Zhanzhuang and energy training
|Chi Kung, often also written as Chi Gong or Qi Gong,
literally means energy training. The term is generally used for all training systems that
activate and cultivate energy. The term Chi has a central meaning in Chinese medicine,
especially in acupuncture and herbal medicine.
The vital life energy Qi (vital life energy) circulates in the body through a system of channels, which are referred to as meridians in the western world.
If the flow of energy in this system is blocked, this leads to unbalances in the body and/or the mind. Normally, these unbalances are automatically compensated for, but continued blocking may also cause feelings of unease or sickness. Blocking can occur acutely, e.g. through injury, but it can also occur as a result of an inexpedient (unhealthy) way of living, bad body posture, or too much tension in the body or mind.
China, this knowledge has been refined and cultivated for more than a thousand years. It
has been used to prevent sickness and premature ageing, and to cure diseases. In addition,
it has also been used efficiently in various martial arts systems.
Through the daily practice of Zhanzhuang, the life-force is replenished. Regular
practice can thus be used effectively to prevent sickness and strengthens one's health.
There are many advantages in training regularly, like better blood circulation and
increased muscle control, which in turn result in better brain activity, mental
relaxation, peace and joy. It also has a profound impact on many other areas of life.
Zhanzhuang is comparable with Chi Kung, but it also distinguishes itself from Qigong by
its absence of any focus on guiding the energy with the mind: In Zhanzhuang, the
circulation of energy throughout the whole body is improved by the combined use of
standing and moving exercises. Zhanzhuang is unique for this method. We can call it a form
of body meditation, since it cultivates mindfulness for the body, which in return creates
energy circulation in the whole body. This requires active movement of all muscles and
relaxation at the same time: