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The Importance of Qigong for Acupuncturists and T.C.M. Practitioners

Meditation & Qi Gong

If you practice Acupuncture you should include Qigong in your daily routine. The classic texts of Chinese medicine often speak of the importance of the mind, intention, and spirit for the success of acupuncture treatment. For example, in the Ling Shu (靈樞) it states, “the spirit should focus on the needle, and the intention should focus on the disease.” Or in Su Wen (素問), it states, “A repeated failure to produce a curative outcome with a patient is due to the acupuncturist’s inability to concentrate their spirit.” Establishing a consistent Qigong practice can help focus our spirit and direct it toward improving both our health, as well as the health of our patients.

What is Qigong (氣功)?

Qi (氣) refers to the energy within our bodies, and Gong (功) means work or experience. Qigong means working with our internal energy. It is a practice consisting of breathing exercises, static body postures, and dynamic movements, as well as mental concentration methods intended to maintain good health and control our internal flow of Qi-energy.

 Practicing Qigong can help us build a powerful resistance against externally contracted illnesses; it can also be used to treat internal ailments caused by reduced blood and Qi-energy circulation within our internal organs. Qigong also involves specific breathing techniques that have been proven to increase energy production at a cellular level. This additional energy can be used to enhance our well-being, or it can be used to improve the health of our patients through more effective acupuncture treatments.

Self-Care: The Tao of Nurturing Life

Many forms of Qigong have existed throughout history. One method that can be used to treat imbalances in our internal organ systems is the practice of Healing Sounds Qigong. Healing Sounds Qigong teaches us to use specific sound waves to subtly vibrate our five internal Zang organs (the lung, kidneys, liver, heart, and spleen), as well as the San Jiao Triple Energizers. In so doing, our internal organs can be mildly stimulated and rejuvenated. This stimulation encourages our internal organs to detoxify and makes room for fresh Qi-energy and Blood to nourish them. This form of Qigong is an excellent form of self-care for people seeking to live long and healthy lives. After all flowing water never grows stale.

Improving our Acupuncture Results

Yi Quan (意拳) Qigong is also excellent for encouraging Qi-energy to flow throughout our body. This method of Qigong can also teach us to bring Qi-energy to our hands. Yi Quan Qigong (pronounced ee-chuan) is a form of Qigong that was founded in the 1920s by master Wang Xiang Zhai (王薌齋), who developed it by distilling the methods of another system called Xing Yi Quan (形意拳). "Yi" (意) means intent and "Quan" (拳) means fist. This center of this method of Qigong is a straightforward series of standing meditations. The goal of Yi Quan Qigong is to build Qi-energy in the body and promote a strong connection or root with the energy of the earth. The strong root that we develop through Yi Quan Qigong is what allows us to control our spirits and focus our minds. The focused intent developed from the practice of Yi Quan Qigong is what is meant by this passage from the classic Acupuncture text Su Wen(素問), “when an acupuncturist is needling, their form should be as if they are standing beside an abyss, the hand holding the needle as if grasping a tiger, and the spirit should not be disturbed by anything else”.

The Best of Both Worlds

As acupuncturists, we are always working with energy. Since most of our patients have fallen ill due to a combination of counteractive energies and stagnations, there is a good chance that some of this negativity will be passed on to us. This potential consequence is the reason why all T.C.M. practitioners and Acupuncturists should practice a self-care method like Healing Sounds Qigong. Healing Sounds Qigong will keep our energies flowing so that we never grow stale. Further, the classic texts of ancient China all uphold that most of the skill involved in Acupuncture is related to controlling our spirit and applying our intention to our needling. With regular Yi Quan Qigong practice, we can project our intent more clearly during an acupuncture session. 


In closing, the clear mind encouraged by Yi Quan Qigong and the nourished organs brought about by self-care methods like Healing Sounds Qigong will have benefits that extend well beyond our clinics. After all, cultivating our practices also cultivates our lives.

Su Wen and Ling Shu translations sourced & adapted from Ioannis Solos: Developing Internal Energy for Effective Acupuncture Practice.

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In this course, you will learn everything you need to get started practicing a Qigong practice called "Healing Sounds." This gentle exercise method is simple to learn, and you can practice at home or prescribe to your patients.

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