Qi Gong is a gentle form of exercise that helps improve health and overall well-being. Qi Gong (pronounced CHEE-GONG) can be traced back 4,000 years to ancient China. “Qi” is simply the Chinese word for energy, and “Gong” means skill that is cultivated through steady practice. So, put together, “Qi Gong” means “cultivating the body’s vital energy,” and then using it to heal and strengthen every system throughout the body.
There are three main elements to Qi Gong exercise:
Slow, fluid movements that stretch and strengthen
A meditative state of mind
The exercises found in Qi Gong involve gentle, rhythmic movements, mirroring movements found in nature, such as the lapping of water or blowing of wind. Water, for instance, flows effortlessly along the path of least resistance, and Qi Gong teaches us to move our bodies in a similar fluid motion, minimizing the risk of injury, while maintaining balance and focus. Sometimes the exercises are named after animals, such as bird, bear, monkey, tiger, and deer.
The Mind-Body Connection
Qi Gong is often referred to as a mind-body exercise because it explores the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes Qi Gong is classified as complementary or alternative medicine. Other forms of mind-body therapy or alternative medicine include yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, massage, and traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, tai chi, which is already quite popular in America, is actually a somewhat more complicated form of Qi Gong!
In Chinese medicine, freely flowing Qi is essential to good health. It is believed that Qi circulates through a system of pathways called meridians, which can be thought of as an energy highway throughout the body. Health is an ongoing process of maintaining the balance and harmony of these meridians, and practicing Qi Gong is one way to keep Qi flowing freely.
Specific Benefits of Qi Gong
Qi Gong provides a core group of benefits to improve health and well-being. Its gentle movements stretch and strengthen muscles, improve balance and flexibility, and reduce inflammation in joints. This movement helps to improve the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body, which is thought to improve the immune system and help to remove toxins.
Qi Gong’s deep breathing exercises help to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension. The breath techniques emphasize slow breathing from the diaphragm with a relaxed posture and straight spine. They help to calm and center and can be an effective aid for reducing anxiety and aiding sleep.
The meditative state of mind achieved by practicing Qi Gong provides powerful mental and emotional benefits, often after only a few minutes of practice. Qi Gong requires concentration, requiring focus and clear thinking. This discipline is reported to help foster creativity, improved mood, and to enhance cognitive capability.
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7575 Kingspointe Pkwy Suite 21