Coincidentally, after reading about the practice of Qigong and reaching the alpha state, my FIL suggested that I look for Qigong classes to send Aristotle. He felt they would be good for helping Aristotle calm his mind and control his emotional state – which has been quite high-strung lately. Okay, my FIL didn’t use those words exactly but that was what he meant. Since we’ve been working on the 5 Minute Suggestion and before bed time “meditation”, Qigong seemed to be the logical progression for helping Aristotle further develop control over his mental state.
Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.
The word Qigong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe.
The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qigong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.
I first heard about Qigong from a distributor for my ex-company. He started Qigong after quitting cigarettes and alcohol as advised by his doctor who warned him that he was signing his own death sentence if he continued as he was. When I mentioned it to my mother, she told me that my grandfather used to practice it in his younger days and she believed it helped him become healthier and lose weight. My grandfather is 98 and still going strong, although he doesn’t practice Qigong any more so take that however you want to.
I’ve always thought that Qigong looks a lot like Tai Chi, but apparently there are differences. The differences are also kind of hard to explain, so if you’re really interested, you can read the article from Energy Arts on the difference between Qigong and Tai Chi. The important thing to know is that Qigong is touted to maintain health, provide healing to the body, calm the mind, and reconnect the spirit. Although large randomised controlled studies are lacking, what little that has been published appears to be promising. Given the gentle nature of the exercises, I think we can conclude that they should be fairly safe to do.
Qigong for Kids
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any local classes for Aristotle, but I did find some information and resources available online:
- The Qigong Institute
- The Chi Center – provides a lot of useful information, free resources as well as paid courses and DVDs. An online course is available if you’re really serious about it and can’t get to a local class.
- Qigong Youtube Channel – watch the video on Qigong for kids
- Qigong Meditation and Kids
- Qigong and Tai Chi for Kids – lots of online videos that will explain more about it
- There are some free Qigong Exercises for Kids on Youtube
- The Qigong Institute also has videos, although not specifically for kids
- Power Animal Frolics encompasses Tai Chi, Qigong and Yoga for kids
- Ellie Drew offers a 4 in 1 training video on Qigong for Kids
Like any other sport, I do believe that the best way to learn is through a properly trained instructor. The problem with DIY is that there is no one around to correct poor form which can impact on the full benefits derived from such exercises. If you know of any Qigong classes for kids in the Klang Valley, do leave me a comment. In the meantime, we’ll keep looking around.