The Qi Gong religious movement was founded in China. It basis its teachings on natural body exercises such as yawning and stretching to relax, and pinching, rubbing or pressing to ease the pain (Liu, 384). The activities have evolved to teachings on how to coordinate breathing and body movements. The Qi Gong religious movement has advanced teachings on training both the body and the mind to provide spiritual solutions that did not exist before. The following essay demystifies the Qi Gong religious movement on its foundation, influences, beliefs, impacts, incentives to join, and provision of an alternative spiritual solution.
The founders of Qi Gong had various and significant impacts on the development and adoption of the skill. In modern times, the study of Qi Gong took place in different years and was done by different founders. First was Pan Wei, a government official and medicine guru in 1858. He used past knowledge to compile a book called â€˜Key Techniques to Strengthen Healthâ€™ (Liu 59). He based his arguments on prevention rather than treatment through exercising Qi Gong. The period before the foundation of the People’s Republic of China had several other physicians who contributed to the practice of Qi Gong. Such included Wu Shang Xian, Wang Zu Yuan, and Zhang Xi Chun.
The period following the formation of the Republic of China also had several advancements and practices of the skill. Among the people known to practice it was Jiang Wei Qiao who healed himself through meditation while sitting down. He wrote a book called â€˜Sitting Meditation’ to explain the curing power of sitting meditation. Another founder, Wang Qi Huo, authored â€˜Guidance to Daoist Elixir Cultivationâ€™ (Liu 59). The development of Qi Gong continued further in the 1950s (Penny 225). Chen Tao and Liu Gui Zhen contributed more to the movement during the high tide where they explored, sorted, and promoted therapies of Qi Gong. The Qi Gong Therapy developed and popularised by Liu Gui Zhen was officially approved by the Ministry of Health in 1955. He also helped in the foundation of Beidaihe Qi Gong Sanitarium Hospital in 1966 and was the first president (Liu 62). The period saw development in academic researches by various scholars such as Xu Feng Yan. The founders of different times have contributed to the advanced modern-day practice of Qi Gong.
The basic beliefs and convictions of Qi Gong are rooted in the psychological effects of exercises. They are founded on the concept of â€˜the Three Adjustmentsâ€™ which include the mind, breath, and body. The adjustments aim at integrating the three aspects into one to get the end result of body-mind medicine (Liu 201). One of the basic beliefs is that combining the three has the effect of curing both the body and the mind. The belief is an extension of the popular belief that the three cannot exist in the absence of each other. A live human being must have a unity of the three for him/her to exist. The conviction of the state of unity is essential as a determinant of the effectiveness of the exercises (Penny 243). The study of Qi Gong combines two aspects; teachings of Qi Gong and traditional Chinese medicine. Qi Gong, therefore, emphasizes the theoretical knowledge. It holds on to the belief that one should learn the art and practicing it to mastery.
The external treatment of Qi Gong emphasizes on the psychological effects of practicing it. It has the conviction that patients may be influenced by the power of an idea in the mind. Treatment affirms that there is a healing effect that results from the affirmation of the responses of both the body and mind. The conviction results in the achievement of better healing effect through the induction of various sensations (Ross 370). The psychology of conviction can help in achieving similar results as those of hypnosis. Some of the most complex and persistent diseases are known to have been cured through external Qi Gong treatment. One of the convictions that assist patients in the healing process is seeing a doctor in a white coat since it instills hope that may assist in the treatment process.
Qi Gong has distinctive rituals that set it apart from all other treatment solutions. Qi Gong has distinctive physical activities that are definite from the usual physical exercises. They are different because they utilize three states of oneness. It holds that the mind, body, and breath must coexist and work together for the exercises to be effective. The skill involves both knowledge and belief. It combines the effectiveness of the two to create preventive or healing effects (Ross 371). The rituals of Qi Gong aim at relaxation and comfortability through mental relaxation. They help in getting rid of random thoughts, being anxious, tense, and physically or mentally exhausted. They help in invigorating and revitalizing both the mind and the body. The practices are easy to master and practice. One can do them while seated, standing, resting, or moving.
First among the rituals is practicing the mind relaxation activities. One is the tri-line relaxation sequence. In this activity, breathing rate, posture, and mind are essential in assisting relaxation. One can lie or sit, breathe normally then progress to breathing using the abdomen, and focus the mind on a specific direction. It also involves chanting â€˜relax.’ It assists in relaxing the bilateral, anterior, and posterior lines (Liu 294). Another is segmental relaxation, Qi Gong. It involves chanting â€˜relaxâ€™ while focussing the mind on one thought and giving it space before moving to the other. Others include localized relaxation, holistic relaxation, and backward-walking relaxation. Second is vibrating relaxation ongoing. The practice involves rhythmically vibrating the body to assist the internal organs. The third is the slapping relaxation Qi Gong (Liu 297). The practice is a slapping exercise meant for people who failed to benefit from the other relaxation exercises. A therapist can slap the patient in sequence beginning from the head to toes. Such rituals are different from those applied to other treatment solutions.
The Qi Gong movement has been impactful on both the general public and medical practitioners. It has been of importance to the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of those who apply it in their lives (Szonyi 314). One of the most renowned advocates of Qi Gong is Dong Zhong Chu, a Confucian scholar. He felt the need to explain the importance of Qi Gong on spirituality on the relationship between men and heaven. He explained that one can only get essence if he/she is willing to sink the mind in unconsciousness and calmness. Without both of them, it is hard and close to impossible for man to feel the connection between him/her and essence. He considered essence to be among the gems of the human body. The impact of Qi Gong movement in this context is enabling people in collecting the riches of harmony, essence, and their spirits (Szonyi 316). The Qi Gong movement helps people to find the correct state of mind that can propel them towards the feeling and ability to be in harmony. The movement also helps in guiding the lives of people to spiritual well-being. Qi Gong helps the heart to connect with the spirit. In so doing, a practitioner is able to refrain from desires of evil to a calm mind. People who practice perturbed are able to calm the mind which in turn nourishes the spirit hence live in harmony.
The movement has been instrumental in the lives of people in helping them relax, prevent diseases, and cure the sick. One of the most important aspects of practicing Qi Gong is the ability to preventing diseases. Exercising the skill helps in easing the nervous system, enabling better joint movement (Szonyi 314). Practitioners are, therefore, able to prevent themselves from such diseases as heart ailments and joint pains. Also, the activities help sickly people in the treatment process. An example is Jian Wei Qiao who was diagnosed with tuberculosis in his youthful days but used Qi Gongâ€™s healing effect to free himself from the disease. People who are in the movement meditate using the various techniques to empower their minds and focus on the activities that they want. The movement has helped many people to achieve success in their business and social activities by enabling them to feel relaxed and think deeper about their goals. Such benefits of the activity make it enticing for people to join the movement. Also, the availability (Penny 118) of many teachers and literature about Qi Gong skill are also incentives that are instrumental in helping people join the movement.
The Qi Gong movement has provided a spiritual alternative that did not exist before. It has offered a balanced instruction regarding life and the spirit through conjoining the mind, body, and breathing to bring harmony to the mind and holiness of the heart and mind (Szonyi 317). Previously, medicine practitioners only provided the treatment of drugs but the movement of Qi Gong taught about the connection between the three fundamentals. It has taught that the three can be harnessed to facilitate the functioning of each other for better curing effect to take place. The spirituality of Qi Gong helps in treating the spirit, mind, and heart. It provides a connecting and cohesion between the three to enable people to be better at shunning evil desires. In so doing, Qi Gong assists the spirit to be stronger and not depart. The departure of the spirit is a resort in death.
Since the realization of Qi Gong, it has been improved over time to assist human beings in various ways. Various people contributed to its foundation and enhancement. The Qi Gong movement has impacted the lives of people in various and numerous ways. Among the greatest importance of the practice is prevention and healing diseases as well as assisting in creating cohesion between the mind, body, and spirit. Further researches in future can assist in the betterment of the skills for better results.
Liu, Tianjuan. Chinese medical qigong. Singing Dragon, 2010.
Penny, Benjamin. The Religion of Falun Gong. University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Szonyi, Michael. “Secularization theories and the study of Chinese religions.” Social Compass 56.3 (2009): 312-327.
Ross, Stephanie Maxine. “Qigong: an ancient healing tradition.” Holistic nursing practice 23.6 (2009): 370-371.
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