The actual definition of qigong is “the practice of energy cultivation over time”. In practice, the term Qigong is used to describe a large variety of meditations, exercises, breathing techniques, life habits, healing modalities, treatment protocols, spiritual beliefs and more. It includes qigong as an exercise and qigong as qi-emission therapy. .Other related fields under the category of Chinese energetics that are related to qigong are: feng shui, Chinese astrology and Taoist practices to name a few.
氣 “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) means “energy”. Qi has several implied translations including “breath”, “air”, “mist”, “steam” and more. But simply stated it’s the particular energy of an object. It is believed that all objects have energy, including people, animals, plants, in short: anything contained on the Earth and everything contained in the Heavens.
Qigong exercises are movements which blend body posture, breathing patterns and mental visualizations. In general qigong movements can be practiced for more than just health, but we focus on the health aspects of qigong. Qigong “exercises” can also be divided into dynamic or static. Dynamic qigong basically means with actual movement, like taichi. A great example of static qigong is meditation. Sometimes qigong movements are called “daoyin” or “yangsheng” exercises.
Qi emission therapy is the name we use to describe a healing modality called medical qigong therapy. It is a type of “energy work”. Qi emission therapy implies the transmission of energy from a practitioner to a patient. Generally, this is mostly done for health purposes. It’s similar to acupuncture, but we don’t use needles.
Qigong classes include standing dynamic qigong exercises, breathing practices such as deep abdominal breathing, and meditations. Qigong movements are very similar to Taichi in that they tend to be slow. Qigong exercises combine posture, breath and intention into a moving meditation practice. Every class is different and we try to mix it up so that you are always learning something new. Classes are adaptable by the teacher for all levels of experience. Everyone is welcome to attend. These classes are generally 60 minutes.
Yourself and a bright smile! Really, just wear comfortable clothing. Doesn’t have to be a yoga inspired outfit, plain sweats and a t-shirt are fine. We normally wear shoes so plan on something that grips your feet like sneakers, sandals are not recommended. We do most of our qigong standing up and do not need special equipment. But, we have yoga mats at the studio for when we lie down for breathing or meditating.
No problem. Our instructors are capable of easily adapting the qigong to your capacity. Qigong exercises can be modified for small injuries up to post-surgery. I even had a client come in for classes just a few weeks after open heart surgery! The good news is, with consistent qigong practice you’ll be moving right along with everyone else in no time!
Medical Qigong Therapy is the name we use to describe a healing modality which involves emitting qi from a practitioner to a patient. It is a type of “energy work”. Qigong therapy has been used for thousands of years. It is the “father” of acupuncture. Therefore, the theories used to diagnose and treat with qi are very similar, and in many cases identical, to those used by an acupuncturist, however, we don’t use needles. Qi emission therapy is the transmission of energy from a practitioner to a patient. Generally, this is mostly done for health purposes.
Generally, we start the first session with determining the reason you are seeking treatment with medical qigong. It includes an intake (medical history) which can be done verbally or written depending on the complexity of the situation. For example, a person seeking stress relief will have considerably less intake time than a person who has multiple chronic symptoms. After the intake is complete, an energetic reading is taken on the client’s body. This is done with the person lying on a massage table, fully clothed, while the practitioner runs their hands over the wei qi fields (aura). After the practitioner understands the clients energetic imprint, then the treatment begins. Treatments are generally a combination of energy work, sound therapy, light/color therapy, guided visualizations, and the use of moxa, cupping, massaging, or magnets as necessary. No two sessions are ever identical and not all of the methods above are used during every session. Each session is tailored to find the most effective method for treating the condition presented.
Everyone can benefit! In fact, I have clients who are very experienced practitioners of meditation or highly accomplished spiritual leaders; they come to keep their energetic fields as clean as possible. Qigong therapy is great for “maintenance” as a monthly routine to keep the qi flowing. But qigong therapy addresses very serious medical conditions as well. We treat everything from migraines to cancer. Our specialty is in chronic conditions which have otherwise not found a sustainable solution. We treat disorders all the systems of the body.