Understanding Qigong

Ask a Therapist

By Anthony D. Statler

Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Spring/Summer 2004.

Q: I like trying different kinds of bodywork. Can you tell me about qigong?

A: Anthony D. Statler is a martial arts expert, massage therapist, and qigong instructor from Kansas City, Mo. He says that qigong has much to offer individuals of all ages and abilities: “Qigong is an art and science of ancient Chinese origin, which is at the core of modern Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), martial arts, and many Eastern spiritual disciplines. Its practice and theory revolve around the concept of cultivating and maintaining the healthy flow and circulation of qi (i.e., vital energy/life force). The practice generally consists of slowly flowing movements, breathing exercises, meditation, massage techniques, and conscious intent, all used for the purpose of achieving an integrated adjustment of the mind, body, and spirit.

“The benefits of using qigong are enormous. It strengthens, stretches, and relaxes your body, energizes your mind, enhances mind/body connection, increases blood flow, maintains bone health, regulates hormone production, and massages your internal organs, keeping you healthy and youthful.

“As a TCM practice, it has not only been used as a means of prevention, but has also eased many types of illness and disease for thousands of years. As a martial arts practice, it has been used to strengthen and maintain the body while protecting it from injury. The evidence of its exceptional ability to do this is easy to see when you have witnessed martial artists in their 80s and 90s who are still vital and strong.

“Like anything else, it does take at least a small amount of effort and consistency of practice to achieve positive results, but it can be done by anyone at any fitness level and is an extraordinary path to total wellness.”