Qigong, Neigong, Qi Gong, Chi Kung – are they all the same? Yes. In fact, these are the most common spellings of this ancient martial art form, practiced and revered for centuries. Qigong, or Chi Kung, has existed for approximately 5000 years. The origins have been traced back to China, where it was created by Shamans, who were mainly women. In short Qigong/Chi Kung literally means – working with energy.
“Qigong has provided me with a mental framework with which to face the day and its unexpected events with a greater degree of calmness. I was a competitive swimmer for many years through high school and college. As a result of the Qigong you have taught me, and the specific breathing patterns it made me swim much more easily and efficiently and allowed me to swim for a significantly longer time.” – Gladys
Having and Doing a Qigong Practice Promotes Many Beneficial Outcomes
- Facilitate a meditative state of mind and helps to clear and refresh the mind
- Initiate the parasympathetic response which keeps the adrenals in check and healthy
- Energize the body naturally
- Strengthen the immune system
- Modulate the nervous system
- Support the body in homeostasis – stable and constant
- Improve breathing
- Improve quality of sleep
Qigong and the High School Athlete
For the high school student athlete, a Qigong practice delivers significant improvement in their sport and greater ease of focus in sport and academics. It establishes a more comprehensive foundation for building athletic skill sets – quicker motor pattern development, kinesthetic and spatial awareness, anticipation reflexes and response, quicker mental acuity, and improved strength.
Perhaps the greatest benefit for the high school student athlete is when a Qigong practice is implemented in conjunction with the correct sports performance program – when this occurs, the possibility of an injury occurring is virtually eliminated!
In addition, the vast majority of high school athletes are unfortunately in a chronic state of overtraining. This leads to a variety of physical injuries, over stimulation of the nervous system, weight loss, and apathy toward life and school. When students have an active Qigong practice, they are better able to modulate the impact on their nervous system and keep their adrenals healthy.
Qigong and the Amateur, Elite, Professional Athlete and Weekend Warrior
From weekend warrior to Olympic hopeful, all athletes can reap many benefits from a Qigong/Chi Kung program. In conjunction with the correct sport specific training program, adult athletes:
- Avoid a state of overtraining
- Avoid injuries
- Refresh and recharge the mind, body and spirit
- Improve recovery time
- Increase immune system function
- Enjoy better, more restful sleep
- Minimize cortisol production
- Facilitate the parasympathetic system and decrease adrenal overload
- Improvement in all athletic skill sets and transfer of skill sets
- Improve training performance
When all is said and done, having and doing Qigong as an ongoing practice will – Deliver Sustainable, Championship Levels of Performance.
A Brief History of Qigong
It is believed that the Shamans developed the foundations of Qigong/Chi Kung through observing the four seasons, the weather, animals, plants, trees, insects, the night sky, the sun, streams, rivers; all things of nature, and of heaven and earth. Through their observations and studies they realized that “we are nature and nature is us.” Therefore we are in relationship with all of nature, and affected by the cycles of nature, heaven and earth.
By studying how animals move and how they care for themselves, the Chinese Shamans created movements similar to ones demonstrated by the animals. Over decades of practice, observation and refinements, the Chinese implemented specific movements into their everyday lives and began to notice improved fitness and health – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Illness and disease were significantly decreased and in many cases resolved completely.
If you have questions about the ways in which Qigong can improve your athletic performance, please be in touch.