In this article…
Health Qìgōng vs. Medical Qìgōng.
Health Qigong teacher vs. Medical Qigong practioner?
*Please note TCM = Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Welcome! Thank you for being here.
I am often asked, "What is the difference between “Qìgōng” & “Medical Qìgōng?”
A valid question. In this article I will explain their basic differences.
Health Qìgōng (also known as Qì Gōng & Chì Gōng)
Qìgōng exercises work to balance the energy flow & overall health when practiced consistently.
Health Qìgōng is generally what you would learn if you took a group Qìgōng class. The set of exercises taught would be focused in harmonizing your general health.
Do I need to understand Chinese Medicine to practice Qìgōng exercises?
To practice Qìgōng exercises, a knowledge of the Acupuncture meridian systems is not needed, nor is an understanding in Chinese medical theory. Learning the movements, combined with proper breathing and intention can provide great value in your overall health.
A qualified health Qìgōng teacher:
⇒ A qualified Qìgōng instructor should be able to demonstrate and explain:
⇒ The "18 rules" of posture.
⇒ Proper abdominal breathing.
⇒ A clear knowledge of each Qìgōng's movement intention and purpose.
⇒The Acupuncture meridian system.
Regular practice of Qìgōng exercises, postures and breathing techniques, are excellent for stress management while increasing vitality, and joint mobility.
There are thousands of Qìgōng styles.
Medical Qìgōng: Includes Medical Qìgōng Therapy and Medical Qìgōng Prescription Exercises.
Medical Qìgōng therapy is one of the 4 branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Medical Qìgōng therapy, as well as presription exercises, treat the physical, emotional and spiritual conditions of imbalances.
Medical Qìgōng therapy: After evaluation according to TCM differential diagnosis, the medical qìgōng doctor treats with external qì emission through purgation, tonification and regulation of energy. Some medical qìgōng practitioners also have the ability to read energy and treat by “distance therapy”.
The cultivated skill of a Medical Qìgōng doctor lies in their ability to control the intention, direction, & extension of emitted energy; in order to control the power, purpose & flow of its projection.
After the treatment, specific medical qìgōng exercises are prescribed for home-practice; to continue treating the diagnosed imbalances.
In TCM's most basic medical theory, imbalances occur when there is a deficiency or excess and most often a combination of both, that are creating pain, emotional disharmonies, and acute or chronic illnesses. Treatment criteria, includes purging (releasing), tonifying (strengthening) and harmonizing (balancing) the diagnosed dis-ease. In medical qìgōng therapy and prescribed qìgōng exercises, diagnosed disharmonies are treated.
A specialized training, although part of TCM, medical qìgōng therapy is not a common training in Acupuncture/TCM graduate school curriculums. However, health qìgōng is most often included in the TCM graduate curriculum.
A qualified Medical Qìgōng practitioner and teacher:
⇒ Trained in traditional Chinese medical theory and the Acupuncture meridian system.
⇒ Trained in purgation, tonification and regulation Qìgōng techniques and exercises.
⇒ Trained in Qìgōng posture and breathing techniques.
⇒ Trained in Healing Sound therapies.
⇒ Is able to explain the specific medical, emotional and spiritual reasons for each exercise prescribed.
⇒ Has been trained in Qì deviations, contraindications, and Shen (spirit) disturbances.
⇒ Has cultivated their energy to a high level.
United States Qualifications
In the United States there are no legal qualifications for a Qìgōng teacher or a Medical Qìgōng doctor or practitioner.
Johnson, Jerry Alan. Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy Volume 1: Energetic Anatomy and Physiology. California: The International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2002.
Johnson, Jerry Alan. Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy Volume 2: Energetic Alchemy, Dao Yin Therapy and Qi Deviations. California: The International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2002.
Johnson, Jerry Alan. Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy Volume 3: Differential Diagnosis, Clinical Foundations, Treatment Principles and Clinical Protocols. California: The International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2002.
Johnson, Jerry Alan. Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy Volume 4: Prescription Exercises and Meditations, Treatment of Internal Diseases, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Neurology and Energetic Psychology. California: The International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2002.
Johnson, Jerry Alan. Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy Volume 5: An Energetic Approach to Oncology. California: The International Institute of Medical Qigong, 2002.
Shannon, Bernard. International College of Medical Qigong. Medical Qigong doctoral training program. 2008-2013. www.medicalqigon.org.