Please be advised that it is always recommended that you consult with your GP and other healthcare specialists before starting ANY Qigong program
Qigong belongs to the great family of physical exercises designed with the purpose of cultivating and preserving the Three Treasures of the human being: the Essence, the Qi and the Shen (Mind, Spirit). By helping in preserving and cultivating these three vital aspects of the human being, Qigong is not only important in health preservation and prevention of disease, but they can also assist us in restoring our health.
The Alchemical healing arts that stemmed from the Tao many ages ago comprise a vast array of bodily movements and physical exercises designed to prevent illness but also heal. Tai Chi and Qigong are but two of them. Many schools have developed these techniques over the centuries, some schools focused on them as martial arts, some schools developed healing forms. However, they all operate with the same principles of cultivating and preserving the Three Treasures and manipulating the Qi to serve a specific purpose.
People ask me what the difference is between Tai Chi and Qigong.
Tai Chi, or Tai Chi Chuan by its full name, has roots in the martial arts, developed by the ancient monks and priests in order to counteract the long time spent in meditation. Tai Chi presents many forms and styles, some more slow and graceful, designed for training and Qi cultivation, others faster and sharper, designed for combat and self-defence. All of them work on the same principle of the integration of body and mind. By setting the focus and the intention, the warrior was able to gather and direct the Qi so that their moves could defeat their opponents.
Tai Chi became more popular in the West especially due to the martial art films and a lot of the martial artists performing these graceful moves clad in those specific uniforms. Many of them actually teach in real life as well.
Unlike other cultures, which put more emphasis on muscle mass and the size of their warriors, the ancient Asian cultures focused on creating warriors that were quick, agile and with a sharp mind. Their skills were developed from their ability to preserve, cultivate and direct their Qi. One of the contemporary examples is Bruce Lee, who did not have a large muscle mass, yet he mastered the Qi so that he could conjure such strength and power that could defeat any opponent, irrespective of their size. He actually created his own martial art system but also educated people in the ancient art of Qi cultivation.
Qigong has been designed from the beginning with health and healing in mind. Many martial art practitioners will also engage in Qigong or other forms of Qi manipulation, in order to perfect their combat techniques, but also to speed up the healing processes and have a better control over the body, mind and emotions.
Even as little as 15 minutes every day, Qigong will lead to:
- Better health
- Faster recovery after illness
- Stronger immunity
- Less pain
- Better sleep
- Stronger body posture and improved balance
- Increased energy and confidence
- Better weight management
- A clearer mind
In a nutshell, it can be the key to a better YOU
Qigong is the most natural way to move and one of the most beneficial. It encourages the practitioner to use their own level of comfort and mobility to execute the moves. Throughout the practice, the natural breathing is encouraged. The movements open up the chest and abdominal cavity in a natural way, so that the breathing becomes deeper and healthier. Everything is natural and designed to re-set the body and mind to the factory settings. People actually develop better balance, reflexes and coordination after just a few months of constant practice.
The Qigong forms may even seem simplistic, sometimes too slow for someone used to hit the gym, sweat and pant for an hour. Yet, professional athletes who tried Qigong declared that they felt more muscles being involved in the moves than during their regular training practices and some actually woke up quite sore the following day!
I avoid using the term “exercise” when referring to Qigong, because Qigong is in fact just a set of natural movements, just as natural as walking or stretching in the morning. Many of them were born when humans contemplated nature and tried to imitate the majestic animals around them: the Crane, the Bear, the Dragon, the Monkey, the Snake and so on, in an attempt of borrowing some of their magical powers and wonderful energy. Plus I don’t like to exercise.
Disclaimer, cautions and contraindications
Please note that these are potential benefits of Qigong found in the literature. Please do not stop your regular exercises or medication prescribed by physiotherapists or medical doctors. Qigong is not a substitute for any form of treatment. Please consult your physician before starting the exercises and follow the guidelines of qualified and fully trained Qigong instructors.
There are very few contraindications for practicing Qigong. Certain moves or techniques might be contraindicated in pregnant women. Usually, as long as one uses common sense and does not perform any moves beyond their capabilities, Qigong is considered to be safe.
People under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not practice. Also, if you are ill, very weak, with a high fever or otherwise unwell, you should refrain from practicing.
Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing, comfortable, flexible shoes that prevent you from slipping, you wash your hands before the session, and the room is well ventilated and warm enough (the Goldilocks rule applies: not too hot and not too cold).
It is advisable to have a light meal before the sessions, or if it’s a copious meal, make sure you don’t practice for two hours after you’ve eaten. It is also recommended you do not drink any cold drinks or alcohol.
You are solely responsible for ensuring your own personal safety in the training area. If you are taking part in an online class, please make sure there are no object you can trip over or you can hit with your arms or legs.
If you are interested in joining any of my classes, please drop me a line using the Contact Form page.
Private one-to-one sessions also available.