Qigong is a psychosomatic regime, which through mind, breathing and posture regulation aids in the prevention and treatment of diseases as and preserves and lengthens life.
Qigong cultivates intrinsic energy (genuine Qi) which is found naturally within all people. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) holds that genuine Qi is a dynamic force, which powers all the vital functions in the human body.
There are many different forms of Qigong practice, each with its own distinct style and goals. Daoyin, also called Daoyin Massage, is a comprehensive exercise that combines specific body posture, breath regulation, and mind concentration with self-massage to develop both the physical and energetic aspects of the body. Inner Health Cultivation Exercise (Neiyang Gong), Health Promotion Exercise (Qiangzhuang Gong), Qi Nourishing Exercise (Yangqi Gong), and Qi Circulation Exercise (Zhoutian Gong) are more specific Qigong methods which emphasize the training of genuine Qi. Regional Daoyin Exercise (Buwei Daoyin Gong), and Five Viscera Regulation Exercise (Li Wuzang Gong) represent examples of Qigong exercises that focus their activity on specific areas of the body or on overcoming a specific disease.
Qigong exercises are chosen to meet the specific needs and conditions of its practitioner. When a Qigong method is selected, two aspects must be taken into consideration: the general improvement of the body functions as a whole and the treatment of an illness in particular. For example, Static Qigong, an exercise aimed at training and accumulating Qi, builds up the constitution and obtains longevity. It is excellent for improving a generally healthy body. On the other hand, for someone who is already sick, it is desirable to pick a Qigong exercise optimal to aid in the treatment of the specific disease. For example, people having palpitations and shortness of breath due to insufficiency of the heart Qi may practice Heart Regulation Exercise (Lixin Gong) to achieve rapid therapeutic effects. In TCM, the selection and practice of Qigong according to the constitution of individuals and the nature of their illnesses is called Differential Diagnosis and Treatment.
Qigong emphasizes the cultivation of health through the removal of all blockages in the mind and body. As ohserved by the ancient Chinese, running water never turns stale and a door hinge never gets worm-eaten. Daoying An Qiao, an exercise found in The Yellow Emperor's Canon of Internal Medicine (Huang Di Nei Jing), consists mainly of self-massage and self-controlled movements of the extremities to build up the constitution, to guide Qi and blood circulation and to control diseases. Like all Qigong, this exercise is to a great extent superior to the passive methods of massage, acupuncture, drug medication and other therapies in its ability to mobilize the vital energy to prevent and cure diseases. Other advantages of Qigong are its simplicity and feasibility. It can be learned, with rapid and satisfactory results by reading books with illustrations.
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