Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice for cultivating the body energy, for the benefits of physical body, mind and spirituality. Literally speaking, Qi means Energy, Gong means Practice or Effort. Many ancient Chinese practice such as Dao Yin(Move and Leand the body energy), Tu Na(Breathing technique), Lian Dan(Elixir or Inner Alchemy practice), Cun Xiang(visualization practice), Chan Ding(Meditation and Sitting practice) can be considered as part of Qi Gong, since Qi Gong is a modern term used to describe these ancient arts. Practitioner get benefits through adjusting the body structure, breathing, mind, diet and sleeping(include sexual activity) to improve,
Qi is one of the most important fundamental philosophical terms used in Chinese culture and history. Qi Gong has been one of the important methods for Chinese people to understand the human body, the world and the whole universe. So that Chinese Qi Gong history has been developed parallel to the development of Chinese civilization.
Normally there are three stages of Qi Gong development.
(1), From remote antiquity time to Qin Dynasty(about 200 BC), it was called the Naive Primitive Qi Gong stage. at this period of time, Qi Gong had experienced different progression from being created to be well-developed. People took Qi Gong as a method of self-cultivation and daily practice for self-improvement, to keep body and mind healthy, explore potential abilities of the human body. They found out that body would get into different stages of practices through keep the mind and body in a tranquil state of approaching. They called the changes as Dao(the way), Jing (Essence or spirit), De, Zhong and others. To these people who got special abilities after practicing as Zhen Ren (Real Person) , ZhiRen (lofty Man). They are contributing the result of these benefits as "keep and concentrate the pure energy". At this time, Qi Gong had been part of the physical practice, medical practice and spiritual practice.
(2), From Han Dynasty(about 200 BC) to the end of Qing Dynasty(1636 AD-1912 AD)
This is a long period of Qi Gong development. During this stage, the benefits of practicing Qi Gong had been proven more thus Qi Gong had been promoted more as well. From this time, different styles of Qi Gong practices had been emerged, everyone of them developed their own practice according to different theoretical and practical system. The understanding and realizing of the human body and the nature had been deepened dramatically.
During this period, the five main Qi Gong categories had been emphasized, they are Daoism Qi Gong, Buddhism Qi Gong, Confucius Qi Gong, Medical Qi Gong and Martial Qi Gong. No matter which style, their purpose of practice share the same characteristics even though they focus on different aspects. Especially Daoism Qi Gong, since Daoism is the native Chinese philosophy, the ancient Chinese had developed Daoism Qi Gong when practicing Daoism belief. Chinese medicine, a part of Daoism art, had applied Qi Going as a healing method from that time, eventually it became Medical Qi Gong later on, for instance, many classic Chinese medical books back to that time put Qi Gong practice as an important part of the healing method, this greatly helped the popularity of Medical Qi Gong. The Confucius school does not have a special technique of Qi Gong practice, but their principle and idea of philosophical approach had become a type of Qi Gong practice... So we can say that these five categories of Qi Gong got well-developed at this stage.
(3), The modern time of Qi Gong stage. This stage began from 1900s. During this stage, Qi Gong has experienced a special time. It was the time that the modern scientific knowledge from the west went to China, the time that people's belief had changed dramatically, the time that many new theory and practice came out under the name of old practice, it was also that political environment had a strong influence to Qi Gong practice as well.
From this time, many masters began researching the Qi Gong practice based on the modern scientific knowledge, or taking modern scientific and medical techniques as a test method, in order to find the answer of what the mechanism of this ancient secret. Especially after 1976, or the furnishing of the ten years Cultural Revolution, many different styles of Qi Gong had emerged up as the great way for healthy life, disease prevention and treatment. Many masters have done a lot of research about the Qi Gong practice from medical and social aspects. Many hospitals have had Qi Gong as a special department for patients. In Chinese medicine universities, students must learn Qi Gong as as important course, many Qi Gong centers had been built up for teaching and healing purposes, a few professional journals had been published since then on. Thousands of academic papers related to Qi Gong research have been published. All of these show that Qi Gong has strong impact on people's health and well-being. Chinese government even published some official document to sponsor some styles which have more benefits based on statistical research, such as Zhineng Qi Gong, Guolin Qi Gong(or Anti-Cancer Qi Gong), Wile Goose Qi Gong, Six healing Sounds and some other styles.
In China, there is tens millions people practice Qi Gong every day although the government's Qi Gong policy has been changed from 10 years ago.
There are hundreds of Qi Gong styles in China, we will introduce two of them.
(1), Zhineng Qi Gong,
More details will come soon.
(2), Anti-Cancer Qi Gong,
More details will come soon.