Medical Qigong, or Medical Qigong Therapy, is a vast and diverse system of healing techniques that are used to balance the mind and body for improved physical and emotional health. Qigong (Chi Kung) is often considered to be the "yoga" of Chinese Taoist philosophy.
There are two main types of Medical Qigong:
1) Passive - Where the Medical Qigong Practitioner performs the healing by directing qi (prana, or life force energy) to the recipient or qi massage.
2) Active - Where the Medical Qiqong Practitioner teaches the client simple practices such as meditation, movement, self-massage, or even changes in lifestyle or diet to balance out the body's energetic system.
Both types of Medical Qigong have their pros and cons. With the passive version, sometimes having a powerful qi healing by a practitioner can move things more quickly for a client. However, some Qigong Masters caution that this can leave the healer drained of energy, and might instill too much energy into the recipient at once.
The active version involves cooperation of the client in following through and doing their "qi homework." Sometimes the process of healing may take a little longer than with direct qi transmission. On the positive, this approach is generally very safe and empowers the client, giving them tools for lifelong health and well-being. In fact, qigong in general is safer than yoga, as the movements are more gentle overall and don't involve extreme physical positions.
The Esteem Yoga approach generally focuses more on teaching "Active" Medical Qigong to empower the client vs. direct energy transmission, especially for distance consultations.
Differences Between Yoga Therapy and Medical Qigong
Like Yoga Therapy, Medical Qigong will often use breathwork and gentle movement to help the body heal itself. Medical Qigong differs from Yoga Therapy in that it may involve visualization of the body's energetic systems during meditation or movement.
Medical Qigong is entirely complementary to Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda. It also has fewer religious associations than Ayuveda. While Medical Qigong often uses healing sounds, it does not use mantra, which is common to Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy.