Qigong offers individuals a way to achieve a relaxed, harmonious state of dynamic equilibrium. It typically improves their overall health status, allowing them to maintain a life free from pain, and full of vigour and grace. Qigong is a proper therapeutic practice with which to address virtually any chronic health problem. The various forms of Chinese medical massage (tui na) derive directly from qigong. These practices compliment and supplement orthodox medical interventions.
In addition to providing cures, qigong helps people prevent the onset of diseases. This can save money and prevent suffering. Qigong increases strength, improves resistance to infectious diseases and premature senility, and helps assure a long life. Practicing qigong can greatly reduce the danger of stroke. It can improve blood sugar levels for diabetics. Because it normalizes the level of sex hormones, it can correct sexual impotence and frigidity. Its stress relieving effects improves one's sex life -- both quantity and quality. Practice of qigong can speed recovery from surgery, and from sports and other injuries by up to 50% (McGee w/Chow 1994:17-9).
Many millions of people have learned and practiced qigong in its many thousand year history. We do not know how old qigong is, but the further we go back in Chinese history the larger qigong looms as a cultural force. Some turtle-shell artifacts conclusively show the art was important at least 7,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests the practice may go back a million years. About 2,000 years ago The "Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine" first systematically described qigong practice. Now qigong has finally reached North America -- through the increasing popularity of kung fu movies, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Qigong was a natural discovery of the New Age movement. Its underlying philosophy and practice both serve that movement's goals: qigong does 'raise consciousness' in significant respects.
The goal of practicing qigong is to make our qi circulate strongly in our bodies. This helps us resist or overcome imbalances or blockages and their resulting disharmonies. That is also the goal of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Practicing qigong helps us sense the infinity of the universe. It lets us sense our place as organized clusters of energy-information within the immense whole. Qi is an informational message and its carrier, a complex energy substance basic to life itself. Chinese medicine can prolong life, vitality and well being by slowing the ageing process. This it accomplishes due to the affinities of certain herbs to qi and the milieu within which qi exists. Qigong therefore 'fits' into the regimen of Chinese medicine. The qigong art thus plays a fully active role to prevent disease or permit recovery.
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