Qigong vs. Gymnastics

In today´s story I would like to unveil the difference between authentic energy work and soft gymnastics…

There are countless different styles and exercises of Qigong. Also its intensity and performance can be very different. Like a soccer team from a small town and the world champion team. If you compare them and their play you easily could think they are practicing different kinds of sports…

In the world of Qigong the differences also sometimes are dramatic. Thus far, that some Qigong performances do not even earn the name Qigong any more…

It is an easy to made judgement! Qigong IS “work with energy” so if there is no energy involved in the practice, then strictly speaking it simply is NO Qigong!

That is the reason why to learn just from books or videos (see my story “burn the books”) mostly will lead to no profound results and a teacher with the necessary skills is irreplaceable but also hard to find…

So if you want to use your precious time for effective practice of Qigong, it is important to know the difference between gymnastics and impactful, effective and authentic Qigong.

So let us examine again what the main goals of Qigong are. Its direct purpose and objective is to stimulate and enhance the flow of the life energy, Qi. A lot of people know about this fact and some are even writing about it, but only few really experience what this really means.

The long-term target of Qigong and other energy work systems is to ensure and maintain complete health no matter what blockages or issues may have occurred in the beginning.

If the Qi-flow is harmonic and unblocked the human being is free of illness, pain and disease. If the flow also is powerful, one is filled up with vitality and joy of life!

Unfortunately a too small percentage of the worldwide Qigong community (inclusive those practitioners in China, the land of its origin) is able to really work with Qigong and not only practice soft gymnastics. From the outside the difference is almost not visible, but from the effects and results you can differentiate the both.
Of course gymnastic exercises also do have their behalf and advantage. They can enhance well-being, provide relaxation to some degree, stimulate the blood flow and loosen up muscles, joints and tissues. Often another benefit is an increased mobility. But all of this has nothing to do with “Energy-Work”. Most Qigong practitioners are oblivious to the fact that their practice is NOT authentic and it is a real tragedy that even many Qigong teachers do not believe in Qi and try to explain the small benefits of their practice with western terms like enhanced lung capacity or lowered blood pressure.

The effects and benefits of authentic Qigong contain all of those from soft gymnastics but also a lot more which are not reachable without energy work.

And even the group of practitioners that have been lucky enough to learn authentic Qigong, often practice on a too low level of this art so the created energy flow is not big enough to flush serious blockages and to start profound transformations. Sometimes it is just a lack of a systematic approach, so the practice is not regular, constant and steady effective enough and all the little success is deflagrating soon. Also all too often the teachers do not instruct their students properly how they should practice at home instead there is the suggestive of a too fault-prone performance and that it will be better to only practice in the presence of the master/teacher. (Which usually is only one or two times a week!)

Wondering how it could have turned out the way it did?

My master explained it to me as follows:

“After the cultural revolution in China Qigong has become a rare kind of practice and the government wanted to popularize it more. So they educated many new Qigong teachers in a very short time so these teachers could start to educate the people. In order to achieve this they choose a lower level Qigong. The students have to repeat the techniques very often to generate an apropriate energy flow. But with time the students lost the ability to generate a good energy flow and started to only practice the outer form of the exercises. As more and more teachers got educated, those too lost the ability to generate a Qi-flow. So what once was Qigong became soft gymnastics.

This loss was unobtrusive because most people cannot differ between techniques and skills. They think if they know the techniques and practice them long enough, one day they will achieve the results the art of Qigong is promising.

Unfortunately this is not happening as many practitioners of “Qigong” still are ill and weak instead of vital, healthy and long-living.”

So what do you like to practice? What will you like to achieve? Is it enough for you to participate once a week in a “gymnastics class” to practice some soft stretching exercises and increase your mobility?

Or do you want to transform your life emotionally, mentally and spiritually with the practice of authentic Qigong?

Do you only want to be reported about Qi or do you want to experience its power, benefits and effects inside of you?

Let me know…



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Martin Josuweit

I live and work in Germany, in the beautyful Harz-Mountains. I am a certified Health Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, Coach and a Teacher for medical Qigong.