Qigong is an ancient Chinese set of exercise techniques. It incorporates gentle and strong physical movements with meditative practices and emphasizes breathing and mental focus.
The name "qigong" comes from "qi," meaning "life force," and "gong," meaning "achievement." The aim of qigong is to increase, circulate or strengthen the body's qi. Taoist sages, healers, Buddhist monks, nuns and the martial art masters of ancient China first developed the practice, and it has been in practice for over 5,000 years. Exercises are considered either "soft" or "hard" for physical movements and "static" for meditative practices. The movements are designed to stimulate the flow of qi throughout the entire body.