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'Qigong' masters to pay maiden visit to US
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A group of "Qigong" masters will pay a 14-day visit to the United States from January 30, the first time the ancient Chinese healing practice has been introduced to Americans by a "Qigong" delegation.

The six-member delegation will visit New York, Boston, and Washington D.C. to perform "Qigong" and promote Chinese culture, said an official with the Chinese Health Qigong Association (CHQA),the organizer of the visit.

"Qigong" is used as part of traditional Chinese healthcare for preventive and therapeutic treatments. "Qi", frequently translated as "energy flow," is believed to be part of every living thing that exists, as a kind of "life force" or "spiritual energy".

China's Qigong has a variety of forms. The CHQA, the only national health Qigong organization, developed four easy-to-learn types of health Qigong, namely Wu Qin Xi, Yi Jin Jing, Liu Zi Jue and Ba Duan Jin, which are based on traditional healthcare methods.

"Traditional Chinese culture has a great appeal for Westerners," said Lu Shiming, CHQA vice secretary-general. "Health Qigong, due to its emphasis on better health, more meets the needs of today's world."

Beijing Sport University Professor Hu Xiaofei, one of the instructors to visit US, has been practicing Qigong for more than 20 years.

"To help foreigners understand Qigong, we liken it to sports like yoga and jogging, but it has more emphasis on breathing and the state of inner calmness and tranquility," Hu said.

"We promote Qigong to the world because it represents a healthy way of life," Hu added.

During China's Spring Festival period, the CHQA will send another five groups to six countries to promote health Qigong.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)

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