Chi Kung is an art of breathing. The breathing method, in Chi Kung, is beyond normal by voluntary control. Normal breathing is involuntary controlled by the medulla by nervous regulation and chemical regulation. Voluntary breathing can control the amount of chi(air) and the duration in the lungs. Breathing beyond normal is more forceful contraction of the the respiration muscles. Otherwise, it is not Chi Kung.

Inhalation beyond normal, that is deep breathing, requires a more forceful contraction of the respiration muscles for further expand the lungs, allowing entry with more air. Inhalation that requires muscle contraction is voluntary by mind control. Deep breathing is, by all means, known to be a good health exercise. In Chi Kung, its gaol is to inhale as much oxygen as possible and exhale as much carbon dioxide.

The method of deep breathing is totally controlled by the mind. Control breathing can maximize the volume of chi to be filled by the lungs; and by holding the breath can prolong the air to stay inside the lungs. For example, the cerebral cortex enables us to voluntarily change our breathing rate or rhythm to talk, sing, breathe faster or slower or even to stop breathing for 1 or 2 minutes. Such changes cannot be continued indefinitely, however, and the medulla will eventually resume control.

The following actions are forced exhalation that require contraction of other muscles.
1. Go beyond normal exhalation and expel more air, as when talking, singing, or blowing a balloon.
2. The internal intercostal muscles pulls the ribs down and in and squeezes even more air out of the lungs.
3. The abdominal muscles, such as the rectus abdominus, compresses the abdominal organs and pushes the diaphragm upward, which forces more air out of the lungs.

Involuntary breathing is controlled by the medulla. In strenuous exercise, due the fast movement of the muscles, the energy consumed faster than they can generate. As a result, there is a demand for more oxygen for aerobic respiration. Thus the rate of breathing was forced to increase by the motor impulses of the medulla.

Voluntary breathing is mind controlled. It has a great advantage as opposed to involuntary breathing. Involuntary breathing only occurs when the function of the body is out of balance and require adjustment. For example, a change in blood pressure or blood content of oxygen will cause the heart to beat faster and breathing faster. Breathing in Chi Kung is controlling the amount of chi intake and the duration in the lungs. Therefore, the human body was guaranteed to have more oxygen than enough to generate the energy by cell respiration.

Breathing is vital for the health of the heart. If the heart is healthily performing its function to the full extent, the rest of the body will take care the rest. Hence Chi Kung took advantage of utilizing the respiration muscles for breathing; that was all done by forced contraction which controlled voluntarily by the mind. Otherwise, it is not Chi Kung.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. James Lee is a practitioner of Tai Chi and Chi Kung for more than thirty years. Since his homeostasis was gained from the practice of Chi Kung, he would like to have the mystery of Chi Kung resolved once and for all by seeking a scientific explanation of the eastern concepts by integrating with the western modern science and technology. He is in the process of developing a DVD, may be called "The Simpleffective Chi Kung Method." The steps are simple and effective and easy to follow without verbal instructions; and they can be practiced almost anywhere at any time. May be he will share it with you someday, so everyone will be in a state of homeostasis. His email is