Qi in China is the vital energy of the human body. Qigong is an activity centered on the Chinese Traditional Medicine Theory. Its primary stimulus was the search for longevity with the ultimate aim of immortality, which has entranced the Chinese mind for centuries.
Qigong in China enjoys a long history. According the records, the exercises to help the Qi circulating freely to nourish the internal organs can be dated back to the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th centuries B.C.). However, the actual practice of Qigong began in the 4th century A.D. Since then the search by physician for greater health, techniques of religious cultivation and quest by martial artist for better training methods all contributed greatly to the development and enrichment over the past centuries. The Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, Medical and Martial schools of practice developed.
Qigong is an integral part of the Chinese culture. Qigong exercise requires one to relax, to be calm, natural and free from distractions, so that it removes stress, and dispels tension. Qigong exercise can produce a myriad of beneficial effects. The most common effects are preventing and curing diseases, strengthening the body, avoiding premature aging, and prolonging life.
Qigong exercise helps to keep the main and collateral channels in good shape to establish harmony between vital energy and blood, to balance between Yin and Yang, and improve coordination of the nervous system. As a result, the protective inhibition of the cerebral cortex can be enhanced. Qigong exercise also helps to reduce fundamental metabolism, increase the capacity of storing energy, apply massage to the abdomen and improve appetite and bring good digestion. Qigong exercise can help to tap the body potentialities, stimulate positive factors, and enhance self-control as well. Therefore, it becomes an effective measure to attain health and longevity.
Qigong masters and medical practitioners have developed a theory from their rich experience and practice of Qigong over the past centuries. The modern scientific research and evaluation of Qigong exercise has attracted increasing attention from academic and intellectual circles around the world, bringing progress to the theory and practice of Qigong.