Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care practice that has been in existence for over 2,000 years. It integrates movement, breathing and focused attention to bring the body into balance. A balanced body is one that is mentally, emotionally, and physically stable. When the body is in balance, all systems work better.
Many of us are living in a continuous state of stress without even knowing it. In addition to our tendency to stress, there is a tendency to move less as we age. Qigong is the perfect antidote to daily stress and inactivity. It counterbalances stress by introducing a sense of calm and relaxation. Practicing regularly will gently, yet profoundly, create strength and flexibility in the muscles and joints.
There are numerous studies and clinical evidence which support the benefits of Qigong including improvements in immune function, vitality, cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Another important benefit is improvement in functional balance resulting in reduced falls and related risk factors.
Qigong requires no equipment. It can be done anywhere, inside or outside and can easily be tailored to an individual’s needs depending on their goals and physical abilities. There are many styles of Qigong. You don’t have to be fit or flexible and most movements can be modified to accommodate physical limitations. Qigong is suitable for older people, those with pain and limitations and people recovering from injuries, but it’s still best to get a professional opinion and clearance to begin Qigong if you’re unsure.
Qigong follows the same meridian system as acupuncture. Both calm the body and mind so healing can occur. The difference is that Qigong is a self-healing practice, which if done regularly, will cultivate energy and improve overall wellbeing.
As a practitioner of Qigong, I have experienced many life-enhancing benefits. It’s been a personal journey of self-discovery which has resulted in improvement in my immune system, energy and tranquility. I rarely go a day without doing it because it always makes me feel good.
If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of Qigong, I’d like to introduce you to a couple of resources to get you started. (These are not paid endorsements!) The first are two simple Qigong videos that you can download for free.
Lee Holden is the teacher and is internationally known for his Qigong instruction and publications. The videos are easy to follow and are only 20 minutes in length. The first video is designed to be practiced in the morning and is more energizing. The second should be practiced at night, as it is more relaxing. Both videos are gentle, but I suggest you avoid any movements that don’t feel good, and if you’re unsure of your abilities, seek a medical opinion. After a couple of weeks of practicing the sets, you will likely notice an improvement in your wellbeing and a desire to continue your practice.
If you choose to work with an instructor in person, you can find experienced practitioners all over the Bay Area. Here’s a link to the National Qigong Association’s website to help you find practitioners in your area.
I hope you enjoy this ancient and beautiful self-healing practice and please feel free to share this with people you care about.
To Your Health,