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Chi Kung: Its History and Purpose

An article by Y.K. Wong

The present name is Chi Kung (qigong). In ancient times, Do Yan. The meaning of "Do Yan" is health maintenance and healing art. It can be traced back over 4,000 years.

It is said in Taoist philosophy, one has to "breathe gently, deeply, peacefully, and have an empty mind…"

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The Taoist, Jong Zi (Chuang Tzu) said, Breathe out the carbon dioxide, breathe in the fresh air; contract andexpand your body [stretch] like the bear and crane—the purpose is for health and long life."

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A student of Confucius, Aun Wui, wrote "forget your body and mind and harmonize with nature."

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Mencius wrote, "I know how to nurture my breathing, energy, and spirit so as to be resilient and unbreakable, like Nature."

The first known medical book, Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine, was written down in the Warring States Period, roughly 2,300 years ago. It refers to "breathing the fresh air, standing still with peaceful mind, balance (mentally and physically), skeleton and muscle harmony," which describes Do Yan or Chi Kung. It was used as a method to heal sickness.

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In the Han dynasty, 206-220 B.C., the early surgeon Wah Tor, famous for acupuncture, created the Five Animal Movements. He recognized that sitting meditation could cause problems, thus it needed to be harmonized with movement. The five animals were Tiger, Deer, Bear, Monkey, and Crane.

During the Tang dynasty, Buddhism and Indian yoga were absorbed into Chi Kung culture. In the present day, there are many different forms of Chi Kung, for example, Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, or medical. They all are meant to restore or maintain good health and promote long life.

Based on experience, Chi Kung is good for various problems. Among them are arthritis, insomnia, high or low blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, physiological problems, pain of various types, nervous problems, etc. Chi Kung is especially good for those who badly need exercise, but who are too weak to tolerate the usual sorts of physical exercise.

When you practice you need a peaceful mind and relaxed body. The mindset depends on the purpose.

Based on over 30 years of practice and research, I take a cautious approach to Chi Kung. Many people have caused themselves mental and physical problems by practicing Chi Kung improperly, esp. when intending to hurry success.

Here at my studio, Y. K. Physical Consultant, I offer Chi Kung based on the earliest Do Yan as well as standing meditation, which is part of the Yi Chuen system of Chinese martial arts. A one-year period of study and practice is suggested in order to see good results.

For more information please see the letters from satisfied clients on the Testimonials page, or call 404-542-4043

Copyright Y.K.Wong 2002-2011