The Amazing Health Benefits of Qigong

With its roots in ancient China, qigong —pronounced chi-gung—dates back over 5000 years. This practice of ‘cultivating energy skillfully,’ as the word means in Chinese, has hundreds of variations, but they all fall into one of three main schools: medical, martial and spiritual.

What is qigong?

In terms of Chinese medicine, qigong is one of the major branches. Practitioners use it to increase a patient’s chi (vital energy) and circulate it throughout the body. They’ll also use it to cleanse and heal, and they’ll even emit chi to help others.

It may sound woo-woo or new-agey, but it’s anything but. Research has shown that qigong offers numerous health benefits. This documentary clip created by the Qigong Institute offers a comprehensive overview of the practice.

Specifically, it claims that “a regular qigong practice will result in a peaceful mind, a healthy and vigorated body and a calm spirit that is more capable of dealing with daily stresses and disease.”

Qigong Exercises for Beginners

Diving into the world of qigong can potentially take you down a rabbit hole of wonder and mystery. If you’re completely new to the modality and want to know what the heck it looks like, this qigong flow routine for beginners promises to purge, tonify, regulate and circulate your qi.

Personally, I’ve done the routine twice and while I can’t say for sure that anything has been purged or regulated, I did feel feel a distinct sense of calm and relaxation after completing it.

What is qigong? Let's look at qigong exercises for beginners and its amazing health benefits.

Qigong vs. Tai Chi

What’s the difference between qigong and tai chi? And which one should you learn? According to Sifu Anthony Korahais from Flowing Zen, qigong is the ancient Chinese art of energy cultivation, while tai chi is a form of Chinese Kung Fu.

He goes into more detail in this video, explaining the subtle differences and offering five good reasons to learn both. From someone who has tried tai chi in the past, I agree that it’s more complex and can be stressful to learn.

Even though I’ve only just dipped a toe in the practice of qigong, I’ve already found it a lot easier to master. From my personal standpoint, I’d opt for qigong rather than tai chi.

Health Benefits of Quigong

You’ll find reams of information explaining  why you should practice qigong and highlighting health benefits you can expect. This article on Miscrabode, for example, lists 37 qigong health benefits.

Among other things, it claims your stress levels will go down, your ability to focus will improve and remembering where you left your keys will be a cinch.

Back Issues Be Gone

According to a study published by George Picard—a  fourth generation gigong and taiji master—a long-term daily practice of qigong exercise resulted in a clinically significant reduction in symptoms.

In the case of Susan, a 51-year-old woman paralyzed on her right side, she is able to walk with no limitations and is even teaching qigong classes. Aside from some weakness in her arms and hands, Susan is almost fully recovered.

It Places You Firmly in Your Body

Why is this so important? When you’re in your body you’re present in the moment. In other words, your mind isn’t racing off on some fool’s errand to the past or the future. When you practice qigong you’re here now.

It’s Easier Than Meditation

We’ve all heard that meditation is good for us, but sitting still can be a challenge for many people. If you’re someone who struggles to quiet your mind (even for a few minutes), then qigong will definitely benefit you.

The Bottom Line

The great thing about qigong is that it’s more accessible than a lot of other healing modalities. Even the elderly or those with reduced mobility can practice it. And because you can practice qigong at home, it’s not financially prohibitive, either.

Start by following the beginner’s qigong YouTube video included in this post, and then branch out from there. Remember, if you have health issues, it’s always best consult a professional before diving in. Check in with your GP, and then find a qigong class or practitioner to help you on your journey.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

38 comments

Elizabeth M
Past Member 27 days ago

love this! Thank you Angela.

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 27 days ago

Love this! thanks for this!!

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Mike R
Mike R28 days ago

Thanks

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Diane W
Diane Wayne29 days ago

wow! I'd love to learn both! I did get 4 tai chi lessons in the past and it made my back feel amazing, as well as my whole body! Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G29 days ago

Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G29 days ago

Thank you

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Lisa M
Lisa M29 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M29 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S29 days ago

Thanks.

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