Qigong is an Oriental therapy that combines gentle exercises with breathing techniques, meditation and visualisation to improve the circulation of Qi (life energy) in the body. It is suitable for all age groups and is particularly suited for elderly people who wish to maintain flexibility and fitness.
Qigong is based on similar principles to other Oriental health systems, in that it emphasises the need for harmony between Yin and Yang and the free flow of Qi in the meridians. Qi is believed to be the energy of the universe, and everything is made of Qi. Qi can be divided into two types - Yin and Yang. These represent two polar opposites or states of being and they are in a constant state of change. The body and mind needs a balance between the Yin and Yang aspects and an imbalance of either can lead to illness. Similarly, an imbalance between a person's Qi and the Qi of the environment they are in can also create disharmony.
The simple techniques used in Qigong help to improve the flow of Qi and therefore maintain or restore physical and mental health to optimum levels.
Qigong is usually taught and practised in a class, although once the techniques have been learned, they can be used daily as a self-help measure. Slow, flowing, rhythmical movements are used to stimulate the flow of Qi from one area to another. Awareness of ones body and how it feels, together with a focus on the breath whilst doing the exercises are an important aspect of Qigong and it is believed to help to increase vitality and promote self-healing.
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