Qi Gong

Qi Gong (Pronounced chee gung) is a practice that originated in China and has been rapidly gaining popularity in the West. It is essentially a moving meditation. The "Qi" in Qi Gong is the same as the "Chi" in Tai Chi. That Qi is the foundation of Chinese Medicine. Illness is seen as a breakdown in or an inhibition of the natural functioning of Qi. Within the human being Qi is like the life force or energy which governs all aspects of our being. Everything is Qi and Qi is everything i.e. the air we breath, the ground we walk on, the universe around us. Humans are a very concentrated form of Qi, air on the other hand is more ethereal and less condensed.

Through Qi Gong we start to become aware of the relationship between our consciousness (the self) and the Qi that gives us physical form and animates us. Through precise conscious movement we move Qi through channels in our body (often referred to as acupuncture meridians or Jing Luo) and encourage a more free and fluid flow of this energy through our body.

Energy Flow Intent

Our intent is key in this. The very first postural alignment in Qi Gong is designed to open a connection to spirit by "raising our spirit". This informs all subsequent actions. Therefore rather than willing energy to move we intend it to move through a harmonious relationship with our spiritual self. Don't worry if you don't get it straight away, through conscious practice it will happen naturally in time.

The movements that are then engaged are very graceful and gentle, but the effect can be very powerful. People who practice Qi Gong often report feelings of warmth, feeling revitalised and energised, tingling in the hands and feet. Qi Gong can help us to heal gracefully from within, the movement of energy releasing long held emotional and mental trauma from the body.

A word of warning: it is not uncommon for people to feel unsettled after Qi Gong due to this emotional release. It is a healing process and akin to the healing crisis that often occurs with certain body work therapies, most notably reflexology. An experienced practitioner will know how to deal with this and guide you through it in a non dramatic way.

What is Meditation and Why meditate?

We meditate to have an intimate relationship with ourselves which helps us to achieve stillness, inner peace and calm. Our lives are often filled with stress, problems to overcome, myriad tasks to be completed. We feel there is always something we need to do in order to feel at peace within ourselves e.g. “once I finish this task I can be happy.”

We race through our tasks, so that we can get them done quicker, our mind a list of priorities which we systematically go through yet never reach the end of. Many of us even “Do” Meditation in this way, another task to be completed so that we can be at peace at the end of it. But Meditation is the end in itself; it is the ability to be present, to take a step back and to create space between ourselves and the world around us. We are constantly looking for ourselves in our everyday experiences, if we stop looking and be present we realise that we were here all along. We are here now, there is nowhere else we need to be. The key is to meditate, not “do” meditation.

There are many forms of meditation from simple mindfulness or awareness to profound and intricate religious and spiritual practices, the aim of which is to help us achieve enlightenment. Whether one believes this is possible or not we can all benefit from taking a few moments to witness ourselves, be present and perhaps get to know ourselves a little better. Often during meditation we find that insights or thoughts will enter our awareness, it is important that we don’t judge them or attempt to fight them. Instead try to observe them, to witness them as they float across our consciousness. One of the great things about meditating is not just the stillness that it can bring to our lives but also the insights into ourselves that often occur spontaneously while meditating.

By appointment at One Hour For Me Complementary Therapy Clinic Ashbourne, Co Meath.


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