Date published: 1999
Other: Word Count: 285

This ancient exercise draws upon your inner energy to tone muscles, boost
circulation, and lift spirits.


Qi gong (pronounced chee gong)--or 'energy work'--uses simple movement
exercises, breath and sensory awareness, and relaxation techniques to build
qi, the life energy that circulates within all living things.


Qi gong exercises help develop 'The Three Regulations': xing (posture), yi
(consciousness), and qi (vital energy). The Chinese believe that a balance
between these three elements brings physical, mental, and spiritual
well-being. In Western terms the physiological results of qi gong are
regulated immune, circulatory, lymph, and nervous systems.


There are four styles of qi gong: mental qi gong helps boost brain activity;
medical qi gong is used for healing; martial qi gong builds muscle strength
and endurance; and spiritual qi gong helps shape shen, or spirit.


Qi gong increases circulation, improves coordination, and tones and stretches
muscles. It also enhances your shen. A healthy shen, which includes heightened
awareness, enables you to live life with more enthusiasm.

Qi gong is most effective in treating chronic pain and disorders of the
digestive, respirators cardiovascular, and nervous systems. According to
Charles T. McGee, M.D., author of Miracle Healing from China: Qi gong
(Medipress, 1994), it complements Western medicine, because patients who
practice qi gong recover faster, suffer fewer side effects, and need less
medication than other patients.


Hundreds of studies published in Chinese medical journals have found qi gong
an effective treatment for chronic conditions like hypertension. In one study
sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine,
researchers found that qi gong reduced the pain and swelling associated with
reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a disabling neurological disease.