What Is Qigong?
Qigong is a Chinese system of holistic health practice, with roots dating back five thousand years. “Energy cultivation” is an excellent translation for Qigong, because it conveys the idea that, just as an agricultural field is cultivated with careful tending over time to produce food, your own field of life energy is cultivated so that your body and mind are nourished.
Qigong brings body, breathing and mind together to perform movements and hold postures that exercise the whole person. While usually performed standing, it can also be performed seated. Although most Qigong is characterised by slow, flowing movements, it can also be still, as well as more energetic and active. There are literally thousands of different qi gong styles. Which is why you will see it written in so many different ways (Qi Gong, Qigong, Chi Gong, Chi Kung), and every teacher will have different styles and forms.
The art of Qigong is an effective method of reducing stress and promoting a relaxed body and calm mind. It increases flexibility, strength, balance and general wellbeing. Many people have found that Qigong practice brings youthful vitality and a positive outlook to their lives.
Qigong really is a total mind / body movement based practice, and is being ‘rediscovered’ by the West as one of the most effective ways to harmonise our bodies, synchronise our nervous systems, prevent aging and create strength, energy and suppleness, as well as cultivating a calm, focused mind.
Qigong not only connects us to our own internal energy, but the energy of the Earth and the Universe, once more bringing the spiritual into balance with the physical, which is one of the many reasons I love it so much, as it combines my love of energy work and flow into a healing practice that can be done by everyone.
Many modern inflammatory health conditions, such as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, hormonal issues, back pain and many other diseases can be managed and brought into a state of balance and harmony with Qigong. The postures and stances make you really strong, building the fascia and the immune system. Qigong activates our inner healer, not only strengthening the body but also the mind, and is very much based around intention. Where you put your mind, the Qi will flow. There is a Chinese saying that the “Yi leads the Qi”. Yi is a calm, focused mind, full of intention. By allowing your body and mind to relax so that tension, unnecessary muscle action and superfluous mental activity do not get in the way enables your mind into a perfect state of attention in the present moment, which will allow you to develop the ability to move effortlessly and feel the flow of life energy through your body… the mind and the breath lead the Qi, the Qi leads the blood, the blood nourishes the organs.
Qigong is an internal practice, and so although is often done in classes and groups, it is also a solo practice. As part of a bespoke healing consultation with you, I can offer Qigong tailored to you that you can do at home as part of your healing practice, alongside herbal advice and all the other healing treatments that I offer.
Qigong is suitable for any age, any ability and any type of personality. It can be adapted to fit any need. No one is excluded.
Message me to book a private consultation.
How Qigong Affects The Body
Our bodies are filled with Qi, life force energy. Qi is the energy that fills us and our fascia. Imagine that energy flows through us like rivers, the meridians. Sometimes these rivers can get blocked or become stagnant. Our 21st century lifestyles and lack of movement don’t keep our bodies and our energies flowing as they should, creating tension, stress, pain, inflammation and dis-ease. The practice of Qigong allows us to release that stagnation, unblock the pools whilst bringing fresh new energy into the body, helping it to stay strong, toned and supple.
Qi gong strengthens the body…expanding the fascia, bringing vitality and energy to the organs. It brings flexibility to joints and strengthens the muscles promoting longevity.
How Qigong Affects The Mind
Qigong calms the mind by using a variety of different breath work techniques. stimulating the vagus nerve which soothes and calms the parasympathetic nervous system, bringing us into “rest and digest” mode. . Through mindful breathing the lungs are nourished and gain expansion bringing oxygen to nourish the body.
How Qigong Affects The Spirit
Qigong connects us to a deeper understanding of ourselves, the Earth and the Universe. By “plugging” us in, reconnecting directly with the energy of the earth, nature and the universe, harmonising and bringing balance to our whole energy system, which in turn supports the body.. healing and balance for mind, body and spirit.
I started practicing Qi Gong myself during the first lockdown…and loved the sense of calm and balance it brought to me, as well as giving me more focus and flexibility. I have noticed a significant reduction in joint pain and stiffness.
It harmonises with the way I work by blending together the energies of the elements, the body, mind and spirit.
I taught step and aerobics back in the 90’s, and have been practicing yoga for many years. In Qi Gong I have found a modality that can be done by anyone, of any age or fitness level, it is gentle but powerful, relaxing and energising, building strength, posture and balance as well as being a meditative practice, and something that I know I will be able to practice well into my old age. Many people who have been practicing other modalities for many years but have injuries sustained from them have found their way to qi gong.
What is Qi?
In the words of my Qigong teacher Nick Loffree “ Is Chi even real? Is it a metaphor? Is it just electricity? Is it just a placebo? In my experience, it’s all of the above, and more. Chi can translate as energy, breath, air, or function. It can refer to the underlying energy forming all of reality. It can also refer to just the vital energy that animates life forms like us.
At the end of the day, the art of Chi Kung, or Skillful Chi Cultivation, has made a huge impact on my life and the lives of so many of my students.
It hasn’t solved every health issue, but it has solved many, and I continue to be surprised by students who write in all the random and unexpected issues it has resolved for them. It also doesn’t take away all the stressors of life, but it sure helps deal with the stress itself. The ancients who created Chi Kung described its effects in terms of Chi, the purifying, building, and circulating of the life force. To them, the idea of atoms one billionth the size of the head of a pin would have sounded like esoteric gobblety gook, much like the existence of a life giving energy running through a parallel dimension sounds like mumbo jumbo to us. That is what they studied. What they practiced. What they devoted entire lives to mastering.
I took a chance over a decade ago, while still struggling with the lingering effects of psychosis, and took their word for it. While I have come across a lot of BS since, I’ve also come across a lot of incredible masters, powerful healers, and life changing healing for myself.
So is Chi real? To me yes. But its also besides the point. Maybe its just an effect if calming the nervous system, or reintegrating the fascia, or regulating the brainwaves. I don’t really care. It works, so I’ll take it as it is.” – Nick Loffree
For me, as an energy worker, I am 100% sure that Qi exists – in my day to day life I feel it, in my Reiki healing work I feel it, in my soul midwife and psychopomp work I feel it, and when I practice Qigong I feel it!
Much love and good Qi
Sam, AuroraStar Green Witch XXX