The Concept of Qi and Qigong
Qigong, then, describes the systems and methods to cultivate and balance this life energy known as Qi. Diverse types of trainings are involved in Qigong practice. One needs to carefully choreograph the movement, coordinate breath, and focus the mind in a dynamic type of training, and hold certain postures for a period of time, with strenuous mental efforts, in a static type. Most Qigong training involves some form of meditation in which breath awareness is sought to regulate the inner flow of Qi through the body. And external agents are also used in some systems of Qigong training, like massage, manipulation of the body, eating herbs, etc. Whatever the type and method of Qigong training, the point is to manipulate the flow of Qi.
The point of Qigong, whatever type and method of training is involved, is to manipulate the flow of Qi, a vital, pervasive life energy, through the numerous channels within the human body. Therefore, it is closely related to traditional Chinese medicine.
Functions of Qigong
Aside from medical functions, Qigong is practiced as a means to achieve self-cultivation in all three mainstream Chinese philosophies. Confucian scholars practice Qigong to improve their moral character, while the Taoists and Buddhists use Qigong as a sort of meditative practice towards self-enlightenment. Qigong stills the mind and helps the practitioner enter a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity and bliss.
Besides medical functions, Qigong is also practiced as a means to achieve self-cultivation in mainstream Chinese philosophies.
Qigong and Chinese Kungfu
Shaolin monks performing the Qigong-based feat of Chinese kungfu - Iron Shirt. The monk withstands the pressure from the spearheads as if wearing a shirt made of iron.
Man displays strength achieved by Qigong training, lying on the ground as truck wheel runs over.
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