In ancient times Qigong was called Dao Yin Tu Na. Dao Yin is defined as directing the flow of Qi and Tu Na - breathing. Literally it means breathing exercise.
A literal translation of the Chinese character Qi is air or breath. It is the energy that circulates within the body. Gong means energy and time, work or self-discipline. Gong is the term used for any study or training which requires a lot of energy and time, work or self-discipline. Thus Qigong is the training or study dealing with Qi, which takes a long time and a lot of effort to master. It is a method to build up Qi.
Western society is only now appreciating the long established health virtues of Tai Chi, Qigong and Dao Yin. Researchers worldwide are bringing a scientific understanding to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Health Systems.
Strengthening and building the body's Chi (Qi) has been the concept preoccupying seekers of health in China for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine the flow of energy Qi along channels or meridians in the body is viewed as central to a person's health and well being, with illness being attributed to restricted or blocked Qi flow within the body. This concept provides the basis for acupuncture and Qigong. To be able to build and direct the Qi flow in your body will enhance your health and reduce the chance of illness. For thousands of years people in China have developed, refined and practiced successfully the art of building Qi.
Qigong is an integral component of Chinese health systems that combines integrated physical movement, mental cultivation and regulated breathing. This activity is designed to guide and induce the free flow of energy Qi throughout the body, maintaining the harmony of Yin and Yang, which promotes health and a greater sense of well being.
Qigong increases vitality, impacts positively to improve medical conditions and in this way will improve and prolong the quality of life.
The Taoists celebrated and cultivated the art of living in accord with the cyclical play of natural energies, maintaining an easy, humorous, yet commonsense approach to everyday life. In this spirit, they created refined qigong systems of meditative movement to induce harmony with nature, generate energy, and at the highest levels, to achieve spiritual illumination.
Qigong divides into two main categories—the tranquil and the dynamic. But Taoist practice is typically tranquil qigong with a dynamic component—motionless on the surface, yet moving the qi internally. Dynamic qigong will also cultivate tranquillity, learning to move vigorously from a still core. Skilful practitioners learn to be aware of and incorporate the full spectrum of internal and external activity, equally comfortable with the tranquil or the dynamic, always cultivating the seed of one within the soil of the other.
These exercises once learnt can also bring about increased muscular efficiency and coordination, improved breathing and blood flow, greater flexibility, a higher level of internal balance and harmony and improved immune system.
Qigong is now regarded within the Chinese health and medical science fields as “a shining pearl in Traditional Chinese Medicine”. It has helped millions of people with severe and lingering health problems to improve their health. Over 40 countries have adopted Dao Yin Qigong with over 4 million people currently practising this art.