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What is Taoist Qigong?

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  • Written By: Mandi Rogier
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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Taoist qigong is a method of working with one’s physical and mental balance through meditative techniques associated with the Chinese religion of Taoism. The life force within and around all individuals, known as “qi,” is manipulated through the practice of qigong. Qigong is a self healing practice that can be performed by individuals of any religion or belief system. Those practicing Taoist qigong, however, incorporate Taoist spiritual beliefs into the exercise.

Taoism is an ancient religious practice centered primarily in Eastern Asia. It focuses on harmony with the central life force that flows through all things. Practitioners focus on the “Three Jewels,” which are humility, compassion, and moderation. The balance of yin and yang in nature and in individuals is important.

Most written works concerning qigong are located within the Taoist Canon, a series of more than 1,000 texts. This practice is intended to increase mindfulness of the spirit and body, bringing them into perfect balance. When this balance is achieved, a type of spiritual enlightenment known as “wuji” occurs.

Taoist qigong is a quiet, meditative practice. The life energy of qi, which flows throughout the body, is the main focus. Qi is present in all things, and is supplied to the body through air and food. Breathing, circulation, and digestion are all directly linked to qi, as these actions provide the body with vital nutrients needed for survival.

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Through focused meditation, practitioners of Taoist qigong strive to control the flow of qi. The goal is to maintain an even, continuous flow of this life energy throughout the body. As with nearly any type of meditation, focused breathing is fundamental to this practice. Practitioners may also focus on their blood flow, seeking to steady this as well.

Those who have mastered the art of Taoist qigong can use it to attain the ideal balance of qi and enter a heightened state of spiritual awareness. These individuals believe the practice also increases longevity and overall health. It is said to improve a wide range of bodily functions including blood pressure, kidney function, hearing, and vision. It may also strengthen the immune system, thereby increasing the practitioner’s defenses against illness.

In addition to helping one attain spiritual balance and enlightenment, qigong is also believed to act as both a preventative measure and a cure for many health problems. Hypertension, arthritis and back pain are believed to respond positively to qigong practices. The controlled breathing that is at the heart of meditative qigong can be especially beneficial to asthma sufferers. To make the most of the numerous benefits of Taoist qigong, it must be practiced on a regular basis — ideally at least once a day.

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fify
Post 3

I want to try qigong because I have been experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety. I have tried yoga before but didn't see much of a difference. Now I have heard about qigong from a close friend. She says that it is very relaxing and helps relieve tension and worry.

It really sounds like it would help me. I have been looking up centers near where I live where I can take a class. I have found that there are many different types of qigong though. The ones that really grabbed my attention are shaolin qigong and enlightenment qigong.

Has anyone practiced these? Can you share what your experience has been and if you benefited? I really need some advice as to which one I should learn. Which do you think would help me the most?

burcidi
Post 2

I heard that Qigong was practiced in secret before. It was only taught to Taoist masters or really important people like politicians or people in charge of the military.

Do you know why this was so? Was it because the general public was not very educated and it was taught that they would not be able to practice it right? Or was their an elite group of Taoists that just wanted to keep it to themselves?

I'm curious to know why it was kept a secret before and now it is taught and practiced by many people.

ddljohn
Post 1

Yin and yang is very important for qigong (it is also called chi kung). I don't think it is possible to practice qigong correctly without understanding yin and yang. Yin and yang is about balance. It provides a balanced body and mind if it is both equal and in moderation. If one is more than the other, we experience imbalance.

Qigong is practiced to help get that balance back and also to maintain it. That is why it is suggested for people with health problems. Because in Taoism, it is believed that all illness is a result of an imbalance in the body.

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