Qi Gong : the daoist art of Nourishing Life

Lite­ral­ly Qi gong means « Life Force Culti­va­tion », it’s a recent term, dating back to the 1950s, which brings toge­ther all ances­tral Asian methods to regu­late Qi and main­tain health.

Qi Gong works first on the super­fi­cial meri­dians (Pri­ma­ry Chan­nels in TCM) and very much like acu­punc­ture acti­va­ting our vital ener­gy to per­meate our core being. Qi Gong uses breath as a vehicle to move Qi, either sti­mu­la­ting sym­me­tri­cal or asym­me­tri­cal chan­nels of ener­gy (meri­dians) at the same time.

It is dif­fi­cult to exact­ly define Qi due to its constant trans-for­ma­tive nature, Qi always adapt accor­ding to its func­tion and loca­tion. Like water to the earth Qi irri­gates the entire human body through the meri­dians but not only, it is clo­se­ly lin­ked to the move­ments of blood, which car­ries the most mate­rial (dense) part of our energy.

For Eas­tern people, the state of health and well-being is clo­se­ly rela­ted to the qua­li­ty and state of our Qi. Imba­lances and mal­func­tions can be explai­ned by defi­cien­cies, excesses or blo­ckages of Qi.

Loo­king after one­self health means culti­va­ting the qua­li­ty and flui­di­ty of Qi, through brea­thing, diet and ener­gy prac­tices. The ener­gy arts (Qi Gong, Acu­punc­ture, Shiat­su, Yoga, Nei gong, inter­nal mar­tial arts, etc.) aim to sti­mu­late, release and regu­late the move­ments of ener­gy through the body.


Consi­de­ring its many forms, the cur­rent term of « Qi Gong » is not easy to sum­ma­rize. Howe­ver, a com­mon defi­ni­tion tends to emerge : Qi Gong is a method to deve­lop body and mind abi­li­ties to mani­fest via the San Bao or the the 3 trea­sures des­cribe in Daoist phi­lo­so­phy which are : body or essence, ener­gy or breath and mind or spirit.

Qi Gong is indeed based on the adjust­ment of the body, breath and spi­rit. The objec­tive of the prac­tice is to regu­late and uni­fy the 3 mani­fes­ta­tions of a being, or San Bao (as des­cribe above). It is the­re­fore a trai­ning of body and mind invol­ving phy­si­cal, phy­sio­lo­gi­cal and psy­cho­lo­gi­cal aspect.

Regu­la­ting the body, breath and mind is not spe­ci­fic to Qi Gong (many other tra­di­tion and prac­tice also include these three fea­tures). What is spe­ci­fic to Qi Gong is the sus­tai­ned culti­va­tion of those three qua­li­ties to achieve a state of uni­ty cal­led Rujing (ente­ring a spe­ci­fic state of relaxa­tion that affects both body & mind).

Qi gong DaoYin

A brief history of qi gong

During its long his­to­ry, Qi Gong has its roots in the sha­ma­nic roots of the Wu people. They are ins­pi­red by the natu­ral reac­tions of man and ani­mals to ill­ness and pain : stret­ching, dan­cing, sha­king, rub­bing. Then these first prac­tices of the sha­mans will evolve, gra­dual­ly taking a more conscious and inten­tio­nal form based on the trai­ning of the body and the mind. The term Qi Gong will be used very lit­tle in ancient times, but of course, thou­sands of schools prac­ti­ced Qi Gong, in connec­tion with the deve­lop­ment of Bud­dhist, Confu­cian, Daoist schools, tra­di­tio­nal Chi­nese medi­cine and mar­tial arts under dif­ferent ter­mi­no­lo­gies : Jing Zuo, Dao Yin Zuo wang, Tu Na, Nei Gong

The health benefits of Qi gong

  • Improves car­dio­pul­mo­na­ry function
  • Streng­thens the organs
  • Rege­ne­rates and streng­thens the ener­gy system
  • Calms the ner­vous sys­tem and pro­motes sleep
  • Sti­mu­lates the cir­cu­la­tion of fluids (blood, lymph, syno­vial fluid and cere­bros­pi­nal fluid)
  • Har­mo­nizes the whole body and calms the pain­ful tensions
  • Learn how to manage anxie­ty and emo­tion to fight stress

The author

Moham­med Saïah began his trai­ning in inter­nal mar­tial arts and Qi Gong/Nei Gong more than 35 years ago. He gra­duat from The French Fede­ra­tion of Qi Gong Tea­chers (FEQGAE), Chi­nese Manual The­ra­pies (Zheng Gu Tui Na), Ba Gua Zhang (inter­nal mar­tial art) Black Belt 2nd Dan. He has been tra­vel­ling all over the world to learn the Chi­nese healing/martial arts & has been tea­ching for more then 25 years. When he is not tea­ching you can find him wri­ting on www.cours-qigong.fr (French Website).

To a mind that is still, the entire uni­verse surrenders.

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