Qi Gong-An ancient form of self-healing
As the first rays of sun lighten the sky, men and women of all ages begin moving in graceful patterns. Sometimes alone and sometimes in groups, they perform rhythmic, symmetrical motions, accompanied by deep-controlled breathing, to centre and balance their bodies, connect with their vital energy and direct that energy to achieve maximum health.
Central to Qi Gong practice is the manipulation of the body`s vital energy, called `chi`. The Chinese practice Qi Gong at dawn because they believe that `chi` is best felt outdoors, at that moment when the sun first comes up and hits the dew still on the ground. `Chi` is considered a kind of food, that nourishes and heals. It is believed by the Chinese that when you practice Qi Gong, you gather `chi` from the universe, breathe it in with your whole body and let the energy flow like water.
Qi Gong is used in China to treat a variety of illnesses including cancer and multiple sclerosis. Qi Gong`s effectiveness has never been proven through controlled scientific studies.
But now an American physician is using a grant from the National Institute of Health`s Office of Alternative Medical Practice to research Qi Gong as a treatment for a disabling disease of the nervous system called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). A pilot study showed that one RSD patient`s pain and swelling were significantly reduced after Qi Gong training.