Chi Kung or Qi Gong is a medicinal therapy of Chinese origin that belongs to the same group as other therapies such as taichi or reiki. Moving and balancing energy through breathing techniques, meditation, concentration and guided movements is the way to properly channel vital energy through the different meridians that run through our body to facilitate its free circulation.
The word ‘Chi’ or ‘Qi’ refers to vital energy, while the term ‘Kung’ or ‘Gong’ refers to mastery, skill or work. This practice is known as the ”fountain of youth”, those who practice it say that it helps them to eliminate the tensions and stress of everyday life and that it is a true flow of peace that brings them health and vitality.
As explained by the International Institute of Qi Gong, the realization of this therapy is based on cultivating that energy through “static postures, dynamic movements, sounds, marches and sitting postures” with the purpose of finding “a balance between the physical, the mental and the spiritual”, they add.
of ‘Chi Kung’stress or anxiety and, among its benefits, it stands out that it helps to lower blood pressure, blood circulation and improves the quality of life at a physical and emotional level. A comprehensive review of various studies on the effects of this practice and ‘Tai Chi’ concluded that it can promote “bone health, cardiopulmonary fitness, physical function, fall prevention and balance, general quality of life” and contributes to reducing episodes “such as anxiety and depression”.
Also, the combination of different exercises and conscious breathing techniques during practice can reduce tension and nervousness.. In fact, another recent review suggests that ‘Qi Gong’ or ‘Chi Kung’ may be “potentially useful for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of respiratory infections, including Covid-19”. In this sense, older people in particular could benefit from this practice during the pandemic, although “future studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness in this context.”
How chi kung is practiced
The essence of chi kung or qi gong is the harmonic synchronization of the three vital processes, that is, body, mind (heart) and breath. Eastern tradition refers to these three processes as the “three treasures.” Therefore, the practice of this therapy requires, in turn, three steps. The first is body control,relaxation . We must relax, in this order, our mind, breathing and, finally, our body.
In this sense, the sessions can begin with an exercise to awaken that energy with slow movement and breathing exercises . Our body has to be in a balanced and firm position, but at the same time the posture must be comfortable. It is essential to maintain concentration and full attention in each movement.
Those who are beginners can start with abdominal breathing exercises and meditation for a few minutes each day , and then perform static and body movements.