Sinclair Martial Arts - Orillia

The word “Qigong” is a comparatively recent term. A more appropriate and inclusive term is “Neigong.”
  • Defining “Qi”
  • History
  • Uses
  • Different Kinds
Tab 1
Qi, in the context of qigong, is often taken to mean “energy.” This is an inadequate translation, especially since there is no adequate scientific definition of “energy.” Physicists will continue to try to define energy, just as qigong practitioners will continue to attempt to define qi. As a theoretical starting point, we might say that qi is fundamental to the functioning and existence of everything in the universe. It doesn’t really put us any farther ahead in our understanding. But it might make us feel better.

Traditional Chinese Medicine describes the way in which qi flows and functions in meridians and vessels in the human body. This model is particularly useful because it is closest to the experience that people have when they do qigong. In fact, there are many types of qi in the human experience. The simplest way to reconcile the subjective experience of qi with the objective reality, is simply to define qi as all of the matter and processes involving the body and mind.

Fortunately for qigong students and teachers, a scientific understanding of the nature of qi is not a prerequisite for qigong practice - just as a knowledge of the true shape of the universe is not a prerequisite for learning to follow a road map. In fact it would be counterproductive to have a model of the solar system, or even a globe in the glove compartment of your car. We use a flat map because it is useful, not because we think the world is flat.

Likewise, we use the traditional definition of qi because it is practical to do so.
Tab 2

History of Qigong

Qigong, under various names, has a long history in China and around the World. Evidence of acupuncture theory and related practices dates back to the bronze age, even in Europe. Chinese written records referring to exercises similar to qigong date back to the 18th century BCE. Many books about qigong were written in subsequent centuries.

In ancient times certain body movements and mental concentration were combined with various breathing techniques to balance and enhance physical, metabolic and mental functions. Supposedly these movements were developed over time through exploration of the natural range of motion through the joints, and by performing motions inspired by various animals. This research would have been passed down and refined over generations. This accumulated body of traditional knowledge is known as traditional qigong.

In later centuries, these practices became more standardized, very often associated with religious practitioners who developed insight through their contemplative practices. Over time, new forms of qigong were created and passed down through various schools; Daoist, Buddhist, Confucian, Neo-Confucian, Chinese medicine, and the traditional Chinese martial arts.

In the 1950’s researchers began studying qigong using the scientific method, with peer reviewed and controlled studies of various techniques to provide a scientific evaluation of claims for the efficacy of qigong. Scientific study of this topic is still active, with particular emphasis in eastern countries, although research into the medical benefits is also active in western countries. It was at this time that the term “Qigong” began to enter common usage in China, referring to the wide variety of medical, therapeutic, and martial arts related exercises.

The term qigong gained purchase in China because it was associated with a scientific and health-based egalitarian approach. The modern popular ideology would be less antagonistic to the straightforward medical and scientific approach to the art than it would be toward the more profound, mysterious, and esoteric aspects that was typically associated with superstition, elitism, and mysticism.

The mid-1980’s saw the beginning of systematic study of qigong in some research institutions in China and the U.S.A. Many papers have been published, some of which seem to give a certain scientific credibility to the practice of qigong. Now, various medical universities issue Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Qigong, or include qigong in their curricula.
Tab 3

Uses of qigong

Today millions of people in China and around the world regularly practise qigong as a health maintenance exercise. Qigong is still an important part of martial arts and meditation routines trained by Daoists and Buddhists, and martial artists. Traditionally kept as a closely guarded secret, qigong has become much more accessible to the general public around the world.

Medical qigong treatment has been officially recognised as a standard medical technique in Chinese hospitals since 1989. It has been included in the curriculum of major universities in China. In 1996 the Chinese government began to officially manage qigong through government regulation and includes qigong as part of their National Health Plan.

Qigong can help practitioners to restore natural diaphragmatic breathing, which is important in combating stress.
Tab 4
  • Medical
  • Daoist
  • Buddhist
  • Healing
  • Martial Arts
Tab 1

Medical Qigong

Medical Qigong for health (Baojian Qigong or Yiliao Qigong) includes a variety of techniques such as relaxation methods, Qi Permeating Technique which works on absorbing the pure essence of the universe into the body and discharging all the impurities from the body. This allows students to maintain, heal, and rejuvenate the functions of the organs such as the kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, and heart.
We also present some traditional Qigong methods designed to heal specific illnesses such as:

• diabetes,
• heart disease,
• tuberculosis,
• kidney ailments,
• stomach and duodenal ulcer,
• liver ailments,
• high blood pressure,
• cancer
• asthma,
• and many other conditions.

Medical Qigong is increasingly being used in hospitals and clinics around the world, thanks to a growing body of scientific research. However, we do not make any specific claims or promises regarding the effectiveness of qigong as a treatment method. Furthermore, we ask that you consult a qualified physician before embarking on any exercise program.

The theories behind medical qigong are the same as those used by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) (which employs many modalities including acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet, massage, exercise, and qigong.)

TCM was once ridiculed by western doctors. But thanks to the scientific research done over the last 50 years TCM has been increasing accepted by and even incorporated into modern western medical practices.

In North America there are many Universities that teach TCM as part of a medical degree. In some places a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree is offered, requiring at least 7 years of university training.
Tab 2

Daoist Qigong

Daoist Qigong is a system of methods including the longevity training and higher spiritual training; how to elevate from the level of Qi cultivation to light cultivation and to spirit cultivation. Methods of training include Fundamentals of Qi Circulation, Microcosmic Circulation, Macrocosmic Circulation, Nine Rotations to Bring Back the Spiritual Elixir, Eight Extraordinary Vessel Circulation, 14 Meridian Circulation, and Sunrise and Sunset Circulation.

Note: When speaking of both Taoist or Buddhist Qigong, we are not talking about religion. The philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, as well as their respective psychology, both predate their religious forms and are often studied separately and independently from any organised religious framework. The religious manifestation of philosophy, psychology, and science are often seen by some practitioners as a corruption or simplification of the original concepts. Of course, the followers of the religious forms may see the religion as the natural continuation of the original. But we strive to separate what we teach from any religious or superstitious framework. While those uses have untold value for many people, we treat the exercises and visualisations as psychological and physical tools rather than a form of worship or belief. The only faith the exercises require is the faith in your own ability to use the tools.
Tab 3

Buddhist Qigong

There are many schools of qigong that come directly or indirectly from Buddhist traditions. Some of these are: Nine Segment Buddhist Breathing, Precious Vessel Qigong, Achieving Through Spiritual Flame, The Great Perfection-The Heart Essence, Armor Protection From Negative Energies, and The Nine Esoteric Seals. There are also many more.

The purpose of buddhist qigong includes improving health. However, the main focus is on developing extraordinary abilities of the mind. A strong mind is important to the buddhist goal of cutting through illusion and seeing the Universe the way it really is. Such insight tends only to come when the ego, emotions, and thoughts are regulated and understood.

The result of proper training in Buddhist qigong is often improved health, a calm mind, a strong will, a compassionate heart, and greater wisdom and insight.
Tab 4

Emitting, Absorbing, and Healing Qigong

Using qi to heal yourself and others is not mystical or even rare. But the terminology used to describe the subjective experience of emitting and absorbing energy can make it sound that way.

We are made of energy, the energy of blood, thought, movement, and the electrical energy that circulates in our bodies.

When an electrical current is present, there is a magnetic field that surrounds it. And when a conductive material, like a copper wire or a human body, moves through a magnetic field, and electrical current is created in that conductive material.

A person with strong qi can have a powerful field, and that field can influence the circulation of energy in other people. This fact may explain how qigong masters are able to manipulate the energy in another persons body in the same way that exercise, massage, or acupuncture can. Knowledge of one's own energy, and an understanding of the energetic processes in the human body can enable a person to "heal" others with qigong.

There are different approaches to qigong healing. One may use one's own field to influence the movement of qi in the other person. One may also emit one's own qi into the other person. One can also use qi to remove blockages or stagnation of qi, or resolve imbalances in another person's energetic system. Another method, sometimes called "channelling" energy, involves directing universal energy to the other person in a process similar to artificial respiration.

A qigong healer should be well trained, to understand how to help, and how to avoid interfering with the natural healing process.

The good news is that energy tends to seek balance, as if it has an inherent intelligence. Master healers often speak of themselves as having little to do with the actual process of healing, saying that they are only catalysts for the natural healing impulse. It is as if the healer looks for the part of the client that wants to get better, and then lets them do so.

Of course, no healing modality works all the time in every case. It is the responsibility of every qigong healer to make sure that the client is in consultation with an appropriate medical professional, such as an M.D.

Qigong healing is not a substitute for medical care.

Healing qigong is also not faith healing. Faith is not required. However, there is no disputing the effect that a positive state of mind can have on the healing process. For this reason we encourage people to believe in whatever they can.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio." - Hamlet
“Sure. But that’s no reason to be irrational” - Unknown
Tab 5

Wushu (Martial Arts) Qigong

Traditional martial arts of all styles have always included some type of qigong as part of their training. This special type of qigong conditions mind and body for fighting and also has a wide range of benefits for mental and physical health. A healthy mind and body are the foundation for a proficient martial artist.
The martial arts training at this school includes "hard qigong" and "soft qigong" to strengthen and develop one's physical and mental health, develop extraordinary physical ability, and develop the ability to prevent injury and withstand attacks.

Martial Arts and Healing Arts

Martial arts and healing arts go hand in hand. For millennia, martial artists have trained as healers, and healers have studied martial arts.

Both cultivate subtle awareness and understanding of the energetics of body mind and spirit.

Exercises that are used to develop martial power and extraordinary abilities of mind and body, have also been used to improve health, prevent illness, and treat a variety of conditions.

Balance, harmony, strength, balance, peace of mind, proper alignment, concentration, memory, adaptability, agility, fulfillment, strong bones, healthy organs, good digestion, awareness, quick recovery time, healthy immune system, mental and spiritual well-being...
These are attributes of a good martial artist, just as they are measures of good health.

Martial arts training has, over the centuries, developed many profound methods for improving health, strengthening the body and mind, and reducing stress. Some of these methods have been adopted by various healing modalities, just as various healing exercises have been incorporated into martial arts practice.

While martial arts, particularly internal styles like tai chi, are renowned for their health benefits, there are also a great many “qigong” or “neigong” exercises that have no direct relationship to martial arts:

  • Medical qigong exercises are designed specifically for certain medical conditions.
  • Daoist qigong exercises are for more general health and longevity.
  • Buddhist qigong focuses on specific mental and physical abilities.
  • Healing qigong exercises are designed to train people to heal others.
  • Martial arts qigong is meant to enable a person to prevent injury, increase vitality, and develop extraordinary abilities of the mind and body.