I am sure many of us, at some points, have noticed small peoples’ groups clustered
in local parks moving silently and softly in unison like a flock of birds. Their movements appear to float on their breath, and even their faces radiate humor of peace and tranquillity.
For several years Qigong has been performed by a lot of people around the globe to facilitate better mental and physical health and longevity. Most folks are conversant with Taiji, which is a Qigong style formed by the Yang family. Just like the famous Kung fu is a style of martial art, Taiji is also a style of Qigong. However, there are about 3600 different Qigong styles.
Styles like Shaolin, Daoist, Wuji, and Medical Qigong just to highlight but few. Although there are uncountable styles and forms of Qigong therapies taught around the globe, all sets are made up of similar components.
What is Qigong?
Qigong originated from China around 4,000 years ago. It is strictly based on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ideology, which states that energy, or qi, is present in our body.
“According to these TCM principles, a person’s energy (qi) must flow throughout the body for an individual to feel their best,” a doctor explains. “If your qi (energy) becomes stagnant in a certain part, health issues can occur.”
Qigong exploits simple breathing and poses patterns to promote a healthy Circulation and lower stagnation of qi. Proper circulation of qi can help our body to engage in its healing processes. The literal meaning of Qigong is “to work with qi.”
The Healing Profit of Qigong practice is made up of three vital parts:
On the plain physical level, Qigong entails soft flowing bodyweight activities designed to stimulate the acupuncture meridians and the linked organs. These movements are designed to carry blood and oxygen throughout the entire body, hence facilitating the release of friction and tension in the joints, muscles, and connective tissue that triggers physical degeneration.
This therapy combines these movements with a prolonged, deep, slow, and even diaphragmatic breath. The inhalation concept is called “drumming and beating the Qi.” The combination of the exact physical movements and the illicit breathing pattern serve as crutches to link the mind to the present and training mental focus.
All exercises and movements have a mental intention or specific visualization that adds yet another layer of attention to the practice. This turns the general workout into a moving contemplation. The movements may be gentle and soft, but the healing abilities of Qigong practice can be very powerful.
Here are a few of the many beneficial effects of Qigong training
Relieves Stress and Reduces Depression
One study showed that Qigong could lower symptoms of depression. In this study, folks who practiced Qigong also had less anxiety and healthier moods as compared to others who didn’t. Qigong was as well proven to have positive effects on cardiovascular and skeletal health and improve balance.
Gentle Bodyweight Conditioning for All Fitness Levels
That Qigong can be done standing or sitting. It is, therefore, a physical conditioning therapy that is suitable for all fitness levels and ages. The soft, gentle, slow movements of Qigong therapeutic practice stimulate the body to boost muscular flexibility, stability, and range of movement around all joints of the body.
One of the most physical benefits of Qigong is its dynamic range in terms of motion that are incorporated into most of the movements.
Most of us move about through very small ranges of motion every day, and about ROM, “If you do not use it, you will lose it!” The dynamic motions also serve to promote greater balance by enhancing the vestibular system of the brain. As we increase age, joint balance and stability are two of the most vital factors in maintaining mobility and health.
However, topping the long list of the physical benefits is the awareness of your body in space, “kinaesthetic awareness.” Qigong develops your consciousness of posture/weight distribution and boosts your ability to answer and respond to an outside stimulus like trips, slouching, falls, or loss of balance. All of which may help you to carry your body through life and space with ease and without injury or accident.
Through some specific abdominal breathing and relaxation exercise, Qi Gong has proved to be an effective remedy for sleep apnoea, insomnia, and many other sleep disorders.
Strengthens the Organs
The qigong methods discussed here (especially the 3 swings) work to energize and balance all the internal organelles. There are also many other techniques to energize speciﬁc organs that are aimed aim at helping the lungs from tuberculosis, the liver improves from hepatitis, or the heart from a heart attack.
Even without having had any serious sickness, almost everybody is born with a weakness in organs, and Qigong has exact exercises to address an individual’s exact problems.
Qi Gong has been confirmed to aid the functionality of the gut system. In the therapeutic practice of Qigong, certain movements enhance these meridians and therefore encourage the actual organs to perform at their best.
Boost Circulation and Lowers Blood Pressure:
Qigong joins relaxed movements with long but slow diaphragmatic breaths. By operating
the body, in general, blood is gradually moved through all arteries and veins of the body hence ensuring proper and efficient blood flow and tissue nourishment.
By coordinating the motion with long but slow, and controlled breaths, the sympathetic nervous system is shut down, and the parasympathetic nervous is engaged. This type of breath operates to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure. The gentle yet complete body cardiovascular sensation makes Qigong effective and safe physical exercises for folks with or without heart-linked issues or limitations.
Lessens Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a major disorder that triggers extreme tiredness. There is yet no known cause, and it does not disappear with rest. It can be very challenging or almost impracticable for folk living with chronic fatigue to perform in their daily life.
A study involving 64 people with chronic fatigue had improvements in their symptoms after 16 weeks of practicing qigong therapy. They had outstanding mental functioning and reduced fatigue than folks who did not. If you are always tired and your doctor has lined out any medical issue, Qigong could help.
Boosts the Immune Response
The function of your immune system is to fend off pathogens like viruses and bacteria. That is a vital responsibility. And Qigong may offer your immune system a little more help.
A review of some studies found that this practice had a noticeable blow on immune functioning. It raised levels of certain immune cells in folks who practiced it often.
Qigong is literally “Moving Meditation.” As with all other meditation practices, this therapy has an incredibly soothing effect on the CNS (central nervous system). As the breath, mind, and body are linked to the moment, the parasympathetic nervous system is affected, and the brain releases all kinds of feel-beneficial hormones, like dopamine and serotonin.
These chemicals function as our natural opiates, which creates a relaxed state and fosters healing on the cellular level. With our opiates circulating, cortisol (body stress hormone) naturally decreases. High levels of this cortisol can trigger sustained hikes of blood sugar, loss of calcium from bones, high blood pressure, depression of vital immune responses, increased fat accumulation, and also loss of cognitive function.
Balances Body Temperature
Qi Gong boosts the circulation of blood in arteries but especially in the veins, which rely on motion to promote the circulation of blood. This does not only improve body function and healing but also aids those who undergo cold feet and hands.
Improves Vascular Function
Western aerobics raises circulation by working out the heart. Qigong improves flow by raising the elasticity of the blood vessels. It is a norm in China to prescribe qigong exercises for both low and high blood pressure, as both are caused by problems in vascular strength and elasticity.
Builds Martial Arts and Athletic Power
Qigong is the origin of the power of the Chinese martial arts, either kung fu, tai chi, hsing-i, or even ba gua. It is almost not possible to determine from an external outlook how the seemingly mild, smooth movements of the internal types enable the advanced practitioner to conquer the most violent street ﬁghter. This ability is gotten from the practice of Qigong, which spurs internal power and chi.