"Healing is a simple process from a qigong perspective."
According to Master Chunyi Lin, creator of Spring Forest Qigong, states of dis-ease occur when the qi, or life energy, in our body channels becomes blocked and stagnant. Thus, qigong, literally "energy work" involves moving the energy and making it free again. Like a lifestream, it courses through the body via meridians and channels, and also permeates freely. Our health is dependent on our ability to keep this lifestream pure and unhindered.
"Where awareness goes, energy flows."
I know the usual saying is "where attention goes..." but I believe awareness is a better description. When we allow our awareness to move in certain ways, it affects the streams of qi coursing through the body. This is, in essence, the point of qigong.
Most practitioners are also familiar with the active aspect of qigong, which involves certain movements. The physical movement moves the ethereal channels of qi, thus creating an extra mode of influence. Most schools will have an active and passive component to their practice.
There are quite a few different schools of qigong, each boasting its own successes. It is perhaps more useful to regard their applications first. There is martial qigong, which is all about making the body strong and the martial applications of qi. There is medical qigong, which focusses on health. Spiritual qigong pursues the more ethereal goal of enlightenment and refinement.
Within each category, there are many different branches, and it is not unusual for a qigong system to span more than one. While it is certainly possible to be a qigong junkie, it is not advisable, as each regulates the body energy system in different ways. It's okay to shop around, but find one that is suitable and stick with it.
Maybe. Maybe not. If it's scientific studies you want, I refer you to the Learning Strategies website (http://www.learningstrategies.com/Qigong/Study1.asp) as a start-off point. I'll grant it's a commercial website, but it's a useful resource to begin Googling with regardless. Personally, I'm inclined to say try it yourself and be the judge of that.
"You're trying to sell product!"
Nope. I don't get a cut from anyone from printing this. It's just an introductory piece on qigong. This post is not meant to sell you anything and I am not a representative of any party. However, I do think this resource is underused and it would be nice to see more people benefit from it. More technical posts to come!