Qi Gong, what is the Chinese discipline and who can practice it

MMany define it as an “energy art”, more commonly Qi Gong is an energy discipline. Despite its ancient origin, dating back between 4000 and 5000 years ago, it is perfect for counteracting contemporary stress: among the many benefits is that of “stop your thoughts”, to concentrate and regain general well-being thanks to a series of exercises that involve posture, movement and breathing. It can therefore be a valid alternative to classic “still” meditation.

Small yoga guide to overcome moments of anxiety and anguish

Qi Gong, an ancient discipline perfect even in the 21st century

“Qi” means strength, spirit, energy while “gong” means work, skill, technique: the Qi Gong is therefore working on one’s personal vital energy. Born in Chinese culture, Qi Gong is believed to be to China what yoga is to India, this discipline has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine, martial arts, Taoism and Confucianism. The purpose is to let qi flow: vital energy in fact it must not stagnate in one area of ​​the body but flow fluidly in particular channels, called meridians, throughout the entire organism.

Widely practiced in China, 75 ancient forms are known to which are added 50 more modern and contemporary forms, today the practice is regulated by the government which has created a single recognized system so as to give Qi Gong a scientific value.

«The main purpose, rebalancing the vital energy, this discipline achieves through static or dynamic poses, slow movements and particular attention to breathingproviding benefits not only on a physical but also mental level” he explains Paola Miretta, personal trainer in Piacenza and onlinewho continues «The physical benefits are first of all one muscle toning and a reduction in any osteoarticular pain. Added to this are those on a mental level.”

The help of Qi Gong on an overly frenetic mind

And this is why this gymnastics is very suitable even today: «Practice in fact it helps you gain greater control not only of your body, loosening and toning your muscles, but also of your mind. By stimulating concentration and attention towards slow movements, yes “they stop the thoughts” and forces the mind to focus on the here and now. In this sense, it helps a lot just like meditation. It is no coincidence that this discipline is also practiced by Chinese soldiers, precisely because of its mental benefits which allow the ying and yang to be rebalanced. In this sense it is very similar to Vinyasa Yoga which, despite belonging to a completely different culture, also acts on the mind and on finding a personal inner balance” explains the expert.

Is it a discipline suitable for everyone? “Yes, absolutely. Precisely thanks to its alternation between static and dynamic poses and the fact that the movements are performed slowly, it is also highly recommended for older people or even pregnant women because it also promotes balance and coordination. Furthermore, Qi Gong must always be performed with a master, so as to understand if the movements are correct, and outdoors so as to have close contact with nature.”

Between Qi Gong and Tai Chi: what are the differences and which one to choose?

Both gentle gymnastics, they work on personal vital energy, the main difference is that the Tal Chi is part of the martial arts group.

Both considered panacea for the body and mind, a study conducted in 2019 by Harvard University highlighted that Tal Chi also helps cell renewal, preserves bone density in menopause and improves the quality of sleep. Furthermore, both strengthen the immune system, so much so that Qi Gong in particular in China is recognized as a treatment by the national health system for hypertension, anxiety or asthma problems.