Qigong is a kind of body training regimen for long healthy life. It trains the body through the control of posture, breathing, the relaxation of body and mind, the concentration of will, rhythmical motions, etc. Through those activities, qigong aims at controlling the potentials of the body, and ultimately preventing and treating disease and attaining healthy and long life.
Qigong training is composed of three elements: body training for right posture and motion, breath training for controlling breath, and mind training for bracing up the mind. All the three elements should be trained together. Qigong is divided into health qigong and martial arts qigong. Health qigong adopts relatively gentle training methods. Therefore, it is called soft qigong and suitable for all people regardless of age including those with weak constitution and chronic diseases. Martial art qigong adopts intensive training method, so is called hard qigong. It is suitable for young people who want to drill their body and maximize their physical strength.
Health qigong is again divided into two types. One is for preserving health through promoting health, improving constitution, preventing diseases, and bracing up the spirit, and the other is for treating diseases that have already broken out. However, this division is clear. On the other hand, hard qigong or martial arts qigong, purposes to attain effects through martial arts training. Hard qigong is also divided into ganggong, yugong and gyeonggong, but in China they are collectively called pyoyeongong.
The term qigong has been used in today’s meaning since 1950 in china. However, the contents of qigong have been handed down through thousands of year. Thus, qigong can be said to be the oldest health training in human history.