In ancient Taoist philosophy, the universe began in an original state of ‘Oneness’.   From this state of Oneness, Yin and Yang Qi were formed.  This created duality/polarity and the Tao. 

Polarity creates a flow of energy, which creates movement and change that can be experienced.  It is experience that ultimately leads to evolution.

In Qigong, we move the body in order to move the Qi.  

Alternatively, we can use the mind to move the Qi through focused thought (Qi responds to our conscious and subconscious intention).  Then, when we reach a state where the mind is calm and relaxed, the Qi still responds to the inspired-consciousness of the Qigong movements themselves. This is a state where the mind and body are in complete harmony and is sometimes referred to as the 'Qigong state'.  

For most of us, our mind and body are typically in some level of disharmony.  The Qi may move but not in a way that is harmonious or beneficial for the body/mind. We may even create conditions within the body/mind that allow dis-ease or imbalance to occur.

Through Qigong, we combine movement with intention and Qi to create balance, a healthy life, and personal evolution.

Qi is found in everything and is also the ‘vital force’ that creates life.  Ancient Chinese philosophy considers that ‘the coarsest and heaviest fractions of Qi form solids; lighter fractions form liquids, and the most ethereal fractions are the "lifebreath" that animates living beings’ (Wikipedia).

Gong is translated as ‘work’ or ‘effort’.

When we put these together, Qi+gong refers to our effort to use Qi to improve health for ourselves and others. In some cases the effort may be to focus the mind with an intention, in other cases to perform movements that support an intention. Qigong may also include a combination of both.  However this definition is still not complete. What makes Qigong different from Exercise is the emphasis on Qi.  In Qigong, the physical movement doesn’t just exercise the body, it moves the Qi. In Qigong, the mental focus isn’t just exercising the mind, it focuses the Qi.  The mind and body working together create a harmonious flow and focus of the Qi which creates healing at many levels.