Qigong (pronounced: chee-gung), ‘Qi’ meaning life energy that flows through every cell in the universe & ‘gong’ means cultivation or mastery, thus Qigong is ‘cultivation or mastery of your energy’. It is a branch of Traditional Chinese medicine. It consists of Body, Mind & Spirit practices that are known to improve mental and physical health by integrating breath work, focusing on postures, moving the body in certain techniques, making certain sounds & self-massage all with focused intent.
Qi Gong and Zen
There are three aspects of QiGong: mind, form (xing) & energy (qi). You cannot practice just the form aspect; it would be merely performing a physical exercise, the energy and mind dimensions have to be included to perform proper QiGong. The goal of practicing QiGong is to enter a Zen state of mind or as some call it No-Mind. In the past, it was called “entering silence”(ru-ding) or “entering Zen” (ru-chan). It’s in the No-Mind state that you can access the energy from the cosmos and direct it towards your well-being or heal your ailments.
There are likely hundreds of Qigong styles, schools, traditions, forms, and lineages, each with different theories and applications. Health benefits of Qigong are many such as it improves joint flexibility, strengthens the muscles and builds stamina. It has also been found to improve mental, cardiovascular and respiratory health.