Qigong is the modern term used to describe a wide array of Chinese exercise systems. Each of these systems is quite different in many ways to the other, though the best ones adhere to the same fundamental ideas and principles.
Qi is the rather large, catch all, word that has been used in China for a very long time to describe ‘energy’. In many cases the ideas expressed within the use of the term Qi, are quite similar to the ideas of a modern physicist. In essence, everything, whether solid state or more ephemeral is a manifestation of ‘energy’.
Qigong training is essentially a way to help these natural types of ‘energy’ flow smoothly along, as nature intended. When the ‘Qi’ isn’t flowing as it should then various physical ailments arise, leading to illness if not soon corrected.
Fundamentally Qigong seeks to ‘regulate the Xin’. The Xin is the Chinese way of expression the idea of emotional, ‘heart’ driven thinking and feeling. In traditional Chinese medicine it is believed that one of the worst things you can do is to have an unregulated ‘Xin’. In modern western medicine, it is also acknowledged that the vast majority of minor and major illnesses are caused by ‘stress’. In essence, this is the same idea.
Postural training as well as breath work (or at least awareness) are often primary tools for ‘regulating the Xin’. Ultimately the training may highlight unhelpful and deeply held attitudes which are the primary contributor to a troublesome ‘Xin’.
So with good Qigong training you can expect to practice things that will stretch and mobilise the whole body, rid yourself of physical tensions and mental stresses that reduce the free flow of your natural ‘Qi’ energy.
The results is a deep feeling of ease and tranquility, along with a more positive mindset and feelings of wellbeing.