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.
Qi gong was very calming and made me more aware of the energy in my body. I found it easier to learn than tai chi so I was able to do it at home as well as going to classes.
âˆ’ Margaret (breast cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma)
Suzanne Grant, Senior Acupuncturist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; A/Prof Craig Hassed, Senior Lecturer, Department of General Practice, Monash University, VIC; Mara Lidums, Consumer; Tanya McMillan, Consumer; Simone Noelker, Physiotherapist and Wellness Centre Manager, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Byeongsang Oh, Acupuncturist, University of Sydney and Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, NSW; Sue Suchy, Consumer; Marie Veale, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Prof Anne Williams, Nursing Research Consultant, Centre for Nursing Research, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and Chair, Health Research, School of Health Professions, Murdoch University, WA.
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