I don't know quite why it is. Maybe it is simply caution about the unknown, like trying a new vegetable when you were a kid.
Sometimes people act a little nervous or uncomfortable when I mention Qi Gong (sometimes spelled Chi Kung). I'm guessing it might be because of that odd group that was in the news several years ago. I don't know anything about falun gong, but I do know Qi Gong, and it is nothing to be afraid of - it's better than trying brussel sprouts for the first time, that's for sure.
Qi Gong is basically just "energy work".
Think about junior high science class. Energy can mean electricity, magnetism, or it can be anything that produces an effect. Like the bowling ball on the shelf that produces the kinetic energy that produces the effect of denting your floor if the ball falls down. Qi is a subtle energy in living beings, just like a bowling ball falling from a shelf is not so subtle potential energy followed by kinetic energy followed by a big THUD.
Gong is work, and tied to the idea of carrying energy. Kinetic energy in a hammer does the work of pounding a nail that produces the effect of building a house.
In this case the "energy" we are talking about is life energy. In China it is called Qi, in Japan it is "Ki" (like Reiki). Old Greek and European physicians like Galen, Hippocrates, and Paracelsus called it "vital force". Whatever the name, it all means the same thing.. It's that indescribable, yet to be defined special something that makes us living conscious beings instead of inanimate objects.
"Gong" (said first tone) literally translates as "work." In this case, you can think of "chi gong" is working with the life force vital energy to bring mind and body into balance to help us have better mental outlook, less stress and better overall wellness.
Qi Gong relies on visualization (focused imagination) and gentle movements to help move and balance life energy, To use Qi Gong effectively, you need a good teacher. Think about the building a house example. Anyone can learn to pound a nail with a hammer. It isn't really all that hard, but just pounding nails all willy-nilly doesn't accomplish much unless you know what you are doing. You need the special know-how of a good contractor to build it right. The same is true with Qi Gong. You need to learn to do it right for it to really work at its best and cause no harm.
I don't offer Qi Gong, but to learn more about it (or Tai Chi and Ba Gua which are closely related) I recommend www.dctaichi.com in the Washington DC area.. In the Pittsburgh PA area please visit www.pghtaichi.com for more information.