British Lung Foundation
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Chi Gong, qigong mean the same - healthy exercises

However you spell or pronounce it, I'll use Chi Gong - it means healthy exercise or movement. In China exercise's to generate health and well being have been practised and refined for about 3000 years. Chi Gong can be likened to a system of both health and philosophy which practitioners claim is beneficial to many chronic illnesses, improves general health and energy. Chi Gong is also a great relaxer and de-stresser.

With a history stretching back millennia it is impossible to encapsulate the full truth behind the philosophy - how Wuji (the great nothing) created Yin and Yang the two opposites. However put, Chinese medicine is about maintaining the correct balance between these two opposites. When one is stronger or weaker than the other, practitioners believe that dis-ease occurs and illness can follow.

What I will write about today is something we can all relate to-electricity. Lets go back to schoolboy physics and electricity. Some of you may remember ohms law and how the relationship between voltage (a potential difference) current -energy to do work and resistance that which opposes work interrelate.

The development of Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture, gave an understanding as to how Chi (energy) moves in the body, the cultivation and physical movement of chi became the field of chi gong. Practitioners discovered that there are 12 main channels running around the body. These can be likened to the ring-main in your house. Channels into which you can plug into to do work.

Chi gong exercises are concerned with maintaining and improving the movement of chi around the body and balancing yin and yang. From ohms law above if you reduce the resistance to energy you can either get more work done for the same expenditure, or you can reduce the energy needed. Chi gong exercises improve both energy storage (bodies battery) and reduce the resistance to energy flow by removing blockages.

Chinese medicine says that the seat of energy (Dan Tien) Dan translates as crystal or essence of energy, tien means field. In our electrical metaphor it can be likened to our bodies battery. It is located about 2" below the navel. We will be concentrating on the Dan Tien a lot in our future exercises.

Enough talk first simple exercise. Remember the health warnings of yesterday.

Swing arms for better health.

A great warm up exercise.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

Gently turn your head to one side (head leads) at the same time allow your arms that are held loosely at your sides to gently swing in the direction of your head.

Turn head gently to look towards the opposite side and allow your waist to generate the energy to swing your arms to the other side. The more floppy your arms the better. If you can manage to allow your back arm to gently curve around your back so much the better.

If you can do 3 to 5 mins of this. You may feel a warmth in your palms and hands - some may even feel fat fingers - practitioners would say that is the chi moving to the extremities. Don't worry if you can't. After this warm up we will move to breathing exercises tomorrow.

Hope this helps. Needed to explain a bit of the philosophy behind the exercises.

For those with knowledge of Tai Chi, I have left a great deal out of the background so please forgive and bear with.

11 Replies

Thanks Tryfan, I'll be cutting and pasting your postings to put in a Tai Chi folder to keep. I've always wished that our medics paid more attention to Chinese method of treating the body as a whole. Specialisation is sometimes carried too far.

Good game BTW, excellent result ;-)


Hi Don

It's difficult to write and say what I would like in these posts. If you send me a reply on private messaging, I can write a bit more and give you a steer towards what may help you.


Focusing my Chi as we speak Tryfan :-)


Did try earlier post it failed. Try this exercise. Lie on floor cushion under your head. Hands folded across abdomen just below navel. Right hand on top. Breath in through nose out through mouth with pursed lips as if whistling.

Feel or make abdomen rise as you inhale. Make exhalation twice as long as inhalation Called abdominal breathing. Do for as long as is comfortable. Relax or just meditate on your breathing.


As taught at PR. :)

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Relaxing on exhale and in a seated position is my personal preference on this one. Tripod position - seated with hands resting on knees keeping shoulders open for maximised use of lung capacity.


I have copied this. I hope it's okay?


No problem at all. Just want to help if I can.

1 like

Thank you Tryfan. I'll be cutting and pasting them too. Look forward to next one x


Need to try this I'm having shoulder problems Do you think this would help ??


Eileen it will be good for relaxation. Depends what your shoulder problem is and how long you've had it. There are so many variables, wear, strain,over or under use. Please check with your GP.


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