According to Chinese medicine, the body contains jing (essence, or internal energy), qi (intrinsic energy), and shen (spirit). --Robert, USA
To be exact, the statement should read as follows. According to Chinese medicine every person is made up of jing, qi and shen. Jing is the physical body. Qi is the energy that keeps the body functioning. Shen is the spirit, soul, mind or consciousness. The body is alive because of qi and shen.
Western medicine would benefit tremendously from this Chinese wisdom. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, chronic, degenerative diseases like asthma, diabetes, heart failure and kidney problems are disorders of qi, whereas psychiatric diseases are disorders of shen. But qi and shen are not in the conceptual framework of Western medicine. Western medicine only treats the physical body. Hence, Western treatment for chronic, degenerative diseases and psychiatric diseases has not been satisfactory.
What should one’s qigong training environment be like?
Open air with a lot of trees, preferably with a waterfall behind and a rippling stream in front.
I started doing Yang style Taijiquan for about 6 months until I met a friend who taught me a qigong style. I practice qigong everyday, but there are times when I feel like I’d rather do Taiji exercises. --Sid, USA
Qigong is the art of cultivating energy. There are two main dimensions in energy cultivation, namely circulating energy which is called “xing qi” in Chinese, and accumulating energy which is called “yang qi”.
There are many different ways to cultivate energy. Practicing dynamic patterns like “Lifting the Sky” and “Carrying the Moon” is one way. Practicing exercises like Small Universe and Dan Tian Breathing is another way. All these are different methods or styles of qigong, and all of them involve circulating energy and accumulating energy.
When one practices Taijiquan correctly, he also circulates energy and accumulates energy. Therefore, taijiquan is also qigong.