The benefits of qigong

February 23, 2012

Anxiety, Exercise, Health, Lifestyle, Qigong, Stress

A qigong workout builds internal strength, making it perfect for treating chronic conditions.

by Jolin Brandes and Jiliane Provinn — 

The Chinese word “qi” translates literally to life force. “Gong” means the practice of developing more qi or life-force energy. Qi is present in the body from birth. Later we acquire qi through the ingestion of food, from the air we breathe and through our constant interactions with our environment. When there is imbalanced qi in the body, sickness can be the byproduct.

A fundamental idea of qigong is that we lose essential energy as we age, which leads to stiffness and pain in our joints, as well as imbalances throughout the body. A qigong workout builds internal strength, making it perfect for treating chronic conditions.

The movements are designed to mirror the flow of nature, specifically water. They are done slowly, with a focus on coordinating the breath. Many movements can be modified and performed sitting or lying down, making it a great option for those who are more limited physically.

While qigong movements may look serene, they have a powerful impact on joints, bones and organs. Improvements in balance, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory function, flexibility, immune response and bone density have all been recorded.

What is surprising about the practice of qigong is how fast results are experienced — even if it has been years since you have gotten off the couch. Many people report a dramatic drop in pain and discomfort after just a single workout. For those who are already in good health, it is a wonderful tool for maintaining that precious gift. The only side effect is a rediscovered joy of living.

Qigong is a discipline that allows us to gain control over the life force that flows throughout our bodies. The benefits can extend to every physical system in the body, as well as to the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our beings.

It switches the nervous system from the stress-related fight-or-flight mode to the restorative healing mode of the parasympathetic branch. Electroencephalograms show that in those practicing qigong, the cerebral cortex enters a state of calm that few people ever experience, even in sleep.

Qigong is a great mood elevator. Exercise builds brain chemicals that enhance the nervous system. It also affects neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which boost your mood. As the heart pumps a little harder, the body creates more of a chemical called atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), which helps regulate anxiety. The average person uses only five to 10 percent of his or her 15 billion brain cells; yet studies shows that qigong activates 90 percent of the human brain by suffusing it with stimulating bioelectric currents. This results in significant memory improvement, learning and enhancement of physiological functions controlled by the brain.

Qigong is incredibly profound. It is gentle, rhythmic and gets your heart and brain pumping out those mood-elevating chemicals, but in a low-key way that soothes rather than causes undue stress. It also regulates and balances your internal systems, and when everything works in harmony, you are bound to feel better.

In short, qigong helps the body remember what it is supposed to be like; in a way, it causes the body to do a reboot and return to a state of balance.

It may be time for you to take back the power to heal yourself. Practice qigong and experience the benefits for yourself. You can Google qigong or go to YouTube.com and search for Grandmaster David Harris videos and learn some of the moves for free. You can also learn about Spiritual Real-Time Correction 4 You (SRC4U), a software program that has been developed to send you all the signals of “qi” without actually having to do the “gong.”

 

Jolin Brandes is a spiritual coach with Transformational Energies in Phoenix at 480-643-0883. Jiliane Provinn, is with Awakening Health & Consciousness in Cottonwood, Ariz. at 928-301-7738. www.src4u.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2011.

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