"If you want to be healthy, and live to 100, do qigong."

This quote is from Dr. Mehmet Oz on the Oprah Winfrey show, when asked what single practice he would recommend to people to stay healthy. He added that Qigong reverses the aging process.

Qigong offers great promise for anyone interested in improving their health and wellbeing. Qi (chee) means energy. Gong means work or cultivation. Simply put, Qigong encompasses practices that utilize movement, massage, breathing and meditation in varying combinations to cultivate energy. Developed over thousands of years in China, the most well-known form in the West is Tai Chi, a martial art adapted for health, which has been called by Harvard Medical School as:

"meditation in motion" and "medication in motion"

Through the union of movement, breath and awareness, Qigong promotes self-healing. Like regular exercise, it boosts circulation, builds strength and improves flexibility. Unlike regular exercise, Qigong does not produce stress hormones, when practiced properly. The meditative aspects, spiraling movements and deep breathing contribute to a healing state within the body, promoting homeostasis for cellular repair. Among several thousands styles of Qigong, the Eight Pieces of Brocade (Eight Silken Movements) is the oldest documented form. C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., Founder Shealy Institute for Comprehensive Health Care, and Founding President, American Holistic Medical Association has said:

"Qi Gong is one of the most important movement meditation techniques. If all Americans learned just the 'Eight Silken Movements' and practiced them daily, we could reduce health costs by 50 percent."

Many other styles are also being practiced in the West including Wild Goose (Dayan) Qigong, Five Animal Play (Wu Xin Xi) and some newer forms, Guolin Walking Qigong, Wisdom Healing (Zhineng) Qigong and Spring Forest Qigong. Their practitioners report health benefits ranging from stress relief to recovery from serious diseases. Walking Qigong for Cancer was developed by Mrs. Guo Lin, who was told after two operations that she had six months left to live and that nothing further could be done. She went home and developed her method based on the Qigong taught to her as a child by her grandfather. She went on to live for thirty more years teaching this to millions of cancer patients in China. In the US, Spring Forest Qigong practitioners offer many testimonials on health gains. From Greg Gerber, MD, Chief of Internal Medicine at SW Memorial Hospital, Houston, Texas:

"The benefits for most of the people I've seen are fantastic--absolutely remarkable. Diabetes, glucose control, hypertension--I've seen some folks reversing other longer-standing arthritis--all of these are on the list of what I've seen in my clinical practice being reversed."

Working with relaxation and the breath to induce micro-circulation for cellular repair, with whole body movement to release body armor and strengthen muscles and tendons, relieve joints and massage internal organs; and with mind intention to balance thoughts and emotions, Qigong offers great possibilities for self-healing. This from Sally Jesse Raphael, Talk Show Host on working with Qigong master, Robert Peng:

"Robert's Qi helped save my life. But he does something more important than heal, he teaches you to heal yourself."

Her testimonial echoes the anecdotal experience of many people who have discovered Qigong's healing benefits while practicing different styles of qigong, with different teachers, or even with a dvd or online training when an instructor is not available. Conclusive scientific research in English, so far has been conducted mostly on the efficacy of Tai Chi for balance and bone density and on Meditation's beneficial effects on memory, learning and emotions. Along with growing public awareness of Qigong and its benefits, government and corporations are also recognizing the opportunity for huge savings in healthcare and worker absenteeism reduction.

Low cost with the potential for huge returns, Qigong offers anyone with the willingness to learn and commit to continual practice, the potential for great healing. From an article in the Huffington Post:

"To begin to benefit from Qigong you do not have to be fit, you don’t have to be flexible; you don't even have to be able to stand up."

To learn more please, visit: for a comprehensive database of articles, video clips and scientific research on Qigong and teacher listings. You can also find more Qigong links under resources on this site.

© 2017 Sanghi Choi