Qigong 氣功 exercises are a wide variety of traditional Asian practices designed to regulate and balance the body’s internal vital energy – Qi 氣. While the word “Qigong” is a relatively new term (developed during the twentieth century), many systems today known as Qigong have been practiced and revered in Asia for over 2,000 years. Like martial arts, there are many schools of Qigong practice, each with different training methods and purposes.
Despite the many different approaches to Qigong, all share in common the Three Regulations (san tiao 三調). These three are the regulation of the body (tiao shen 調身), the regulation of the breath (tiao xi 調息), and the regulation of the mind-intention (tiao xin 調心). Qigong exercises can be practiced by people of any age or health status, and with any level of prior experience.
Here are some of the Qigong that we focus on in classes at the Wushu - Kung Fu Fitness Center.
Daoist Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong – 道家太極棒尺內功
The Taiji Stick and Ruler Neigong (Qigong) uses two implements, the Taiji Stick (太極棒) and the Taiji Ruler (太極尺) to focus Qi in the Dantian (丹田 － energetic center of the body), and then circulate it through the major channels. Doing so strengthens the body for both health and martial arts purposes. This system was handed down in a lineage from the Song Dynasty sage Chen Tuan. While the name of the system includes the word Taiji (Tai Chi), it predates and developed independently of the martial art Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan).
Six Sounds for Nourishing Life (Six Healing Sounds) – 六字訣養生功
The Six Sounds for Nourishing Life (also known as the Six Healing Sounds) are exercises based on the Chinese medical concepts of the internal organs. Each of the most essential six organs can be regulated and balanced with a combination of posture, breath, and sound intonation. The practice of healing sounds revitalizes and balances the internal organs. They can be used for general health maintenance or even treating specific diseases.
Twenty Four Seasonal Node Daoyin – 二十四節氣導引
The Twenty Four Seasonal Node Daoyin are a set of 24 exercises that harmonize the body with each of the 24 seasonal divisions in the classical Chinese calendar. Furthermore, these exercises help target specific acupuncture channels and treat a variety of diseases. The regular practice of Seasonal Qigong is an excellent method of harmonizing the body with the external environment. This form is also quite special as it was passed down in a direct unbroken lineage from the Daoist Sage Chen Tuan to Dr. McCann, our resident instructor.
Chen’s Silk Reeling Exercises – 陳氏纏絲功
Silk Reeling exercises originated with Chen Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan). They utilize gentle circular movements to loosen joints, improve overall flexibility and improve overall health. Each exercise focuses on a specific acupuncture channel or acupuncture point, and can be used to treat musculoskeletal problems. The regular practice of Silk Reeling also improves martial arts skill.
Other related practices include self massage and acupressure for health (自我按摩療法), patting acupuncture points and channels (拍打), basic meditation (靜功), and other forms of Qigong.
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