Qi gong

What it is

Qi gong – pronounced ‘chee goong’ – is part of traditional Chinese medicine. ‘Qi’ means vital energy, and ‘gong’ means work. Qi gong combines movement with controlled breathing and meditation. It may also be considered an energy therapy.

Why use it

Movements performed in qi gong keep the flow of energy running through the body’s energy channels. This can help improve quality of life, including mental and physical wellbeing.

What to expect

Wear comfortable clothes. The session starts with warm-up exercises to loosen the body. The instructor then guides you through a series of slow movements, which help you become more aware of your energy. Classes might also include meditation while you are lying down, sitting, standing or walking.


Clinical studies suggest that qi gong improves quality of life and reduces fatigue, pain and anxiety. Anecdotal evidence shows that it helps to improve general fitness.

    − Margaret (breast cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma)

This information was last reviewed in May 2018
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends