Qigong. Pardon, what did you say?! Ok, so the name looks a bit strange and you may have to look at it twice to be able to pronounce it, but on researching for this ancient Chinese practise we now can’t stop saying it!
Qigong, also known as Chi Kung, has been used for over 4,000 years both as a medical healing exercise and a spiritual development aid. We were surprised to learn that it has been practised here in North Cyprus for some years too, and in turn is now a popular practise amongst locals and expats. Not having the first clue as to what it was all about, a little digging resulted in a taste for trying it,although at the time of writing the actual physical participation had not yet transpired!
The meanings of the words themselves explain what the practice is all about. ‘Qi’ means air, gas, breath, breath of life or energy of life. It describes the energy that is present in the universe which flows through everything. Qi flows through the meridians (acupuncture channels) in the human body and keeps the body alive. Traditional Chinese Medicines such as acupuncture, massage and herbalism for example are based on this system.
‘Gong’ means skill, accomplishment, achievement, merit or result and the practice can increase these positive feelings by opening up energy blockages of the body so that a person can live a more healthy and energetic life. Wouldn’t we all love some of that!
The practice of Qigong is used throughout China and in the western world for the application of healthcare, treating a variety of conditions and is also used as a preventative medicine. If you are therefore looking at a different way of tackling a niggling back pain or feel lethargic perhaps, this could well be a solution to your problems.
One of the fundamentals of Qigong is learning the art of Standing like a Tree. A person can learn this technique whether they are able bodied or disabled as it can be practised in a standing or sitting position. The purpose of learning this technique is to open energy channels within the body and aid metabolism which help to increase energy levels and feelings of wellbeing. Certain muscles and internal organs are also activated and strengthened while the body and mind relax.
There are also different methods applied within Qigong such as Zhan Zhuang. This is a unique exercise in which you are unmoving externally but growing from within. Unlike most other exercises it doesn’t consume your energy but generates energy. The result of regular exercise is strengthened immunity, the easing of a chronic illness, high levels of daily energy and the natural regeneration of the nervous system.
If you fancy taking a look at what Qigong can offer, workshops are open to everybody from all ages with the next workshop in North Cyprus taking place on 24th and 25th October 2009. Spaces are limited apparently, so book your place quickly by calling +90 (0)533 841 8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Qigong website www.qigongcyprus.com gives plenty of information on the practice itself so if you want to find out more check it out for yourselves.