Qi is life force energy! It can be called breath, energy, vital force or vital essence. It is pronounced “chee” and it is a Chinese term to describe the flow that gives life to the human body.
When you are aware that everything is energy and that you yourself are your Qi in motion, you become more sensitive to the energetic shifts within your body and you can actively participate in the state of your Qi.
Qigong can be translated as energy cultivation or nurturing life force energy. It is a method where we use the energy by coordinating breathing techniques and body movement. It is meditative and it both cleanses and strengthens, allowing energy to circulate.
Qigong improves overall health and contributes to longevity, creating a peaceful state of mind. Qigong dates back to 2.500 years and there are references to similar techniques that go back to 5.000 years. Qigong has its origins in:
- Chinese Shamanism, linked to the connection between Mankind and Nature, as a means to find harmony between the human body and nature’s elements;
- Taoism, through the consistent practice of Qigong it was believed that spirit and body were in balance and harmony between Yin Yang was found;
- Buddhism, certain types of Qigong were developed by Buddhists to compliment their seated meditations with movements which promoted serenity and awareness;
- Chinese Medicine, Qigong promotes overall health and therefore its practice has been advised by many Chinese Doctors as a preventative and restorative of the general balance of the organism (some forms of Qigong are incredibly powerful and may be used to strengthen specific organs);
- Martial Arts, since the practice of Qigong greatly improves performance, Martial Artists designed and developed some forms of Qigong.
There are several types of Qigong and they are all based in the principles of having a straight rooted posture, being relaxed, focusing on diaphragmatic breathing, flowing with the movements and setting an intention with awareness throughout the practice to harmonize the Qi flow in the body and the connection with nature’s energy to balance the organism. The main energy centers (known as Dan Tiens or Tan Tiens, or Chakras or Glands) in the body are healed and balanced through the consistent practice of Qigong.
Qigong is very used for balance, helping to relieve stress and cooperating with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine for health; it is also used for healing, where – similarly to Reiki – an experienced practitioner becomes a channel of energy transmission using the hands to heal the client’s area in need without touching the body; Qigong is also useful to improve performance in sports and martial arts, since it develops strength, flexibility, balance, speed, coordination and resistance, as simultaneously improving the fascia and it is also a powerful self-awareness tool promoting a meditative state, the root for spiritual awakening.
Qigong is a wonderful activity to incorporate in your daily routine suitable for any individual or any age.
During my journey last year, I met Susana Matias, who was taking a Qigong Instructor’s Course. She is also the author of A Hora das Mães and she will be leading a Portuguese Qigong Trip to Bali! Whether you are experienced or new to Qigong, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect with your Qi!