June 5, 2001

Qi and Qi Gong

What is Qi Gong and Qi?
Qi is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and it binds the universe together.

Most westerners do not understand the nature of Qi and what role it plays within their lives. It seems mystical and therefore unbelievable; so they never bother to learn any of the many secrets of what Qi Gong can do.

The truth is that while Qi energy is poorly understood by western science, it is not mystic, nor is it unbelievable. Chinese doctors have been performing major surgery for years, using Qi manipulation instead of anesthetic (pain killers). Chinese medicine has relied on Qi manipulation as it’s primary treatment for well over 3000 years. It is, in short, very real. But sadly, poorly understood.

What is Qi?
Qi (pronounced “Chee”) is an energy field that exists in and around all living things and throughout the universe (“may the force be with you”, to use a famous phrase, from an equally famous film).
Qi is now understood to be of a bioelectricty nature, a kind of energy field generated by the electric and magnetic potentials of living creatures. It has been well-known for thousands of years. The Indians call it Prana. To the Japanese, it is Ki. Even the ancient Greeks knew of Qi, calling it Pneuma. This energy field is more than simple electricity, as it exists in empty space (without conductors).
Western science has a difficult time fully explaining the nature of Qi (so they tend to ignore it!). Within our human body, Qi is concentrated in vessels and flows through channels called meridians. These meridians are similar, but not identical to the blood circulation and nerve bundle systems.
If Qi becomes stagnant or unbalanced, the result is poor health or even death.

Concentrations of Qi can be felt, developed, dispersed or projected through simple concentration and self-knowledge.
This way a person may maintain health and vitality through specific exercises and meditations.
This is the heart of any Qi Gong training.

What is Qi Gong?
Qi can be defined as a Universal energy. A more narrow definition refers to the vital energy which flows through the body of all living things. Qi Gong is the art of cultivating this energy for the purpose of health and long life. For the purpose of understanding Qi, it can be thought of as an electrical energy or heat.

There are a large number of differing styles and forms of Qi Gong. Each seeking to cultivate, preserve, strengthen, and smooth the flow of the body’s natural energy.
All styles can be divided into the external styles (known as “Wai Dan”) and internal styles (known as “Nei Dan”). Both included the same fundamental goals, but go about achieving them in widely different ways.

Wai Dan as an easy way to think of external qi gong in that it builds energy from the outside inwards.

Nei Dan Internal Qi Gong goes about building energy through meditation and breathing exercises.

What are the fundamentals of Qi Gong

  1. Qi is directed by the mind. Through concentration and intent, you can direct your body’s energy to go wherever you like.
  2. Stay relaxed as tension causes Qi to stagnate.
  3. Mediate regularly.
  4. Practice regularly.

Don’t get discouraged.

Remember, Perceive it to Achieve it…

© Ray Baars, 2001

Ray Baars is a Qi Qong Teacher (internal form), and Energy healer, having practiced and taught Tai Chi / Qi Qong since the late 70’s.
Ray was taught by Master Chu and Master Zuchetti, and teaches both in America and here in the UK.