I believe one of the sufi rituals is called a dikhar (sp.?- sounds like ****er). They sit or stand in a tight circle in a closed room. They begin to do a rhythmic chant of prayers with an emphasis on exhaling hard at the end of each line. As the ceremony proceeds carbon dioxide levels rise in the small room (you are breathing in mostly somebody else's exhalation). Weird physical effects manifest as a result of oxygen deprivation. If that is your cup of tea fine, but it doesn't sound much like chi kung, as I understand it.
There is also a drug prominent on the Horne of Africa and the Arabian Penninsula called qvat (sp.?) It is highly addictive and has grown quite popular in sufi rituals within the mentioned areas. This would be another way they attempt to elevate conciousness.
I believe the famous "whirling dervishes" were part of the sufi movement. They would spin in cirles to elevate to higher conciousness.(whirling is also apparently used by Tibetans to circulate chi)
Don't take these statements as 100%, since it has been about five years since I took "Islam in North Africa" and sufism was only part of the coursework. Ask your friend if he was referring to any of these practices.