Qi Gong (say: “chi-gong”), has been an integral part of Chinese culture for millennia. This ancient practise has recently been re-discovered in the West as a means of improving health, preventing illness and strengthening the body. It is also the basis of Bio-Energy Healing – an alternative healing modality which is quickly gaining in popularity in Europe and North America. Since I am a Bio-Energy practitioner, I decided to explore the roots of this healing practise by taking a Qi Gong course with a genuine Master at the Shou-Yu Liang Institute of Martial Arts in Vancouver.
Master Shou-Yu Liang
Finding my way to the Master meant overcoming several obstacles! After braving the rainy winter darkness — and the somewhat dodgy night-time streets of Vancouver’s downtown east side — I then managed to negotiate a six-foot trench and two bulldozers to access the back-alley entrance of a Buddhist temple. At the top of a steep stairway, through a door that opened into a cavernous gymnasium, I could see Master Liang seated at a low table, calmly taking registrations from the new students. His constant smile and warm, friendly energy caused me to take an instant liking to him.
Qi Means “Energy”
At 5 pm sharp the Master’s female assistant asked the group of students, now numbering a dozen or so, to sit down on the three rows of chairs set up for the class in one corner of the gym. Master Liang came over and stood in front of the class and introduced himself. Speaking slowly and with an excellent English vocabulary, he began by explaining the meaning of the term Qi Gong. Qi means energy — the energy that permeates the universe, the vital force behind all things. However, the Master continued, the character for qi in Chinese also implies “information”, so that in its fullest sense, qi means “energy plus information”.
Then Master Liang explained to us that the character for Gong translates as “work”. Put together, the term Qi Gong can be thought of as the attainment or development of strength, health and greater consciousness. The practise of Qi Gong tells you how to use, protect, balance and move your energy.
Good Qi / Bad Qi
Master Liang went on to tell the class that there is “good chi” and “bad chi”. Under normal conditions, the human body is in an energetically balanced state. However, if there is too much bad chi in the environment from stress or toxins, the body has difficulty maintaining balance.
The Hidden Pathways
In order for the body to be in a state of optimal health, good qi must enter the body through what Master Liang calls the “hidden pathways”. Also known as meridians, these energy channels connect directly to the body’s organs. In addition, along the meridians are found 336 acupressure points, which are locations where qi enters or drains from the body’s energy system. If the meridians or the points become blocked due to stress or toxins, then good qi is unable flow properly and the organs will become undernourished, resulting in illness.
Qi Gong Practise
The good news is that we can maintain our good health through the regular practise of Qi Gong, said Master Liang. Over the centuries, practitioners have developed exercises which will increase the immune response, regulate the yin – yang energy balance and restore the body’s natural energy flow. (Yin refers to the female or passive energy and yang refers to the male or active energy.)
Basic Qi Gong Relaxation Technique
Here is an exercise given to us by Master Liang designed to stimulate and increase the flow of energy in the body. I have been doing it every morning and have found that not only is this technique quick and easy to do, but it also provides the energy and focus needed to have a productive, fulfilling and energetic day! Try it yourself and let me know the results you experience.
Click Here for an Easy Qi Gong Relaxation Technique