The Proper Dosage of Qigong

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“Over the last 365 days, roughly how many times did you practice?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I try to practice regularly, Sifu.” he said.

Daniel had contacted me about a specific health problem he was having. He originally learned from me about 2-3 years ago, and has taken a few workshops since then.

I frequently get emails like this, so I know how to handle them.

“I’m looking for a number, Daniel. Did you practice 700 times, 300 times, 80 times, or what?”

I think Daniel was surprised by my question. He probably wanted me say, “Practice X exercise for Y problem.” And sometimes, I do answer that way. But not often, and certainly not in this case.

“Maybe 150,” was the response that I finally got from him.  In other words, out of the last 365 days, he had practiced roughly 150 times.

Not terrible. But not great.

Are You Taking Your Medicine?

It helps to think of qigong as medicine (because it is).

What is the proper dosage? If you are healthy and fully of vitality, then practicing once a day is probably enough. But if you’re not healthy, then you need a higher dosage:

The proper dosage of qigong for someone who is dealing with serious health issues is two 5-phase routines per day, once in the morning, and once in the evening or at night.

Of course, it’s critical that you also follow the 3 Golden Rules of practice. Someone just going through the motions won’t get results. But if you’ve learned the 5-Phase Routine, if you follow the 3 Golden rules while practicing twice a day, then you’re going to get results. Great results!

In other words, the correct dosage is to practice 730 times every year.

But let’s get back to the student I mentioned above. He was only practicing 150 times every year.

In other words, he was only at 20% of the proper dosage.

This is precisely why I didn’t start suggesting different exercises to the student. The choice of exercises wasn’t the problem.

Before we change the medication, we need to change the dosage!

600 Sessions Per Year

If he had told me, “I’ve practiced about 600 times in the past 365 days,” then my answer would have been different.

In that case, his dosage would be 82% correct, which is a helluva lot better than 20%!

So we would need to look somewhere else for the solution.

But in my experience teaching thousands of people, I can stay this: Students who practice 600+ times per year don’t have the same problems as students who practice 150 times per year.

(Similarly, those who practice 150 times per year don’t have the same problems as those who have stopped practicing entirely.)

Quite frankly, those who practice 600+ times per year get great results. They might need to tweak a few things in order to get better results, but they’re already enjoying the awesomeness that is qigong.

For example, one of my students was practicing diligently, twice a day, and getting great results. But she still had a minor health issue that wasn’t responding. With my help (and my wife’s), she fixed the issue by adding a specific exercise to her routine.

Her minor health issue disappeared within a few months. Eh whalla!


But for most students, the dosage is the problem, not the medication.

Think of it this way.  A person practicing 600 times per year accomplishes in 1 year what it would take Daniel 4 years to accomplish.

But this isn’t even accurate because when you practice twice daily, you develop something that Daniel will never develop:  Momentum.

If you practice once a day, then there are roughly 24 hours between sessions. During those 24 hours, your overall energy flow will gradually diminish. By the time you practice again the next day, the qi flow has dropped considerably.

But if you practice twice a day, then there are only 12 hours between sessions. Now the qi flow doesn’t have time to diminish.

So by the time you do your 2nd practice session, the qi is still flowing pretty well. And then when you wake up the next morning, you still have some flow left over from last night’s session.

In other words, your qi flow starts to build its own momentum. This momentum raises the effectiveness of practice even further.

The conclusion is simple: practicing twice daily is MORE than twice as effective.

By my best estimate, it’s more like 3 times as effective. Now we’re talking about some serious healing!!

Just Do It

I want you to be healthy and happy, If you aren’t yet getting the results that you want, then the first place to look is at the dosage of your medication (i.e. qigong if you’re reading this site).

This is something that you have full control over. You CAN do it. In fact, no one else can do it for you.

A great way to gradually increase your dosage is to use a short, 3-minute sessions.

Yep. Just 3 minutes.

If you’re currently practicing every other day, then use the 3-minute routine on the off days.  If you’re currently practicing once a day, then use the 3-minute routine as your 2nd session.

If you are committed to your health, if you are determined to not only overcome your problems, but prevent future problems from arising, then just do it.

Stop making excuses, and start making qigong your #1 priority in life.

Now I’d like to hear from you. How often do you practice? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.  

Mindfully yours,
Sifu Anthony

I’m Anthony Korahais, and I used qigong to heal from clinical depression, low back pain, anxiety, and chronic fatigue. I’ve already taught thousands of people from all over the world to use qigong for their own stubborn health issues. I teach online courses, and also lead in-person retreats and workshops.

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24 Responses to The Proper Dosage of Qigong

  1. Melissa December 5, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Ok, so in the spirit of being transparent for the benefit of other readers,I’ll be honest. I’m hesitant to up my practice. For the last 3 months I’ve been practicing once every other day. I can tell I’m not cultivating quite as much energy as I was when I was practicing every day, but it seems that when I up my practice, I unearth some kind of big health issue. I know that is ultimately a good thing, but it makes me a little gun-shy. It’s hard to be enthusiastic and relaxed when I go into a practice session if I know some kind of issue is coming.

    • Sifu Anthony December 5, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Honesty is good! 🙂 In your situation, the proper dosage flushes out some deep-rooted blockages. I’ve been there, and it’s no fun. There is a period of cleansing that is uncomfortable. But it’s a necessary transition to get to the level of health that you want.

  2. Dudley Jackson December 5, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Twice a day nearly every day. I always manage to practice at least once a day. Some days it seems like not much is going on and others it seems my body just takes over with no effort from me at all. I continually realize how I and people in general misunderstand and ignore their relationship with their body.

  3. Amanda December 5, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    I first learned from you at the end of May 2012. After that workshop, I diligently practiced 2x/day for just under 6 weeks. I saw HUGE improvements in health, with one major issue clearing up (that I had been trying for 1.5 years to resolve). I was feeling great about my practice and all the improvements I was seeing in my health. Then, my mom died suddenly, and my world got turned upside down, and I missed some days of practice while traveling for the funeral etc. (I know, probably the WORST time to miss practice….) Once I got back home, somehow, I trickled down to just 1x/day, which I blame partially on feeling so sad in the evenings when I first got back home (which I should have used as reason TO practice, not to NOT practice). There have even been a handful of days since that I’ve missed practice completely for no good reason. Recently, I’ve been feeling an urge to get back to 2x/day. I just haven’t acted on it. Thanks for this article; I’m going to start back with 2x/day today, by practicing tonight. 🙂

    • Sifu Anthony December 5, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      That’s the other reason to practice twice a day — because when life happens, you drop down to “only” once a day. But of course, once a day is still pretty good! A good way to work up from 1x to 2x is to use the 2-minute drill for your 2nd session. I’m going to edit the post and add that tip in.

      • Melissa December 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

        That is a great idea. I will start with that!!!

  4. Stacy December 5, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    When I learned from Sifu several years ago, I didn’t have any major issues that needed to be resolved, so I let my practice go until I wasn’t practicing at all. For years. But after having my third baby, some health concerns started popping up and I was really concerned about my physical and mental health. I am glad that somehow I remembered how to do my practice and that I instinctively knew to do it twice a day. And yes, the problem got worse at first. But after pushing through those hard weeks, I have seen major improvements, and like Sifu said, probably more than twice the improvement I would have seen with only practicing once a day. I am still getting to practice twice a day most days. I try to make that a priority. I keep thinking about what he said in another article about qigong being “maintenance.” Better to keep things in check than to have to fix something major.

  5. Fred Chu December 5, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    I must be ridiculously lucky. The only health “problems” that I have are being near-sighted and allergic to penicillin. That second one doesn’t bother me too much because I haven’t been sick in years. I practice twice a day and it keeps me happy!

  6. Jen Rodriguez December 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Well I’m still new to Qigong, I started 9 mths ago. I’ve had the opportunity to learn in Arkansas, Costa Rica (what a great experience) and Vegas (with our Grand Master). I can honestly say that in these 9 mths I’ve practiced 2 times a day except for about 5 days–but those days I did practice once.

    The reason I got into Qigong in the first place was because of a health challenge I had been facing for a couple of years and not facing it well at that time. Since starting Qigong I feel so much better and have been able to reduce and stop some medications that I had been on. I still face the challenge but I know that I am facing it far better than I was before April.

    I do not just go thru the motions, because I really believe that getting in the Zen mind before practicing is the key to reaping the benefits of practice at least for me and I have Sifu Anthony K. to thank for that.

    My morning practice is usually a little longer than my evenings because my life is busier in the evenings. 15-20 mins. in the AM/10 mins in the PM and that is it–WHAT could be SIMPLER?

    When I tell people about Qigong I tell them they must learn it face-to face, follow the 3 Golden Rules and just practice daily!

  7. Beth Acampora March 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    Good one!

  8. Maria May 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Very intrigued to read that some symptoms worsen for awhile when starting Qigong . At times I feel quite ” yukky ” after my practise & as a result I have been hesitant to do another practise . Thanks everyone for posting & making me aware of what happens at times . And a very big ” THANK YOU ” especially for you Sifu Anthony for all your encouragement !

  9. Jill June 9, 2014 at 11:17 am #


    I am focused on learning tai chi through my teacher, who incorporates qigong into our warm-ups and individual training. I have so much still to learn but I am interested to learn a simple daily qigong practice for the health reasons you mentioned above.

    What type do you recommend that I learn?

    Thank you.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais June 10, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Hi Jill,

      It’s difficult and potentially awkward for me to give advice to the student of another teacher. I don’t want to step on any toes. Some teachers are very traditional and don’t allow students to learn from more than one teacher at a time.

      Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a streamlined, highly-effect qigong routine, then my Flowing Zen 101 workshop is the answer. At some point later in the year, I’ll also offer a version of this online.

      All the best,
      Sifu Anthony

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais March 30, 2016 at 9:41 am #

      By the way Jill, I’m now offering the 101 workshop online. You can see the details here:

  10. Dino March 30, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    This was a great article it addresses the frequecy of doing chigong I have been watching routines from YouTube but I’m always trying to learn more

  11. Mary Hart June 12, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    I agree with 2x qigong practice daily, although it’s not always possible so my goal is twice a day at least three times a week. For meditators, I’ve found that half an hour in early AM before I sit really helps quiet the mind. Then another thirty minutes later in the day feels better than an hour mid-day. That time before breakfast has proven to be very beneficial.

  12. Vera June 27, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

    Well, this is very valuable! To know how to practice is of utmost importance. I must confess,for so many years I practiced like a musician .But taichi is different than Qi Gong in this respect. I could do the 40 form twice over and then I had enough. Qi gong was where I felt healing and could not do too much or the pain would increase, or I would start to feel nervous and edge-y..I learned through Qi gong to listen to my body for queues of when to stop. But this again is different , Sifu , you are teaching a way of life that is easy and safe as well as sure to give results. On my own I was groping for the feelings and the signs that would say I ‘ve arrived.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais June 28, 2016 at 9:04 am #

      I’m glad that you’re finding your way with qigong! One day, your 40-Pattern Tai Chi Form is going to be better (and more enjoyable) than you ever imagined!

  13. Vera June 27, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    Thank you!

  14. Vera June 28, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    I hardly skipped my morning practice I needed it to be able to teach without pains and negativity. Then I had the practice in class with my students and I thought it was enough practice for the day. But I had problems sleeping… Since you introduced me to the 3 categories of Qi gong and the 5 phase practice I can do some Qi gong before I get to sleep and yes! I sleep much better! This consolidation of practice rules is priceless!
    Thanks so much!

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