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Qigong Practitioners Demonstrate in Beijing
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An international qigong demonstration and exchange conference kicked off in Beijing on Saturday. The demonstration was designed to promote the ancient Chinese health-maintenance exercise and the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

The Chinese Health Qigong Association at the Gymnasium of Basketball Center under the auspices of the Capital Iron & Steel Corporation hosted the 2nd International Health Qigong Demonstration and Exchange. The conference invited qigong practitioners to come to perform and compete.

There are 166 participators making up 35 teams from 12 countries. Participants included: China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Germany, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, the United States, Canada, Australia and the two Chinese special administrative regions; Hong Kong and Macao.

Demonstrations and competitions take place all day. To date, awards have been presented to the teams from Macao, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Hubei, Anhui and also to the foreign teams from Malaysia, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

Ji Yunxi, the chairman of the Chinese Health Qigong Association, said at the opening that Health Qigong originated from China but belongs to the world. "It has great positive effects on people's physical and psychological health," he noted. Ji said that the conference was a platform for all Health Qigong enthusiasts. It is meant to provide them with the means to exchange techniques and to enhance friendships. The conference will further enhance the development of Health Qigong throughout the international community.

The conference is part of a campaign that promotes the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese Health Qigong Association also wants to use this opportunity to establish an international logo for their new Health Qigong. The logo was co-designed by various experts, scholars and qigong practitioners in 2003.

China's General Administration of Sport has officially recognized health-maintenance qigong since 2002. The following year experts designed four new styles of Health Qigong, based on the ancient Chinese health-maintenance qigong styles. The styles are called: Baduanjin, Wuqinxi, Liuzijue and Yijinjing. These proven techniques have raised health levels, especially among elders, according to researchers, who have monitored the effects of the new Health Qigong since it was created.

The first international symposium on Health Qigong includes several training courses. There is also an examination to qualify for Health Qigong technical degrees. The conference will last six days.
Qigong has evolved in tandem with Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has a long history. The practice combines various breathing patterns, physical postures and body motions to help people maintain and improve their health. Many physical actions are directly borrowed from world famous Chinese martial arts. Over 350,000 people on the Chinese mainland are adopting this new Health Qigong as their daily exercise. Thousands of other people in various Asian and European countries are also fascinated.

( by staff reporter Zhang Rui August 26, 2007)

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