Qigong is a set of visualizations accompanied by gentle physical movements. "Qi": is the Chinese word for the vital force energy in our bodies. "Gong" is the ability, developed with practice, to move the vital force energy in our bodies.
Why do we want to move the qi in our bodies? According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are channels in the body through which qi flows; a person is healthy when the qi is able to move freely along these channels ("meridians"). Illness occurs when blockages build up; clearing the meridians to allow the free flow of qi is necessary for the restoration of health.
Qigong, like acupuncture, helps to clear the channels, thereby making the restoration and maintainance of health possible. Unlike acupuncture, Qigong is completely in the control of the practitioner; it allows a person to heal him or herself.
Health in Traditional Chinese Medicine includes Mind, Body, and Spirit. In truth, Mind, Body, and Spirit can never be separated.
Therefore, people who practice Qigong soon discover improvements in their emotional well-being and mental abilities, as well as improvements in their physical condition.
One of the most effective and popular forms of Qigong today is Soaring Crane Qigong.
Awakening Light Gong -- actually a "light gong" form rather than a qigong form -- was recently introduced to the West by Professor Chen, Hui Xian.