Qigong, or Chi Kung, (pronounced "Chee Gung"), consists of a vast array of meditative techniques for enhancing health, strength, and spiritual development. My interest lies in promotion of health and it is those self-practiced techniques that I teach. T'ai Chi and Bagua are related martial training practices. There are hundreds of styles of Qigong, some very specific to particular health concerns, others more general. More active styles tend to be popular, as they clearly promote blood and lymph circulation. Yet the simpler standing and sitting qigong techniques are very powerful as well.
Perhaps Qigong's ability to heal can be explained by a simple definition of "Qi". Although books have been written on the subject, Qi is often translated as energy. However, information and intelligence, should be added to this nutshell description. "Life force" is a closer description than "energy," as it encompasses the aptly directed information and intelligence required for maintaining our delicate homeostatic balance. How else might the electromagnetic impulses (that have been measured), along meridians provide the appropriate signal to the brain, spine, or muscles?
I find Qigong excels in improving overall good health by regulating digestion, enhancing sleep, calming the mind, and generally lifting spirits. It provides simple tools that can be practiced with a minimal amount of space and time to boost health. In a small study I conducted, I found that even within a short amount of time, moderate to severe asthma could be reduced. While the study didn't show entirely uniform results, it was very encouraging that the participant with the highest medication use was able to eliminate his evening medication within 5 classes. The key is regular practice. This is the meaning of "Gong".
Many studies in China, as well as a growing number here in the U.S., demonstrate Qigong's ability to reduce medications and eliminate disease.
For example, in a review from the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in Newark New Jersey, of 50 studies of cancer patients who practiced Qigong in China, the Qigong groups showed "more improvement or had better survival rates". A 30 year study of patients with hypertension who regularly practiced a Qigong relaxation breath technique showed very impressive results. A study of heroin addicts who practiced a couple hours per day showed "statistically significant improvement" and much faster lowering of morphine levels in urine.
See a Qigong demonstration at www.youtube.com/v/DD-ACczJ5u4/. Remember, this video is a simple reminder, a memory refresher, not a teaching video.
Call for info on Abi's current classes or check Abi's blog for current classes and practices
There is an ongoing, free, open Qigong practice that takes place in the Media room at Quarry Hill in Camden from 8:00-8:30 on Thursday AM. A 12 step Qigong dance to music can be followed by whoever joins. This practice shifts to Merry Spring Park in Camden in the summer. See above # FMI.