Qigong is the international phonetic Chinese pronunciation which includes various physical and mindful practice in the training for health, martial arts and awakening to one’s true nature.
Qigong or Chi kung (an equivalent term derived from Wade-Giles Romanization) is an English Romanization of two Chinese characters: Qì (氣) and Gōng (功). The dictionary definition for the word “qi” usually includes the meaning of “breathing”, but it can also be used in the context of describing the relationship between matter, energy (Chi, Qi: magnetic and universal ) and spirit.
The dictionary definition for the word “Gong” (功) is that of achievement, effort or results. The two words are combined to describe systems and methods of “energy cultivation” and the manipulation of intrinsic energy within living organisms.
The Chinese martial arts community considered qigong training an important component in enhancing martial abilities, mind power and focus skills.
Shaolin Qi Gong
Tai Chi is often read as an extension of pure Qigong practice which utilises the breathing and transitional body positions throughout the brocade. It is normally included as warm up exercise.
The religious community, including both Taoist and Buddhistphilosophical traditions, uses qigong as part of their daily meditative practice as a means to connect with nature and centering of the Mind Body and Soul forces.
Confucian scholars practice qigong to improve their moral character by ‘filling and emptying the cup’ and relationship with all ebb and flows of grounded nature.
In the 1940s and the 1950s, the Chinese government tried to integrate those disparate approaches into one coherent system with the intention of establishing firmer scientific bases for those practices and as part of the political philosophy of the Cultural Revolution. This attempt is considered by some sinologists as the start of the modern interpretation of qigong science.Through the forces of migration, tourism and globalization, the practice and the promise of qigong has spread from the Chinese community to the world.
Although not proven conclusively from a Western Medical stand point, qigong is an accepted treatment option in the fields of complementary and alternative medicine. Qigong treatment is also used extensively in China as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been included in the curriculum of Chinese universities.
Qigong practice serves both a preventive and curative function. It is considered to be effective in improving the effects of many chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, allergy, asthma, arthritis, degenerative disk disease, cancer, depression, anxiety and addiction. Qigong works by improving the practitioners’ immunity response, increasing a person’s self-healing and self-recovery capabilities and enhancing one’s self-regeneration potential.
The major uses of qigong therapy are:
- General health maintenance 
- Strength and flexibility
- Improved movement and function
- Physical rehabilitation 
- Pain management
- Stress management and associated ailments such as hypertension 
- Bone Density and Balance 
- Cancer Treatment 
- Arthritis 
- Back pain 
In 2003, the Chinese Health Qigong Association, a member of the All-China Sports Federation, officially recognized four Health Qigong exercises:
- Yì Jīn Jīng (tendon-changing classic),
- Wu Qin Xi (frolics of five animals 五禽戲),
- Liu Zi Jue (the art of expiration in producing six different sounds),
- Ba Duan Jin (Eight Pieces of Brocade, eight excellent movements),
Each of these exercises represents a standard for general health qigong practice.