I became acquainted with Qigong over 15 years ago at a Unitarian Universalist church service.
A practitioner was giving demonstrations after coffee hour and I was curious. I had no expectations, nor did I realize we would be practicing Qigong.
After a brief explanation of its roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy and martial arts we were asked to participate in some exercises.
Qigong and energy fields
We understood we would be working with and utilizing the energy fields within our body and could do exercises to attract energy or release energy.
We stood up and followed the practitioner in a series of movements and deep breathing exercises to build up energy. We understood that when the energy started to flow we might feel some warmth. Within about 10 minutes our group was generating enough heat to warm a small room.
In fact, my hands became so hot that my partner, who was a yard away, could feel the radiating heat from my palms.
At that point I was convinced this was an interesting and worthwhile pursuit.
A few years later I would become certified as a Reiki practitioner and utilize another energy modality in the treatment of a variety of illnesses.
The health benefits of Qigong
Though I am not a certified Qigong practitioner, I have attended classes off and on for a number of years and find it very valuable and effective in restoring equilibrium to the body to encourage optimal health.
When I was practicing frequently I noticed a profound difference in my overall well being.
I found the meditative aspect very calming and restorative.
According to Buddhist belief, Qigong allows one to access higher realms of awareness. The slow coordinating movements are reminiscent of Tai Chi and in that there is perfect form in Tai Chi, there is also an optimal form in Qigong.
Mastery of this discipline takes years and it is wise to seek a practitioner who has years of experience.
It is essentially a self healing practice, though Masters can work directly with patients to help restore health. Qigong is a mysterious, though powerful discipline, with the knowledge passed down over the centuries to students. Classes are generally $20 hr and up.