process of aging and extending life. From ancient times, Qigong has been known as a method of eliminating disease and prolonging life.
Wu Dong is the name of the mountain where this Qigong health system was created. In order to define the words "Qigong," it is necessary to understand the concept woven into its two roots, Qi and Gong.
Qi is written with the character that indicates the cooking and steaming of rice, and it is usually used to mean "air," "breath," or even "steam." But, this is only the outer, external breath. The word Qi is used by practitioners of Qigong and the martial arts to mean "internal prana," life force, or biopsychic internal energy. Or in the Latin, " Spiritus", thus inhalation is considered as in-spiritus or inspiration. The flow of breath is the flow of the spirit as well.
The canons of traditional Chinese medicine teach that life and health are a result of the harmonious flow of ample Qi throughout the body. When Qigong movements are said to cultivate Qi, it is this internal Qi that they cultivate. All disease is thought to stem from a disruption in the smooth flow of this internal Qi. Acupuncture is based upon the belief that Qi circulates throughout the body along twelve major meridians, stimulation of which can cure various ailments.
Dr. Joan Barice, a medical doctor with degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities, points out that Chinese medicine's concept of inseparability of mind and body is compatible with our modern scientific research findings. She explained, "We know, for instance, that movement and acupuncture stimulate the production of endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters with morphine-like activity that give us a feeling of well being and relieve pain. We know that receptor cells are in a constant state of transformation from energy to particle and back again. Western science can identify the receptors and transmitters, but cannot identify or quantify the system interfacing with the one that transforms energy into patterned information. From the Chinese perspective, this interfacing system is simply Qi, the universal intelligence which flows through all living processes and contains the wisdom of healing."
The word gong means "work," and is used in the words Qigong to indicate the diligent practice of movements to help Qi to function properly and efficiently within the body. It is the true meaning of the word gongfu (usually spelled "kung-fu" in English), and refers not only to the duration and quality of one's Qigong practice, but also to the student's determination to learn the movements and practice them. Thus, Qigong must be practiced with one's whole heart, sincerely, diligently, and with continuing perseverance.
Qigong movements cultivate the important connection of mind and body with the abundant energy of the environment. Its movements, mental focus, and breath control stimulate this internal qi flow.
To breathe fully, slowly and evenly -- breath is life. We must inhale fully to take in the energy-powered oxygen, and exhale fully to release the toxic carbon dioxide.
To maintain a mental calmness -- focusing leads your thoughts and emotions. The ability to control your focus will lead to a peaceful state.
The Marrow Washing Qigong works with the body and separates it into three parts:
The upper portion of our body corresponds to the energy of Yang, or heavenly energy;
The lower portion of our body corresponds to the energy of Yin, or earthly energy; and
The middle portion of our body is the connection of Yin and Yang, or the balance of the body.
The Marrow Washing Qigong movement utilizes the bountiful energy that surrounds us to cultivate, balance and cleanse one's internal Qi. It is common to feel euphoric after doing these movement, as endorphins are stimulated and brain waves turn to an alpha state which represents a relaxed manner.
As well as quickening the healing time of injuries and strengthening the immune system to fight disease, the movement works exceptionally well with the common ailment of stress. The movement will relax the mind and balance the emotions. As the mind calms, a feeling of peace and happiness takes over the senses.
"Qigong movement is the process of generating energy solely to purify the obstructions of the physical body, the emotions and the spirit."
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