Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) is the Chinese art of cultivating life energy. The word is also sometimes written in English as “Chi kung” or Chi gung”. Read this article written by Ken Morgan to find out more.
Qi is the Chinese for life energy or vital energy. The idea of qi is a fundamental concept in Chinese Medicine. Qi is the vital force that activates every function and drives every process in the human body.
Qi can be compared to the electric current without which a computer would not function. Qi is the energy which is influenced by the needles of the acupuncturist. A qigong healer can influence the flow of qi in the client’s body just using his own qi rather than needles.
The origins of qigong are said to go back 7000 years and is probably linked to ancient shamanic practices. However, the actual term qigong originated by Lui Guizhen in 1948 when he had been commissioned by the communist party to study the effects of breathing on health. Before this time other terms were used at various times such as nei gong (inner achievement) and most commonly of all dao yin (leading and guiding the energy).
Qigong can be used for different purposes: health, martial arts and spiritual development. Qigong can be practised for a person’s own health or as a qigong therapist giving healing to others. Qigong for health is one of the therapies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its methods are similar to acupuncture but the therapist uses his hands to balance the client’s energy system. Qi flows in the meridians which are the main channels of life force in the body, but qi is actually everywhere in the body and even extends outwards beyond the skin.
Martial artists can use the power of qigong to make themselves impervious to blows – the so-called Iron Shirt practices – and to increase the power of strikes. The skilled martial artist can utilise his own qi to disrupt his opponent’s energy by sending qi into certain points – called dimak or “death touch”.
In spiritual practice, qigong is used to balance body, energy and mind and to develop tranquility In Taoist spiritual qigong the emphasis is on transforming the energies of the body in an alchemical process which results in becoming one with the Tao. The goal of Buddhist qigong is to realise the Awakened Mind.
Qigong is truly an holistic practice that involves mind, body and spirit, integrating physical form, breath and mental focus.
For classes/treatment try:
The Penang Qigong Association
Penang Qigong Association is located in Butterworth and Pulau Tikus. It also teaches Zhineng Qigong.
Medical qigong services will be available at the the TCM section of Hospital Lam Wah Ee on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Just walk in to register.
Classes are held on Saturdays in two sessions: 10:00am – 11.30am (in Chinese) and 2:00pm – 3.30pm (in English). Free of charge. RM35 processing fee. Website.