Shou gong means “ending a day’s work” and is a short sequence you can use after you finish any qigong practice to relax the body and the mind.

The deeper purpose of Shou gong is to:

  • help open the yang/du channel running up behind the spine,
  • open to qi all around,
  • collect it and bring it down the yin/ren channel running down in front of the spine,
  • store this qi safely in the lower dantian,
  • make qi available in the body for balance, healing and spiritual growth.
Image from


Begin by standing should-width apart.

Both hands resting on the lower abdomen, lao gong points over on the lower dantian. Left hand under right for men, right hand under left for women.

Feeling the breath moving in the abdomen and the qi moving in the body’s meridians.

The sequence

And then breath is, lifting both hands straight out to the side. When you reach shoulder-height, folding the arms by the elbow and bring hands down the central channel.

Again, breathing in, gathering the qi from heaven above. Breathing out, folding the arms, bringing hands down the yin channel all the way down to the lower dantian.

Breathing out, opening to the qi around. Breathing out, lao gong points down to facing the body. Collecting the energy into the energy center in the lower abdomen.

Coming to stillness

Again, both hands coming to rest on the lower dantian.

Feeling the breath, gathering the qi.

Making it available in the body for balance, healing and spiritual growth.

Go deeper into the world of qi: