From a personal prespective, this has been a very uncomfortable year for me. Like everyone else, I have been too busy to take care of myself. I guess I’ll never learn…I’ll never learn that you are never too busy to take care of yourself. When we don’t take care of ourselves, we end up in a pickle. Not only are we not able to effectively take care of our everyday responsibilities, we are no longer able to participate evenly and openly in life.
Life never lets you go too long. One day I woke up and said, “I am so out of balance, I don’t know who I am anymore.” So, I stepped back and started my Qi-Gong practice again. First, I started with some Martial Qigong and that was o.k., but it didn’t really re-center me. I needed to be re-center. After a couple weeks of Martial Qigong, I switched over to Medical Qigong and within two days I felt lighter and centered and able to easily participate in life again.
What I wanted to do for you in this article is explain the different types of qi-gong. One is not better than another. Each type is focused on different end goals and, therefore, one will be more appropriate than another based on circumstance.
I’m not going to take all this from my head. Part of the information I’m going to take is information from Maria Furlano who is a teacher, healer, and intuitive based in San Diego, CA. To find out more about Dr. Maria Furlano, please see her web-site at www.mariafurlano.com. Maria has studied with Dr. Bernard Shannon who founded the International College of Medical Qigong. Dr. Shannon studied with Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson. It was through Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson’s five books on medical qi gong that I was introduced to another aspect of Qigong.
There are three main schools of Qigong: spiritual, martial, and medical.
Spiritual Qigong focuses on attaining a focused awareness of the present moment. Consider all the stress, frustration, anxiety, worry or other negative emotion that you are feeling at this moment. Now stop. Usually, your negative emotion is associated with either a situation from the past or a future potential.
Let’s take a simple example. Let’s say you have a bill due in 10 days and you don’t have the money for the payment, and that is causing you worry and anxiety. In 10 days, the bill will be an issue. But, at this exact moment, it is not an issue. In this exact moment, the bill is about a future potential. In this exact moment, all your bills are paid.
Here is another example. I have a horse. My horse never worries about food until he is hungry. He doesn’t sit in his stall and say, “She might not come out and feed me at 5PM.” He sits in his stall and says, “At this moment, I am perfectly content. I am not too hungry, and I’m not too full. I may be a little bored. But, otherwise, I’m o.k.”
When I think of Spiritual Qigong, I think of the art of now.
Martial Qigong has another focus. “Martial Qìgong practitioners focus on training their bodies for power, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination and conditioning to prevent injuries.
Martial Qìgong techniques are used specifically for fighting to bring energy into muscles, tendons and bones.
Qìgong practice is valuable in sports training because of the focus on increasing stamina, coordination, speed, flexibility, and restoration of the body.
Advanced students of martial schools also train in the skills of Neì Gong (internal skill), Qì G?ng (energy skill) and Shén Gong (spirit skill) to fight against their opponent.”
When I think of Martial Qigong, I think of the art of strength.
The last school of Qigong is medical Qigong. “…Medical Qìgong therapy is the oldest therapy in Chinese Medicine. Treatment is based on the diagnosis and treatment principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The goal of Medical Qìgong exercises is to increase circulation of blood, qi, and lymph throughout the body. Specific Qìgong exercises are prescribed to purge (release), tonify (strengthen), and regulate (balance) the meridian, organ, lymphatic, circulatory and nervous systems of the body; as well as manage stress and release deep-seated emotions for sustained healing…”
When I think of Medical Qigong, I think about the art of balance.
That covers the three common schools of Qigong. Hopefully, this helps you understand better what type of focus each school has.