Curious to try qigong? The ancient Chinese healing technique dates back more than 4,000 years — and as more eyes are turning to China and interest in alternative medicine mounts, the trend is going global.
More than 80 million people reportedly practice qigong in China, and foreign interest is growing. The Chinese Health Qigong Association has a reported more than 50 organizations outside China in 29 countries.
What it is: Qigong (pronounced "chee-gong") is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is usually translated to mean the life force or vital energy that flows through all things in the universe. Gong means accomplishment, or a skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, the two words mean cultivating energy to maintain health and increase vitality.
What it looks like: The practice involves a series of exercises and postures, such as slow, circular movements, all while employing regulated breathing, focused meditation, and some self-massage.
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