Chinese medical theory believes that the human body is built to last 100 years, provided we keep a constant, regular lifestyle, with proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and good mental attitude. One important aspect of this is the practice of qi gong (also spelled chi kung, and pronounced “chee gung”). Qi gong is an ancient Chinese art which develops this ability through a combined practice of physical exercises, meditation and breathing. It has been practiced in China for thousands of years to achieve greater health, vitality, balance, concentration, strength, awareness and tranquility.
I have previously written about qi and how it cycles through the body in channels or meridians, connecting to all of our major organs. The Chinese describe the flow of energy like water flowing through streams and rivers to the sea. Water becomes purified as it flows, and becomes diseased when it is stagnant. Pain and illness arise when the flow of qi is out of balance or blocked. In our culture, we tend to run from pain, and disengage from our bodies. This is easy to do with all of our mental distractions and pleasure producing activities and products. Pain however, is the body’s way of telling us there is something wrong, that we need to pay attention to. As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, I have gained great respect for the ability inherent in each of us to direct our own healing process and actually move qi through our bodies. Medical or therapeutic qi gong utilizes specific exercises to address distinct health concerns and prevent and treat all kinds of illnesses including asthma, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insomnia and psycho-emotional problems.
My personal practice of qi gong has developed into an organic form, which I call ‘acudance’, in which I focus on moving qi through the meridians to ensure each is open and flowing. By opening the passageways, the internal force of qi circulates the blood and lymph in a healthy manner, similar to receiving a massage, but from the inside. It can be done just about anywhere, producing natural rejuvenation in a matter of a few minutes!