For thousands of years, Qigong (“chi-gung”) has been practiced in China to balance and enhance the flow of the body’s natural energy, or qi (“chi”). An aspect of traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong (chi-gung) predates Tai Chi, whose instructors often introduce a few Qigong (chi-gung) exercises to calm and focus their students at the start of class.
By using a combination of breathing techniques, flowing movements and meditation, Qigong can remove blockages to the body’s energy flow and gently energize the body, creating better physical and emotional health. Regular practice can result in an abiding state of calmness and clarity which benefits all aspects of life.
A 2013 article in The Wall Street Journal, “The Intriguing Health Benefits of Qigong,” reported that studies found that, among other benefits, Qigong improved balance, lowered blood pressure, fought depression and improved cancer patients’ quality of life. Numerous studies confirm these benefits while noting that Qigong is especially suited to seniors due to its low impact movements, easy-to-remember exercises and improvements to balance, posture, flexibility and coordination. And unlike Tai Chi, which is derived from Qigong, the movements generally are not rigidly ordered, though warmup exercises are recommended.
Yi Ren® Qigong emphasizes activating and managing one’s own qi for self-healing, (although we recommend using Qigong as a complement to regular medical treatment). Founded by Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun, a Chinese molecular geneticist, Yi Ren Qigong includes the techniques and exercises Dr. Sun learning following his own childhood healing from illness through Qigong and decades of practice under the guidance of various masters. His experience lead him to try to understand the scientific basis for his healing, which lead to his studies and to the unusual, scientific foundation of much of the knowledge in this school of Qigong. In 1998, he founded the Institute of Qigong and Integrative Medicine www.iqim.org, based in Bothell, Washington.
To benefit from Yi Ren® Qigong, physical fitness is unnecessary. While it is helpful to be able to be able to practice the physical part of the exercises, students need only to be able to follow the instructions to the degree they can, or the degree to which they are comfortable, to be able to experience a benefit.