn
- Kidney: winter
- Liver: spring
- Heart: summer
- Spleen: late summer, early fall (Indian summer)
Once those series are mastered and the feeling of Qi is strongly awakened, one can target more specific health issues, either through personal practice or through using the awareness of the flow Qi in mouvement, massage, Qi Gong therapy or through the use of acupressure or acupuncture.
Qi Gong is beautiful, graceful, powerful and soft all at once. Strength comes from inner energy and relies upon the balance between the flow of breath and movement. Because it does not rely right away on difficult poses, Qi Gong is a safe practice, well suited to all age groups, as testified by the millions of people practicing in the parks of China.
Check out our calendar of “Qi Gong challenge in the Park” offered throughout the year in Patagonia. Who ever said Patagonia is a sleepy little town? Come join us to help awaken Patagonia!