Chi kung literally means the art of cultivating vital energy, this would be the most appropriate translation.
It is a holistic system with postures, coordinated body movement with breathing and meditation exercises used to optimize health, body and mind, with roots in Chinese medicine, philosophy and martial arts. Chi Kung is traditionally seen as a practice for cultivating and balancing chi, translated as “vital energy.”
With roots in ancient Chinese culture dating back over 4,000 years, a wide variety of forms of Chi Kung have developed in different segments of Chinese society, in traditional Chinese medicine with preventive and curative objectives, in Confucianism to promote longevity and improve the Moral character, in Taoism and Buddhism as part of meditative practice and in the Chinese martial arts to improve fighting skills. Traditionally, knowledge about Chi Kung has passed from the adept master to the student in intact elite lineages, typically with secret and esoteric traditions of training and oral transmission.
According to Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian philosophy, Chi Kung allows access to a higher domain of consciousness, awakens “true nature” and helps to develop human potential.