For thousands of years, qi gong (“chee gung”) has been practiced in China to balance and enhance the body’s natural energy, or qi (“chee”). Using a combination of breathing, movement and meditation, qi gong can remove blockages to the body’s energy flow and energize the organs for improved physical and emotional health. Like Tai Chi and acupuncture, qigong is based on the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine.
A key component of qigong practice is meditation. Through meditation, qigong activates and guides the body’s energy, allowing body and mind to work together to benefit the practitioner.
A 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, “The Intriguing Health Benefits of Qigong,” reported that recent studies found qigong improved balance, lowered blood pressure, fought depression and improved cancer patients’ quality of life.
Yi Ren® Qigong in particular emphasizes activating and managing one’s own qi. Founded by Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, a Chinese molecular geneticist, this school originated from his own healing from illness through qigong. His practice lead him to try to understand the scientific basis for his experience. In 1998, he founded the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine www.iqim.org, now based on Bothell, Washington. Dr. Sun continues to offer classes through the institute, though his teaching now is largely limited to advanced students.
To benefit from Yi Ren® Qigong, physical fitness is unnecessary. While it is helpful to be able to be able to follow the physical part of the exercises, students need only to be able to follow the instructions in their head to experience a benefit.