Qigong seems to be a mysterious art form that many people I talk to don’t know what it is. Most of those people however do know what Tai Chi is or have at least heard about it. Tai Chi is Qigong melded with the martial arts. It is an art form that uses martial arts movement to cultivate Chi. If you extract the martial art aspects you have Qigong.
Qigong is the pure form of Chi cultivation. Typically it is practiced without movement. This is because Chi is directed by the mind and by employing methods of meditation and visualization Chi is cultivated. In essence Qigong is a Chi meditation. The process of cultivating Chi is a blend of strengthening the mind and it’s capabilities for visualization strengthening one’s ability to feel and move Chi. Strengthen the mind and strengthen Chi. Being that the mind is directly linked to your physical body via Chi, it’s practice has great affect on the body. With this in mind -pun intended- if you are thinking, you are moving Chi. Which means, what you think and the state of your mind, your body (and life) will reflect that. This can also work in the other direction, which is why we need to strengthen the mind so it is easier to control.
Chi can also be cultivated naturally through the combination of movement and breath. By practicing this, a more relaxed state is induced along with increased blood flow to the muscular system thus opening the body to enable a greater flow of energy through it. This alone can result in great benefits of health and well-being. In effect, a person does not necessarily need to know or understand the dynamics of Chi or its relationship to mind and body to gain these benefits or even physically feel Chi or more accurately, sensations of Chi. This is part of why only the physical forms of Chi related arts are practiced and Chi is still a bit of a mystery and not common knowledge. Personally, I want to understand and know. Also, to have a physical awareness and an ability to manipulate Chi willfully cultivating it directly, feeling and moving it like an object, a person can understand Chi on a much greater level.
The knowledge of Chi is becoming more widespread through acupuncture and other practices because the results and benefits are undeniable. But now is the time that we give people the understanding of it right away and make it common knowledge, because now everyone can feel it and move it right away.