Qi Gung and all that jazz
Qi (pronounced chi)/Qi Gung! Is it occult practices, a load of hippie crap, mystically wonderful internal power or all of the above?
As an atheist I don't care much
for the occult stuff anyway. But I would have thought cultivating something
that, according to the Chinese philosophy, already exists in every living thing
would be cherishing and marvelling the work of God, especially when it involves
understanding oneself. I guess in some religious beliefs self discovery and
knowledge is considered evil and ignorance is bliss!
Over the years I have come across
a wide variety of people who were interested in and practice Qi Gung for all
sorts of reasons; some of them just damn right weird. The fact is you hear a lot
of stuff about Qi energy and Qi Gung and, in the end, you would need to
experience it and find out for yourself. A good deal of Qi is experiential.
People feel different things and expect different things from it.
The ancient Chinese explained Qi
in terms of internal life force or breath. Qi actually means air or breathing.
Acupuncture points are based on the Qi meridians and indeed all the traditional
Chinese medicine revolves around the concept of Qi. Chinese practices are not
the only references to Qi. Yoga and a good few other ancient exercises have
their basis in the Qi force. It is just called different things in different
I would like to keep this article short and sweet. So, I am going to give you, or rather touch upon, the modern western explanation for why Qi Gung is thought to be beneficial.
Practicing Qi Gung requires you to
relax and calm your mind. Hands up those who think this is a good way to relieve
everyday stress. To correctly practice Qi Gung you are required to focus your
mind and to relax both mentally and physically.
We all know stress is bad and it could lead to hypertension, high blood pressure, heart attacks, etc. Doing anything that allows you to relax your mind and body is bound to help relief some of the stress that is causing all these problems.
Also, it is claimed that practicing Qi Gung on regular basis makes one less susceptible to illness such as cold and flu. I can vouch for that personally. Just one thing I need to mention here. The operative word is "less susceptible" and not immune. You don't become superhuman. Sorry to disappoint you folks!
Human body under stress produces a substance known as cathelothymines that has the effect of suppressing the immune system. This is because human mind/body relates stress to the fight or flight reaction and the last thing the body is concerned with at times of stress is to waste energy on your immune system. Regularly doing anything that helps relieve tension and stress would help combat the above.
Martial applications and
advantages of practicing Qi Gung should be very obvious by now. A healthy body,
a relaxed and focused mind in combat is bound to be an advantage.
Well! Here is it folks. The reasons for why Qi Gung is considered to be useful stuff as briefly as I could make it and no black candles, long hair or sandals in sight.
Fatshan Wing Chun Association