The term Qigong refers to a discipline composed of exercises aimed at improving the quantity and quality of energy (Qi in Chinese) circulating within the body.
The birth of this ancient art of breathing is lost in the mists of time and it is impossible to date it precisely.
Although there are not enough historical references in this regard, it is assumed that the history of Qigong begins before acupuncture, which refers to the Yellow Emperor Huangdi with the book “Neijing Suwen the classic of internal medicine” attributed to him.
Translating the term Qigong is very difficult as there is no Italian term to define precisely the word “Qi”, however wanting to give a meaning to the word Qigong we could summarily interpret it as:
“Respiratory Exercise” or as “Qi Work”, or the force coming from working with Qi.
In ancient times the practice of Qigong was known by terms different from the current one such as;” Tu gu na xin” (lit. Expel the old and absorb the new), “Xing qi” (circulate Qi), “Yangsheng gong” (Nourish the life force) or “Dao yin” (Lead and lead)
The Qi ideogram is divided into two parts, the upper one representing steam that rises from the earth to the sky, and the lower one representing a grain of rice. That is, the rice that produces steam during cooking.
The second ideogram Gong, is also composed of two elements: on the left we have gong that indicates “work”, while on the right we have Li that indicates “force”. (to indicate difficulty and perseverance in the exercise)
Through a perfect synchrony between the movements of the body, the respiratory phases and the participation of the mental “vision”, it is possible to increase the amount of energy entering the body and direct it to specific sites where it is able to carry out very precise reactions.
In China there are many forms of Qigong, associated with as many numerous schools, each of which has its own characteristics and techniques that apparently may appear different from each other, although in the end, all share the same work.
Once the styles of Qigong were part of the hereditary assets of the family, they were transmitted from father to son and remained the heritage of the members of that clan and a few other lucky students, only after 1900 these ancient methods were re-evaluated, finally coming out of the shadows and revealing in part their characteristics.
It is in fact from this period onwards, that the Chinese have dedicated themselves to the recovery of these ancient forms, managing to save several, which have then come up to the present day.
The constant practice of Qigong is mainly aimed at improving one’s state of health, (both physical and psychic) which is why this practice is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
With Qigong we act mainly on the Qi of the individual, unlocking any energy traffic jams, increasing and promoting the circulation of blood and energy, nourishing and strengthening the total energy quota and directing the latter to specific areas of the body, in order to help it in diseases or for the most disparate uses.
Qigong regulates bodily functions by acting on both the physical and psychic components.
For practice, in fact, it is necessary to act both on the control and coordination of movements, and on the control of breathing and mind, which must be slowly brought towards a situation of quiet and calm.
From this practice an increase in the capacity for resistance to diseases and an increase in the control of emotional states is achieved.
In addition, inner stillness promotes the functions of the nervous system, making them much more controlled and efficient.
It improves the quality of sleep and promotes greater control of anxious states, ensuring quality rest.
The dilation of the capillaries during the practice, guarantee better blood circulation and a reduced cardiac load.
The respiratory function also benefits, increasing diaphragmatic expansion and cellular oxygenation which consequently favors an increase in the energy of the whole organism.
Even the organs and viscera receive a positive effect from the practice of Qigong, in fact it follows an “internal massage” that acts directly on each one, improving their specific functions, such as intestinal peristalsis, the production of bile and digestive juices, food transit and toxin. Without a shadow of a doubt, the art of Qigong is too precious a commodity not to be shared with all the people of the world, it is the basis of health and health will always remain the greatest of all goods.