In 1905, at the age of 26, Albert Einstein authored his most famous formula - E=MC2, which in its simplest and profound level meant that matter could become energy and energy could become matter. The study of “Qi” (気), therefore, is the study of how energy and mass work. Qigong refers to the study of how a person can cultivate (gong, 功) and channel “energy and mass.” Broadly speaking, Qigong is the study of everything universal; and it would be futile, indeed, to attempt a definition of the “universal.” In fact, Einstein remarked that although “it would be possible to describe everything scientifically, it would make no sense; it would be without meaning. It would be like describing a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressures.” What I would like to do is to eschew both the abstract and the broad definitions and present Qigong from a practical, everyday perspective.

Qigong or Gong (working with) Qi (life energy) Qi is your life-energy force. Qi represents the most powerful ingredient or mechanism that works to help your body heal itself. Qi permeates your entire body. Every cell in your body is like a mini-battery cell filled with Qi. When people maintain, activate, and cultivate (Gong) their life energy (Qi), they initiate a process that leads to a longer and healthier life.

Gong refers to the process of learning how we can listen and sense our life-energy, Qi. Our brain is arguably the most powerful computer in existence. In order to control our Qi, we must learn how to allow this most powerful computer to work. From the subconscious level, our brain constantly communicates with our entire body. Indeed, our subconscious allows the brain to process information spontaneously, quickly, and efficiently. It does so thousands of times faster than when we “consciously” try to direct the brain to work. Our “conscious” attempts to control how our brain works, along with our desire to calculate and predict how our brain should perform, only create unnecessary stress. Instead of allowing Qi (life energy) to flow, we set up barriers and obstructions. Gong, therefore, refers to practiced techniques and skills that allow Qi to flow.



photo by FSLiau

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