With public interest exploding in yoga and tai chi and other mind-body exercises that seek to promote physical health while achieving inner peace, qi gong is increasingly being sought after for its simplicity, meditative attributes, and quick benefits.
Qi gong literally means “energy cultivation.” Qi can also be spelled chi in Chinese, qi in Korean, ki in Japanese, and khi in Vietnamese. Hindus refer to qi as prana and the Hawaii culture calls it mana; all the names refer to the life force energy, the basic underlying principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Qi gong, or chi gong, is similar to tai chi. Qi gong movements are graceful and simpler to learn, the breathing is controlled and the mind is often engaged in visualization in order to promote health and circulation of qi throughout the body.
There are at least several hundred styles of qi gong, and tens of millions of practitioners of the form. People do qi gong to gain strength, improve, heal, or reverse diseases. Martial artist also practice qi gong to improve their inner strength. Qi gong is performed for health and healing, stress and pain reduction, and to promote the flow of energy through the meridians or bodily channels. Some believe that qi gong also helps connect us spiritually with nature, the universe and with whatever name we happen to give the highest force.
Since there are many forms of qi gong available, I will introduce two particular forms that are easy to learn and available through classes here on the Westside. They are eight treasures qi gong and self- healing qi gong. Both of these forms were passed down for many generations in our family and I am happy to share them with you.
Eight treasures qi gong consists of 32 moves that can be done individually as well as in its entirety at once. It’s akin to performing yoga while standing instead of lying on the floor. Eight treasures qi gong is the more physical of the two forms in that it works you out from head to toe, combining stretching, strengthening, and balancing moves. It also activates what is referred to as the “eight extraordinary channels” that serve as reservoirs of energy. That is why the immediate benefit felt by practitioners of eight treasures qi gong is increased energy and vitality.
Self-healing qi gong is practiced specifically for activating your innate healing powers, as it comprises five simple meditation moves for the five organ systems. For example; the liver cleansing form is targeted at promoting liver health and healing while the lung-immune boosting form is good for respiratory and immune system challenges. Self-healing qi gong moves were designed to elicit immediate response from your body and is appropriate for anyone interested in exploring health and self- healing.
Many healthful benefits from practicing qi gong have been confirmed by studies. These include reduction in inflammation, balancing of blood pressure and blood sugar, and relieving of chronic pain, to name a few. Both eight treasures and self-healing qi gong are accessible and easy to learn. Consistent practice of either one will yield dividends for your health, wellness and longevity. Both are available on DVD for learning at home as well as classes at The Wellness Store at 1412 14th Street in Santa Monica. Contact 310.260.0013 for more information.
Live Long, Live Strong and Live Happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao, is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, a Wellness Medicine group that won the “L.A.’s Best” Award. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica over 25 years ago. In addition, he is the cofounder and Chancellor of Yo San University in Venice/Marina del Rey. To subscribe to a free newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at [email protected]