Global Resilience Solutions > 2009 > June

Qi Gong Exercises: Which Ones Should I Practice?

“Which Qi Gong exercises should I practice?” I can’t tell you how often I get this question!

However, after more than 3 decades researching and practicing the ancient world’s top methods of spiritual development, health maintenance and martial arts, I’m convinced you have to know what results you personally want to see before you can answer this question. For purposes of this article, I’ll assume your primary interest is in enjoying superior health and longevity, feeling strongly energized every day and achieving a deep sense of inner peace. So if that describes you, read on…

1. What Qi Gong CAN Do For Your

As you may already know, various Qi Gong methods – and there are thousands – were developed mainly with 4 different purposes: 1. to improve your health and fitness, 2. to improve your spiritual life, 3. to improve your martial combat skills and 4. to train you to heal others.

And they use a huge variety of methods, including various breathing techniques, postures, movement, percussion, massage, visualization and much more. Broadly speaking, though, if we get down to basics and talk about the immediate benefits Qi Gong was designed to offer, we get this:

– Improve your circulation of Qi, blood, lymph fluid and spinal fluid
– Detoxify your organs, tissues, blood, bone marrow and joints
– Fill your tissues with healthy Qi
– Clear out blockages in your 12 energy meridians and fill your 8 “Extraordinary Vessels” with healthy Qi
– Reunify your mind and body in order to return you to your “natural state”

2. Sounds Wonderful! But How?

There are thousands of distinct Qi Gong practices out there and no real standardization, so for the newbie to separate the wheat from the chaff is nearly impossible. It took me a great many years to do it and during that time I ran into all kinds of Qi Gong practices, literally from the sublime to the ridiculous. Lots of instructors are teaching partial or incomplete systems out of ignorance. A very few teach things that are downright dangerous. And it’s important to understand that this isn’t just a North American problem; the same thing happens even today in China itself.

Simply put, there are 5 classic Qi Gong systems that deliver the greatest possible health benefits and can be learned by anyone with the desire and commitment. Here’s a list of these 5 systems and what they do:

The Self-Massage Set (Promotes Qi, blood and lymph circulation)
Muscle-Tendon Changing (Detoxifies soft tissues and joints, building extraordinary toughness)
Bone Marrow Cleansing (Detoxifies bone marrow, blood and builds bone density)
Iron Shirt (Detoxifies organs and fasciae, filling them with Qi)
Energy Circulation (the Micro-Cosmic Orbit – Clears the body’s primary energy circulation pathway, regarded as essential for longevity)

3. How Long Do I Have to Practice Every Day?

Yes, we’re all in a time crunch! Fortunately, practicing all 5 over the course of a week doesn’t take a lot of time. One round of each of these takes only 5-15 minutes, and some of these systems can be broken down into their constituent parts and practiced at odd moments throughout the day to give you greater energy, clarity and focus. So time is not a serious issue with Qi Gong practice. The important thing is to set up your practice schedule and stick to it, whatever it is.

Naturally, there’s a learning curve in the beginning, but that quickly disappears as you gain confidence in your own practice.

To learn more about these 5 critical Qi Gong systems, you can go to:


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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