QiGong: Traditional Chinese Healing
Introduction to Qigong
Qigong is an ancient form of practice to rebalance the body, mind, and spirit by connecting to the Universal energy. It is one of the integral features of traditional Chinese healing which incorporates health and fitness programs to complement modern medicine. Qigong is not a physical exercise, rather it moves beyond the muscle and tissue to work on the body’s energy level.
Qigong movement and postures are shaped by the principle of Yin and Yang: the complementary interrelationship of qualities such as fast and slow, hard and soft, excess or deficiency, and external and internal. Qigong exercises use these contrasting and complementary qualities to restore harmony to the essential substances, organ systems, and channels. It is a practice of building awareness.
How does Qigong work?
Qigong breaks down the energy blockages and promotes free flow of energy throughout the body’s meridian system. It uses elements of meditation, relaxation training, martial-arts technique, and breathing exercises that are intended to cultivate energy and transmit it to all bodily organs.
Regularly practicing Qigong will help you replenish your body’s energy on a deeper level, overcome any chronic physical or emotional issues, and dramatically improve your quality of life in a non-invasive way. Qigong exercises are designed to help you preserve your essence (Jing), strengthen and balance the flow of energy (Qi), and enlighten your spirit (Shen).
Basic Qigong Techniques
Some of the basic techniques that make up the foundation of Qigong are:
Concentration leads to and results from Qi energy awareness, breathing techniques, and Qigong exercises. It is a process of focusing in and letting go at the same time. Through deep relaxation and expanding your consciousness, you will be able to create a frame of mind that is large enough to encompass your entire mind, body, and spirit’s functions, yet focused enough to allow outside distractions, worries, and everyday hassles to drift away.
Breathing techniques are a way of stimulating the Qi energy. From there, two types of Qigong breathing exercises evolved: Buddha’s Breath and Daoist’s Breath. Both methods infuse the body with Qi and help focus meditation.
Buddha’s Breath – When you inhale, extend your abdomen, filling it with air. When you exhale, contract your abdomen, expelling the air from the bottom of your lungs first and then pushing it up and out until your abdomen and chest are deflated. As you breathe in and out, imagine inviting your Qi energy to flow through the Channels.Daoist’s Breath – The pattern is the opposite of Buddha’s breath. When you breathe in, you contract your abdominal muscles. When you exhale, you relax the torso and lungs.
Benefits of Qigong
Qigong exercises help maintain health by creating a state of mental and physical calmness, which indicates that the body’s energy is balanced and harmonious. This allows the mind, body, and spirit to function most efficiently, with the least amount of stress. When you start practicing Qigong exercises, the primary goal is to concentrate on letting go. That’s because most imbalance comes from holding on to too much for too long.
Some of the benefits of the Qigong technique are:
- Reawakens the body’s natural self-healing capacity.
- Helps overcome physical or emotional issues.
- Improves the quality of life.
- Effective in stabilizing blood pressure.
- Helps alleviate mental stress.
In order to gain maximum benefits from this ancient healing technique, you must consult and train under a professional trained in Qigong. When performed properly, Qigong is found to be beneficial in preventing as well as treating ailments and improving health.
Some Qigong exercises that help massage and tonify the organ system, promoting longevity are:
- For five minutes, move both of your arms from your shoulders in a gentle swinging motion. The motion itself should be initiated from your waist to massage to the internal organs and enjoy full benefits of the exercise.
- To get started, move your arms side to side across your torso, and then back to front.
- Keep your knees slightly bent and let your hips sway. Allow your mind to clear and just be mindful of the present.
- With your feet parallel and about shoulder’s width apart, bounce with your knees loose and your arms hanging at the sides.
- Keep your shoulders natural; neither pull them back or let them slump forward too much.