Zhineng Qigong: a healing art and science for the 21st century
This particular Qigong method is practiced by more than 10 million people world-wide, bringing benefits of improved health, greater creativity and increased mind/body awareness.
Zhineng Qigong, also known more recently by the names of Chi-Lel and Chi Neng, was founded by Dr. Pang Ming, a highly respected Grand Master trained in both western and eastern medicine.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different styles of qigong. However, Zhineng Qigong was named the most effective health-enhancing qigong by the Chinese Sports Bureau. Taught specifically at the Huaxia Zhineng Qigong Centre over a period of ten years, this centre became known as the "Medicine-less Hospital". Many of those at the centre were deemed incurable, yet subsequently recovered from diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease.
Zhineng Qigong was brought to the USA by Master Luke Chan under the trade mark name of Chi-Lel. The efforts of Luke and his brother Frank have ensured the popularity of Chi-Lel in the United States.
A brief History of Chi-Lel and Zhineng Qigong
Zhineng Qigong has inherited the essential wisdom of its traditional qigong predecessors; those stemming from Confucianism, Buddihsm and Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine and traditional martial arts, as well as modern science, medicine and philosophy.
The immediate predecessor to Zhineng Qigong was called the Soaring Crane form and was developed by a number of masters including Dr. Pang Ming. This form occasionally caused unexpected reactions in its practicioners and so after a period of intense study by Dr. Pang, Zhineng Qigong was founded. Zhineng Qigong is known to be one of the safest forms of qigong. In 1988 the Huaxia Zhineng Qigong Clinic and Training Centre was established in Zigachong, China.
In 1991 the centre published "A Summary of Zhineng Qigong's Healing Effects on Chronic Diseases". According to this data from 7,936 patients, an overall an overall effective healing rate of 94.96 % was achieved. This represents:
- 15.20 % cured: All symptoms gone; tests, x-rays, etc. show everything is normal
- 37.68 % very effective: Symptoms almost gone, tests show great improvement
- 42.09 % effective: Noticeable improvements, can eat and sleep well, and feels good
- 5.04 % no effect, or worse
In 1992 the centre relocated to Qinhuangdao. In 1995 Luke Chan visited the centre, staying there 1 month. During this time he observed how the centre operated whilst interviewing more than 100 people who had miraculously recovered from "incurable" ilnesses.
As a result, Luke became the first Chi-LelTM Master outside China to be certified by the Zhineng Qigong Centre. He decided to use the trademark Chi-Lel to protect his ability to teach Zhineng Qigong in the west. In the years since then, Luke has kept in close contact with the Centre and its masters to ensure that Chi-lel remains as close as possible to the core teachings of Zhineng Qigong.
Recently, things have begun to change in China due to the change in political stance by the Chinese government (this was partly due to their clash with the Falun Gong movement which is now outlawed in China). These changes made it illegal for any qigong group larger than 100 people to gather for practice (the exception to this is t'ai chi which is considered a martial art by the government).
As a result of this, the main centre in Qinhuangdao has been closed. Only a few smaller centres remain, the most notable of these being in the coastal town of Beidahe.
Meanwhile Luke Chan has relocated back to China, where he continues to hold retreats. The Chi-lel website lives on and Frank Chan continues the work in the United States.
Europe has not missed out on the development of Zhineng Qigong either. Under the name of Chi-Neng, Patricia van Walstijn is promoting this new chapter in healthcare. With an established following in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, Chi-Neng is now being offered to the UK (see below). As a result of her tireless promotion, Patricia has recently been named Chi-Lel Director of Europe.
Although Zhineng Qigong consists of 6 levels, only three of them are taught publicly and Chi-Lel concentrates on the first two of these. Many years of practice are required to master even these two, yet the results of practice can often be felt immediately. It is recommended that one starts with level 1 for a few months before learning the whole of level 2. However, specific sections of level 2 can be learnt immediatley to target specific conditions.Level 1 consists of two main methods, Lift Chi Up and Pour Chi Down and Three Centres Merge Standing. As the names imply, Lift Chi Up is a moving method, whilst Three Centres is a static method.
You can see figures describing some of the details of the Lift Chi-Up, Pour-Chi-Down method on Master Luke Chan's Chi-Lel website here.
There are three other methods, which are also taught at level 1. These are: La Chi, Six Directions La Chi, and Wall Squatting. La Chi is the most basic and easy to learn of all the methods, yet profound healing effects have been attributed to this method.
Six Directions La Chi in an extension of La Chi, designed to promote awareness of expansion of consciousness in all directions, whilst delivering chi to the major energy centres (dantiens). You can see what Six Directions La Chi looks like on Master Luke Chan's Chi-Lel website here.Level 2 consists of the Body and Mind method. The purpose here is to connect the mind with the body, loosening the joints and tendons, thereby increasing the range and strength of chi-flow in the body.
How does Chi-lel (Zhineng) Qigong relate to other Qigongs?
This section is an ongoing investigation by this site and rerpresents our knowledge to date. It may not be fully accurate and is presented for interest only. If you have further information or corrections then please let us know.White Crane Qigong has many similar movements to Lift Chi Up, Pour Chi Down in Chi-lel. White Crane Qigong was based on emulating the movements of animals. Many qigongs are based on the observation of animals. In the beginning of the white crane form, there are two movements, both called 'Undulating Arms'. One of these performs the motion with the arms raised out in front, and the other with the arms raised to the sides. Lift Chi Up, Pour Chi Down uses these same movements but forming part of a larger form.
We believe that White Crane was a forerunner to Soaring Crane, which was later developed by Dr. Pang Ming into what we now know as Lift Chi Up, Pour Chi Down.
A description of the White Crane form can be seen on page 78 in the introductory book, "Secrets of Qi Gong", by Angus Clark, 2001, Dorling Kindersley Limited.
A method called "Activating the Internal Fires", page 220 of "Taoist Yoga and Sexual Energy", (Eric Steven Yudelove, 2000, Llewellyn Publications) is identical in form to the opening movement of both 'Lift Chi Up, Pour Chi Down' and 'Three Centres Merge Standing' in Chi-lel.
It may be that this is an ancient Taoist form that was drawn on in the development of Chi-lel.
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