By Sifu Lawrence Ramirez
Chi Kung or Qi gong can be described as the art of developing vital energy. Throughout ancient China, people believed that through certain exercise, meditation and, various breathing technique, they could control and enhance their physical, as well as mental, development.
Chi Kung may be classified into many different types, and may be used, or practiced for a variety of reasons. The elderly or sick may use a certain group of Chi Kung exercises for keeping up and regaining their strength. Some may utilize Chi Kung exercises that develop stamina, and power for combat efficiency. At the other end of the spectrum one may use Chi Kung exercise for spiritual development.
The many different Chi Kung exercises, may be grouped into three basic elements; Body, or the form aspect which regulates body promoting health and fitness, Breath, or the energy aspect which through breathing can result in the increase of harmonious flow of vital energy throughout the body, and Heart, or the mind aspect that refers to mind control, and expansion. Understanding that these three elements comprise the whole, is key to the development, or manifestation of Qi.
If Chi Kung is studied along with a martial art as to further develop internal power, this type of Chi will become an integral piece, or portion of the art, in that it will develop as part of the art. This natural progression, or manifestation of Qi, will develop as the art develops as long as the correlation between the basic three elements, Body, Breath, and Heart, or Mind are understood, and nurtured by the martial artist.
Chi Kung is widely accepted, and has been utilized in Chinese medicine since ancient times as an effective way of treating patients for a variety of afflictions. Chinese medicine utilizes herbalism, massage therapy, acupuncture, and Chi Kung as a therapeutic way to produce the harmonious flow of Qi through the patient. By developing Qi and keeping this flow of vital energy within our bodies, we will be fit, and our bodies strong into our old age. This fundamental principle of Chinese Medicine cannot be measured by Western medical viewpoints.
In studying Chi Kung the practitioner not only has the benefit of a calm mind, increased stamina, and internal energy, but after many years of practice the trained mind will be tranquil, and at peace. This peace, and tranquility leads to spiritual fulfillment, the ultimate goal of humanity.
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