Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced “chee” and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.

In Taoism, chi refers to the living energy in all things. Kung is a term that refers to the achievements of long practice.

Some exercises are designed to manipulate chi already inside the body in specialized ways — to heal others, for example, or in the pursuit of enlightenment or in the martial arts. Other exercises move chi through the many acupuncture channels to clear energy blockages.

If the mind is pure the chi will be able to circulate upward to illuminate it, thereby inducing enlightenment and stimulating the creative forces associated with heaven. If the mind is impure — that is, focused on unwholesome thoughts or ambitions — the chi will be attracted to and migrate to equally coarse energies associated with the lower realms of existence.

Qigong is moving meditation. “Moving” means either physical movement or movement of energy internally, even if no musculo-skeletal movement is occurring. The integration of interoception, proprioception, and mindfulness is a key component of the practice. You learn to create moments of peace within activity. All of this comes on a foundation of breathing.