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General Introduction

General Introduction
Qigong,atraditional Chinese health maintenance exercise,is one of the four pillarsof Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, Tuina, Herbal Medicines and Qigong. Of these, Qigong is the one that can be most easily self initiated. Both massage and herbal remedies can also be done as self-care, however, Qigong is the mother of Chinese self healing. Patients who use Qigong faithfully need less medication, lessacupuncture and heal faster.

Pop Qigong are Taiji, Yijin Jing, Ba Duan Jin, Five-Animal Game and Liu Zi Jue.

Qigong is also a key component of Chinese kungfu. Chinese kungfu can be divided into two categories. One is external style that is characterized by fast and explosive movements and a focus on physical strength and agility, such as Shaolin Boxing and Wudang Swordplay. The other is internal style that focuses on strengthening body health. The internal style kungfu mainly refers to qigong, which is a mind and body exercise aimed at disease preventing and curing, life prolonging and potential developing through regulating the mind, breath and the body. 

The practicing of qigong basically falls into two major categories. One is still qigong which is dominated by quiet standing, sitting or lying to concentrate the mind. At the same time, the practitioner breathes in a special way to boost his or her circulating and digesting systems. Another is dynamic qigong, which is a set of slow movements or massage motions that are good for body strengthening if practiced regularly.

There are three main schools of qigong. They are medical qigong, internal style qigong and wushu qigong, used for medical treatment, body strengthening and kungfu practicing respectively.

For foreigners, Qigong may be a mysterious thing. Actually, it is something based on traditional Chinese medicine theory which holds that diseases are a result of the loss of balance in the body. The reason that Qigong is capable of curing diseases and maintaining body health is because it is an exercise in which the cerebral cortex regulates internal organs through breathing movements to make the body function well.

Qigong has a long history in China. In ancient times, qigong-related content was normally called “inhaling and exhaling”, “energy guiding”, “qi flowing” and “qi managing” etc.    

qi-gong's benefits may hold out advances in cures for cancer, heart disease, AIDS, arthritis and asthma. Although not scientifically proven as of yet, people have claimed to use it effectively to fight hemorrhoids, constipation, diabetes, high blood pressure, menstrual problems, prostrate problems, impotence, pain, stress and anxiety, insomnia and migraine headaches. It is commonly accepted in China that elderly practitioners of qi-gong in China are better equipped to combat frailty and enjoy increased mobility. It has also been shown qi-gong is particularly effective in reducing stress-related behavior problems. As more scientific studies are undertaken, it is possible that qi-gong may be an important part of health maintenance and disease prevention that is prescribed by doctors in the future.

1. The nervous system: Using qi-gong allows an individual to enter into a tranquil state allowing the brain to be oriented towards a higher conscious level. There is better integration of the nervous system, and it is expressed as relatively less inhibition in the autonomic nervous systeem.

2. The cardiovascular system: Qi-gong reduces the burden of the heart. It changes the excitability state that dominates the heart and blood vessels, makes the capillaries expand and lowers the heart rate. It lowers blood pressure, particularly in those with hypertension (high blood pressure), but can also elevate it in hypotensive (low blood pressure) people.

3. The digestive system: The peristalsis and evacuation of food in the gastrointestinal track are expedited, secretion and amylase (a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of starch to sugar) activities are all increased. Therefore, digestion and absorption are enhanced.

4. The respiration system: During qi-gong practice, the respiration rate may be decreased and the mode of ventilation changed. As a whole, oxygen consumption is much lower than even in a sleeping state. The lowered metabolic rate and decreased energy consumption is thought to aid in the recovery of bodily functions.

5. The endocrine and immune system: The practitioners' hormonal regulation becomes well adjusted. For example, adrenaline activities are 40% lower than that of the normal people not practicing qi-gong. Phagocytes of white blood cells are more active and lymphocyte transformation rate is increased. Total immune functions are enhanced as well.



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