The Essence of Qi Gong

The Essence of Qi Gong
Qigong does more than meets the eye. The exercises loosen the muscles and builds power within the body. It works with the muscles quite differently than the typical exercises practiced by Westerners. Cardio activity and deep stretching build strength and flexibility; where qigong and other internal exercises build effortless power and looseness. The feeling of being “pumped up,” is simply muscular contraction, and that prevents the free flow of chi (energy). The standing postures and movements are a part of Chinese Yoga poses that help the body’s frame maintain the structure, definition, elasticity and strength to last 100 years.

In the internal arts, the feeling of muscular tension is considered inappropriate; the goal, rather, is a feeling of relaxed power. Relaxed power comes when the muscles, instead of just fighting and straining to do something, just loosen (open up) and allow the energy to flow through while keeping structure. You can experience this in our Tai Chi class. It’s recommended after engaging in general Kung Fu classes to open the body and strengthen with the poses.
Cardio Fitness and Qi Gong
Most people think that aerobic exercise is necessary to strengthen the heart and lungs. While aerobic exercise does accomplish this, so does qigong. Slow, deep, regular breathing and energy movement combine to work oxygen deeper into the tissues than regular exercise.

One case in point: a qigong student who holds a normal, sedentary office job and engages in almost no aerobic activity has a brother who is a well-known mountaineer. Invited to climb a mountain in Colorado with his brother, he imagined himself gasping for air as his brother marched ahead, but much to his surprise he found that his capacity for physical activity, in terms of breath, had actually come to surpass that of his brother, who engaged in aerobic activity continuously.
Organs and Qi Gong
The Qigong techniques work to strengthen and balance all the internal organs. There are also other techniques to strengthen specific organs: to help the liver recover from hepatitis, for instance, or the lungs from tuberculosis, or the heart from a heart attack. Even without having had a serious illness, almost everyone is born with a weakness in one organ or another, and chi gung has precise exercises to address an individual’s specific problems.
Strengthen the Central Nervous System with Qi Gong
Chi travels through our body via our nerves, and other routes.  Although at advanced levels of development chi and the nerves can be felt separately, the great majority of beginners only have an awareness of their nerves.
The nerves run in between the body and the mind, and it is through the nerves that we can gain access to information about our body. Much of the initial qigong work, which emphasizes clearing out blockages and getting back in touch with yourself, is accomplished through the nervous system. As your chi gets stronger through continued practice, your nerves are strengthened and you become more aware of your body. Qi Gong is especially effective for eople with poor coordination and other motor problems.

The spinal nerves play a vital role in overall health. Indeed, the entire chiropractic system is based on the importance of spinal nerve flow. Like the nerves, chi is also an intermediary between the body and the mind, and while it travels with nerve impulses, it can, with practice, be felt independently. It is commonly said in the internal arts that the mind moves the chi, and the chi moves the body.Cancer and Qi Gong Western exercise utilizes either motion or resistance-to-motion to strengthen the body (for example: weight training, yoga, running). Unfortunately, the seriously ill and bedridden often do not have the capacity for vigorous exercise. So recovery after being bedridden takes longer.

Qigong has many techniques specifically designed for the weak and immobile, techniques which increase physical capacities with little to no movement. In China they’ve prescribed it for terminally ill Cancer patients as a last resort. If they don’t initially have the strength to practice while standing or sitting, they can practice lying down until their strength builds up.

Here at Addis Kung Fu Academy, we have experience with students who are battling terminal Cancers.  We’ve seen people’s bodies and health transform, from the inside out. There is no argument that it helps the body unite and heal itself, through bone, blood and matter.
Balance and Qi Gong
Accidental injury can occur in many ways and joints and ligaments are particularly vulnerable. People habitually lock their joints when falls or accidents occur, and a locked joint is an easily broken joint. Ligaments can easily be overstretched in an accident and getting them to bounce back is very difficult.

Qigong teaches better balance; it also teaches how to turn correctly without straining, to move your joints without locking them and how to relax during a fall. You will have greater flexibility and the spring of ligaments will improve, like a good gentle stretch and an acupuncture treatment combined. Circulation is improved and the injuries heal faster. Qigong balances energy and improves the weaker areas in people’s internal systems. Every Sifu’s goal is to help you prevent the body’s “weak links” from causing problems down the road. It’s about longevity and long-term health. It’s preventative maintenance.
Qigong and Better Recovery Time
The gentle, non-jarring and low-impact movements of qigong can be done immediately following an injury or operation, particularly if the 70 percent rule is adhered to and no strain is applied. This rule is particularly important during healing, as the body is already overstressed.

These movements will increase the circulation of bodily fluids and the flow of energy to all parts of your body. The lymph system will be energized, which helps to improve the immune system. Opening the energy channels will enable the natural healing abilities of the body to accelerate rapidly. Qigong helps the entire body and mind to relax. When you focus on not straining the body, it helps injuries to heal fully. The 70 percent rule allows recovery to happen gradually and fully. If you’re recovering from an injury or an illness, Qi Gong is the answer for a more stable and timely recovery.

Qigong Builds Athletic and Martial Power
Qigong is the basis of the power of the Chinese martial arts, whether Kung Fu, or the more subtle internal forms, such as Tai Chi, Hsing-I, and Ba Gua. It is almost impossible to determine  how the mooth movements of the internal forms enable the advanced practitioner to defeat the most violent street fighter.

People who train in the internal martial arts will find that practicing the material revealed in this book will enable them to surpass inherent physical strength and athletic abilities.Qigong Helps Release Stress
Much of the new literature on stress indicates that one of the largest factors in determining stress levels is the emotions. Most physical exercise is at least somewhat useful for relieving anger, but one need only look at the behavior of some top athletes to see that typical physical activity does not necessarily balance the emotions.

The clearing process in Qi Gong can be used on outward and repressed emotions. Many of the movements can be refined to specifically address your depression, grief, frustration, irritability, or any combination thereof. The ability to release stress directly through control of the central nervous system is a method par excellence for dealing with burnout.

The qigong exercises Sifu Dennis Dereje teaches can do the same for anyone engaged in long periods of prayer or meditation, whether sitting on the floor or in a chair. In the same way, these exercises will help anyone in a sedentary job to be better able to concentrate and stay comfortable when sitting at a desk or computer for hours at a time.

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