All of these traditional skills (both Qigong and internal martial arts) provide different methods of internal training for strengthening the constitution, preventing and curing illness, preventing premature aging, and prolonging life.
Health, itself, may be the mere absence of disease, and for the average person health can be quite a fragile state of existence, like walking a tightrope. One day everything appears ‘normal’ and the next we may experience being diagnosed with some chronic condition or terminal illness.
Super Health (True Health) is possessing full quality of life, having the freedom to do what we like, youthfulness, vitality, and longevity. For the record – Fitness Does Not Equal Health! Many professional athletes have died (of various causes) during peak levels of fitness and in the prime of their lives. Sound health depends on abundant resources of Qi and its smooth passage along the acupuncture channels. Equally important and dependent upon this is a calm, balanced mind and a peaceful heart.
Super Health is cultivated incrementally through daily internal training, as the bones, (Bone Qi or Marrow), muscles, tendons and Qi become stronger and Mind becomes clearer with emotions balanced. Disease tends to attack where the body is weakened or Qi is stagnant. By strengthening the body and Qi flow (through correct movement with relaxation) it is difficult for illness or disease to get a foothold. Mosquitoes do not amass near waterfalls, but only where the water flow has stagnated. Similarly, disease begins where the Qi is blocked and stagnates. So, the main goal is to keep Qi flowing smoothly.
When Qi becomes depleted we feel fatigued, lethargic, heavy, cold, empty, and weak, and therefore very fragile and vulnerable. When Qi is strong and powerful, inside we will feel warm and full, there is vitality and Spirit is strong, and Qi rises to the head (Sky-Eye) which means all senses are heightened and other parts of the mind start to develop such as intuition, perception, focus and attention, memory, inspiration and creativity, clarity etc. and inner confidence is a natural progression.
All Traditional Chinese Martial Arts contained ‘internal training’ to protect and heal the body, and replace expended vital energy resources. Martial arts, and even fitness training, without internal training, can damage the body both internally and externally. These chances increase as we get older and the body becomes weaker, and healing the problem or injury takes longer, especially without the knowledge of self-healing. Many external martial artists, when middle-aged or older, commonly suffer back pain, arthritis, and weak knees, and, unlike internal training, external skills do nothing to prevent or cure arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and ulcers etc.
We need disciplines that enhance our lives, make us strong internally and externally, and keep us youthful, not those that injure us irreparably, rob us of quality of life, and even accelerate our demise! Health should always be the priority consideration! Internal training develops the body’s Qi, enriches the blood and promotes circulation, strengthens the bones and skeleton, nourishes the internal organs and improves their functions, and brings clarity and balance to the Mind.
Practice (Gongfu), leads to Health and Strength of Body and Mind. Possessing good skill, strong Qi and calm mind bestows Confidence and self-assurance. Possessing this type of confidence changes our state of mind and perspective, and can make many things we might consider impossible, in life, possible. In the universe, like attracts like. A Phoenix does not choose the company of crows. This confidence and positive Qi, emanating from inside, likewise attracts good people, good opportunities and positive situations in our lives.