Qi, Qigong, and Tai Chi | Goals and Objectives | Approaches and Technologies | Results
One of the fundamental concepts in mind/body medicine and energy medicine is that the human body has a form of “vital energy” that circulates in the body. This type of energy is referred to by different names in different cultures. “Qi” (also known as “Chi” or “Ki”) is the Chinese term for this type of energy when used in the context of Oriental medicine, martial arts, and healing arts. Traditionally, Qi circulating through channels of the body known as “Meridians” in Oriental Medicine is referred to as “Internal Qi”. Proper flow of this energy is deemed to be necessary for good health, while blockage of it is associated with disease and dysfunction. When the energy is perceived to be projected out from a certain part of the body (most frequently the hands) and transferred to another person or object, it is referred to as “External Qi”. While there have been numerous studies related to the study of Qi, this type of energy has yet to be measured definitively with modern scientific instruments.
“Qigong” is a term used to describe a diverse family of dozens or even hundreds of styles or schools of mind/body practices rooted in the Chinese martial arts and/or healing arts. With training routines that incorporate regulation of mind, body, and respiration, Qigong is thought to enhance the development and circulation of Qi in the body for good health and healing. “Tai Chi” (also called Tai Chi Chuan), probably the most practiced martial art on a world-wide basis, can be considered a type of Qigong when its slow and soft movements are practiced with coordinated control of breathing and mental concentration.