Internal or Silent Qigong


About QiGong

Qigong is a unique Chinese exercise system, the “Ancient Art of Energy Renewal and Life Extension”. Through individual effort, practitioners build up their health and prevent illness by combining discipline of mind, body and the body’s “Qi” (vital force). Qigong is a combination of meditation, movement, and breathing exercises, with profound physical, mental and spiritual side effects.

The different categories including “Moving, Hard or External and Silent, Soft or Internal”

Western practitioners have divided and categorized qigong into various segments. Within China, qigong is generally practiced in two major categories, “still” and “moving”.

The term “Soft or Internal qigong” usually refers to exercises which enhance spiritual, mental, and physical health with meditation and gentle exercises. “Hard or External qigong” refers to exercises done in martial arts to strengthen and protect the body from vicious blows. Some divide qigong into “Medical”, “Martial”, or “Spiritual” categories depending on the purpose of the practice.

The History

Chinese Qigong has been practiced with a recorded history of over 2,000 years but it wasn’t until 1953, when Liu Gui-zheng published a paper entitled “Practice On Qigong Therapy”, that the term Qigong  (Chi Kung) was adopted as the popular name for this type of exercise system.

The meaning of QiGong

Qigong (Chi Kung) comes from the Chinese words “Qi” meaning “Energy” plus “Gong”, meaning “work” or “practice”. It is a term that describes a Chinese Exercise system that focuses on cultivating and attracting “Qi” or “lifeforce” energies. Pronounced like “Chee Gung”.

Internal, (also known as Soft, Still or Silent) Qigong

The practice of breath; “internal” qigong, which stresses meditation and relaxation also can teach you to relax and focus, and is a way to harmonize the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. In addition, it helps to develop concentration and coordination. “Still or Internal” qigong lays emphasis on quiet, motionless meditation, generally employing methods of internal concentration and regulation of breathing. It is usually practiced in outwardly motionless postures such as the lying, sitting or standing positions, and since it emphasizes exercise of the internal aspect of the body,

It draws on many elements and includes “regulating the body” through posture, “regulating the mind” through quiet, relaxation and concentration of one’s mental activity,” regulating the breath”, self-massage and movement of the limbs.  It is an internal martial art in which one learns to sense the Qi moving in ones own body.

Wu Chi or Emptiness is the most fundamental Qigong posture. Many Qigong movements begin and end with Wu Chi.

The Standard Rules

These rules or guidelines are generally observed unless specified overwise.

  • Breath through the nose.
  • Tongue touching the roof of the mouth (palate).
  • Calm the mind.
  • Hollowing the chest and rounding the back.
  • Sense the body, breath and Qi.
  • Listen to the silence, see, taste, touch and smell the silence.
  • Body relaxed, no physical tension.

Beneficial Results of Practise

When practicing sitting or lying qigong it has been shown that the body’s consumption of oxygen decreases by about thirty percent, the level of the metabolic rate also dropping by about twenty percent, This condition of lowered metabolism is an aid to reducing the patient’s physical consumption of energy, allowing the gradual accumulation of energy, fostering the body’s strength, and providing the basis for the body to combat and defeat illness.

Qigong’s main therapeutic properties lie in its regulation of the activity of the cerebral cortex, the central nervous system and the cardio-vascular system, its effect in correcting abnormal reactions of the organism, massaging effect on the organs of the abdominal cavity, and its effect as a means of self-control over the physical functions of one’s body.

The rate of respiration decreases while the duration of each breath increases. Such an increase in the period of inhalation and exhalation will enlarge the scope of the diaphragm’s activity, causing a greater flow in the volume of air, increasing the practitioner’s lung capacity.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is a favourite of mine for several reasons. It is an ancient practice to enhance longevity and rejuvenate mind body and spirit, using special physical and breathing techniques. It is also seen as part of Traditional Chinese medicine.

It helps the practitioner achieve a deep state of relaxation, strengthens their bodies and increases their Qi (energy), helping them to become or remain healthy. It also opens the person up to become more wise and aware. There are in fact at least 10,000 different types of Qi Gong (energy training/practice) registered by the Chinese Qi Gong governing body – and at least 200 million people practicing these methods in China alone… everything from Drunken to Dragon Sword to Dayan (Wild Goose; see  http://www.qimagazine.com ) to Hau Gong (see http://www.dao-hua-qigong.com/qg.html ) forms.

Originally, people saw the parallels between humans and the natural world, and by copying the nature of both animals – like birds, deer, tigers and bears – and natural forms like clouds, trees, mountains and the sun – they sought to catch the essence, in fact, the energy of each, thus helping the participant to liberate themselves through those various movements, positions, breathing techniques and visualisations, to connect to a greater nature… a greater energy… eventually leading to the following of Tao (the Way; see Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao ) by those who mastered such forms and flows. Such masters then had followers, or students, who practiced those forms and understandings until they reached a level of mastery that meant they would leave and find their own way… or stay to serve the master.

In its original forms, there are two type of Qi Gong – the formal forms mentioned above, and the ‘formless styles’, which are also part of recognised lineages, with masters.

They mainly come from China and were developed by a series of energy masters who practiced religiously day in day out to reach and go beyond most normal levels of health and abilities… such as to heal other people and use their abilities to advice and protect the Emperors.

The most powerful forms are however all formless and ‘spontaneous’ – that is they involve no particular form, but are allowed to unfold without any obvious effort from the practitioner. The highest level is the pre-natal form. What makes the pre-natal type different from all the rest is it involves no movement at all, and looks somehow like nothing is happening at all! That’s because the practitioner sits and allows either words or silence to occur, as an expression of the universal energy (Qi, or Chi) that is channelling through them.

All in all, Qi Gong has become a system that is used by many people across the world, mainly for health reasons. Sting is said to practice Qi Gong, along with some other celebrities.