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Lia Andrews: Qigong – Exercising Your Qi

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Qigong refers to exercises that promote the proper flow of qi, or vital energy, in the body. This term is an umbrella term for a wide variety of exercises including meditation, Dao-In (Chinese Yoga), Tai Chi, and breathing techniques. Its definition could be extended to include exercises cross-culturally that provide similar benefits. Qigong is the foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine. The practice of qigong is an integral part of excelling as an acupuncturist and health maintenance for everyone.

Self-cultivation through a qigong practice is often part of an acupuncturist’s training. The concept of qi is difficult to grasp for Westerners. Qi is often translated as “vital energy” or “bioelectric energy” but this there is no English term that truly conveys its meaning. Qi is the “prana” of the Indian tradition. It is insubstantial. Its healthy flow powers the healthy function of our bodies. Feeling qi move through your body takes seemingly abstract, metaphorical concepts such as “meridian” or “yin and yang” and makes them into real, practical terms.

Short, simple qigong exercises are often given as homework to patients by their acupuncturists in order to empower them to make positive changes in their health themselves. The following is a qigong exercise I have given to my patients. This exercise is particularly important for women after giving birth to recuperate the proper flow of the channels. It is taken from the book Ancient Wisdom from a Modern Master; The Healing Art of Qi Gong by Master Hong Liu, which I often suggest to my patients.


• Powerful Longevity exercise.
• God for male/female problems (prostate, sexual dysfunction, cancer, menstrual, UTI, yeast infections, etc.)
• Don’t do in a car or place you may get distracted. Focus is very important during the exercise.
• Don’t have sex immediately before or after doing exercise (though it may provoke sexual energy)

How To Do The Breathing

Sit on the end of a chair or stool with perineum off the edge of the chair. (Egyptian stance).
Inhale, pull perineum (and only the perineum) into the body, hold (2 seconds) and exhale completely (release while exhaling). Focus on the perineum during the exercise.
Release completely or it may exacerbate problems.

Women -24 breaths (Numbers based on the I-Ching)
Men - 36 breaths .

Chong Mai goes through the energy centers, chakras - all the endocrine glands (helps balance hormones).