One of my favorite exercises to improve range of motion and strengthen the arm comes from a Qi Gong exercise. Below is an introduction to Qi Gong and a video on this routine.
What Is Qi?
Qi is pronounced like “chee” and is even sometimes spelt chi. In fact, these can be used interchangeably. Gong is pronounced like the famous 1970's, The Gong Show. Qi Gong essentially is the cultivation of energy or Qi through breathing, movement and mindful practices.
An Ancient Science
To be honest, no one knows exactly when chi was first discovered, but it’s believed by many that the discovery itself predates written language itself! So we know that this term represents something truly ancient. But what does it actually mean?
Chi is the animating life force that is the fundamental essence of every living thing. To put it even more simply, chi is vital energy.
This “essential life force” is not unique to Chinese medicine and philosophy, however. In fact, you may already be familiar with chi by one of its other names. In Japan, this same energy is called ki. In India, it is an essential part of yoga and is called pran
Personal Energy Management
This very ancient practice contains the essence of a whole philosophy and even medical system that we now refer to as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
At its most basic, Qigong is a system of personal energy management. The ancient Chinese were actually able to track and document “streams” or “channels” of energy flowing through their bodies and even manipulate these channels to promote healing and right states of mind.
For more information on Qigong please refer to the five part series on this blog.
Don’t Worry - It’s Science!
Over the past several decades, advances in medicine and science have led to remarkable discoveries. For now, let’s take a moment to review some of what we’ve learned.
Terms & Definitions
The animating life force that is the fundamental essence of every living thing; vital energy
Japanese equivalent to chi; life force; vital energy
Indian equivalent to chi; life force; vital energy
The intentional cultivation of vital energy
EVERY LIVING THING
Within this context, these words refer to everything that we are, see, and experience including both physical elements like breath, water, food, and rocks as well as emotional, mental, and spiritual elements such as thoughts
Hungry For More?
Check out the series on Qigong and acupressure for more information about these wonderful routines . This is my favorite shoulder and arm exercise that I show my patients with any type of pain or range of motions issues. I hope you like it as much as I do.