Qi Gong is an elegant, hands-off method of working with the fields of subtle energy called qi (pronounced “chee”) that emanate from the different layers of the body and soul. All traditional cultures have a word for this energy, such as prana in Sanskrit and ki in Japanese, as well as well-developed methods of working with it to restore health.
The Chinese place great importance on qi, having studied it for thousands of years. Qi is essential to all life and is present in all substances – air, food, water, bone, muscle, etc., as well as in thoughts and emotions. As long as something is alive, it has qi circulating through it and emanating from it. And at death, the qi departs. Disturbances in the flow of qi lead to symptoms, and eventually disease. Through practice, qi can be gathered and circulated to clear blockcages and excess and to nourish deficiencies to bring about health.
Like acupuncture, Qi Gong was already a well-developed healing art in China by the time it was first described in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine written in 2,697 B.C., though it dates back even further than acupuncture. In China, acupuncture, herbal medicine and qi gong are fully integrated into hospitals as an essential part of a treatment plan. These healing modalities are widely available in the United States, though usually not in conventional settings.