Qigong stems from an ancient Chinese self-healing energy medicine method that combines movement, controlled breathing, and meditation. The term Qigong was most likely first utilized in modern China in the 1950s to define a type of health-promoting exercise that emphasized breathing regulation.
Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is translated as qi (life energy) and gong (discipline). A common result of Qigong is improved control of the flow and distribution of qi, leading to improved health, harmony, and balance of the mind, body, and spirit.
Qigong can be broadly categorized as internal (use of meditation with visualization to guide the energy) or external (use of meditation along with physical movement). Some of the postures are static, while other movements flow smoothly from one posture to another. Some are inspired by animals, for example, the wild goose or swimming dragon, some are inspired by natural phenomena such as clouds, water, trees, and others include meditations based on the sun and the moon.
Qigong reduces stress by stimulating and balancing the flow of qi along the acupuncture meridians (energy pathways in the body).
The regular, consistent practice of Qigong reduces stress and stress-related conditions and can improve balance, muscle tone, mental attitude, immune function, in addition to reducing muscle tension, and blood pressure.