Qi gong can be placed in three main categories:
Martial Qigong for physical prowess
Medical Qigong to heal self and others
Spiritual Qigong for enlightenment
Qi gong was originated from the same foundation as traditional Chinese medicine and used similar treatment methods. It is the most popular of the three categories and the oldest of the four branched of traditional Chinese medicine. It is the energetic on which is based herbal medicine, acupuncture and Chinese massage.
There are two types of medical Qigong:
The first one is called self-healing Qigong which is about individuals who practice Qigong exercises in order to improve their health, prevent disease and address illness.
Second one is called External Qigong, it is when a practitioners use Qigong with the intention to heal others. A good Qigong practitioner generally incorporate specific exercises to help regulate Qi that the patient is ask to practice daily .
This Qigong main focus is on physical prowess. The practitioner aim is to demonstrate physical feats that are considered as impossible by modern science. The Qigong practitioner can place sharp objects in vulnerable parts of the body without experiencing any physical damage, bend steel wires or break bricks
Spiritual Qigong Man meditating
Spiritual Qigong uses mantras and sitting meditations, as well as prayers to pursue spiritual enlightenment. It is a technique that is heavily influenced by Buddhism which teaches discipline and leads to self-awareness, harmony with nature. Spiritual practitioner aim is to gain control over their body, mind and spirit in order to escape from the cycle of reincarnation. So they practice their Qi to obtain a much deeper level of work on many internal function of the body.
What do Qigong healers do?
Qigong healers use the same foundational techniques as the others but they practice a lot and main goal is to gain a deeper understanding of the exercises: the thought behind the technique, including every move and breath. Their effort is turn toward learning how to control Qi. The Qigong practitioners believe that if you have the ability to control Qi , you can emit Qi to heal others.