what is qigong?

The word Qi is usually translated to mean "vital life force" or "the universal force that animates all of life." In its broadest sense the concept of qi encompasses material manifestations of energy such as earth, water, mountains, weather, your body and your technological devices. It also encompasses immaterial manifestations such as thought, emotion, nerve impulses, light, color, sound and spirit. Gong is widely translated to mean "work." The term Qigong refers to "energy work."

Qigong is an ancient and effective Chinese health care system that incorporates physical movement, breathing techniques and mental focus. Everyone can do qigong regardless of level of strength or fitness. Qigong can easily be done standing, sitting, with the use of a cane or walker, wheelchair or other movement assistance device; but it is also practiced by super athletes to enhance their performance in high stakes competitions!

There are three classifications of Qigong. These classifications are martial (e.g., Kung Fu, Tai Chi),  medical (Traditional Chinese Medicine), and spiritual (drawn from Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism).

Qigong may vary widely from soft and gently flowing movements to more rigorous agile movments. At Silver Lotus we offer several styles of the soft internal forms of Qigong. These forms are characterized by gentle, circular and rhythmic movements that have bee shown (in evidence based scientific studies) to reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality and enhance immune function. It has also been found to improve respiratory, circulatory, digestive, lymphatic and cardiovascular function. Some of the Qigong movements are designed to increase qi, while others store it still others circulate it. Qigong is used to cleanse and heal the body. There are also qigong practices that are used to emit chi to help others in their healing process.

Silver Lotus students performing the Eight Brocades qigong.The National Qigong Association indicates:

  • Like any other system of health care, Qigong is not a panacea, but it is certainly a highly effective health care practice. Many health care professionals recommend Qigong as an important form of alternative complementary medicine.

  •  Qigong creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not part of traditional excercise programs. Most exercises do not involve the body's energy (meridian) system used in acupuncture nor do the emphasize the importance of adding mental intention and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are combined, the benefits of exercise increase exponentially.

  •  Western scientific research confirms that Qigong reduces hypertension and the incidence of falling in the over 65 population. One of the most important long-term effects is that Qigong re-establishes the body/mind/spirit connection.

Qigong is a way to improve and maintain health, calm the mind, connect with internal feelings of peace and well-being. It is not only easy; but it is fun. Our offerings at Silver Lotus include Tai Chi Ruler, Eight Pieces of Brocade, Five Animal Frolics, Therapeutic Qigong, 49 Step Meridian Qigong, Shibashi 1, 2 and 3, Spring Forest Qigong, Five Elements Qigong. All classes at Silver Lotus focus on effective and safe teaching methods, encouragement, positive energy and humor. We welcome you to try a class and see for your self.