Qi (pronounced chee) means life energy. Gong (pronounced gung) means work/practice. So Qigong means “working with the energy of life.”

Qigong is a system of self-healing that has been used in China for thousands of years to boost health and longevity. Gentle, yet powerful exercises combine four elements — abdominal breathing, slow movement, visualization and intention — to harmonize the body, mind and spirit.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, there are channels in the body through which qi flows. A person is healthy when energy is able to move freely along these channels, or meridians, and ill when blockages build up.

Qigong, like acupuncture, helps to clear the channels, allowing energy to flow freely again, necessary for restoring health. Unlike acupuncture, Qigong is completely in the control of individuals, allowing them to heal themselves.

Practicing Qigong’s simple movements offers a range of benefits, from increased vitality to enhanced immunity and mental acuity. Qigong has also been shown to improve posture and respiration, induce the relaxation response, cause favourable changes in blood chemistry, and improve self-awareness and concentration. It is beneficial for combating a variety of common ailments and diseases.

Even Dr. Mehmet Oz is an advocate. “If you want to be healthy and live to 100, do Qigong.”

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