Qigong forms can be classified in various ways. One is to divide into two categories:
Internal Qigong (Neigong)
External Qigong (Waigong
Internal Qigong is also known as Internal Elixir (Neidan). This emphasises building
the qi up inside the body and then spreading it out to the limbs. One of the most
welll-known methods is Microcosmic Orbit where the qi is circulated up the Governing
Vessel which goes up the centre of the back and down the Conception Vessel which
runs down the centre of the front of the body. These two acupuncture channels form
a complete circuit when the tongue is touched to the roof of the mouth.
External Qigong is also known as External Elixir (Waidan). This emphasises building
up the qi in the limbs and then leading it into the interior of the body. External
Elixir Forms involve tensing and relaxing the muscles in the limbs to promote qi
there. When the qi reaches a certain level any obstructions to the flow will be cleared
and the qi can then nourish the internal organs.
Another method used in External Elixir is to adopt positions of the body where the
tissues around specific internal organs are stretched and, therefore, the qi flow
around them is promoted.
Qigong forms can also be divided into two main categories:
These two categories overlap a great deal with the above two categories of Internal
and External Elixir. However, it is possible for a dynamic qigong to combine both
Internal and External Elixir.
Static Qigong (Jing gong)
This uses stationery postures (lying, sitting or standing). The main focus is to
make the mind and breath tranquil. It includes methods of physical and mental relaxation,
methods of concentration and meditation, the method of imagination and visualisation,
and methods of breathing.
Dynamic Qigong (Dong gong)
The purpose of dynamic qigong is to promote the free flow of qi throughout all the
channels of the body.This type of qigong uses physical movement which may be combined
with breathing methods and mental focus. Many of the movements are based on those
of animals. The methods of massage, tapping, patting, slapping are also included
within dynamic qigong. This category would also include the martial Iron Palm and
Iron Shirt methods which involve striking objects with the palm and striking the
body with various tools.
Click on any of the particular qigong forms below for more details.
(These are the classic forms which are well-known and have a long history.)