March 9, 2017
Last Updated:
March 4, 2021

What is Qi Gong? Try this Healthy Movement Practice

Here at Integrative Nutrition, we believe that there’s no single path to wellness that fits everyone. Whether it’s through healthy eating, fitness, spending time in nature, having a sense of career purpose, or all of the above, we all have unique needs. It is through exploration and intuition that we can ultimately find our own healthy balance.

If you haven’t tried Qi Gong yet, why not see how it makes you feel?

Qi Gong is a Chinese health care practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused awareness or intention. The word Qi (pronounced “chee”) refers to life force energy, and the word Gong (pronounced “gung”) refers to mastery or skill that accumulates over time with practice.

Mastering your life force? It’s no wonder Qi Gong is associated with longevity!

Qi Gong dates back to antiquity, and has long been considered a wellness practice accessible to all body types because of it’s slow and rhythmic nature. However, beneath the surface, it is said to create the conditions for great healing through cleansing of the organs, resonance and alignment of energies and meridians, increased vitality, and benefit the body’s systems – circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic and digestive. Research supports these physiological benefits.

An important form of complementary alternative medicine, Qi Gong is similar to yoga in the sense of being a meditative exercise that engages the body, mind, and spirit.

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To truly get a sense of the immense benefits of Qi Gong, we recommend that you find a local class until you’re comfortable and familiar enough to practice at home.

In the meantime, check out these sequences here and here that include some signature movements to get you started. Before you begin, take a moment to plant your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder width apart, with your knees slightly bent. Qi Gong often begins with a brief “shaking” – literally shaking your whole body for about 5 minutes or more, while keeping your feet planted. This helps to loosen up your joints, increase circulation, and prepare you for the practice ahead.

Let us know what you think of Qi Gong in the comments below!

Want to learn more about the Integrative Nutrition approach to health? Get our Curriculum Guide.

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