When I get up in the morning I love beginning my day with either Yoga or Qigong (pronounced “chee-goong”). I find that starting my day off like this gives me the energy I need for the rest of the day – and some days I definitely need that energy if my toddler didn’t have a restful nights sleep! It also prevents muscles tension, and allows me to reconnect to my mind, body and spirit. Most people know what Yoga is, so here is the lowdown on Qigong and its wonderful health benefits.
Qigong originated in China over 5000 years ago and is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine. It is a series of gentle exercise that was compiled by Taoist sages and healers in ancient times.
It involves breathing techniques, gentle movement and meditation, which acts to cleanse, strengthen and circulate the life energy (qi). Qigong also focuses on the meridians (energy channels of the body) to dissolve blockages that may cause mental, emotional and physical problems. It allows the qi (energy) to flow smoothly and unobstructed, while also stimulating and restoring the body.
Qigong can be broken down into three different types:
▪ Soft: gentle movements
▪ Hard: stronger movements requiring more muscular activity (preferred by martial artists)
▪ Static: meditative type exercises
The breathing methods used in Qigong works the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, which is turn stimulates and massages the internal organs. Qigong was designed with the ultimate aim being to gain spiritual enlightenment by mastering your own body, mind and soul and discovering your true self.
Qigong has many incredible benefits, which lead to better health, vitality and peace of mind. Following is a list of benefits that are backed with experimental evidence:
▪ Cardiovascular: balance heart rate, cholesterol and blood pressure
▪ Respiratory: improves gaseous exchange; extremely beneficial for asthmatics
▪ Immune System: significant anti-cancer effect, destroys free radicals
▪ Circulation: assist with angina and migraines, prevents vascular spasms, improves microcirculation
▪ Brain: less incidence of stroke, reduction in frequency and severity of seizures, relaxed and integrated state of consciousness
▪ Musculoskeletal: improves posture, balance, strength, stamina and flexibility
▪ Chronic pain: reduces injury, surgery, arthritis and fibromyalgia pain
▪ Mental health: decreases stress, anxiety, OCD and depression. Improves memory, longevity
I often give my clients Qigong exercises to do everyday, and the changes in their lives are very positive simply by following a simple 10-minute exercise. This makes it a very useful tool for those of you who find you don’t have much time but would like to rebalance and recharge yourself completely.
Love and Gratitude.