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About Healing Qigong

Updated on August 13, 2012
The qigong healing arts are based in Taoist alchemical principles as represented by both the Tai Chi symbol (inner part of the diagram) and the ba qua (ideograms on the outer part of the diagram.
The qigong healing arts are based in Taoist alchemical principles as represented by both the Tai Chi symbol (inner part of the diagram) and the ba qua (ideograms on the outer part of the diagram. | Source

Almost everyone knows what healing is, but Healing Qigong – what is that? Generally speaking, it is a method of improving health and healing based on Taoist precepts and centuries of practical experience from China. These precepts are integrative in that they include the concept that living beings are made of matter, spirit and energy.

There are two basic applications of healing qigong. First, there are qigong exercises that one can do on your own. These include both movement forms and meditative practices. They are best learned from an experienced teacher. Second, there are energy treatments that can be given to patients. This is called medical qigong, and it is one of the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Both applications of qigong work together to effect health improvement and they are discussed below, along with basic background about qigong and the reasons why it is becoming more popular in the West. Videos are also included to help illustrate the concepts and applications.


What is Qigong and How Is It Used For Healing?

Qigong (Energy work) is a word that became popular in the 20th century to describe dao yin (leading the energy) exercises. Healing qigong can apply to these exercises one can perform, of which there are many types, or it may apply to energy projected or channeled from the hands of medical qigong doctors.

Qigong exercises are usually simple forms of movement that allow people to learn how to relax, increase lymphatic circulation, breathing capacity, organ health and flexibility. Usually qigong movements in exercises are simple, but they employ basic principles regarding alignment and other factors required in tai chi forms. Tai chi is a complex form of qigong.

Qigong teaches you how to relax and become more aware of the body and its energy field. Relaxation is key to discovering where energy blockages exist, and it is a key factor required for healthy energy flow. Many of the introductory exercises focus on relaxing with the breath and methods of focusing one's intent within the body.

Medical qigong is a special field where people learn how to manipulate energy fields to balance the energy (chi or qi ) in patient’s bodies - similar to what acupuncture does, but without touching the body. In China, and in several locations in the West, there are schools which teach medical qigong and certify doctors. You can learn this art in China at the Heibei Medical Qigong School, which also offers retreats in Montana. Another school that is well-known in the United States is the International Institute for Medical Qigong, led by Dr. Jerry Allan Johnson in Monterey, California. There are several branches of this institute established by its trainees.


Medical Qigong Principle and Demonstration

Healing with Qigong is Becoming More Well Known

Knowledge of qigong for use in health improvement became more known after China opened up to the West in the 1970’s. People from United States and Europe visited China and learned the many methods of healing that were employed successfully during the Cultural Revolution to keep people healthy. Mandatory practice of qigong and tai chi were an important part of the survival of the medical system during this period when the number of health care practitioners was very inadequate to meet the people’s needs.

With the high cost of medicine and failures of Western medicine in its ability to treat many serious diseases, there is growing interest in the use of qigong in both conventional circles and the alternative medicine community. People are becoming more interested in maintaining health lifestyles. Leading edge medical research centers are also using qigong as a part of their research and treatment programs. For instance, there are several cancer centers in the United States that offer qigong programs to complement radiation and chemotherapy.

In most cases in the West, qigong is considered a complementary therapy. However, for people in remote locations where treatment by Western-trained doctors is not possible, qigong and the herbs of TCM can be the only alternative to help in healing. The video below indicates a program used to help with cancer patients.

Healing Cancer with Qigong

More About Healing with Medical Qigong

Medical Qigong is a method where the doctor feels imbalances in a patient's body, removing toxic energy and recharging areas that are depleted. In order to do this, one should both practice qigong and learn many principles of healing. The practice of qigong exercises helps medical qigong doctors clear imbalances in the Medical Qigong doctor and make him or her a clear channel for projecting energy. The doctor can also prescribe specific exercises for each patient. Many different types of such exercises exist for specific maladies. Healing in this manner requires an extensive background in TCM principles, knowledge of the energy channels of the body and a sensitivity that has to be developed for detecting energetic imbalances.

As shown in the video above, medical qigong doctors can sense the energy projected by a patient's body in their hand through an acupuncture point in the middle of the palm, known as the lao gong point. To detoxify a point where excess energy is felt, energy can be drawn out by rotating the palm of the hand in a counterclockwise direction. Energy is also led downward in the body to purge the energy channels. To tonify or add energy in weak areas like the kidneys, the palm is rotated clockwise. Sometimes two hands are used to balance the energy field between two points.

Medical Qigong Healing Demonstration

Standing Qigong

Master Lam Kam Chuen enthusiastically teaches standing qigong (zhan zhuang) and Ba Duan Jin and has published videos and books.
Master Lam Kam Chuen enthusiastically teaches standing qigong (zhan zhuang) and Ba Duan Jin and has published videos and books. | Source

Healing Qigong Exercises

Many qigong exercises are promoted as being able to improve overall health. Since the exercises must be done while you are relaxed, the relaxing itself helps promote health. If you practice relaxation, you will carry that with you in your daily life. Relaxation also improves blood and lymph circulation; and, if you practice better breathing, using the principles of slow, deep, regular and diaphragmatic versus chest breathing, there is also better oxygen delivery to your body.

Qigong exercises also work on the energy grid of the body. There are standing qigong forms as shown in the photo to the left, which are static, but very powerful for balancing and increasing one's energy. And there are movement forms that are simple, but effective; for instance, Dragon-Tiger Qigong works on the eight extraordinary channels that connect all of the acupuncture meridians in the body. An instruction manual that also has a DVD is shown in the Amazon resources below. There are also several YouTube videos that demonstrate that form.

The Way of Energy:  Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exercise (A Gaia Original)
The Way of Energy: Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exercise (A Gaia Original)

Lam Kam Chuen is a disciple of Professor Yu Yong Nian. This work is a collaboration between the two. Master Lam publishes other works about qigong, tai chi and feng shui as well.

 

Learning More About Healing Methods of Qigong

Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong, Volume 1: Develop Health and Energy in 7 Simple Movements
Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong, Volume 1: Develop Health and Energy in 7 Simple Movements

This Buddhist-style qigong is taught by Bruce Frantzis of Energy Arts in California. It is a simple 7-movement style that improves health by working on the extraordinary energy channels of the body.

 

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    • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy McLaughlin 

      6 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Maren, Thanks! Medical qigong does have similarities with Reiki, but it doesn't use secret symbols and the hands don't touch the body - they work with the external energy field.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This also shares similarities to Reiki therapy. Nice article!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Hi Randy,

      A modified form of yang - Ch'uan. I am new at it but enjoy the many benefits.

    • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy McLaughlin 

      6 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Appreciate the vote up dariashakt - I agree qigong is probably the best energy healing system, giving the individual freedom to participate in their own healing.

    • dariashakti profile image

      dariashakti 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Very useful, voted it up....all energy healing work is valuable. Qigong is one of the best....

    • Randy M. profile imageAUTHOR

      Randy McLaughlin 

      6 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      Thanks for the testimonial and feedback shingirisheyes. Do you practice the Yang form?

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      These ancient practices have survived because of their effectiveness on mind, body and soul.

      My mother and I practice Tai Chi and I swear by it.

      Great write. I am voting up for its usefulness.

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