18 Simple Movements

Tai Chi Qigong, a great introduction to this healing exercise!

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Qigong

Qigong (Life Energy Cultivation) is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing and meditation.

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Qigong is an ancient healing and wellness art that originated in Asia centuries ago.  The foundation of Qigong lies in a belief in the connection between our bodies, minds and nature. LEARN MORE >

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Qigong – A journey of self discovery Part 2

Part 2.

 

In Part 1 we discussed a basic overview of what Qigong is and what it is meant to do, or how it can help us. In this discussion we would like to address what makes qigong unique and why it is so effective.

The beauty of most Qigong training is in its simplicity. The majority of movements are gentle and easy to do. There are virtually no complicated motions in the beginning levels, making it easy for anyone to take part. Unlike the pretzel positions of yoga, or some of the complicated sequences of Tai Chi, Qigong is simple, almost too simple. What does this mean? Well, when something looks as easy as Qigong beginner programs do, people often ask, “How can this be effective. I mean really, can just moving your arms around or turning your waist really be that beneficial? Other than getting a mild bit of exercise?” Valid question. If all one does is body movements, then yes, it is a mild form of physical exercise and nothing more. But that is not Qigong.

Qigong uses not only the movements of the body, but incorporates specific breathing along with the movements and a form of awareness. The awareness principle is similar to that achieved through meditation, a quieting of the thinking mind. More on that in Part 3.

When we utilize these three principles then we have the essence of Qigong.  Therefore, Qigong can almost be considered a moving meditation, which heals the mind and body. One does not have to have a deep understanding of such aspects as the five elements, yin/yang etc to receive the benefits. This is one of the reasons why Qigong is becoming more and more popular. A simple, yet effective practice that calms the mind, heals the body through the opening of blocked energy, and allows one to return to a natural state of balance.

 

In Part 3 we will discuss the specifics with respect to the breath, and the mind during your practice.

Qigong & Health Benefits

While Qigong has been in widespread practice for thousands of years in Asia (particularly China), until recently it has been a relatively unknown martial art in North America.  Like its cousin Tai Chi, Qigong has been growing in public awareness and practice at a rapid rate in recent years.

Part of the reason for this increase in popularity has been the steadily increasing body of scientific research and analysis that supports the fact that Qigong can have a very positive effect on health and well-being.  In scientific terms these are termed ‘beneficial physical and psychological effects’.

Qigong health

The nice thing about the scientific method is that it can help us all understand the world around us in ever greater detail.  At times, however, it can take time for science to catch up with the common practice and awareness of millions of people.

Here at Healthyqigong.com we have known about the benefits of Qigong for years.  We have seen its positive effects in our families and friends, and in our growing number of students.  Nonetheless, it is nice to have our personal experience supported by scientific evidence as the body of research continues to grow.

In the American Journal of Health Promotions we see that ‘Research has demonstrated consistent, significant results for a number of health benefits… for Qigong and Tai Chi.”  The Journal of Holistic Nursing has an article stating that ‘Preliminary research indicates that Qigong may be an effective complementary therapy for promoting health and wellness in older adults and an effective adjuvant intervention for managing chronic conditions in older adults.”  The journal of Psychophysiology notes that “Because of its safety, minimal cost, and clinical benefit, health qigong can be advocated as an adjunctive exercise therapy for older people with chronic conditions.”

Each of the above studies are just the tip of the iceberg in starting to understand the health benefits of regular, mindful Qigong practice.  Most of us know this from our own experience, and it is very nice to see science start to get behind Qigong practice as a beneficial health boosting activity as well.

Testimonials

When the doctor told me that my spine was loaded with arthritis, I though that my pain and mobility problems were going to get worse. But after a few weeks of daily Qi Gong practice, I realized this gentile, meditative routine was going to change my life. Five years later and now in my seventies, I have overcome the chronic pain, a flight of stairs is no longer intimidating, and my blood pressure is lower by more than 20 points. I am scuba diving, snorkeling, and enjoying an active lifestyle.

- D. Ewan