Chi Kung, also written Chi Gong or Qi Gong, translates as "Energy Exercise" and is a generic term used for a large range of Chinese health practices. The common goal of all Chi Kung systems is to stimulate and balance the internal flow of Chi energy. This vital life force is of central importance in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is believed to flow through channels in the body. The unobstructed flow of Chi is believed to be key to our health. A blockage at any major point will lead to an overload of the energy system at another location and consequently to a condition of uneasiness or disease. Such blockages can be caused by a number of factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, a bad posture or a high level of muscle tension caused by stress.
In China, the knowledge of Chi has been cultivated and refined over thousands of years. This insight and wisdom has been applied to prevent diseases and premature aging, to heal sicknesses and in training for the martial arts.
Nowadays there are many different Chi Kung styles and schools. However, all of them share the same goals: to develop inner strength and energy and to open and clear the channels through which the vital Chi force is flowing.
Zhan Zhuang, pronounced "Jam Jong" and meaning “to stand like a tree”, is a Chi Kung system that is characterised by its great effectiveness and efficiency. This system was introduced to the UK by Master Lam Kam Chuen (http://www.lamkamchuen.com/ and http://www.lamassociation.org/), who is a direct lineage student of the founder of the art. Grandmaster Wang Xiang Zhai developed Zhan Zhuang during the early part of the 20th Century as the basic training in his martial art system known as Da Cheng Chuan. One of Grand Master Wang’s first students was Professor Yu Yong Nian, a dental surgeon from Beijing who was, in turn, Master Lam's teacher.
Zhan Zhuang is practiced in standing positions that increase the flow of energy and build up internal strength. The Zhan Zhuang system is based on a fusion of relaxation and exertion which stimulates, cleanses and massages the whole body. At the same time, the overall effect on your nervous system and your mind is to calm you down, thereby relieving stress. Once learned, it is a treasure for a lifetime.
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