The Wonderful Benefits of Chi Kung
Editorial Note: This article was written more than 30 years ago in the 1980s. It was as useful then as it is now.
What is Chi Kung
Chi Kung, which is spelt as "qigong" in Romanized Chinese, is the art of developing cosmic energy, the very energy that sustains all our functions and movements in life.
The many benefits of Chi Kung can be classified into four main areas:
Promotes physical and emotional health;
Develops fitness and vitality, which is used not only in martial arts and sports but also in our daily work and play;
Enhances mental freshness.
There are three main approaches to achieve these aims, namely, graceful body exercises to achieve health, breathing techniques to develop vitality, and meditation to train the mind. These approaches are integrated, though there is difference of emphasis at different levels or for different needs. All these main approaches are included in our intensive course.
There are many types or schools of Chi Kung. There is also a wide range of quality achieved, as well as the benefits aimed at. Most types are mainly concerned with health, some with martial arts, and only a few advanced Chi Kung types deal with mind development. Our school of Chi Kung is called Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung, which is exceeding deep and extensive. Our proposed Chi Kung Intensive Course is mainly concerned with stress management, thus bringing physical and emotional health.
Grandmaster Wong performing a famous chi kung exercise called "Lifting the Sky"
Chi Kung for Stress Management
Chi Kung is excellent for managing stress. Stress is an urgent problem, not only resulting in illness, but also lowering our daily work performance. All the three most widely prescribed drugs in the world are concerned with stress.
Chi Kung deals with stress without the use of drugs. Its progressive relaxation exercises help our body to better cope with physical and mental stress. Its chi flow exercises enable life energy to flow to all parts of our body, making us more resilient to stress. It also cleanses the body internally, disposing toxins that might be produced as the result of stress. Thirdly, meditative exercises develops the mind to a heightened level of consciousness and a joyous sense of tranquility, enabling us to manage stress efficiently.
Curing "Incurable" Illnesses
Prolonged, excessive stress can bring about serious organic and psychosomatic diseases. Chi Kung is not only excellent at preventing them, but also very effective in curing these diseases, many of which conventional medicine regards as "incurable"! We have a very proud track record in this area.
Let us take hypertension as an example to show how Chi Kung therapy can cure it. Many people have the false impression that taking food with high cholesterol causes deposition of excessive fat at the inner walls of blood vessels, resulting in hypertension. This is actually the symptom, not the cause.
The actual cause is the failure of our body to produce the necessary hormones to neutralize the excessive fat. Fat is being deposited at our vessel walls all the time, but when the deposition of fat reaches a critical level, a set of yin meridians will convey electric impulses (which we call chi) from the vessel walls to the brain. On receiving this information, the brain will send instructions in the form of electric impulses via another set of yang meridians to the blood vessels telling the organs to produce the right amount of the necessary hormones to neutralize the excessive fat. This carries on autonomously all the time, by the harmonious working of our nervous system, and is summarized as yin-yang balance in Chinese medical philosophy.
But if this harmonious communication between the brain and the organs is interrupted, or yin-yang harmony is disrupted, then illness occurs. In this case, the inner walls of the blood vessels do not produce enough hormones to dissolve the excessive deposited fat, causing restriction of the vessels' passage way and resulting in hypertension.
Taking drugs to dilate the blood vessels cannot effect a permanent cure, because it is only treating the symptom. In Chi Kung therapy, we treat the cause. The break down of communication between the brain and the vessel walls is due to the "hardening" of the autonomous nerves and/or the presence of excessive toxins blocking the smooth flow of impulses along the nerves. In Chi Kung practice, we "massage" the nerves with chi (or energy), and cleanse them of toxins, thereby restoring their natural functions. Once this is achieved, the cause of illness is removed and the patient recovers as a matter of course.
The same principles apply to all other organs. Stones are continually forming in our kidneys, impurities being breathed into our lungs, sugar taken into our blood stream, and toxins of numerous kinds deposited in our body and brain. But so long as our autonomous nervous system and organs are functioning naturally, we won't get kidney stones, asthma, diabetes, rheumatism, migraine or other illnesses. It is unnatural to be sick. Our body has a wonderful, almost unbelievable way to overcome all illness. It is only when we neglect or abuse our body, like failing to cleanse it of toxic waste, or allowing stress to continuously damage its tissue that we become sick. But even if we are sick, we can readily cure ourselves, before it is too late, by consistently practicing Chi Kung.
Vitality and Longevity
How does Chi Kung give us vitality? How does Chi Kung enable us to work tirelessly, play well and enjoy our leisure with zest. The secret is energy. A person who has little or no energy will not be able to work, play or even enjoy buoyantly. The main purpose of Chi Kung is to develop energy, the energy that gives us the vitality for joyous living. Ordinarily, this energy is obtained from the oxidization of food. Chi Kung teaches us excellent breathing methods, and improves our digestive system, thus enabling us to produce more energy. (In advance Chi Kung, we can get extra energy by tapping it from the cosmos!) Cleaner internal systems, with a harmonious flow of energy inside our body, further enable us to use this extra energy more efficiently.
Now let us see how Chi Kung give us longevity. Scientists agree that our body is made to last at least 120 years. But many people don't last even half that time because of two main factors, accidents and sickness which can either take life immediately or weaken the body so much that it can't last its potential life span.
Chi Kung overcomes both factors, enabling us to live long lives. Two groups of people are particularly prone to accidents: those who are very quick tempered and those who are very slow minded. Chi Kung helps us to strike the golden middle path. Those who practise Chi Kung become calm and composed, at the same time they are very fast in their mental and physical re-sponses. In this way the occurrence of accidents is greatly minimized.
It is in the prevention of illness and keeping the body in tip top conditions that Chi Kung's contribution to longevity is most noticeable. It is helpful, though not very complimentary, to compare our body to an automobile. It is even less complementary when we realize that most of us look after our car better than our body. If we look after our car well, cleanse it of its dust and rust habitually, oil its parts carefully, and check its functioning regularly so that we don't even have to see any mechanics to correct its fault (because there isn't any), then our car is certainly going to give us tip top performance for a long, long time.
In the same way, if we habitually cleanse our body of dust and rust, nourish our parts well with energy, and check our physiological functioning regularly with harmonious energy flow so that we don't ever have to see any doctors to correct any mal-functions (because there aren't any), then we are certainly going to live long, healthy lives. Statistics show that Chi Kung practitioners live past eighty, yet fit and healthy.
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
21st December 2016