What is Qi Gong Shibashi?
Qi Gong Shibashi is a gentle form of exercise involving breathing and movements. It is designed for reducing stress, for relaxation and for improvement of physical and emotional well-being.
Pronounced “chee-gung”, Qigong is written in different ways - Chi Kung, Qi Gung, Chi Gong. Chi” or “Qi” translates as ‘energy’ or ‘breath’. Gong or Kung means ‘work’ or ‘practice’. Qi Gong therefore translates as ‘energy work’, or ‘breath work’.
The History of Tai Chi and Qi Gong
Tai Chi has a very long history in China. The original roots are not clear, but may go back thousands of years. Written references speak of a ‘dance’ used to ward off disease, regulate breathing and balance energy.
Around 2,700 BC the Yellow Emperor in Northern China is said to have practiced meditation, breathing exercises and yoga and reached the age of 111. A text from that time, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” states that, “Energy commands blood; where energy goes, blood follows.”
There are many different forms or ‘traditions’ of Tai Chi, developed over the last 300 years, and they generally focus on raising internal strength through the flows of Qi, while improving physical health. Tai Chi often uses ‘forms’ in which a series of movements flow like a dance. These can include the use of sticks, fans, sashes or even swords.
Qi Gong is a relatively modern term, from the 1950s in China. There are 5 main traditions of Qi Gong which focus on different aspects of the physical body or the mind, including the development of virtue or enlightened wisdom, and the practice of martial arts skills. The Medical/Healing tradition in Qi Gong focuses on the flow and balance of energy (Chi) in the body, to help treat illness, as well as improving and maintaining physical and emotional health.
Traditionally Tai Chi training would involve all forms of Qi Gong. Shibashi Qi Gong comes from the Medical tradition and focuses on one set of specific exercises designed to improve or maintain health and well-being.