Qi-Gong, an ancestral health practice

The Chinese have always wanted to become immortal and for 3000 years they have developed ways to lengthen life by improving their health. Thus was born the practice of qi gong, a therapeutic and preventive means just like traditional Chinese medicine, pharmacopoeia, dietetics and tui na massages.

The Chinese first discovered in themselves the qi, the breath of life, the energy. Then, they concluded that qi was invisible and present everywhere in nature and in the body. It is the concentration of qi that generates matter, it is the concentration of intention and the setting in motion of this qi that can mobilize matter. Under the influence of the qi of the sky, the qi of the earth and the qi of the moon, man is constantly agitated to protect himself from the negative effects of his environment. The full moon is a concentration of qi that mobilizes liquids including the oceans. Thus was born the practice of qi gong, a therapeutic and preventive means just like traditional Chinese medicine, pharmacopoeia, dietetics and tui na massages.

Several styles of qi gong, one goal

Qi is the breath of life that circulates in everything that exists between heaven and earth. The gong is the work, the technique. The practice of qi gong can act on the flow of energy, excess or lack of energy can thus be restored throughout the body.

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Today there are 5 families of qi gong:

  • Confucianist
  • Buddhist
  • Taoist
  • Martial
  • Medical

All have the same goal, whatever the style taught and practiced: to strengthen, nourish,
cleanse, harmonize, balance, circulate energy.

Calm emotions and circulate energy

The Chinese believe that diseases generally come from an excess of emotions. A depressive state leads to indigestion and stomach ulcers, anger leads to a disorder of the liver, sadness compresses and retracts the lungs and fear disturbs the kidneys and the bladder. In the cycle of the 5 elements in which each organ is associated with a function, an emotion, a color, an orientation, an organ of the senses… each element can be generated or restricted permanently in a closed cycle. This also explains the impact of an emotion not only on the organ to which it is attached but also on a “nourished” or “controlled” organ.

This is why the Chinese advocate the control of these emotions, it is said to regulate the qi to harmonize the mind and keep calm. Stillness allows you to chase thoughts that agitate the mind, meditation is a control of these emotions. When the mind is relieved of thoughts, the flow of energy circulates steadily and strongly throughout the body. The obstacles in the meridians thus end up disappearing.

By observing the nature and adaptation of the human body to its environment, the Chinese have established a set of exercises, each of which has an extremely precise and defined preventive and curative purpose.

A proven health benefit

Qigong exercises aim at the good circulation of energy in the meridians. It is a question of establishing an energy rebalancing by allowing the free circulation of energy throughout the body. The meridians unify the body in energy by a network of ramifications. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the theory of the 5 vital organs which store energy, qi. This differentiates the qi of the spleen from that of the liver, heart, kidneys and lungs. Qigong aims to harmonize the energy of these 5 major organs. By practicing qi gong by regulating slow and calm movements and deep breathing, the balance of the nervous system, the circulatory system and the respiratory system is improved. As each season is linked to an organ, the emphasis may be placed on certain exercises depending on the season. Similarly, the imbalance of certain organs can be improved by practicing certain postures.

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Tips for good practice

In a quiet place, orient yourself in the morning towards the east (sunrise), at noon towards the south and in the evening towards the west, away from meals and at least one hour before going to bed because the intake of energy can prevent sleep especially for beginners.

The figures have evocative names: “caressing the clouds”, “sweeping the rainbow”, “pushing the clouds aside” (cervical, yang meridians, circulation of the energy of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system), “playing boat on the lake” (strengthen the kidneys, bronchi, arms, tone the digestive system), “contemplate the moon” (strengthen the hips, kidneys, reduce lower back pain).

Thus, rooted in the earth, the body relaxed, the mind calm, free of thoughts, take the posture and mobilize your qi to harmonize the organs of the body. You then feel a pleasant feeling of well-being. A qi gong session lasts 20 minutes, for a significant effect on health it is recommended to practice every day.

The medical academy approves

In its report on the benefit of complementary medicines of March 5, 2013, the medical academy concludes that qi gong “improves balance and significantly reduces the risk of falling in the elderly (…), these disciplines are considered a excellent means of preventing falls, metabolic diseases, with the advantage of being practiced in a group of influencing the cognitive side of patients. The interest of this practice is mentioned in the treatment of low back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, fibromyalgia, it also has a favorable effect on the quality of life of heart failure and on sleep. »

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Author :

Thierry Jamaux is an acupuncturist in Paris. He no longer teaches qi-gong.

For any information :
Email: [email protected]Website: www.medecinechinoiseparis.com

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