How to Understand Qi Gong

Three Methods:Understanding QigongUnderstanding the Types of QigongReceiving Treatment From a Qigong Healer

Qi gong (or, more commonly, Qigong) is the basis for traditional Chinese medicine and is believed to be over 4,000 years old.[1] Practicing Qigong involves mindfulness, focusing on breathing, and movement in order to become more aware of Qi, which is the energy that is believed to be in our bodies and all around us.[2] If you are interested in practicing Qigong, take time to learn about what Qigong is, the types that exist, and ways that you can be treated by Qigong healers.

Method 1
Understanding Qigong

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    Learn what Qigong is. The word Qi (pronounced “chee”) means “energy” and the word Gong (pronounced “gung”) means “exercise” or “practice.” It is a system that involves static postures, dynamic movements, meditation, and focus on breathing in order to learn to balance the Qi flowing through your body.[3]
    • Qigong believes in gathering “life force” through these different methods. It also believes that this vital life force is all around us, but that we must learn how to use it effectively.
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    Find out how Qigong might be beneficial to you. The goal of Qigong is to help teach you to correct imbalances that you have gathered during your life; for example, from negative emotions such as anger, stress, and sadness, physical injuries, poor diet, and/or a lack of exercise. Practitioners believe that these imbalances can cause Qi to become stagnant in our bodies, or cause it to flow too quickly. Practicing Qigong will help you learn to balance your Qi better.[4]
    • You may feel skeptical about these ideas, but if you find Qigong interesting then go ahead and give it a try before you assume it doesn’t work.
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    Approach Qigong with patience. Qigong is not something you can master in a few days like you might be able to do in some other areas of your life. It is best to view it as a long-term journey. The person practicing Qigong can commit themselves to learning how to master Qi so that they are able to live longer, prevent disease, and heal themselves of any ailments.[5]
    • If you approach Qigong with an attitude of, “I’ll do this for a month and then all my problems will be solved” then you will find yourself very disappointed at the end of one month.
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    Educate yourself. If you were raised in the Western part of the world, you might feel skeptical about the concept of Qi, and using Qigong as a way to influence it. If you are skeptical of Qigong, but still want to learn more about it, try doing an internet search for “Qi” or “Qigong” and read everything you can find on the topic. This will help you determine for yourself whether this is something that is right for you.[6]
    • You could also seek out a Qigong teacher to learn more about the concept of Qi. This would also offer a good way to get any questions you may have answered. You can search for Qi instructors and therapists here.
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    Keep an open mind. Qi is a concept that has been around for thousands of years. If you come from Western society it may be difficult for you to understand it. If you are interested in learning more, try to approach the concept with an open mind. If you don’t have an open mind you will never be able to understand the teachings as they don’t really conform to Western philosophies.[7]
    • For example, you may feel like you want someone to explain to you exactly what Qi is and how you can feel it. However, this is not really possible. Qi can be difficult to measure, but it refers to the flow of energy within the body and around the body. It can take a good deal of practice to be sensitive to Qi energy, but consistent practice is essential for anyone to sense the energy flowing into, through, and around your body.
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    Practice Qigong. If you are interested in practicing Qigong in order to become more aware of your Qi, it may be very helpful to search for a skilled Qigong teacher who can guide you through a well-planned, complete practice. This doesn’t mean you have to stick with a teacher forever, but learning how to practice Qigong correctly will make a huge difference.[8]
    • You can find a list of Qigong teachers and therapists in the United States here.
    • Depending on your needs a complete practice will focus on breathing exercising, meditation, and movements meant to help you become more aware of Qi.

Method 2
Understanding the Types of Qigong

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    Use medical Qigong to heal yourself. Though there may be many forms of Qi Gong, all of these forms fit within three types. One of these types is medical Qigong. Medical Qigong is the most popular, and also the oldest type. Medical Qigong focuses on movement and breathing to help promote self-healing.
    • Within this type of Qigong there are two sub-types: self-healing Qigong and external Qigong (also called Qi Emission). Self-healing Qigong will allow you to practice Qigong to heal your own ailments. External Qigong will allow a Qigong healer to influence the Qi of other people in order to help heal them.[9]
    • You can use Qigong movements to promote self-healing. If you become skilled in using Qi, you can use your skills to help heal others.
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    Sharpen your martial arts skills with Qigong. Martial Qigong is used by practitioners to improve their physical capacities. You have probably seen movies where martial artists break bricks with their hands or pull of other impressive physical tasks, and practicing martial Qigong allows these martial artists to learn how to use Qi to accomplish these things.[10]
    • Don’t think that you will be able to break a brick with your bare hands after a couple of weeks of practicing. Martial Qigong requires a very disciplined student and years of practice.
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    Become enlightened through spiritual Qigong. Spiritual Qigong uses meditation, mantras, hand positions, and prayers in pursuit of reaching enlightenment. While this may sound like the most relaxing type of Qigong, this type probably requires the most effort and discipline as those who practice spiritual Qigong must train their Qi to a much deeper level.[11]
    • The main goals of this type of Qigong are to teach the student discipline in order to become more self-aware, tranquil, and harmonious with their own bodies.

Method 3
Receiving Treatment From a Qigong Healer

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    Get a massage from a Qigong healer. This might not be the type of massage you are used to hearing about, but a “massage” from a Qigong healer will involve the healer touching your body using massage, accupressure, or just touch. The purpose of this treatment is to identify blockages in your body that might be causing your Qi to become stagnant, or where Qi may be flowing too quickly.
    • Qigong can be great for fixing "blockages" that prevent Qi from flowing freely through the body.[12]
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    Have an acupuncture treatment. During an acupuncture treatment, a Qi healer will insert thin, sterilized needles into the skin. Where these needles are inserted will depend on the problems you are having. Before you begin your acupuncture session, your Qi healer will gather information about you by asking you questions and by examining your body. Depending on your reasons for seeking acupuncture, you may need several treatments spread over a period of time.[13]
    • Acupuncture can be very beneficial for people who struggle with pain and even those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).[14]
    • Other ailments that seem to respond well to acupuncture include (but are not limited to): headaches, back pain, depression, chronic nausea, sciatica, and rheumatoid arthritis.[15]
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    Receive Qi emission. This type of healing involves having a Qi healer hold their hands a few inches above the patient’s body. They then use Qi to balance channels of energy, smoothing out imbalances and helping to remove negative influences.
    • Research into this type of healing appears that this type of healing can have a positive impact on the patient.[16]
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    Have an object empowered. Another method of receiving treatment from a Qigong healer involves having an object, such as a precious metal, a stone, or drinking or bathing water empowered. You might also ask a Qigong healer about teas and other herbal formulas that can help to balance your Qi and remove negative influences.[17]


  • If you are interested in receiving treatment from a Qigong healer, be sure to ask for a consultation before committing to anything. You should find a healer that you feel comfortable with, and make sure they have the skills to help you with your issues.


  • Don’t expect immediate and obvious changes. Qigong is a practice that requires discipline and commitment.

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Categories: Alternative Health