Qi gong

What is it?

Qi gong – pronounced ‘chee goong’ – is also part of traditional Chinese medicine. ‘Qi’ means one’s life energy, and ‘gong’ means work. Qi gong combines movement with controlled breathing and meditation.

Why use it?

Movements performed in qi gong keep the flow of energy running through the body’s energy channels. This can help generate a sense of wellbeing and peace, as well as improving both mental and physical vitality.

What to expect?

Wear comfortable clothes. Participants start with warm-up exercises to loosen the body. The instructor then guides you through a series of slow movements, which can range from basic to complex.

The exercises, which are usually very calming, help you become more aware of your energy. Classes might also include meditation while you are lying down, sitting, standing or walking.

What is the evidence?

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

    − Margaret (breast cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma)

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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