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In Chinese Qi is "energy," and gong is "work."   So Qi Gong translates to energy work.  Ancient Chinese medicine teaches that the human body is designed to be self-healing, and the "tool or technique" it uses is the body's own flow of energy.  That energy is activated in the body with the first breath at birth, and of course it leaves the body with the last breath, which we call death.

The Chinese teach that the energy in our body flows along very specific energy meridians.  This forms the basic foundation for acupuncture and acupressure.  Chinese medicine also teaches that dis-ease in our body comes from interruptions and/or alterations in the flow of that energy.  Qi Gong is a system of learning how to stimulate the flow of chi to maintain health.

Important aspects of Qi Gong:

bulletOur body "takes" energy from the earth, through our feet and hands bulletThere is a lot of emphasis on keeping these "gateways" (joints) open and flexible bulletEnergy moves in the body by way of a series of movements coordinated with the breath bullet Specific breathing exercises are a very important part of Qi Gong bullet Self-massage also moves the energy along the meridian lines bulletWe have an energy storage point in the "lower dan tian" located in the lower abdomen
(about two inches below the navel, and about two inches inside the abdomen)

There are hundreds of Qi Gong movements, and each Qi Gong master selects somewhere around 10-15 movements and builds his or her routine around those choreographed movements.  I have many different Qi Gong routines, and I find a lot of similarity between them.  But after finding what works best for me, I have practiced the same routines for years.

I recommend that once one settles on a specific program, before you ever begin to work with it, listen and watch the entire routine.  Some DVD programs today are very professionally done with background music, and with some you can turn the "instruction" voice off and just listen to the music as you follow along.  

Once we learn the basic movements of a Qi Gong routine
it can become a wonderful moving meditation 

I highly recommend a book, The Healer Within, by Chinese Medical Doctor, Roger Jahnke.  I consider it to be the "bible" of Qi Gong, including the important what, why and how questions. 

I discovered Qi Gong early on in my own MS journey, about 18 years ago, when I was newly diagnosed with primary progressive MS, and I still practice it about 30 minutes every day.  With PP MS one usually experiences a continual increase in physical disability and declining ability.  From the vantage point of 15 years later, I have only a small amount of neurological damage (a somewhat weaker right leg and bladder urgency incontinence), but otherwise I have no evidence that I ever had MS, and I have not had any sign of active MS for over 10 years. 

Today I am 79 years old, and am very healthy.  I take no medications of any kind for anything, and I cannot even remember when I have had even a cold.  I lead a very busy active life, full of activities of all kinds. 

I credit Qi Gong and my healthy lifestyle (daily meditation, a very healthy diet, supplements, etc.) for helping my body overcome whatever it was/is that caused my Primary Progressive MS.