After a brake of quite a few years I joined a qi gong class again. The meditative slow movements that require the practitioner’s full concentration are good for my body and soul. In my hometown Bern more than 20 schools offer their courses in the Internet.
Qi gong has a long history in China. It was introduced to the West in the 1980’s when China opened up.
Qi gong (“work on life energy”) includes different kinds of breathing as well as more or less gentle and smooth stretching exercises and stationary postures. While doing the exercises one should be fully concentrated on the exercise, on being here and now. The slow and gentle movements of meditative, healing qi gong can be done also in advanced age and with restricted physical ability. This is the kind of qi gong I do.
Other styles of qi gong are more vigorous as parts of taiji 太極and gongfu功夫exercises. The different schools and styles may focus on different aspects of qi gong. However, they all share the aim of enhancing the well-being of the practitioner.
What happens during a qi gong practice? In the physical sense, muscle coordination and joints are activated and blood-circulation is intensified. One feels a kind of prickle in the hands and feet during the exercise. As for the mind, fully concentrating on the exercises and forgetting about everything else around you is a wonderfully refreshing experience.
There is no scientific data on the physical effects of qi gong. The perception remains subjective. After a training session my head feels refreshed and relaxed. As my muscles and joints have been worked on also my body feels good. That’s enough.