The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, pronounced “gung” means accomplishment or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong means cultivating energy. Practicing this art creates an awareness of and influences dimensions of our being that are not part of traditional exercise programs. It is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality. Qigong is an integration of physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intentions. Most exercises do not involve the meridian system used in acupuncture nor do they emphasize the importance of adding mind intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. When these dimensions are added the benefits of exercise is increased exponentially. The gentle rhythmical movements reduce stress, build stamina, increase vitality, and enhance the immune system. This technique has also been found to improve cardio-vascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive systems for those who maintain a consistent practice. People do Qigong to maintain health, heal their bodies, calm their minds and reconnect with their spiritual selves. When these aspects are integrated, it encourages a positive outlook on life and helps eliminate negative attitudes and behaviors. It also helps creates a balanced life style, which brings greater harmony, stability and enjoyment.
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