Origin of Qi Gong
For over 1,000 years, Qi Gong has been a self-healing method that nurtures the body, mind, and spirit and allows for a long life. It strengthens the overall constitution of the person, increases vitality and the body's defenses against disease-causing factors. At the same time, it promotes mental and physical awareness of ourselves and our environment, and provides personal growth, regulates self-healing powers and reduces premature aging when practiced regularly.
Qi Gong are energy exercises (breath healing movements) that relate to the inner life energy of the human being. Qi means air, breath, wind and cloud and stands for life force or life energy. Gong stands for method, way or exercise.
Qi Gong consists of physical exercises that are easy to learn. During these exercises the mind is relaxed and the breathing is gently directed. This leads to the unity of body, soul and spirit, to mental stability and physical relaxation.
This means not thinking during the exercises if possible, but carefully calming the mind. Relax the body and breathe naturally to harmonize the body's forces. We enter the state of nothingness and are light and carefree. This basic attitude reduces nervousness and has an extremely positive effect on strengthening the body and longevity.
All exercises serve to activate the flow of Qi to purify the body and mind. They all have in common calmness, relaxation and naturalness. In Qi Gong, the life energy Qi is always directed to specific areas of the body through deep breathing and concentration. The exercises are performed gently and slowly. The flow of movement has a very positive effect on the distribution of Qi in the body.
What is Qi?
The Force of your Life
Qi moves and drives the body.
It is the force that makes the blood flow, it moves the muscles, it enables breathing, it expresses itself in speech, and much more. Thus, qi is the force that enables organ functions and transports vital substances in the body. Qi stabilizes the body and leads to strength and form. When there is congestion or a lack of Qi, there is discomfort and illness.
Energry Channels inside Your Inner Cosmos
In order to fulfill all these functions, the Qi needs a pathway network. Through this network of pathways, all organs and areas of the body are connected. Meridians are energy pathways in the organism. They are a kind of network in which information, substances (blood, body fluids, essence) and energy (Qi) pulsate.
The best known are the twelve main energy pathways (Jing Mai), which are used in many therapeutic directions and are also accessible for acupuncture.
In Chinese, two characters are used to describe the energy pathways: Jing and Luo.
The Jing-Mai are the energy pathways that penetrate the body in a vertical direction. They can be compared to the trunk of a tree, which connects the roots with the branches and leaves. They are rooted in the organs and branch out into the luo-mai.
The Luo-Mai are the interconnected energy pathways that penetrate the body in a horizontal spread, creating their own network system. They can be compared to the branches and twigs of a tree.
The course of the energy pathways is uninterrupted and thus each meridian connects to another. The meridian circulation begins with the lung meridian and ends in the liver meridian, which merges again with the lung meridian. Starting in the thorax, the main energy pathways run into the arms and from there to the head. From here, an energy pathway travels to the legs and then back to the thorax.
Your Energy Centers
Qi Gong also speaks of central energy centers called dantian. By dantian is meant less a single, small point, but dantian also includes the surrounding area. There are several dantians located at important energetic and functional points on the body.
Of particular importance is
the Upper Dantian: Third Eye or Celestial Eye, the seat of intuitive and mental ability
the Middle Dantian: chest area/heart center, release of stress, enables a sense of calm
the Lower Dantian: below the navel in the lower abdomen, main energy reservoir and power center of our body.
As energy centers, they not only activate energy, but also store qi. During Qi Gong practice, Qi is repeatedly collected, directed to the Dantians (especially the lower Dantian) and stored there.
Importance of Streching and Guiding
The Daoyin (stretching and guiding) plays an important role in the moving Qi Gong. Through the gentle stretches, meridian courses, narrow points, blockages, joints and muscles are specifically widened, so that the vital force can flow better.
Some series of exercises, through specific body alignment, create such a detailed stretch of the meridian courses that they can be recreated almost linearly.
Other exercises are more non-specific, which does not diminish their effectiveness. On the contrary, too detailed an approach is often an (unnecessary) reason for unwanted tension.
Thus, in addition to the gentle stretching of the body structures, the subsequent relaxation is an important aspect of the exercise. Both phases of movement (stretching tension and relaxation) together result in pulsation. This pulsation supports the flow of Qi in the energy pathways. Through targeted strain and relief in the basic movement of Qi Gong (rising and sinking, opening and closing), the flow of energy is stimulated.
Easy to perform everywhere and everytime
There are simple basic exercises that can already achieve a lot by performing them every day. They can be done every day after getting up or spread throughout the day without much effort:
Stand on tiptoe
Standing on one leg
Sitting in a squat position
Stretch arms and hands to the side
Raise arms and support them with hands against the walls
Raise the sky
Body Tapping & Selfmassage
Open and acitivate your energy channels
In addition, various self-massage techniques are used to open and activate acupuncture points and energy pathways. Very well known is tapping the meridians or rubbing the dantian at the end of a series of exercises.
Techniques such as "pressing", "rubbing", "stroking out" or "tapping" are used. Not only the surface of the body but also internal structures are energized.
The chattering of the teeth or the gum massage while circling the tongue also activates the organs via the internal courses of the pathways.
Circling the belly around the navel (Dantian) - both directions
Tap the outer edge (trouser seam) of the thighs from top to bottom.
Diagonally across the thighs, tapping from the inside out (to the knee)
Tap left knee, right knee, left ankle, right ankle
Tap left/right inner elbow, open/close left/right hand
Tap left/right front of armpit and open/close left/right hand
Tap both backs of knees while bobbing toes
Rub both back of fist on back of back while tapping toes
Tap left shoulder blade and shoulder joint, chest and then right side
Tap fists firmly on butt and muscles back waist
Tap both legs outside and inside
Pat face and head