When new people start learning Qigong they often ask what is Qi?
Qi is the universal life force that permeates all living things. In Japan they call it Ki and in India it is called Prana. If a person has no Qi, he is dead. A sick person will have less Qi than one who is healthy. Doing Qigong is to make sure that we have enough Qi to keep us healthy and to live a long life. It helps us to maintain a quality of life within the quantity of life. Chinese Qigong is a practice of movements with visualization, imagery and breathing. It trains the mind to help control the life processes, which results in longevity and wisdom.
The benefits of Qigong include: improved health, clear mind, better sleep, increased energy, a comfortable warmth, clear skin, a happy disposition, a more efficient metabolism, better physiological control, bright eyes, better creativity and may be accompanied by a spiritual experience.
But as Ken Cohen says in his book “The Way of Qigong” to understand Qigong, we should be familiar with seven major kinds of Qi:
Breath Qi-from respiration
Food Qi-from diet
Original Qi-from parents or the universe
Internal Qi-all qi inside the body
External Qi-qi emanating from the body
Nutritive Qi-flows inside the acupuncture meridians
Protective Qi-energetic barrier against external pathogens
These help us to stay healthy and protect us from becoming ill. In Qigong we learn to move the qi inside and through the meridians and we can also learn to project Qi to help heal others. It is called External Qi Healing and in the west in can be compared to Therapeutic Touch.
So how is your Qi today?