Qi Gong is a form of exercise that can help optimize energy and improve health and well-being. There is both a physical and psychological component to Qi Gong; it involves your body, mind, and breath working together.
Qi Gong and tai chi are often used interchangeably, but tai chi is actually a form of Qi Gong that originated as a martial art.
Some forms of Qi Gong do not include physical movement at all, but are similar to forms of mindful meditation.
Research has shown that regular Qi Gong practice may:
- Improve balance, gait, and other motor functions.
- Reduce stress and anxiety, and improve self-efficacy and reported quality of life.
- Reduce risk of developing metabolically-related chronic diseases.
- Improve focus and concentration.
How Can You Practice Qi Gong?
Qi Gong can be practiced passively or actively. Passive Qi Gong is like mindful meditation—you get comfortable and focus on slow, rhythmic breathing, and awareness of the moment.
With active Qi Gong, the primary goal is to maintain a continuous flow of movement. There are specific movements and sequences involved with active Qi Gong, so it is best to work with an instructor to start.