What is Chi?
The conceptualization of a unifying principle for the different fields of science still escapes modern scientific culture. In spite of the imposing mass of ever increasing knowledge, it still does not adequately offer such a concept, as does oriental thought.
However, the two systems of thought share the same intuitive perception: that the human body and its functions constitute a microcosm within a macrocosm (the universe) and that both must be governed by the same laws. Thus, a chinese proverb claims that « one would attain the understanding of the macrocosm by understanding the microcosm »
The term Chi designates this primordial and unifying essence, the universal acting principle which influences and is the origin of all. The universal Chi comprises three aspects :
The explanation derived from this vision of the advent of the first human beings is the subject of ancient writings and closely resembles the most recognized theories of biology and cosmology :« the first live beings, the very tiniest of creatures, born of the Yin-Yang energetic amalgamation following cosmic radiations, would have been subjected to metamorphoses during millions of years before finally reaching that stage of the first human being ».
The vital energy that dwells in each being arises from the energetic heritage of its progenitors (prenatal energy) and also from the merging of the energies of Heaven and Earth (in the form of air, foods and radiations) transformed by the five vital organs which are the heart, the lungs, the spleen, the liver, and the kidneys (postnatal energy). This vital energy is functionally subdivided in the body as protecting energy (Wei) and nourishing energy (Yong), which feeds the tissues.
Prenatal energy, transmitted at conception, plays a predominant role during our entire existence : conception from a bad or weak energy source makes one prone to disease and various lesions. A saying would have it that if « the prenatal is inadequate, the postnatal will be uncomfortable ». It is possible to make a comparison with the concept of genetical heritage, but it is not the absolute equivalent. The capital of prenatal energy slowly declines throughout one's life till total exhaustion which implies death. In their research in longevity, the Taoists or « Immortals » developed techniques aimed at slowing down the aging process or the resupply of vital energy, such as those practised in Kung Fu.
Postanatal energy is just as important since it can in certain instances counter-balance the deficiencies of prenatal energy. Its quality is a direct function of the air and the foods absorbed : the Yellow Emperor said that « those who do not know how to eat do not know how to live », in reference to a rational choice of one's diet. It is therefore not surprising to discover that oriental medecine makes an intense use of diet in its applications. The extended knowledge of the energies of Heaven and Earth gave rise to the science of Feng-Shui, which allows a complete or partial transmutation of a person's karma.
The states of health and of sickness, for orientals, are intimately linked to the energetic equilibrium and unbalancing as they conceive them.
What is Chi Kung?
Litterally, Chi Kung means the « steadfast work of energy ». Chi Kung inscribes itself in a tradition of study and of practise of life energy,to attain longevity, dating back to more than 3,000 years. While some knowledge of acupuncture and a few exercises for health improvement were thaught to people, Chi Kung's esoteric secrets, kept amongst the martial arts circles and buddhist and taoist religions for quite a time, were only revealed over the past thirty years through more open publishing and teaching.
As a matter of fact, Chi Kung can focus on different objectives, but our courses' orientation is therapeutic. We thus learn a set of techniques aiming at the production, accumulation and circulation of Chi to improve our health. It is a discipline that requires little strenght, and is meant for people in all physical conditions. This practise is not solely intended for people afflicted with health problems, since, above all, it is essentially preventative.
Practicing Chi Kung can help :
Obviously, effects tend to vary from a person to another since Chi Kung aims at reestablishing the natural functionning of the body.