Qi Gong (also spelt 'Chi Gung') is a form of energy medicine, which can be practised as a therapeutic exercise or given/received as a healing therapy. As a practice of movement, breath and mindfulness, it has been used for thousands of years as a relaxing and universal healthcare exercise. It is widely practised in China and its neighbouring countries, and has found an increasing following in the West in the last 50 years.
Qi Gong is the basis of Tai Chi, and is commonly used for medical purposes. The 'Dragon and Tiger' form is very popular in China, and is often prescribed as part of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) treatment for serious health conditions such as cancer, normally in combination with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and dietary and lifestyle advice. It is a complete Qi Gong system that can be learnt in a short space of time and offers excellent health benefits when practiced regularly.
It is very gentle, working both superficially at the level of the surface meridians (the energy channels where most acupuncture points are located) as well as deep inside the body, the vital organs and skeleton. The technique is based on the concept that health can be achieved and maintained by working both sides of the coin – balancing the flow between the left and right sides, upper and lower parts of the body, full movement of each of the joints, mindfulness and intention behind each movement. It can be performed in as little as 10 minutes, although a minimum of 20 minutes daily is advised, and can even be done in a hospital bed or in the mind alone (as intention is the motive force for energy). The technique particularly encourages the cleansing of all the most influential energy channels, which is quickly filtered to the circulatory system and lesser energy channels.
The technique was brought to the West by Bruce Frantzis, who was taught it from a wise old Chinese woman, after much persuasion, on the recommendation of his then Master who she held in high esteem.