Why Practice Qigong?
I had the pleasure of listening to a conference during the Qigong Global Summit with Dr. Shin Lin, PHD, Dr. Roger Janke, OMD and Gloria Y. Yeh MD, MPH and wanted to share some scientific information that may help answer some questions or spark your curiosity when it comes to the ancient practice of Qigong.
In Chinese Medicine there are 3 codes when working with their patients:
#1- Honour their Spirit
#2- Teach people to Stay Well
#3- Treat people while they Are Well to Keep Them Well
This is very inspiring and proactive. In Chinese Medicine there are 5 branches made up of:
Qigong- this is self empowering as you practice for yourself. This is a high skill as you are working with your own life force energy, Qi, of your mind, your body, your emotions and spirit. When you listen inward you can become your own best healer.
Acupuncture- Balance the body's internal energy systems through your meridians.
Herbal Medicine- All natural medicine, herbs for healing and prevention.
Nutrition- All natural whole foods.
The focus of Chinese Medicine is holistic, natural, self- empowering, preventative in nature = Medicine through feeling good!
The three Doctors emphasized how Health Care can be looked at as one word HEALTHCARE not two separate entities. With scientific studies and working with up and coming medical students through Universities, the practice of Qigong is becoming much more of an interest in helping to manage your health naturally in a purposeful way. There are two new science words that are being used now #1 Prehab & #2 Interception.
Prehab - prevent disease in the first place or prepare you whole self for treatment such as surgery rather than waiting till after and working with the western medical system to recover your health.
Interception - All versions of the mind/body practice so that you are internally aware, self aware and self observant. Physically there are 2 finds- Sensation (physical self) and Feeling (our emotions).
Qigong is a sustainable practice that does not just have power while you are practicing. Practice will help to renew the power of your mind, emotions and body, our Three Treasures, that can be accessed and used when we are faced with uncomfortable situations. For example, when we are stuck in traffic, or in a line at the bank, or get into an uncomfortable conversation to help bring us into a calm and present state rather than having worry, stress and anxiety take over. Working with our Three Treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen (also called Body, Breath and Mind), can create huge shifts in our health for our body through movement and posture, our breath deepens becoming more relaxed, and our mind drops into the present moment.
Qigong has been considered ‘Moving Meditation’ . As we learn to gently move, we cultivate mindfulness. We purposefully move with the intention to self regulate body, breath and awareness.
Medical studies are proving that regular practice of Qigong helps with numerous issues. To list a few:
* Prevention of Falls - Especially in the elderly, improving strength and balance.
* Our Mind - Brain wave analysis, the beta waves in the meditative state promote relaxation. There is oxygen consumption in the frontal cortex where functions such as problem solving, emotions, memory, and impulse control take place. As we meditate we consume less oxygen and you are in a relaxed state, so your mind is clear, open and receptive.
* Breathing - Deep, slow breathing, redirected by brain cells in the brain stem directly impacts the nervous system with the stress response. Tests and studies performed on medical students at the University of California, were put in stressful situations and with deep breathing exercises that are practiced in Qigong. Immediately the stress response was shown to be lowered, heart rate lowered and blood pressure went down. In their laboratory the tests showed a measurable effect.
* Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Issues - Lowering chronic disease symptoms, shortness of breath and improving quality of life. There is an overall improvement in blood flow and circulation as well as flexibility of the muscles, tendons and ligaments all contributing to organ health and movement to help massage our organs such as the lungs.
* Helps to work with and alleviate depression, anxiety and stress management.
*Neurological conditions- Helping to enhance cognitive and motor skills for people with Parkinson’s and Strokes.
* Cancer - Studies with breast cancer patients - Helping to ease going through treatments, symptoms, mental health and insomnia.
* Muscular Skeletal Diseases - To name a few such as Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
There's a famous Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, who said;
“The thousand mile journey starts with the first step but if we don’t have the map, we step in the wrong direction and all of a sudden we are thousands of miles off of where we want to be.”
Qigong is preventative. If there are certain health issues present, this ancient, gentle yet powerful practice helps to go inward and listen to the subtle cues helping to address and manage whatever we may be going through to help heal and build our inner strength with peace and tranquility within. An easy gentle practice yet very powerful that can be practiced by everyone no matter what your background is. If you are new to exercise, recovering from injury, have a health condition, or you are an elite athlete. No equipment is needed. Wear comfortable clothes and either bare feet of flat supportive shoes. Practice can be done seated, standing and even laying down.
I hope this write up has given you some added insight and information about this truly amazing healing practice and you are now wanting to give it a try or get back into practicing making Qigong a staple in your own health journey.
Please reach out anytime with any questions. I have regular weekly Zoom classes and hold specialized seasonal classes open to everyone as well as teach for private groups and corporate. Go to yogafirstandwellness.com to register. Also, you can find us on YouTube at Yoga First and Wellness where we post weekly sharing Qigong, Yoga, Meditation, Motivation and Healthy Holistic Lifestyle Segments. It is Free and remember to Subscribe so you will see when new videos are posted.
Love, Light & Qi
Jennifer Nocito RHC HCA
Certified HolisticWellness Coach, Certified Qigong/Yoga/Pilates/Meditation Teacher,
Yoga First and Wellness