Author Julie Casper, L. Ac., is a hTMA clinician and educator, she works with patients across the U.S. and internationally. In addition, she supports health professionals who are interested in adding clinical hTMA to their practice. Contact:


Author: Julie Casper, L. Ac.


Qigong is one of the most powerful self-healing, health-maintenance traditions ever developed. The origins of Qigong pre-date written history. Today, it is practiced by millions throughout the world.

  1. Traditional Qigong
  2. Qigong vs. Popular Exercise
  3. Health Qigong - A Modern Update
  4. Resources

Traditional Qigong

Group of Chinese people practicing qigong.

Chinese archaeologists and historians have discovered references to Qigong techniques that are at least 5,000 years old. Qigong is an ancient exercise skill that unites body, breath and mind to facilitate the smooth flow of Qi through the meridian channels in the body. Qi refers to energy and breath, gong means skill or practice. Qigong is commonly translated as "energy cultivation."

Qigong is practiced for various reasons

There are three primary aspects to Qigong practice:

  1. Align body posture thru specific movements
  2. Synchronize breathing
  3. Quiet the mind

Qigong vs. Popular Exercise

Physiologically, Qigong differs significantly from conventional forms of exercise because most forms of exercise increase glucocorticoid production. The practice of Qigong builds strength and endurance — yet lowers glucocorticoid production. Glucocorticoid hormones (also known as "stress hormones") break down muscle tissue. From an evolutionary perspective, one may need a blast of glucocorticoids to outrun a charging lion. However, chronic, excessive glucocorticoid production is the enemy of health and longevity.

Popular exercises such as running and weight lifting:

In contrast, Qigong is completely safe and actually produces energy. If health improvement is your objective, consider Qigong as a more beneficial form of exercise.

Health Qigong - A Modern Update

Health Qigong practice

Health Qigong is a simplified exercise program distilled from ancient, traditional teachings. The Health Qigong program is the result of an initiative by the Chinese government to improve health throughout China. A mandate was issued to the State Sport General Administration of China (SSGAC) to simplify and promote the practice of Qigong. SSGAC's response was to establish the Chinese Health Qigong Association (CHQA).

The Chinese Health Qigong Association, in cooperation with Peking Sport University, has developed a 4-part Qigong program of exercises. Development of the Health Qigong program followed stringent scientific research protocols and was supervised by expert advisors in the fields of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Modern Medicine, Psychology and Athletic Sciences.

Learning Health Qigong (guidebooks)

The Health Qigong program consists of 4 Qigong forms distilled from various traditional schools of ancient Qigong teachings. Guidebooks are available for each of the four Health Qigong exercise forms. The slow, gentle movements of Health Qigong exercises are safe, enjoyable and easy to learn. To purchase a guidebook, click its link below:

Ba Duan Jin: Eight-Section Qigong (an ancient classic)

The practice of Ba Duan Jin slows the aging process, improves respiratory system function, enhances joint flexibility, strengthens the limbs and improves balance. Also benefits psychological health. Excellent for overall health improvement and maintenance.

book dvd

Ba Duan Jin: Qigong Guidebook and DVD

Liu Zi Jue: Six Sounds Approach to Qigong Breathing

The practice of Liu Zi Jue helps to balance the energy and functions of the internal organs, has an overall calming and strengthening effect and helps to alleviate stress. The exercises focus on the breath and are not at all strenuous, so are excellent for older people. Medical studies in China have shown that the regular practice of Liu Zi Jue exercises can help cure hypertension, hyperlipidemia and high blood sugar. Effective for psychological health, relief of stress and anxiety.

book dvd

Liu Zi Jue: Qigong Guidebook and DVD

Wu Qin Xi: Five Animal Qigong

The practice of Wu Qin Xi strengthens and tones the body and calms the mind. Wu Qin Xi is an enjoyable series of exercises based on observations of the characteristics of the bear, bird, monkey, deer and tiger. Exercises of the fingers and toes are emphasized for improving blood circulation to the extremities. Calming, strengthens and tones the body. A fun qigong for children (of all ages).

book dvd

Wu Qin Xi: Qigong Guidebook and DVD

Yi Jin Jing: Tendon-Muscle Strengthening Qigong

The practice of Yi Jin Jing improves flexibility, balance and muscular strength, improves blood circulation and enhances joint mobility. Yi Jin Jing exercises are focused on the spine and the muscles which support it, helping to prevent injury, improve posture and enhance fitness for daily activities. Improve health and fitness, prevent illness and injury.

book dvd

Yi Jin Jing: Qigong Guidebook and DVD

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