a brief overview of QIGONG

Today qigong is practiced everywhere. Its numerous health benefits are being studied by scientists the world over. However, the term qigong is actually a new phrase generated by the Chinese government during the Cultural Revolution in an attempt to develop a coherent system for, primarily, two distinctly different systems of practice, both of which were millennia old at the time.

The word qigong is comprised of two words qi meaning energy, air, gas, or vapor. And gong meaning achievement, or more precisely excellence achieved through long practice in an endeavor. Qigong then means energy cultivation. Dennis Bussell used to define qigong as energy work, which a very apt description of the activity.

The two main formative elements of modern qigong are xing qi and dao yin. Xing qi or circulating energy refers to the meditative practices Neolithic shamans used in their religious observances over about 6000 years ago. Daoyin means to guide and lead. It is supposed daoyin and xingqi were both practiced by ancient shamans, but definite evidence from a tomb dating to 168 BC shows familiar poses as modern day qigong.

Though both xingqi and daoyin are included in taijiquan practice, daoyin is by far the most dominate element practiced by modern taiji players.