An ancient Chinese system for the development of internal energy, chi kung or qi gung (pronounced "chee goong") is, like t'ai chi, based on the principles of the Taoist religion as extended to Oriental medicine.
Unlike yoga, chi kung puts less emphasis on stretching movements and postures, and more on learning how to feel and move energy inside the body. Some of the basic chi kung drills involve standing still for anything from minutes to hours at a time, sensing the movements of energy in the body.
Other chi kung exercises involve gentle, rhythmic swinging or stretching movements to generate and conserve energy, not to burn calories. The chi kung practitioner aims to avoid stress on joints and muscles and directs his or her awareness inside the body rather than concentrating on building up what the Chinese refer to as "external" strength in the form of tight, well-developed muscles.
As a result, chi kung practice develops enormous inner power in a pliable, flexible, relaxed body. An experienced practitioner can use the therapy not only for healing but also in a preventive capacity. Chi kung is one of the most effective of all Oriental methods for combating stress and is also becoming highly popular as a method of enhancing and managing sexual potential.