Training and Qigong
Qigong is a curative, health-building, self-healing, self-defence, activity. It is a unique component of the brilliant cultural heritage of the Chinese. The objective of the practice of qigong is to temper the essence, qi, spirit, intellect, and energy within the body, so that the process of self-adjustment can be initiated and continued as one moves through life. To improve and strengthen the physical body, prevent illness and prolong life are the ultimate goals of this science which is at once ancient (specialized studies and texts have been in circulation since the “Spring and Autumn Period” in China over two thousand years ago) and “young.”
The ancient Chinese interpreted the physical phenomena they observed as “qi” (or “energy”). Jing Yue Quan Shu（景岳全書）stated, “Man owes his life to qi.” In the human body, qi manifests itself in a variety of ways. The most basic is “source qi” (元氣), sometimes known as “true qi” (真氣), and is the dynamic force of all vital functions. Another form of qi is “essential qi” (精氣) which we got from our parents and is qi that exists from birth. There is also qi that accumulates in the ground in which crops grow, called “earth qi” (地氣), and which we acquire through the nutrients in our food and drink. Through our lungs, we inhale “heavenly qi” (天氣) which exists in the atmosphere around us. The above three forms of qi – essential qi, earth qi and heavenly qi – combine to form a very fine, vital stream of energy. It flows through the entire body and is one of the fundamental building blocks of the human body. This vitality energy directs the functioning of our internal organs as well as the main and collateral channels; its movements could be upward, downward, inward or outward. There are different terms for the way qi works in different organs, for example heart qi, lung qi, spleen qi, stomach qi, liver qi, kidney qi, etc. The meridian qi that runs through the main and collateral channels is distinguished as nutrient qi （營氣）, defence qi (衛氣), etc.
Through using modern scientific instruments, it has now been determined that the qi which emanates from veteran qigong practitioners contains infra-red radiation, static electricity and elementary particles. This leads to the conclusion that qi is really a form of substance and a form of energy.
In qigong, the qi that is being “trained” or tempered is “source qi” or “true qi.” It gives the body its ability to resist illnesses, adjust to changes in the environment, and regenerate.
Gong refers to the training process which enables the “source qi” to circulate normally and vigorously in the body. The word “gong” encompasses not only the length and quality of the training, but also the kind of training, as well as the attainment level and capability of the practitioner himself.
The practice of qigong is a way to resist illness, maintain good health and youthfulness because it works to clear the meridians, balance the blood and qi, harmonize ying and yang, restore the equilibrium among the internal organs and mould the temperament of the individual.